Abrigo: Filipino language, dying?

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FILIPINO as a language is becoming extinct as it struggles to evolve under the new curriculum.

It is alarming to note that even our dear educators adopted the new syllabus that negates the Filipino in essence into an adulterated tongue.

Let me retrace the roster of constitutions, somehow the new generation can appreciate how our leaders conscientiously yearning a national language, imperative for a nation.

In 1899 Malolos Constitution, language was not among the facet subjugated to regulations, so Spanish was used until 1901 when the Americans introduced the American Public Education System.

In the 1935 Constitution, there was a mandate for the national assembly to take necessary steps to develop and adopt one national language based from the existing 172 local dialects in the entire Philippine archipelago.

Along the process, Commonwealth Act 184 was enacted to establish the Institute of National Language to study among the existing dialects. It later recommended Tagalog being widely spoken dialect at that point in time. So President Manuel L. Quezon issued Executive Order 134 in December 1937 to proclaim that the national language must be based in Tagalog.

The 1943 Constitution officially removed the Spanish and American languages and explicitly mentioned “Tagalog” as the national language that has to be developed and propagated. But “Tagalog” germinated countless debates and queries from the campaigners for sounding like discriminating the other local dialects; until the Department of Education in 1959 labeled the language as “Pilipino” to appease the non-Tagalog speakers.

In the 1973 Constitution, the national language was transliterated into “Filipino” and made both Filipino and English our official languages.

The effectual 1987 Constitution under Article XIV, Section 6 clearly states that the national language must be Filipino. So the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) was established on August 14, 1991 to further enhance the evolution of Filipino language.

The provision states that Filipino as the national language will also be the medium of official communication for instruction in the educational system, and English as an option when the law provides.

In today’s business reality, especially with the influx of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Filipino as a language is becoming extinct. We tend to betray our national language by learning and using new languages from our neighbors like: Chinese Mandarin, Korean, Nihonggo, Arabic, French and German among others.

The month of August (Buwan ng Wika) is ending. But the celebration is far different compared to what was happening few years back. During this month, Filipino prose and poetry were abundant as we hear Balagtasan (my preferred), Deklamasyon (my sweetheart’s favorite), Tula, Sabayang Pagbigkas, Sayawit and other contests in schools as we develop the Wikang Pambansa.

This deviance is a blatant manifestation that we no longer develop the language, we only develop the culture as we can only see Lakan and Lakambini, in credence that Lakan and Lakambini is among the juiciest fund raising activity of the schools.

Let the business aspect of our educators continue within the aspiration that Filipino as a people must co-exist with Filipino as a language.


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