Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

Textolog: Text Messaging in the Philippines

I never used text messaging when I lived in American.  That all changed when I moved here to the Philippines, the texting capital of the world.  Now I can quickly type out text messages without even looking down at my phone.

I learned Tagalog during my first year here.  This, of course, greatly enhanced my ability to communicate with others (verbally or through text messaging).

But there were always these cryptic text messages I never could quite figure out.  I had to learn yet another “dialect”—a mixture of Tagalog and English with unique, abbreviated spelling.

I call it textolog (which, according to its own rules, could be spelled txtolog).  It’s really just a joke, but my Filipino friends love this new word.

If you think about it, textolog is a fascinating phenomenon—a fusion of language, culture and technology.

Like any other language, textolog has its own rules—here they are:

Vowels are often deleted.

Example: Masarap (delicious) spelled msrp.

English words are spelled phonetically.

Example: people spelled pipol.

Some consonants can be used to replace multiple letters.

Example: ako (I) spelled aq.

Numbers replace letters if the numbers make a similar sound as the letters would when pronounced out loud.

Example: wait spelled w8; gusto (want/like) spelled gus2.

The number 2 can represent a repeating syllable, which is common in Tagalog.

Example: pupunta (go, future tense) is spelled pu2nta.

Some abbreviations are simply understood.

Example: girlfriend or boyfriend spelled gf/bf.

Letters are often capitalized in the middle of words for the sake of artistic flair.  This is especially true in text forwards.

So, there you have it—textolog.  Pass this post along—maybe we can make this word just as popular as taglish.

Just be sure to mention KUYAKEVIN.COM if you decide to copy/paste.

Some of you have commented on texting’s negative effect on spelling/grammar.  I’m inclined to agree.  I would encourage you to practice standard spelling/grammar when you blog, write emails, etc.  Textolog is fine for the cell phone, but there’s really no need for it when you have a whole keyboard to use.


  1. txttolog sounds like text with itlog, kapatid ng tapsilog. 🙂

  2. so we r d txtng capital of d world pla…didnt knw dat…hehe…mas mura kc ang text…

    ipa2uso ko 2. hehe…

    pede din xang txtolog na ang ibig sbhin ay ngttxt hbang 2log…haha…txt adik tlga.

  3. i once got this text that had this weird words and letters in it and i had to decipher it like half an

    Reading the definition of this ‘textolog’makes that text look like it’s one of those.

    Actually,textolog sounds like “text tulog”…haha oh, and you do text very

  4. Haha…kuya, you can also spell it this way. TX2LG. ikw tlg dk nga mrunong mgtxt2lg!

  5. Actually, when I started texting my spelling and grammar got worse. In short, in made me dumber.

  6. galing talaga ni kuya… idol!!!!!

    anyway… ang pagka adik sa text ay nakakabobo especially in spelling and grammar

  7. w0w!! sounds intellectually wise .. 😉
    got some insites, too.
    wish you could drop by to comment too .. 😉
    by the way, i found your blog through your Bulletin Post at Friendster .. 😉

  8. haha! this post is really cute. yeah, filipinos always, always find ways to make things easier like in this case, texting.

  9. I never used this “Textolog” kind of texting ever. 🙂 And I’m glad that until today, I’m used to standard typing and texting pa rin. Thanks Kuya Kevin for opening up this issue. :)) I kind of get irritated with my friends who use this kind of texting. It destroys the beauty of the language. Tagalog or English. 🙂

  10. haha…kaya halos ibang mga pinoy
    di na marunong mag spelling kasi
    sa ka short cut sa txt.. ayan tuloy
    bagsak sa english hahahahahaha

  11. Whenever someone sends me a message in pure text lingo, I ask them to send the message again because I did not understand it. It comes with the assumption that the receiver understands text lingo, which may be otherwise. The essence of text messaging is to communicate effectively, and sometimes, that purpose is defeated in haste.

    Probably wouldn’t go as much as to lecture on people against it, but count me in the bandwagon that promotes proper communication.

  12. Sometimes I also have to ask people to repeat messages with whole words.

    I am pretty sure textolog is here to stay, but we can encourage people to avoid it for “non-cellphone” communication.

  13. you’ve certainly coined a term yourself. textolog can only be concocted by a non-filipino (notice the comments about it?). i have managed to use text lingo and keep my english spelling and grammar intact. i have to, otherwise, i won’t stay long in my job!

    yes, folks. keep the text spelling to cellphones and study your english grammar and spelling well. you’ll understand when you want to advance in your career.

  14. Nice blogs. I like it. gusto ko sya kuya keving. Ang galin!

  15. ne1 wanna text me in tagalog to help me learn more efficiently?

  16. i do agree about the texting capital in the world. we’ve been known by that honor for years! but i prefer calling. not that I have lots of load to do it, but it’s better to communicate to someone especially to your relative. haha! i’m just saying my won opinion because i’m just a kid who happens to be experiencing the calling thingamajig! gosh! my parents love to call me everytime and i’m tired of it. my phone keeps on vibrating on my bag/pocket whatever! haha!
    and i’m out!
    btw, others say Filipinos are dorks. they’re too dumb on using the wright grammar or whatsoever. duh! texting is just one of our hobbies but don’t they realized that on some other ways especially on intellectual ways, Filipinos do excel. ahha!!!

  17. The new language of the 21st Century in the Philippines. Tsk tsk.

  18. ano ung meaning ng mmtt?

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