Why we should junk Tagalog in favour of English (1)

I do not understand what is so complicated about this whole English-versus-Tagalog “debate”. For me, it is a simple return-on-investment calculation. Compare every peso of public funds spent on Tagalog-articulated instruction and every peso of public funds spent on English-articulated instruction. Which of those two pesos spent contributes more to opening more doors of opportunity for the average Filipino? As I wrote way back in my book:

Acquisition of knowledge – the fuel for intellectual advancement – is an unnecessarily challenging issue in Philippine Society. The few volumes of material containing useful information in, say Tagalog, being turned out by the heroics of a few purists – and translators – constitute a trickle compared to the torrent of knowledge that is churned out by the advanced world everyday. The Philippine Elite, armed with their private school or foreign university educations – and superior command of English – readily soak this all up. The masses, on the other hand, struggle to grasp the same ideas through severely limited communication faculties. The insult of an inability to acquire ideas articulated in English is added to the injury of their lack of access to quality education.

The point I make is quite clearly spelt out in the last sentence of the above passage (in bold). Choosing between English and Tagalog is like choosing between equipping one’s self with a bucket or with a spoon when faced with the job of gathering water from a well.

But even taking into account the Filipino’s renowned inability to get it even when world-class knowledge is shoved in his face, the imperative for us to re-evaluate our language policy is a matter of social justice. The disparity between those who enjoy command of the language that affords its speakers the most power over his destiny and all the rest who are subject to the public system is stark. There are very few high-paying jobs that put a premium on fluent Tagalog speakers. Plum roles go to those who speak English with confidence. And considering that the only hope for economic growth in this sad land lies in our continued panhandling for foreign investment, there is little point in investing scarce public funds and precious classroom time in the public education system on an indigenous language such as Tagalog.

By continuing this foolish insistence that a “national” language based on an intellectually barren dialect such as Tagalog be given classroom time in our public school system, we are in effect choking the ability of entire generations of Filipino youth to partake in the vast wealth of knowledge the rest of advanced humanity has to offer. At no time in history has this knowledge been so readily available. This is an immense tragedy of epic proportions. In the Philippines those who are in most need of the bounty of opportunities the English language has to offer are the most deprived of it, while those who need it the least — families who are able to afford private education — have it at their fingertips.

The obvious reality is that for proficient English speakers, the world is their oyster.

For the poor whose minds are imprisoned by the intellectual bankruptcy of the Tagalog “national” language that is, de facto equal in stature to the English language, their hope lies in a re-think of the obsolete notion of a “national” language that takes up classroom time in our school system and sucks up already meagre education budgets for very little return.

Let us re-think what is nothing more than emotional diarrhea that has been left unflushed for so long. The “national” language initiative is a failure and resulted in an outcome opposite of what past emo-politicians envisioned. Rather than unifying the country it polarised it even further — dividing us into the English-proficient most-likely-to-succeed elites, and the Tagalog-educated doomed-to-chronic-impoverishment underclasses.

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About benign0

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97 Responses to Why we should junk Tagalog in favour of English (1)

  1. Renato Pacifico says:

    I say Amen to that, Benign0 🙂 

  2. Sareet L says:

    Totally! This reminds me of a wrong-headed, ‘nationalistic’ instructor we had at UP many, many, many moons ago. He decided he’d use Tagalog in the classroom, teaching anthropology. How’d he fare? Well, none too well. Every other word he spoke he was forced to use English – there were no proper words in Tagalog for the subject he was teaching. All in all, a foolish experiment that created a hybrid monster of Taglish in the classroom – result was just more confused and unclear lessons for the students. I liked the topic but hated the classes.

  3. innagadda54 says:

    To anybody who will argue with this. All you have to do is see what news/ information is available only in Tagalog. Look at it’s scope and depth and rhetoric. That is what you are limited to when all you know is Tagalog. Then look at all the news / information and debate available in English. Look how much more will be available.

    I have no regrets saying this. But things written and broadcasted in Tagalog are targeted for a very limited mentality. Not exactly cerebral stuff.

    Anybody who has any violent reactions to my premise, please tell me the intelligent main stream shows , books and magazines that are exclusively Tagalog.

  4. manzi says:

    the language of the elitists. specifically picked to control the masses. however if we opt to junk tagalog we should also put more effort in reinforcing proper english. I’m fed up with the jologs, konyos and jejemons proliferating like amoebas and polluting our sensible ears.

  5. ivan labayne says:

    Although I am agreeing with some of the points you have raised, I would still like to argue against the general message of your post which you seem to be so stern of. What I understood is that with regards to the Tagalog-English debate, you are totally in favor of the latter and your  most pointed recommendation to show this favor is through the education system. you were saying that the English should be focused on used MORE in our educational system. Before I present my position regarding the Tagalog-English dichotomy which you created, and created quite clumsily, I would like to reveal first the faultiness of that dichotomy. To begin with, the “battle” is not happening between Tagalog and English the so-called battle is happening between FILIPINO and English. Tagalog is only the language spoken in the NCR and its varieties in the nearby provinces. so we have Rizal Tagalog, Laguna Tagalog etc. Meanwhile Filipino is the conglomeration of all languages in the Philippines. In that sense, it is A language whose syntax, lexicon, morphology and even semantics is influenced by ALL languages and NOT determined only by the Tagalog order. For instance, “kuno” is not really a Tagalog word. It is originally an Ibaloi word which means “raw” or “daw” and is now being appropriated as a Filipino term. It has carried its original Ibaloi meaning to be part of the large Filipino vocabulary.  Coming from this, the Tagalog-Englosh dichotomy msut be checked and replaced with the Filipino-English dichotomty. Actually, the word “dichotomy” is also problematic. This term suggests a certain hierarchy, a tone of division and thus, animosity between the two elements being referred to. I believe that the relationship between Filipino and English in the context of our country should be marked by cooperation and not animosity or division.  I do not have anything against the English language: I recognize it to be the “global” language we have now and I am not one of the Puritans who would grimly clamor for the use of Filipino language in the everyday experiences of the Filipinos, like in education, the media or the governance.However, “persistently using” the Filipino language is different from “keeping it alive and continuously developing.” While I do not discourage our people from using and learning English, it does not exactly mean that I am calling for the total abandonment of our own languages, and the Filipino language in general. I say that we should still cling to it and not let it get calcified and be doomed into oblivion, much more by the very people who are supposed to keep it. It is in a national language that our consciousness as a nation has the better chance of being unified and our collective experience to be cherished and remembered forever. Undeniably, we would have better identification with “taho,” “kaning lamig,” “balut,” “bayahihan,” and many other terms than their English counterparts. These words frame the Filipino identity, the Filipino consciousness and experience. The same goes for the connotation of “buwaya,” “macho” and “Maria Clara.” It is through a national language that we, as a nation can continue to forge our identities and assert it in this world described as “global” and in this period where the clash of various cultured, races and ethnicities is becoming more normal. And I believe that it is through the Filipino language, supposedly the ever-changing hybrid language of all Filipino languages (including Ilokano, Bisaya etc) that we can can do our assertion best.English is welcome but we must not forget to keep on cultivating the Filipino language.Moreover, I would like to problematize where I think you are coming from. You said that English should be promoted because it can provide better-paying jobs or something to that tune. I say that that highly economic, practical thinking causes you to forget about issues of national identity, culture and consciousness which I just discussed above. I believe that we should keep ourselves from thinking about things too easily, commenting about their surface appearances. I believe that we should look more closely at their implications and think about the implications of our own positions on everyday phenomena.Lastly, I do not want to sound antagonizing or something, and surely I am not. I forwarded these things or expression’s sake and I hope that you would take time thinking about what I articlulated.

    • ChinoF says:

      Yun nga, the problem with our “Filipino” language is that it’s nearly all Tagalog – only one ethnicity’s language, and it’s a symbol of imperial Manila’s alienation of the rest of the regions – especially Mindanao. Of course, despite English being official, other local languages can still be taught and learned. They’re not banned; they’re just optional. It’s better if they were not required, because they’re part of the culture anyway. 

