BEFORE the month of August will come to a close, let us be reminded about the significance of celebrating the Buwan ng Wika. The theme for this year is “Wikang Katutubo: Tungo sa Isang Bansang Filipino.” Its aim is to enrich and propagate the indigenous languages that can contribute to the welfare and development of the Filipinos.
Just a reminder, our national language is Filipino, not Tagalog. Yes, Tagalog is one of the eight major languages we use including Ilocano, Pangasinan, Waray, Bicolano, Cebuano, Ilonggo (Hiligaynon), and last but certainly not the least, Kapampangan. Apart from these, we have less than 200 dialects in the Philippines.
I thank O.B. Montessori Center’s Chief Operating Officer Ma’am Sara Soliven De Guzman and Ma’am Susan Daquigan for inviting me to join them in celebrating our National Language Month at the Angeles campus. Special mention to the institution’s founder, Dr. Preciosa Soliven who was so gracious for letting me and Clark Development Corporation Chairman Jose “Ping” De Jesus get a tour at their preschool classrooms.
To further enhance the importance of sustaining the education, practice and promotion of the Filipino language, the OBMC showed an innovative presentation under the direction of premier writer Floy Quintos. The program featured a unique way of presenting our languages and cultures from all regions through “buhay na mapa” where a large map of the Philippines was placed on the floor while student performers dance wearing authentic clothes from various cultures. The dance presentation which was choreographed by the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Foundation, Inc. was successful in their version of visual story-telling.
It was a relief to see and hear young students speak our national language fluently given the exposure of the unfiltered multimedia nowadays. In the book “A History of the Philippines,” well-known historian Renato Constantino wrote that the unifying thread of Philippine history is the struggle of the Filipino people against colonization, and that must never be forgotten by our ideal audience – the Filipino youth.
Our national language is more than just a means of communication. Every aspect of our lives involves our language. The Filipino language also plays a vital role in the development of one’s personality and it distinguishes us from other nations and other cultures. Filipino is not just a language, it’s life.
Kuya J Pelayo IV is the president of Metro Angeles City Journalists Association, Inc. and the president of Pampanga-Tarlac Energy Press Corps. For comments and suggestions, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org