A language of Philippines

Alternate Names
Bajau Kagayan, Cagayan, Cagayan de Sulu, Cagayanen, Cagayano, Cagayanon, Kagayan, Orang, Sama Mapun
Jama Mapun

43,000 (2011 SIL). 4,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 43,000. Total users in all countries: 58,000.


Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao: Tawi-Tawi province, Cagayan de Sulu (Mapun) island.

Language Status

5 (Developing).


None known. Intelligibility of Central Sama [sml] 59%, intelligibility of Sama Pangutaran [sml] 61%.


VSO; stress is on the penultimate syllable; verbal affixations can mark actor-experiencer, instrument, object-undergoer-patient, beneficiary, location, passive, imperative, abilitative, causative, non-volitional, reciprocal, multiple actors, intransitive, etc.; 3 prepositions used primarily to indicate special and temporal relationships.

Language Use

Home, neighborhood, work. All ages. Positive attitudes. Most also use Tausug [tsg]. Also use English [eng]. Used as L2 by Molbog [pwm], Southern Sama [ssb].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 65%–70%. Literacy rate in L2: 30% in English [eng], 60% in Tausug [tsg]. Many older women are illiterate. Used some at school. Videos. Dictionary. Texts. Bible portions: 1979–1998.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

The center of the ethnic group is on Mapun island (pop. 20,000), also known as Cagayan de Sulu, Cagayan Sulu, and Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi. The Mapun people only refer to it as Mapun. Many people from the island go to Sabah, Malaysia to find work. Many have settled there over the past century. There are approximately 15,000 Mapun people in Malaysia. There are approximately 5,000 to 10,000 Mapun people on the island of Palawan in the Philippines. Muslim.

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