Ilocano, also known as Iloko and Ilokano, is one of the major languages of the Philippines - a chain of islands where 172 different languages can be heard, over twelve of which have in excess of one million speakers each. Ilocano is estimated to be spoken by over 8 million people, some 12% of the national population, mainly in Mindanao, Mindoro, Babuyan, Cagayan Valley, Ilocos, La Union and Northwestern Luzon provinces. There are also numerous Ilocano speakers in the United States, especially on the west coast and Hawaii. Ilocano also has a pidgin form that is spoken in the highlands of northern Luzon. Although northern and southern Ilocano dialects exist, their differences are minor. Unlike most Asian langages, Ilocano is written using a Roman script.