Manobo, Obo


A language of Philippines

Alternate Names
Bagobo, Kidapawan Manobo, Obo Bagobo

60,000 (2007 SIL). 227,000 all Manobo (2005 UNSD). 20,000 monolinguals.


Davao and Soccsksargen regions: northeast slope of Mount Apo, between Davao del Sur and North Cotabato provinces.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational).


Kidapawan Manobo, Magpet Manobo, Arakan Manobo, Marilog. 69% intelligibility of Tigwa (Matigsalug Manobo [mbt] reportedly most similar) and 60% of Tagabawa [bgs]. Lexical similarity: 63% with Tagabawa [bgs] and Ilianen Manobo [mbi], 35% with Cebuano [ceb].


VSO, VOS; prepositions; genitives after noun heads; articles, adjectives, and numerals before noun heads; question word in sentence-initial position; 2 maximum prefixes, 1 maximum suffix; ergativity; passives; causatives; comparatives; CV, CVC, CVV. CVVC; nontonal.

Language Use

Home, market, church. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Also use Cebuano [ceb], Tagabawa [bgs].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L1: 65%–70%. Literacy rate in L2: 95% in Cebuano [ceb]. Literacy work ongoing. Taught in 3 primary schools (2007 SIL). Taught in 1 secondary school (2007 SIL). Literature. Radio. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts. NT: 2011.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.

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