The word Tagalog was derived from taga-ilog, from taga- meaning “native of” and ílog meaning “river”, both combined meaning “river dweller.”
Since there are no surviving written samples of the language Tagalog before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century. Some say that all the written texts were destroyed by the Spanish priests saying it is too demonic. That’s why very little is known about the history of the language. However there is speculation that the ancestors of the Tagalogs originated from northeastern Mindanao or eastern Visayas.
The first known book to be written in Tagalog is the Doctrina Cristiana around 1593. It was written in Spanish and two versions of Tagalog; one written in Baybayin and the other in the Latin alphabet.
Throughout the 300 odd years of Spanish occupation, there have been grammars and dictionaries written by Spanish clergymen such as Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala (Pila, Laguna, 1613), Vocabulario de la lengua tagala (1835) and Arte de la lengua tagala y manual tagalog para la adminstración de los Santos Sacramentos (1850).
The foremost regarded Tagalog writer was Poet Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar (1788-1862). Was his most famous work is the early 19th-century Florante at Laura.
Outside the Philippines, the Tagalog language is usually limited to communication within ethnic Filipino groups.