      Also, I’ll recall my example of a Manila-raised girl I know whose lola is in Mindanao. When she visits her lola, she doesn’t know the provincial language, and the lola does not speak Tagalog. But they both know English because of the educational system, and thus they can speak to each other. Imagine the familial alienation without English. OK, some might say, require the lola to speak “Filipino,” or force the child to learn the local language. That would be cruel, others would think.

      English in education is not for purely sentimental purposes, but for practical purposes. And it will unite our country more, unlike the divisive Tagalog-Filipino. 

      • Lorenz says:

        Then how did Mandarin unite the Chinese people when China itself have 292 living languages?

      • Jay says:

        Are you confusing languages with dialects? or the fact that people actually helped contribute to the evolution of that language? Also the fact it does have a 5,000+ year head start.

      • ChinoF says:

        I think that needs research, I doubt the causality. Some accounts would say that Mandarin united the country, but then again others might state other reasons. I’ll go back to that East Asia history book by Fairbank and review what it says. Perhaps that unity under Mandarin is an achievement in itself more than a means to it. 

    • Disgruntled Bystander says:

      Who cares about whether it’s Filipino or Tagalog? When you apply for a job I don’t think that’s going to be part of the job interview. I remember the days when I was in school Social Studies was a breeze but then now they changed it to Sibika. What the hell for? There was nothing wrong with the way it was taught before. I see the point of being able to speak Filipino or Tagalog but to change everything and make it into the mode of instruction in schools is just plain stupid. I am sending my daughter to one of the best all girls school in Manila, in my experience my daughter and majority of her classmates are having a hard enough time as it is with Filipino and Sibika what more if science or math are taught in Tagalog? Those sanctimonious blowhards who keep on pushing for Filipino have their heads in their arses. I am Filipino but I’m also practical, these other people are living in their own dimension.

  6. Aegis-Judex says:

    Once more, you have a point. No, I kid you not. Why? Can you imagine being alienated in your own homeland? That’s what troubles me here: I’m no Tagalog. I’m from Cebu, and my mother tongue is English, thanks to my mom. The fact that “Filipino” is basically Tagalog being shoved up my non-Tagalog throat is a terrible, terrible pain to me. Damned Manila imperialists!

    • innagadda54 says:

      Even though I live here in Makati I know exactly what you mean. My Bacolod relatives who can’t stand to be in Manila for more than a weekend I know what they mean.

    • UP nn grad says:

      That is how Tibet thinks of Beijing’s Mandarin. There are other provinces of Mainland China who prefer their own dialect to Beijing’s Mandarin.

  7. Andrew Tuazon says:

    Wasnt this discussed to death a few months ago?

    • ChinoF says:

      Yes, and it’s still very relevant today. 

    • Jay says:

      Yep. More points for junking the language as oppose to keeping it. If they really wanted to do something about it and integrate ALL the languages, do that instead as opposed to funding a language was never fully developed, but many try insist it still is.

  8. The Lazzo says:

    I was born in San Francisco, and got called a “bastard” in ISM(!) for Tagalog not being my first language.

    Here, it’s like they even want to kick out advancement opportunities that don’t use Tagalog as their first language. The only thing they do let in is call centers, and that’s degrading work enough as it is without sturdy labor laws.

    Still, it’s not like I don’t try to learn Tagalog (I still call it that, really don’t get why they insisted on “Filipino”) for the multilingual advantage. It’s more like I’m sick of how the collective linguistic knowledge of these languages by many here is actually more equivalent to the two having some kind of inbred bastard child they called ‘jejemon.’

  9. Anonymous says:

    Junking the (relatively) national language that (kinda) unifies the country isn’t all that bad. Look at Japan.

    HOWEVER! It’s just that Tagalog fares poorly against Nihongo if we compare it to their actual utilization:
    – Most of the foreign works, be it movie, novel, etc, do have an incarnation that’s written entirely in Nihongo (there are even dubbed versions of foreign shows in their language).
    – There’s an equivalent term of modern lingo/terms.

    Tagalog is so outdated that our second language, English, is the one preferred nowadays. Seriously, I haven’t seen any pre-application exams (college, work, etc) written in Tagalog.

    • Lorenz says:

      That’s because Japanese are very nationalistic and they will always preserve and grow their own language. As opposed to a Filipino who reveres foreign and seem to think that when you learn Spanish or English you are automatically superior over others having more intelligence.

      • Japan is a first world nation rich enough to make their own way. The Philippines is NOT.

        To claim like Joseph Estrada not needing to learn English, due to the South Korean president not needing to do the same, is exaggerated self-importance. South Koreans have Samsung. we have jeepney.

        Have pride, but not to the point you stay in the gutter to spite the rest of the world.

  10. ChinoF says:

    BTW… this was reposted because the original posting seems to have been lost. So pardon this repetition, folks. 

  11. blueredicedtea says:

    sweet
    recovered article ftw
    kinda reminded here of something……and im itching to post this:
    i write an essay in filipino class months ago that why it is useless to institutionalize filipino.
    all the keywords that i write there are on this source: practicality(granted there are complicated words in filipino when it comes to science),unity(filipino language is nearly all tagalog as what chino said and it promotes ETHNOCENTRISM! no wonder why metro manila is called imperial manila lmao)

    the filipino professor’s response?:only the filipinos are shameful when it comes to our national language
    >.<

    do i miss something here in my essay? or my prof is really THAT nationalistic?(in a vacuous sense)

  12. UP nn grad says:

    Does anybody know what percent of Filipinos speak Pilipino as a first, second- or third language?

    Wikipedia reports about 55% of Filipinos speak English as a first-, second- or third-language.

  13. Hyden Toro says:

    English will command the leading role as the language of advance technology and as a tool for human and civilization advancement; in our century and in the coming century. We cannot do anything about it. The mold is cast; we must fit into it as a nation, to become a part of this human and civilization advancement.

    I myself speaks and writes in proficient : English, Tagalog, and Ilocano. I can also do it a little bit in: Spanish, French, and Ibanag. I don’t believe myself to be less nationalistic, than those stupid self appointed nationalist speaking only Tagalog…

  14. Pugot says:

    Tagalog is inculcated in the heads of the masses in order to control them. The oligarchs’ purpose is to rot and decay the minds of the Filipinos in the name of nationalism and patriotism so as to remain in control of the country. If the already stupid population of the Philippines become intelligent enough to understand English and see that the rest of the world already moved on towards modernity, technology and prosperity, then these oligarchs will lose money and power.

    THE PHILIPPINES IS HOPELESS, UNLESS A CIVIL WAR PUTS AN END TO THOSE WHO ARE CORRUPT AND IN CONTROL.

  15. Teki says:

    I remember when i was part of an experimental class in UP (many years ago) where the Tagalog language was used as a medium of instruction for Plane Trigonometry.  When angle was converted to the word “siha” and and triangle for “tatsulok”.  However, when discussing sine and cosine, the professor got stumped.  After an end-of-semester evaluation from the students and the professor, our class had the lowest departmental exam scores.  It was scrapped the following year for the science and math colleges, although it continued for certain humanities subjects. 

    The National Commission on the Filipino Language (Komisyon sa Wikang Pilipino) was enacted from RA 7104. It stemmed from EO 117 that was issued by President Cory Aquino.  The Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPA/P) continues to lobby to bring back the medium of instruction to English.  However, the problem is not just the law but the re-education of teachers who form part of the implementation together with TV/Radio media entities who seemingly prefer to use Tagalog as the broadcast language of choice.  

    What exacerbates the lack of fluency in English is the use of  Taglish by which the President’s sister and the like have bastardly adopted.  “Hey Boy, let’s make kuha that project para fun, di ba?” —-> is the kind of unintelligent talk that has no place in multinational and cross-border business.

    Although i do admire Filipinos who have a strong fluency in Tagalog, but they are rare compared to the contemporary everyday Tagalog speakers we have.  True and pure Tagalog is not conversational, i was told.  And those who are experts in it are experts not because they value its effectiveness, but because it is a targeted linguistic endeavor.  

