During the Christmas season of 2003, I ran into an old newsgroup posting by a Dr. Rodrigo "Rudy" Dar. In 1996, he mentioned doing research with linguist Dr. Ted Llamzon in the Limutan River area of Rizal province. The name of the language they were researching was called Tagarug. The speakers refered to themselves as "Sinauna" (original). Thirsty for more information, I finally got into contact with Dr. Dar after New Year's 2004.
Dr. Dar told me about the story how he and Dr. Llamzon went about looking for this language. They took some notes and made a Swadesh list (list of words). Unfortunately, Dr. Dar immediately left the Philippines when martial law was instituted by Marcos in the 1970's, so all his notes are gone.
There seem to be some discrepancies which add to all these mysteries.
First, Ethnologue lists a language called Remontado Agta. It's classified in the same subgroup as Kapampangan and the Sambal languages. Also, its alternate names are Hatang-Kayey and Sinauna. Dar told me that Llamzon would shorten the name to Sinauna rather than Tagarug, and that is the name that stuck with SIl and the Linguistic Society of the Philippines.
However, Dar said that the Tagarugs were certainly not Agtas or Negritos.
Second, Dr. Lawrence Reid mentioned in a mailing list that there are people called Sinauna Tagalog (Original Tagalog) in Tanay, Rizal province. This variety shared the pronoun tamu (we; tayo in Tagalog) with Kapampangan.
Third, I have a paper written in 1973 by Dr. Llamzon called The Importance of Dialects in historical Linguistics: Conant's Pepet Law as a Case in Point. He mentions a dialect called "Puray Tagalog" which has the "schwa vowel" found in other Philippine languages. It is spoken in the town of Montalban, Rizal.
Fourth, Dar showed me excerpts of a master's thesis by Pilar Santos. She identifies the Sinauna Tagalog-speaking area to be in: Barangay Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal as well as barangay Kaybilukay, Makidata, Paymihuan, and Pinutian, which are only available by foot. She mentions that Llamzon researched these areas. (so I guess that rules out the third reason above). She says that Tagalog is not intelligible with Sinauna Tagalog.
So are we dealing with 3 different languages or one different one? Unfortunately, I have no native speaker texts of this language, so it is hard to tell.
I do have some words. Mark Rosenfelder's Zompist.Com has Sinauna Tagalog. The numbers are: isâ, dar-á, tatlú, á-pat, limá, á-num, pitú, walú, siyám, sangpú.
I also have my own copy (bought it in a place in India, of all places) of Fe Aldave Yap's A Comparative Study of Philippine Lexicons (I reviewed it here), and there are Sinauna Tagalog words. Yap says it's spoken in Tanay, Rizal.
Many of the Sinauna Tagalog words resemble Tagalog, which is probably due to contact with Tagalogs. But there are words that are different.
That's the gist of it ... there's more. But it still would be nice to have actual sentences because the words alone do not tell the whole story.
Also, to make matters more mysterious - Dar mentions that he saw on a map called "The Filipino People" - released by the National Museum in the 1970's - that there are people who call themselves Tageilog in Quezon province.
Google reveals this page. It's an altername for DUMAGAT: Kabulowen language. It gives the Ethnologue code of Alta, Southern. However, the Tageelog/Tageilog names aren't mentioned.
It makes me wonder who the original Tagalogs really were. Could it be that Southern Luzon was populated by these Tageilogs and Tagarugs, and then the Central Filipinos came in from the Visayas and adopted the name of these people and conquered their land and intermarried with the locals? Who knows. I could only speculate. If only there were evidence.