The number of Tagalog speakers in Saskatchewan rose 123 per cent in 2016 compared to 2011, Statistics Canada reports. 

By comparison, the number of Tagalog speakers in the rest of Canada rose 35 per cent.

In 2016, 20,000 Saskatchewan residents named Tagalog as their mother tongue, and 11,350 reported it as the language they most often speak at home. 

More Tagalog speakers expected

Gina Cruz-Johnson, owner of Filipino-Canadian International Travel in Regina, expects the number of Tagalog-speaking Filipinos to keep rising in Saskatchewan.

She hails from the Philippines and owns a travel agency that caters to predominantly Filipino people. 

She says work visas are hard to obtain for Filipinos wanting to work in Canada, but "I keep booking families coming here, and not only families being sponsored, also the visitors, like the parents."

Gina Cruz-Johnson, owner Filipino-Canadian International Travel

Gina Cruz-Johnson owns Filipino-Canadian International Travel in Regina. (Matt Howard/CBC)

Regina attracting Filipino businesses

Glenda Obes, who is from the Philippines, is the co-owner of one of a few Filipino stores that have cropped up in Regina.

"This is the best place to build your family, to start your family — that's what I feel," said Obes. "It feels safe, the people here [are] very warm, and Canada is very welcoming to immigrants."

Glenda Obes, co-owner G&J Filipino Food

Glenda Obes, originally from the Philippines, moved to Canada 10 years ago. (Matt Howard/CBC)

​Obes lives in Regina with her husband and two children, both of whom were born in Canada. The rest of her family is in the Philippines.

Other languages spoken in Sask.

Of the 1.1 million people in Saskatchewan, 173,500 of them reported a mother tongue that isn't English or French. 

In Saskatchewan, French-English bilingual speakers formed nearly five per cent of the population. By comparison, the percentage of French-English bilingual speakers was 18 per cent in the rest of Canada.

Twelve per cent of Saskatchewan residents reported speaking more than one language at home.