    We need to bring back English as a medium of instruction.   I must admit that bi-lingualism presents people with better options.  However, bi-lingualism should be exercised in such a way that one is highly fluent in BOTH languages.   And that happening is more possible for those who are probably studying lexical exchanges in linguistics than everyday people.  

    • Jay says:

      not just both languages, but the other foreign languages of the Philippines. They aren’t dialects since they have their own phonetics, vocabulary and structure. Or ultimately though, Use english to communicate with people outside of Manila/Southern-middle luzon for the most part and use Tagalog in the more prominent areas.

      There is nothing wrong with being bilingual or quadlingal at all. Sure there is more effort, but in part it helps build the identity of pinoys further as something genuine rather than manufactured and helps bridges the regionalism that is preventing a real unity of people as a nation. Hell, most Americans in most areas where there are a high amount of minorities have to adapt being bilingual anyway which helps them out in their occupation.

    • BongV says:

      oh gawdz, I still remember the “salumpuwit” “bahay bata”, and… “bahay batuta”.. LOL

  16. Lorenz says:

    He who does not love his own language is worse than an animal and smelly fish. – Jose Rizal
    While a people preserves its language; it preserves the marks of liberty. – Jose Rizal

    Why do the Chinese speak Mandarin when there’s English? Why do the Japanese speak Nippongo when there’s English? Why is Mandarin chosen over many other Chinese languages in China?

    Yes yes we all know English is taught there but it is miles away from what’s being taught in our schools here. The Japanese don’t care about English at all. They use Japanese language in teaching almost everything including math and science.

    Why is it that Japan prospered without the proficiency in English among their people? Why is it that Philippines having more proficiency in English than any other Eastern Asian country is lagging behind compared to others? The businessmen of course should learn English because it is their JOB but the citizens however is a different story.

    Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario, Zelda, considered as the father of modern games, doesn’t even know how to speak English. Haruki Murakami a Japanese author renowned in the world but doesn’t write in English. There are many more prominent Japanese who have contributed so much to the world without the need for English knowledge.

    Look at Mexicans. They speak Spanish. They lost their Aztec culture. But we Filipinos have retained our own languages.

    What i’m saying is it’s good to teach English and make it a medium for instruction just like today but to completely erase/demolish our own languages is a turn for destroying what’s left of our culture (the languages). It is a sign that we revere foreign over our own.

    Countries retain their own languages over English because they preserve their own culture. Heck with your logic, all people should learn English and junk Japanese, Italian, Spanish, French, German, etc. Very stupid if you ask me.

    I remember when i was in elementary school, we were FORCED to speak English the whole time we’re in the school. The only subject when we’re allowed to speak our OWN language was in the subject Filipino. NOTE: I said SPEAK not teach.

    I remember sharing this experience to Westerners and they were shocked as they expect our OWN languages to be used. There’s this Canadian who said to me that there ware similar rules imposed in their schools so that they would DESTROY the native’s culture (language).

    • benign0 says:

      Simple. Because those societies you cited have extensive track records of collective achievement, and therefore their language embody and are able to articulate concepts that underpinned those achievements. As I wrote in my book:

      For the key to tapping the wealth of knowledge now available and applying it is delightfully mundane. One need only to be proficient in spoken and written English, or any language spoken by societies with a strong track record of contribution to human knowledge and a broad and profound body of insightful literature.

      [My boldface for emphasis]

      It’s simple, really™ — though not for the small-minded. 😉

      • Lorenz says:

        Then how about making our OWN languages to have a strong track record of contribution to human knowledge and a broad and profound body of insightful literature.

        Do you know why our languages lack this in the first place? Unlike China and Japan, we have been colonized to the max with a very different culture from Malay and Asia (Spanish and American). Because of this, we never had a chance to develop and grow our own languages. Even the alibata which was studied by the Spaniards in the past, was forgotten.

        I’m all for being open mindedness and studying English (i love English very much FYI) but i am willing for development of our own as i think you should never forget our roots. I want the Philippines to become like China, Korea, and Japan.

        Japan and Korea consistently have many artists and authors booming their art through comics, anime, etc. using their OWN language. How about we do it too.

        Simply stating Tagalog is a useless language means you don’t know how valuable any language is and how symbolic it is. You treat language as just an investment which is a very shallow perspective like a businessman who can only see investments, losses, and profits and nothing else. Do you know how languages are created/formed? I suggest you look at things deeper like a philosopher.

        Do you know why we even fight about the Tagalog being the official language in the first place? Simply because we have never undergone the natural development of civilizations through imperialism. The strong shall live and the weak shall die. Before China was born, it had many kingdoms clashing one another until one Emperor united them all with force. Same goes to Japan with the warring factions they went through. Us, however, mostly went through colonization.

        Don’t you think that if Spaniards never came, we would’ve undergone the same thing with China and Japan? We would fight each other until one kingdom can conquer all and unite. Then the language that is used by the unifier would become the official language and others would just shut up about it unless wanting to go through a bloody revolution again .

        Tagalog didn’t become official language because of “natural” imperialism like what occurred in China and Japan but because Manila was simply chosen by the Spaniards to build the capital and Tagalog just happened to be the language in the place. That’s why nowadays we would fight over this stupid thing.

        Why Tagalog and not Cebuano?
        According to Ethnologue, China has a total of 293 different languages, with 292 living languages and 1 extinct language (Jurchen).
        Well, you would hardly hear “Why Mandarin and not (place a different language in China here)?” from the Chinese except the Tibetans.

      • Jay says:

        Because of this, we never had a chance to develop and grow our own languages.

        Hello Ilocano, hello Visayan, hello other island languages. Sure they may not be as developed and robust but in terms of communication it works. When it comes as an advanced teaching medium however, it takes a back seat.

        but i am willing for development of our own as i think you should never forget our roots. I want the Philippines to become like China, Korea, and Japan.

        Our roots will NEVER be forgotten, as long as we have people who won’t forget them. Scary enough, Tagalog is contributing to it considering it is the language of the only place that matters in the country. Because its the only language that matters where others are pushed aside in terms of relevance and importance. Blame the education departments for not forgetting things like alibata as well and its relevance in pinoy history, as well with the other languages long spoken before the height of tagalog/filipino as an attempt to try be a national language, but failing due to lack of funds, foresight and teaching in general.

        If anything, unless they can fix tagalog to be efficient like Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Romance languages, its going to take a back seat to English. Hell, even those latter languages start failing, they are forced to learn English or other prominent languages anyway in their search for global knowledge. Its different now and because the Philippines never established a strong foundation, nor ever saw the foresight of having strong bilingual/quadlingual skills, you have to deal with things current now.

        Don’t you think that if Spaniards never came, we would’ve undergone the same thing with China and Japan?

        Hello age of Imperialism. Did you know France settled in Vietnam? Or the Dutch settled in Indonesia? The English got hong kong and India! I figured portugal may be in the mix but I digress. The people would still have to deal with external forces and guess what, they had been dealing with Chinese/Malay for centuries BEFORE western civs came in! And this is just one part of the island.

        We would fight each other until one kingdom can conquer all and unite.

        Different scenario. Its easy to have a full on land war. When you have many islands, you have the issue of transportation in mind. And unless you had advanced techniques and brilliant minds (like Oda Nobunaga), taking over 7,107 islands as a nation is very difficult. In fact the Spanish established Manila, but never cared about the other distant islands since it would take up needless resources trying to fight off natives and convert them.

        And as I have said, China with its huge land mass of geography and head start in civilization makes it easy to establish and develop that one language.

      • Lorenz says:

        Everything you said i already know as i know a lot of things in history so you don’t need to lecture me on that. No offense but you dont get what i’m saying.

        You seem to be putting words to my mouth as i am not advocating tagalog but in fact mentioning ALL of the Philippines languages. lol i’m living in Dumaguete and Cebuano is my mother tongue.

        We never developed our languages (i mean ALL of the Philippines languages) into strong ones that is backed up with strong foundation of literature. Do you see numerous novels and epics using the languages of the Philippines (AGAIN i mean any of the Philippine languages pffttt)? Only a few i’m sure and not as developed as other Asian languages like Indian, Chinese, Japanese. Deep words in Cebuano and other languages are being forgotten too by the new generation and barely anyone writes in these languages (many Filipino writers write in English).

