Welcome to the beginning of a library of liturgical and spiritual texts in the languages of the Philippines!
The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino lists two hundred living languages in use in the Philippines! The Russian Orthodox mission began in the regions of Davao and Manila, so our translation work is almost entirely in Cebuano and Tagalog languages. But we serve communities who speak Ilokano, Ilonggo, Waray-Waray, Tagakaulo, and more. Thankfully, almost everyone understands one or more of Tagalog and Cebuano.
Simply naming the languages of the Philippines can be a polarizing or political act! On advice from members of our mission communities, we refer here to the Tagalog language, though we know there are people who prefer to speak of Filipino. And for the most part we say Cebuano, since the Visayan language group includes Ilonggo, Waray-Waray, and more; as translations in these languages become available, we would be delighted to post them under their own headings.
Who is translating?
Texts posted here are either translated by native Tagalog or Cebuano speakers and reviewed by clergy who read Greek or Slavonic; or they are translated by foreign clergy from Greek or Slavonic original texts, and reviewed by native speakers. In either case, all translations here are provisional: We fully expect that in time Filipino scholars and poets will improve these texts, making them more accurate and more beautiful. But a liturgical Faith requires services and scriptures now.
In this task we trust in the example and prayers of Saint Innocent of Alaska, celebrated in the US and Canada as the Enlightener of America. For over forty years, this saint served the diocese of Yakutia, Kamchatka, and Russian America, traveling the 2,000-kilometer Aleutian islands to serve his flock. During this time he learned the native languages of his Yakutian and Aleutian flocks, and translated scriptures and services into their languages. Later scholars have amended some of his translations, but on these texts Saint innocent was able to build an Orthodox Alaskan culture that has lasted for centuries. By his prayers, may our work be blessed!
About the website logo
Beside the ancient Christian Christogram IC XC NIKA, we display the Tagalog and Cebuano word Liturhiya in Roman letters — and in Baybayin, one of the ancient pre-Spanish writing systems native to the Philippines.
While we are learning the same liturgical and spiritual life that is common to the worldwide Orthodox Church in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, we are working to build Filipino disciples and leaders — to enculturate the Orthodox life in the language and customs of Filipino history and culture. Simply writing in Baybayin won’t satisfy this desire, but it is a gesture of respect to the proud culture in which we are privileged to serve.