One fact that most Filipinos overlook is the fact that in the Filipino alphabet, ng is a single letter, not two. It’s how we represent the /ŋ/ (voiced velar nasal) sound.
Also, if you think a letter was needlessly included in the Filipino alphabet, it’s probably because it’s used in a local language you don’t know about. We’re mostly using “foreign” letters
like Z, C, V, and F for proper nouns, but there are local languages that actually use these letters natively, and to them, these are not borrowed from western
orthographies but are letters that represent sounds they’ve always used. The Filipino orthography was developed so the Filipino language can easily and properly loan words from languages
local to the Philippines.
This is also why I don’t agree when people define Filipino as just standardized Tagalog. Maybe that would’ve been true at one point, but the orthography we have is actually inclusive of all
languages in the country.
I find this really interesting because this is the first time I’m hearing of this. At first I thought that this tilde over the g was removed for practical reasons. Considering how
much of a struggle it is to write ñ in typed documents, maybe it was seen fit to just remove the tilde on ng since people recognized it as a single phoneme anyway. At least this is my
speculation, as I cannot find a source on why it was removed in the first place.
I am inclined to disagree with this replacement of ñ with the ny digraph. In this case, Niño is a proper noun, and it does not feel right to replace it with the digraph,
especially when Filipino has a word “ninyo”.
The Filipino orthography specifically retained ñ among others for the purpose of using it to spell loan words and technical terms from international languages as is mentioned by this passage
from the book Pagpaplanong Wika at Filipino.
I was, however, intrigued by their statement about how the obsolete tilde on g takes away from Filipino orthography. This is what they have to say about it:
This is a valid criticism of Filipino orthography. I agree that such weakness could be resolved by just retaining the tilde on g. However, I personally believe that dropping the
ng digraph and replacing it with ŋ would be the better choice. It’s a single character that would be theoretically easy to type on a Filipino keyboard. This would, however, be
a tedious task for people with physical keyboards, as right now, there’s no keyboard that support this character out of the box. The character g̃ is easier to type in this case, or at least
as easy as people do ñ. And it would be an even lesser adjustment for everyone since it’s just a matter of restoring a tilde accent. Making it optional just like the existing accents in
Filipino would even make this option a no-brainer.