        In my Philippine Literature class i read a Cebuano short story but it used so many deep words that i didn’t like to read it because i can hardly understand it. What’s more it’s tiring me off as i’m not used to reading Cebuano. I’m a bookworm and i read English.

        Pretty funny. A Cebuano speaking person having trouble reading a Cebuano short story. So how am i able to undertsand my roots? Tis a work of westernization (i do love foreign influences if you want to shoot with your so called “foreign hate” attack).

        That’s what i meant dude O_o.

        Japanese forced to learn English? Sorry but no matter what happens, Japanese will always be Japanese and you can’t change that. Just go to Japan yourself and speak English to your average Japanese there. I dare you.

        You mentioned for searching global knowledge? Again you don’t understand. What i have been talking about is that abolishing Philippines languages and forcing speaking English in every day life is a big knife to the cultures of the different ethnic groups of the Philippines. The roots will be forgotten.

        As i have mentioned, Haruki Murakami, a renowned author throughout the world, doesn’t write in English. This is an excerpt from an interview:

        “There is a very strong tradition of Japanese literature. They claim that the beauty of Japanese language and Japanese literature is special and only Japanese can understand it. Japaneseness, you could say. They say it does not travel. I think they might be right, because our culture and language are so different from the western ones. Haiku cannot be translated, that is true. But that is not all, that is not everything. I am Japanese and am writing a novel in Japanese, and, in that sense, I am different from you. But talking with you like this face to face, I don’t think I am so different from you. We have many things in common. What I want to say is, there should be other ways to convey Japaneseness. True, I am not exotic, but that doesn’t mean that I am not a Japanese novelist. When I’m describing the city of Tokyo, it is not the real Tokyo. It’s just a colorful city. I need very artificial, very strange, weird streets. That’s what I want, and yet they say it’s not realistic.”

        His works are just translated. Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Mario and Zelda and father of modern video games, doesn’t speak English in gaming events despite being able to understand it very well (to correct my misinformation). Nintendo brand is a strong logo in the West. Only the president, Satoru Iwata, as far as i know of Nintendo Japan, know how to speak English but Iwata is a businessman so he must learn English to communicate with other people.

      • Lorenz says:

        Everybody asks me when I’m to write my books in English. That’s impossible. – Haruki Murakami

        Can you guess why?

      • Lorenz says:

        Why don’t you read this thread and its entire conversation. It’s about English and other languages.
        http://asia.gamespot.com/pages/forums/show_msgs.php?topic_id=27347890

        The best response i’ve heard is this:
        “While English is the only language I speak, I wouldn’t say it’s the best. I don’t see how a language can be better than another, really.”

      • Lorenz says:

        Another good response:

        “Language in general has no intrinsic qualities which might make any particular form of itself more desirable than others on an objective level. Languages are arbitrary in nature and each one can serve its communicative purpose admirably as long as you are willing to learn it. As such, English is no better than, say, Chinese Mandarin or Afrikaans.”

      • Jay says:

        Everything you said i already know as i know a lot of things in history so you don’t need to lecture me on that. No offense but you dont get what i’m saying.

        Then I recommend in the future to cut down the little details, otherwise its assumed you don’t know about the things regarding that. Especially if you break down your points.

        In terms of your Cebuano plight, its not your fault but certainly the education system at large. If they wanted to retain it, much like they segregate small tribal communities in the mountains to not meet with civilization, they would make the effort to preserve them. Because otherwise people like you who want to understand would need to put twice the effort to preserve your roots so the future may still know. I too don’t know much about deep Tagalog based words, coming from Batangas. But then again, being part of the tagalog belt certainly does help keep the dialect somewhat alive.

        Japanese forced to learn English? Sorry but no matter what happens, Japanese will always be Japanese and you can’t change that. Just go to Japan yourself and speak English to your average Japanese there. I dare you.

        I never contested this. And the rest of your points seem like a cut and paste from the previous language thread. With Japan’s deeper history of their language, it is expected as a form of respect for any individual to play When in Rome. And in your second point, the point is not to abolish Tagalog but to take a measure of giving English more of a priority or create a measure of bilingualism or multilingualism. There has been measures made in the last 10 years in an attempt to reduce the role of English supposedly to promote the regressed version of Tagalog more and it certainly hasn’t amounted to any result. And if anything, the capital region looks down on promdi languages (like cebuano) so there is no support for them, among others.

        What I meant about global knowledge is even the Japanese are wiling to learn another foreign language besides their own in order to read up on progress in academic fields all over the world, mostly in English but also in German or whichever country has consistent research reports.

        In terms of your comparison in Nintendo, there is no reason for them to speak English, considering they own the market and the fandom COMES TO THEM, not the other way around. Nintendo of America and even its president, Reggie Phils more than likely knows Japanese in order to communicate with its mother company.

        Compared to Hideo Kojima, who had a cult following who feels English is integral in order to expand and grow since he’s vying for a slice of that success that Nintendo and other companies already have.

        The best response i’ve heard is this:
        “While English is the only language I speak, I wouldn’t say it’s the best. I don’t see how a language can be better than another, really.”

        That is rather weak to try represent your argument. Efficiency is king and the proof is in where it can prominently be used that stands for some form of progress in many fields. No Engineering firm is putting a sign for Tagalog proficiency as an employment requirement. Yes there are languages that aren’t efficient, so what do they do? Either adapt or regress.

        There is only one key point in the last statement that really matters: Languages are arbitrary in nature and each one can serve its communicative purpose admirably as long as you are willing to learn it.
        I would know. I’ve done programming and much like languages of the globe, each one serves a specific function, one better in doing things than the other. Sadly, redundancy is cut down in favor of efficiency, so there is no need to learn COBOL, QBASIC and such when communication mediums have are more efficient with means of Java (where the foundations of C/++ are apparent), HTML, PHP and object oriented languages.

        In short, nobody is saying to abolish Tagalog. If anything, the other languages certainly need just as much attention as English, especially for those who can learn it. It bridges the gap of communication between Filipinos and helps them assess more of their cultural identity beyond regionalism. Of course, if it is vital then our leaders should really look into it. If not, I don’t necessarily think introduction of the more prominent languages are to blame but the lack of effort to help preserve its history.

      • Lorenz says:

        Jay there’s one thing you missed and that is Literature. When it comes to literature, efficiency is unnecessary and not important. In expressing emotions, ideas, stories, etc., it can be hardly argued which language is more efficient. It may be that there’s no most efficient language in making literature or even communication.

        I am in the IT field and your comparison with the programming languages is illogical as unlike literature, programming has to have its own function and efficiency. When composing music, is there an efficient musical instrument in creating music? Hell no. That’s laughable to begin with. There’s no “efficient/advantages” in the art world.

    • ChinoF says:

      “He who does not love his own language is worse than an animal and smelly fish”

      My own language is English. 😛 

      “Language in general has no intrinsic qualities which might make any particular form of itself more desirable than others on an objective level. Languages are arbitrary in nature and each one can serve its communicative purpose admirably as long as you are willing to learn it. As such, English is no better than, say, Chinese Mandarin or Afrikaans.”

      Could apply to Filipino (if there is such a thing) too, if you like to go against prioritizing one language over others. Thing is, learning English has a lot more advantages; it’s not because it’s better. It just has its own practical advantages compared to our local language, such as for learning science and translating anime dialogue. 

      • Lorenz says:

        Language is a symbol of identity. It is a symbol of civilization. My own language is Cebuano because i live in Dumaguete and i am a Filipino.

        a foreigner shared me this:
        “In Canada, we used to force native children to go to special schools called residential schools where they were forced to speak english and were similarly punished if they spoke their languages. As a result, many of those native languages are now extinct.”

        When a language dies, so does the culture. That’s why Japanese are very nationalistic because they support and grow their own. Advantages have nothing to do with it. To hell with advantages. The Japanese don’t care with English at all.

        Everybody asks me when I’m to write my books in English. That’s impossible. – Haruki Murakami

        He knows English. Can you guess why? Because he is and always be a Japanese. His own language is Nippongo and that will never change. It is through that language that he is truly able to express and create his art and craft.

