More than 109 million people of the 7,641-island Philippines speak about 187 native languages and dialects.
Waray (wah-râi) is the fifth widely spoken after Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Cebuano, and Tagalog. The standardized Tagalog dubbed Pilipino along with English are the official languages.
Efforts to integrate the indigenous languages into a unified Filipino lingua franca behind the campaign to revive the ancient Baybayin system of writing could eventually absorb and render less spoken dialects extinct. The author feels obliged to write his mother tongue for his grandchildren, share with the present Waray-speaking generation and the rest of the world this well-studied and fascinating language to learn.
Learning Waray is a two-volume reference book. The first volume is a friendly introduction to the language's Austronesian origins and Spanish and English speakers' influences whose words became part of the lingua franca.
The second volume, a Waray-English and English-Waray Dictionary (Purulungan), supplements the essential know-how providing common words needed to practice speaking and writing the language.