I knew about Tagalog, but assumed they also learned Spanish in the schools.
Curiously, the Philippines still have an academy for the Spanish language, an affiliate of Spain's Royal Spanish Academy.
More curiously, so does the US, or at least North America.
They did..but due to “anti colonialism”, the RP govt ordered the schools to stop teaching Spanish in a mandatory capacity UNLESS the schools or colleges adapt it for educational purposes. From what was explained to me, it was around 1986.
You check out their universities, it’s mostly Franciscan or JEsuit universities but it’s not mandatory to teach Spanish.
Marcos had the foresight to insist English be taught to everyone in the schools. I think under him it was the, or one of the, national languages. At any rate, they obviously did a good job as most urban Phillipinos speak excellent English ever since he was in power.
I was on a job in South America. The american guys for the most part didn’t speak spanish, so any local that spoke english was automatically foreman. But then they recruited about a hundred filipinos to come there as techs on the assumption that, since they had spanish surnames, they would speak spanish.
They didn’t, of course. So they would take direction from the american in english, then take the guys outside and deliver the instructions in sign language and pantomime.
But they also started spanish classes among themselves in the evenings, and sure enough within three or four months they were surprisingly able to get by in the language. Their american bosses never knew the difference.
It was funny, but also impressive.
Actually, the Philippines teach English from elementary school through high school. All Philippine laws are mandated to be written in English. All professionals, (doctors, lawyers etc.), attend colleges where English is the language of instruction and all the textbooks are written in English for college students.
One of the reasons that many call centers are located in the Philippines is due to the fact that Filipinos are taught English from the day they enter elementary school. Unfortunately, the quality of the teachers English abilities are lacking in a lot of schools which means that many Filipino children do not learn proper English.