        I am unable to read and write Cebuano despite it being my mother tongue. Only the old people know how to speak deep words in Cebuano. Soon, Cebuano will diminish and more English words will replace it. A sign of another culture taking it over.

      • ChinoF says:

        I have no case against the Japanese guy. I just dislike others forcing to be like him. The language I chose to love is my business after all. And I’m still Filipino. 

        On the Canada thing, I’ve read up on Native American history. It’s the fault of government policy. Indians were sent to boarding schools with the intention of erasing their culture and fully “westernizing” them through the policy of assimilation. We guys here in AP don’t have that intention. You can always teach English without erasing the culture. Teaching English doesn’t instantly mean erasing the culture.  

      • Lorenz says:

        I am not forcing anyone. You don’t get it do you? I was always talking about the arts(Literature) not math and sciences. Math and sciences should be English that’s for sure. Even history should be English as i had a hard time with history in my elementary and high school years because it was taught in tagalog.

        About Murakami-san, he is Japanese and so he can only express fully when using Japanese language because that’s his identity. That’s where he can express himself truly. If he uses English (a foreign language), he won’t be able to make a great book. He won’t be able to express himself the way he truly wants. That’s why he says it’s impossible. You won’t understand this right away because we are already proficient and more comfortable with English but not so when it comes to local languages. Only the old people know deep words in our local languages. Do you find a great Filipino writer who writes in Philippine language that’s not Tagalog? Hardly. Only a few i’m sure. How about great Filipino writers in English? Plenty. You ChinoF, can you write a good novel/short story using a Philippine language? I guess not.

        With no support and growth of our local languages and literature, our unique cultures in different islands/ethnic groups diminish as time passes by. I have never read Filipino epics throughout my education except the usual Spanish era literature.

        If you have no intention of full westernization and assimilation, then what is this “junking” tagalog? The word junk is a dirty word which implies Tagalog should be considered dirt.

        What i want is MULTILINGUAL education. That is the BEST for us. Not ABOLISHING Philippine languages in favor of English. I may agree with not making Tagalog the national language but it is of utmost importance that we bring back focus on our own languages in our provinces (AGAIN i do not mean just Tagalog but referring to ANY of the Philippine languages) because clearly they are dying. I am not saying using the local languages for math, history, and sciences but for the sake of LITERATURE.

        When you write in Cebuano, you are supporting the Cebuano language and helping it grow unless if you’re writing crap. But since Philippines have lots of languages why write Cebuano when everyone can understand English? Simple because if you’re Cebuano, then Cebuano language is your own language and you can express your best using that language. English has its limitations and lots of other languages have words that have no simple or one word English equivalents. For example, there’s no English one word equivalent for “pasagad”. Then how about other Filipinos who don’t know Cebuano? Simple, just do translations for English.

        But due to our education only on Tagalog and English language, it is no longer possible to create great literature using local languages and we feel more comfortable using English which results on having no desire to use local languages when writing.

        Realistically, i am too idealistic and the idea is not possible with current issues infecting the country but nonetheless, this is my desire for the future.

        ChinoF, i love English. To tell you the truth, i have a very hard time reading Tagalog. I was not a fan of the Filipino subjects in my elementary and high school years. In fact, English was my most favorite subject. What’s more, i was amazed at the Japanese and their arts (manga, anime, video games, music, literature). That’s when i felt hollow as i questioned myself, why can’t i find great Filipino arts (not the crap from ABS)? a great Filipino composer (someone who uses orchestral instruments not the modern guitar band), comic book artist, etc.? That’s when i found out about the small komik book industry slowly getting back into the arena with great artists like Gerry Alanguilan, Arnold Arre, Budjette Tan,etc. This brought life to my nationalism and patriotism. Supporting anything great made by Filipinos no matter what it is.

      • ChinoF says:

        Glad you’re not forcing anyone, for a moment there, I admittedly thought that was your idealism. On multilingual language, I am in agreement too. Point is, while we may use English as the official educational language, there is no banning the local language from being used in classrooms every now and then or as the teachers and students see fit. I’m sure when the Indians were schooled by Americans according to that assimilation policy, they were banned from using their language and discussing their culture. That’s the problem. So that should not happen in our classrooms. For example, we should dispense with the P1 for every Tagalog word spoken. The important thing is that the English terms must be learned; then add your local language to make it easier to communicate the idea. It’s a matter of implementation, I guess. 

        Also, I believe that the reason why you would have a language as a school subject is because it is mostly a second language. That’s why English is a subject as well as a medium of instruction; it’s not indigenous and we have to work on learning it. If Tagalog or Bisaya or Ilonggo are native languages, they do not need a classroom subject because they are already practiced in the culture. Well, that’s my view.   

      • Lorenz says:

        What idealism are you talking about? I was never stating an idealism. Again, it’s just like forcing English writers to write in Spanish. They would say it’s impossible. That’s why forcing Murakami-san, a Japanese writer, to write in English is impossible. Just because English is the international, advantageous, and efficient language doesn’t mean a squat to writers who write other languages. There’s no idealism here.

        Now about your view on not needing classroom subject for the local languages. I ask again. Do you see Filipino writers (fiction and non-fiction) who write in Philippine languages excluding Tagalog? Hardly. Can you write a good story in a local language? I doubt it. No i think you can’t. Can you read a story that uses local language with deep words? I’m sure you’ll have a hard time. Have you gone through local Filipino epics in your education (excluding Spanish era literature)? I doubt it too.

        Local languages are stuck with conversational communication and it no longer has any foundation in literature. Most of our literature is in English, don’t you know? Soon, our local languages will diminish as the deep words will vanish in history. English words are replacing many local words in our daily conversations. Literature, unlike conversational communication, is an art. We will be like those assimilated American Indians who don’t know squat about their own language.

        Haven’t you wondered why only the old people know the deep words in our local languages?

    • Disgruntled Bystander says:

      pity you forced to speak in english. no ones forcing you now to write in english but why are you?

  17. sky says:

    The original comment has been lost, but I can repeat its essence: the reason why we see such stunted growth with respect to the development of our local vernaculars, the national language included, is because of government policies discriminating against those languages in favor of English. And the reason why we’re seeing our English proficiency decline is because of cultural manifestations of the repression of vernaculars, most particularly the phenomenon of Taglish.

    The only way we can probably see any meaningful development of vernaculars so that they can even get to par with the languages of more developed nations is if we have a strong policy of bilingualism, or even multilingualism for that matter.

    And, of course, as I promised in the original comment, for everyone’s benefit: here’s my freshman paper as to why this issue is the case, and as to why we need a stronger system of bilingualism. Paper may be found here: http://scr.bi/bq1aKj.

  18. Hyden Toro says:

    The Japanese advanced in Technology, by speaking only Japanese. Same as the Germans. However, our History was different from these people. We were colonized, by Spain. Then, by the Americans. They imposed their languages on us…So, we were not able to build sufficient words in Pilipino, to describe materials; especially in Science and Technology. It will take centuries to do such thing…We cannot waste our time building technical words in Pilipino. Because, we have other serious problems to solve to make our country running better. Do you believe, we will have sufficient harvest of rice, to solve our rice problem by having us all speak Tagalog? Or, we will have a leap frog industrialization in our country? Or it will exorcise the evils of the Feudal Oligarchs?

    • sky says:

      If the Indonesians, Malaysians and Vietnamese were colonized and are still able to develop fairly sophisticated technical and scientific vocabularies within their languages from borrowing, coining and other methods of language development, why not Filipinos? I certainly don’t think that coming up with a solid technical-scientific vocabulary is a waste of our collective time, and I think our languages can hold keys to our progress, if only the Filipino will think that it can happen. This “English-only” mentality perhaps is one of those manifestations of our small-mindedness and our insecurity. I mean come on: the President vetoed a bill calling for the use of Filipino in business transactions simply because the terms are “not fit for public consumption”? Really now?

      While I agree that English is important in a global community, we cannot deny the role vernaculars have in defining us as Filipino. We need to recognize exactly what Lope K. Santos did eighty years ago when Pilipino was conceptualized before we can even get to the nitty-gritty of technical and scientific vocabulary: a language can represent any concept, no matter how technical it is.

      • Hyden Toro says:

        Malaysian, Indonesian and Vietnamese are not industrialized countries. They make have better standard of living, than us; but are not as progressive as truly industrialized countries. Why don’t we use the tool available on us, that is, the English language, to fit in the globalization, and to understand advance technology? Do we have to Reinvent the Wheel, for the sake of useless nationalism?

      • sky says:

        How are we reinventing the wheel exactly? If you think about it, development has been highly independent of language. There are plenty of other countries out there who have populations which are highly literate in English in an environment which competes with other native languages, but are similarly not industrialized. Conversely, there are many countries whose populations are by and large not English-literate, but are industrialized nonetheless. Sure Filipinos have a strategic advantage when it comes to being more fluent in English than our neighbors, but English fluency does not necessarily guarantee development, as what many seem to believe. The idea of English as a “silver bullet” for all the economic woes of the Philippines to me seems more like fiction than fact.

        What is important is that we be able to build on the inherent strengths of people so that these can be used toward promoting development and industrialization. Multilingualism in this case serves a corrective measure: it stresses equal development of languages in proportion to one another so that people know how to use them properly in the appropriate context, no matter what that context is. If strong bilingualism has worked for Canada, I don’t see why strong bilingualism, or even strong multilingualism, can’t work for the Philippines, if we have the political will to do it.

      • Jay says:

        The idea of English as a “silver bullet” for all the economic woes of the Philippines to me seems more like fiction than fact.

        Well, most foreign investors if the restrictionist law is lifted certainly won’t necessarily be using tagalog to communicate. Its not a silver bullet, but it is going to be a key component in that aspect of giving the economy a face lift.

        We can still have bilingualism or multilingualism even if we junk tagalog. It just won’t be prominent and once people start catching on the efficiency of English, it may spur people to want to have tagalog become more like that. Bilingualism certainly works for Americas, not just canada alone. The thing is I don’t think there is any political will or allocation of budget to continue developing tagalog as it is, especially when even society accepts street slang and jejemon slang as how the language evolves in society.

      • sky says:

        I think we need to recognize that Tagalog/Filipino is not the only problem here. All vernaculars are suffering because of a government-promoted English-only policy, and conversely English is affected precisely because of this “repression” of vernaculars. It’s a very vicious cycle whose effects are not only limited to the national language: if I may use regional editions of TV Patrol as an example, TV Patrol Central Visayas (Cebu) is closer to more “formal” Cebuano than, let’s say, TV Patrol Southern Mindanao (Davao) or TV Patrol Northern Mindanao (Cagayan de Oro), which use Cebuano registers that show more marked influences from both colonial languages and Tagalog/Filipino.

        Strong multilingualism requires that languages be put on and recognized as if they are on equal footing, and that is particularly difficult to do given both the linguistic structure of the Philippines and the mentality that comes with those languages. For example, a Butuanon may be fluent in Butuanon, but the language is prejudiced by Cebuano, which in turn is prejudiced by Filipino, which in turn is prejudiced by English. English, as the language of “highest achievement” (as noted by T. Ruanni F. Tupas, paraphrased by me), will have the potential to prejudice against all those vernaculars, with disastrous results: Taglish, Bislish and even Bisalog (mixed Cebuano-Tagalog-English of Davao) are all results of placing English in a “prestige” position without giving consideration to the development of vernaculars and their potential as keys to intellectualizing Filipinos, efficiency of the language notwithstanding (efficiency here is a non-factor since the key is vocabulary, not simplicity of grammar).

        With respect to political will and budget allocations, then what is government for? The government is there to set rules where they need to be set, and people have to obey them because the government is compelled to enforce them. If it needs to pass legislation in favor of vernaculars, then it better enforce them well because then people will be compelled to use proper language registers where they need to be used: in short, we fulfill Rolando Tinio’s need for Filipinos to recognize that language is classified, and that Taglish, Jejenese, Bisalog, et al. have no place in formal discourse.

      • Jay says:

        Interesting note on the prejudice of languages, but is it only because that English has shown its efficiency? Not to say the other languages haven’t but they still serve as communication medium in smaller levels. If anything, getting to the last part, it seems like government SHOULD set it up without the consent of the citizens, considering how critical it is for the education and progression of the language. But of course, the government you mention of, if it did exist would not have let Tagalog regress to the status as it is now, nor tolerate the acceptance of vernaculars that you mention as any standard. If anything, it needs to update its use as a proper and more efficient means for communication. You can’t continue perpetuating its grammar with its double negatives even in basic conversation and still have it progress.

        If they wanted it so bad to progress, they would have done as much to keep its progression. I read that budget constraints are a problem, but that is not the problem of the people then but a government that wants to subjugate the citizens by other means of mis-education.

      • sky says:

        As they say, a government is only as good as the people. Unfortunately, Filipinos, according to Tinio, are anarchical when it comes to their use of language, and this is reflected in our language politics. Cebuanos for example keep on complaining that Filipino is an affront to their ethnic pride on the basis that their language wasn’t chosen to be the basis of Pilipino, but I think the main problem we see here is that we oftentimes fail to historicize why this problem came about. As I mentioned in my paper, Wenceslao Vinzons never envisioned his common Filipino national language to be the way Filipino appears today: in fact, the current Tagalog-based Filipino that we have, as I mentioned in the original iteration of this post, is largely the work of Manuel L. Quezon, which is why he’s called the “Ama ng Wikang Pambansa”. However, there are some who agree with this view: Lope K. Santos for example supported a Tagalog-based national language (“wikang pambansang batay sa Tagalog”), but he was Waray, and a lot of his arguments and efforts into enriching Tagalog and its future iterations (for example, the word pamahalaan is a Santos coining dating back to the Commonwealth period, whereas gobyerno has been in the lexicon for at least 300 years) apply to other regional languages/vernaculars as well.

        If you think about it, up until the Marcos period, the government took a very strong role in developing Tagalog/Pilipino/Filipino, and this reflected in the quality of the language used at the time: advertisements in the 1960s, for example, were usually expressed in straight Tagalog, Tagalog-language broadsheet newspapers were still in circulation and formal Tagalog was used in formal discourse (for example, newscasts of the day were either in straight English or straight Tagalog). However, Filipinos, the anarchical lot they are language-wise, resented this: it was noted than in the 1940s, even Tagalogs themselves were fatigued by the highly prescriptive method of teaching the national language, and the language debate began to take a very wild turn in the mid-1960s. In fact, contrary to popular knowledge, Cebuanos were not the ones who instigated the entire language debate as we know it today: the development of the so-called “universal approach” to language development came about as a result of a complaint made in 1966 from a group advocating the use of Hiligaynon (Ilonggo)!

        The situation that we have today in terms of language development is one that was borne out of EDSA. From when the use of Taglish became stereotype in the mid-1970s (popularized by Hotdog), this led to full-blown cultural revolution: Taglish entered the realm of formal media in 1987 with the introduction of TV Patrol on the then-recently-returned-to-the-Lopezes ABS-CBN, and from there, we have the situation that compounds us today. Taglish is in fact a by-product of the so-called “universal approach”: to linguists who believe that Tagalog and Filipino are separate languages, Filipino is more “inclusive” to borrowings, and Taglish is representative of that (in a Wikipedia debate on this a few years ago, an editor noted that the “future” of Filipino is Taglish). Well, we all know what happened with that, right?

        The big question now is where does the government fall in all of this? As I said in the beginning of this post, government is representative of the people, and as such if people have such weak regard for their regional languages and the national language, it reflects as well upon government policy, which in this case is the weak government policy that we have today. Inasmuch as the government is to blame for much of our language woes, perhaps the problem lies as well in Filipinos themselves, and the government should at least have the moral ascendancy to act against the tide. Question is, will they do it?

    • Disgruntled Bystander says:

      why don’t you walk your talk? How come you’re writing in English?

      • sky says:

        Dahil kaya ko ring mag-Tagalog sa nararapat na poro, at alam kong hindi nararapat ang paggamit ng pambansang wika dito dahil karamihan sa mga mambabasa ng Antipinoy ay mga Inglesero. At kailan bang hindi naging praktikal ang paggamit ng Filipino, o kahit anumang wika ng Pilipinas? May monopolyo ba sa kapraktikalan ang Ingles?

        And please, stop generalizing Filipino advocates. I may support local languages, but I’m practical too, which is why you see me using English. Not all supporters of local languages are like those Filipinists at UP Diliman, who are the those “sanctimonious blowhards” you speak of.

  19. benign0 says:

    Sorry, I forgot to mention, guys: I needed to post a duplicate of this article because the original one became corrupted and couldn’t be loaded for some reason. Apologies to those who took the time to comment on the original one as those comments were lost as well.

    • mario taporco says:

      benign0,

      For this reason, that’s why we should have a backup server.
      Should Of, Could Of and Would Of.

      Technology is so sweet. If you apply ahead of time, there would be no problem.

  20. ChinoF says:

    I would say in retrospect that there are two myths implied in this article:

    1. “Filipino is a successful amalgamation of our local languages” – Never happened. Filipino is mostly (or even completely) Tagalog. I know people in the provinces who call Filipino in school Tagalog subject. In that sense, we don’t even have a local national language, and forcing the current Tagalog-based “national language” is imperialism for them. It’s not fair anyway. 
    I’m for eliminating the Filipino subject from our curriculum altogether, or integrating it with history instead. 

    2. “Eliminating English will pave the way for our local language and national identity to be developed.” – It won’t happen unless no.1 is solved… and no. 1 will never happen. Trying to “work together” to produce an indigenous national language is more likely to result in conflict and dispute… so better not waste time on it. English is there as the great equalizer… take it and no ethnicity will complain that another ethnicity’s language was favored. It’s fair. 
    Plus the fact that English brings us a lot of scientifically and intellectually advanced words which will help bring our country up (like logic and critical thinking). 

    I catch Benign0’s drift… don’t try to build one national language anymore. Just accept all the current languages of the country as “national,” including English, and use them to rebuild our country. And I catch why Tagalog should be junked from formal education (yes, Benign0 didn’t say “junk Filipino”)… it’s unfair to the other languages and ethnicities to mandate it in formal education. 

    • ChinoF says:

      I see a third myth – “Embracing English is a result of colonial mentality and a lack of love for one’s country.” And I think why this is a myth has been discussed in-depth already in the article and other comments here and in other articles around AP. 

      And colonial mentality is a bogeyman. It’s the work of Zaide, Agoncillo and our opportunistic and deceptive local media. Drop it already. 

  21. mario taporco says:

    ChinoF,

    Where does “Ulong Pare” fit into this?
    Does AP subject themselves by his vernacular ways of engaging useless and, a collection of malcontents form of communicating to others?

    He seems educated, but yet idiocy seems to detract his ability to be like any ordinary Pilipino.

    Ulong Pare’s form and ways of communication, which ethnicity did that originated from?    

    • Hyden Toro says:

      Ulong Pare is an Extra Terrestrial, who happens to land on the Philippines, many years ago.
      He came from the Planet UX-W20; from the Constellation: SIRIUS. Two thousand light years away from our Planet Earth….Ulong Pare was a good “tale bearer” in his Planet. He was exiled here on Earth, for telling too much of what he knew about corrupt leaders in his Planet. ….Anyway, welcome to Anti Pinoy, Mario Toporco. Don’t take blogging personallly. It just an opinion.

    • Jay says:

      It would be even worst to have an AP contributor trying to break down things in jeje-speak. At least Ulong Pare takes his speech like an art-form.

    • ChinoF says:

      Ulong Pare is just another representation of our country’s diversity, albeit a parodic one. Live with it. 😉 

    • ulong pare says:

      … @ma-ta… to answer your kwestyon:

      1. Where does “Ulong Pare” fit into this? >>> i don’t care what language/dialect you speak or color of your skin… i care less where you come from… i look at the “whole person” concept… 2. Does AP subject themselves by his vernacular ways of engaging useless and, a collection of malcontents form of communicating to others?>>> your convoluted ferpeckt inles does not make your post more usefull or espouse contentments than mine… all posts at AP are all whinings and bitchings… the AP posts stay in this cyberspace… not implemented anywhere else… 3. He seems educated, but yet idiocy seems to detract his ability to be like any ordinary Pilipino…>>> define “idiocy”… if you don’t get it, it’s idiocy, right? a typical flip mentality… gung gong!… 4. Ulong Pare’s form and ways of communication, which ethnicity did that originated from?… WHAT???!!! what are you trying to say? correct your own inles construction… now explain yourself, genius… TANGALUGIN mo na lang….

      • mario taporco says:

        @Ulong Pare,

        1. Where does “Ulong Pare” fit into this? >>> i don’t care what language/dialect you speak or color of your skin… i care less where you come from… i look at the “whole person” concept…

        Since the author here wants to eliminate TAGALOG, not TANGALOG (with this useless words of yours idiocy hits you once again here) in our vernacular system of communicating 

        2. Does AP subject themselves by his vernacular ways of engaging useless and, a collection of malcontents form of communicating to others?>>> your convoluted ferpeckt inles does not make your post more usefull or espouse contentments than mine… all posts at AP are all whinings and bitchings… the AP posts stay in this cyberspace… not implemented anywhere else…

        “There you go again, whining and bitching. I’ve read a lot of good constructive criticisms from other commentators here on AP. But yours, I can’t seem to grasp. Sorry, sounds like if I have offended you. If understand correctly, AP’s intentions is to move our Nation to a better governance, and promote positive exchange, and hopefully course of action.” 

        3. He seems educated, but yet idiocy seems to detract his ability to be like any ordinary Pilipino…>>> define “idiocy”… if you don’t get it, it’s idiocy, right? a typical flip mentality… gung gong!…

        “There you again, labeling someone with name calling; that’s IDIOCY. Maybe…, just maybe, you have a mental block, I better quit while I’m ahead” 

        4. Ulong Pare’s form and ways of communication, which ethnicity did that originated from?… WHAT???!!! what are you trying to say? correct your own inles construction… now explain yourself, genius… TANGALUGIN mo na lang….

        There you go again, sounded more like you’re tick off here, by saying WHAT in bold letters. I am trying to convey, or meant to say, what dialect did your ways of speaking originated from. No pun intended.”

        Ulong Pare, I’m no genius. But if you were to omit the “LUGIN in TANGALUGIN” you are a what…[…]

        Remember, I didn’t write it. You did…,!

        Let’s not get anymore idiotic here.
        It’s late at night here in the City.  

      • ulong pare says:

        @ma-ta….” quit while you are “ahead”?, you said… ay sus ginoo…. do not flatter yourself, you are not even a player.. not even close… if you cannot grasp the thought others convey, it’s not idiocy… look deep within yourself and see what’s limiting you from grasping it… i have dealt with all races/religions/traditions around the globe… and survived…. FYI, flips are bunch of gung gongs… spoklong inles do not make flips smart… itanim ‘yan sa kukote… mga tunggak!

      • mario taporco says:

        @ulong pare,

        … if you cannot grasp the thought others convey,… per ulong pare

        It’s not the thought of others. It’s yours that I cannot seem to grasp. “Others have a meaningful debate.” That, I can relate.

        …. FYI, flips are bunch of gung gongs… spoklong inles do not make flips smart… itanim ‘yan sa kukote… mga tunggak! per ulong pare

        There you go again, no wonder the author wants to eliminate the taglish curriculum in Pinas schooling.

        Go to your local library, and start reading up on English Literacy. You can further advance your ability, and capability. 
         
        Remember, if you continue such venecular expression like these words of yours…, Or else, idiosyncrasy, is really setting in deep, on your habitual habits; Or it has.

      • Maki_Alam says:

        I believe ulong pare is being ironic. His words aren’t meant to be taken literally.

      • ulong pare says:

        @ma…ta: “Go to your local library, and start reading up on English Literacy. You can further advance your ability, and capability”… bwa ha ha ha ha… yur pani gay… gung gong!

  22. J.B. says:

    I basically agree that insistence of the use of the Tagalog for nationalistic reason is a skewed initiative.

    However, it could not be problem if the prevailing depth of Tagalog usage is already of the same magnitude to that of Francisco Balagtas and application similar to that of Thai or Japanese where there national language have already permeated well with modern terminologies.

    Other than the above, the insistence of Tagalog is too impractical at this point of Filipino competitiveness relative to world commerce.

    Quezon mathematically miscalculated the extent of a government run like hell by choosing to unprepared and unlearned Filipinos for independence. The lesson learn from Quezon should not be repeated with the insistence of a national language.

    Btw, I’m wondering why proponents for national language is all too sold-out with their initiatives. What do these guys eat?

    • ChinoF says:

      They probably want the Philippines molded in their image, with no consideration for what others want. Vested interests, basically. That’s how I see many activists like these. 

  23. ulong pare says:

    … such narrow minded flips!… to accomplish unc sammy’s mission, i was charged to recruit ‘sang tambaks na native speakers… from flipland’s bisdaks-chavacano to tsekwa’s moo goo gai pan to kurdish-pashtun allah la la …. the more localized/native it is, the better… IF there is a shortage, Defense Language Institute (DLI) hafta grow our own from the immig population… unc sammy pays top dollars… now watdapak you flips want to junk your dialect? be proud naman… learn inles for biznez purposes, keep your dialect for fun… sarap ng bulsyitan when spoklong in dialects, di ba? try bulshitan in inles… the puchline is lost in translation. .. knowledge is power… mga gung gongs….

  24. ulong pare says:

    if you know languages, (tangalog, included) be proud…. it’s money in the bank… before you junk tangalog or any flip dialect to embrace inles, make sure you speak it (inles) fluently…. you can write ferpeckt inles all you want, but it will not help you communicating if your accent is AY SUS GINOO! TANGALUGIN (or bisdakin) na lang ninyo, mga unggoy! if you think that you speak ferpeckt inles, sa totoo lang mga unggoy, binabangungot ka! bwa ha ha ha ha ha!

    • Miriam Quiamco says:

      I don’t agree with the suggestion that you should only speak English if you can speak it perfectly like an American, a Brit or an Aussie (accent-wise).  English is now a tool for international communication and many countries are investing heavily on English language proficiency of their people.  Take for example, Japan, a country which has that writer mentioned above negating to write in English his future books, the ministry of education here is serious about making their students able to express themselves in English.  And expressing yourself in English is what counts, how else can you build self-confidence in spoken English if you are too self-conscious about speaking perfect English.  

      As a teacher, I encourage my students to speak English no matter how many mistakes they make, international communication in English does not always mean perfectly spoken English.  Even in writing, depending of course on the occasion, does not always mean you should not attempt to write unless you are able to do so in perfect English.  I do believe, the Philippines should get serious about improving its English proficiency among its students.  This should not diminish in anyway our proficiency in our local vernacular, since we are a country of many languages, we need to put importance to on the local vernacular as well.  As we study all other subjects in English, we should study literature written in local dialects as they are written.  We do have great writers in local dialects, but the problem as usual is that a great part of broadcast media, especially TV is taken up by the bankrupt soap operas from Metro Manila.  I think local cultural centers should be established and this is where a public broadcasting media could propagate literature in local languages.  In Cebu, I noticed how popular radio dramas are in Cebuano.  While riding a cab over there, I took notice of a funny and typically Cebuano humorous content of an episode of a daily radio drama broadcast in Cebuano.  No wonder, Cebuanos are proud of their culture and they are great speakers of English as well, at least those who are educated.  The ordinary Juan de la Cruz is confident and proud of his Cebuano identity and would recoil at the suggestion of speaking in Tagalog!!!

      • Miriam Quiamco says:

        Sorry for the typos, need a secretary to do editing for my posts here, always on the run, life of lowly teacher in a foreign land in not easy, always chasing after time.

      • mario taporco says:

        Ogenki desu ka.
        Motto benkyō beki desu. 😉
        Shi teinei, kirie shi, shinsetsuna sensei.
        Oyasuminasai, Miriam.

      • ulong pare says:

        @prof miriam q: a study/thesis was published on the subject of “the absence of foreign luminaries” (asian, in particular) in the (english speaking) corporate world… it is a established fact that majority of asians are contributors/partners to the business success… the conclusion>>> english delivery/communication…. asians and flips (in ‘merka, flips do not want to be categorized as “asians”) have difficulty in english enunciation/articulation in the boardroom… i attended a lot of them… and hay naku, susmaryosep… tangalugin na lang ninyo… just recently, a homegirl delivered her presentation here at CCAD… it”s all good…

    • Disgruntled Bystander says:

      you sure have your own version of English

      • ulong pare says:

        .@dis-by: .. hit the target, ain’t it? … it’s “bulletized”… not the flip englitzxhed version>>> long winded inles that delivers nothing…

  25. Artemio says:

    Foreigner friends of mine who haven’t heard of Filipino dialects before say they somehow sounded like African to them when they visited the country.

  26. JUANDELACRUZ says:

    MGA HYPOCRITO TALAGA KAYO, IDOLO NIYO DAW SI RIZAL, PERO NAKALIMUTAN NIYO TALAGA ANG SINABI NIYA:

    Ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika’y
    Mahigit sa hayop at malansang isda,

    MGA GAGO!

    • Disgruntled Bystander says:

      For your information Rizal never wrote in Filipino his two novels were in Spanish. His daily spoken language was Spanish. If he were alive today I believe he will mostly be speaking in English.

    • Sailing wika huh??? This refer to the native language of an ethnicity. There are more than 175 Ethnic Groups in the country and each ethnic group has their OWN Language “sailing wika”.

      Now your interpretation of sailing wika is nothing but of an Imperialist-Tagalist!!!!

  27. Disgruntled Bystander says:

    Who cares about whether it’s Filipino or Tagalog? When you apply for a job I don’t think that’s going to be part of the job interview. I remember the days when I was in school Social Studies was a breeze but then now they changed it to Sibika. What the hell for? There was nothing wrong with the way it was taught before. I see the point of being able to speak Filipino or Tagalog but to change everything and make it into the mode of instruction in schools is just plain stupid. I am sending my daughter to one of the best all girls school in Manila, in my experience my daughter and majority of her classmates are having a hard enough time as it is with Filipino and Sibika what more if science or math are taught in Tagalog? Those sanctimonious blowhards who keep on pushing for Filipino have their heads in their arses. I am Filipino but I’m also practical, these other people are living in their own dimension.

    • ulong pare says:

      daaaang… i’m all for inles as the iskuls medium of instructions… but when flips push for eradication of tangalog/dialects in favor of inles as a whole, that’s totally moronic and abject stupidity… in kalipornya, tangalog is being pushed by patrIYOTic flipflams in iskul curriculum… my masteral in global leadership included tangalog/mandarin/etc… hay naku, flips, puro kayo gung gongs!… mga tunggaks!

      • Disgruntled Bystander says:

        ah go back to school! I said I see the point of having to learn how to speak Filipino properly but I’m against using Filipino as the mode of instruction for all subjects. Learn how to spell properly and your wig is on backward but I guess that’s part of your being an idiot.

  28. An American says:

    I think that both languages should be taught. They say that bilingualness is good for the brain. Tagalog helps the Philippines maintain its natural culture, and English is useful for international communication. I think every country should maintain its own identity to some degree.

  29. Pingback: Why we should junk Tagalog in favour of English (1) | SOLFED

  30. Pingback: Why we should junk Tagalog in favour of English (1) | SOLFED

  31. Pingback: Why we should junk Tagalog in favour of English (1) | SOLFED

  32. As a NON-tagalog Ethnic but a Proud ZAMBOANGUEÑO ETHNIC . . . .

    There is no need for all more than 175 Non-Tagalog Ethnics to learn Tagalog. Let each Ethnic Groups in the country learn English instead and their respective Ethnic’s native language.

  33. Pingback: Stop looking for the “pure” Filipino | Get Real Philippines

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