Tell it to SunStar: On the national language

I HAVE read several articles advocating that English should be the sole official state language of our country. The argument is that Filipinos, especially the Visayans, are more comfortable with English rather than the national language, which is Filipino or Tagalog, so the state should just accept English as the sole language to be used in the national or federal government’s daily transactions.

But English for us is practically a “glorified” foreign language that only became an official language as a result of American colonization. English here is not spoken as a mother language by more than 1percent of Filipinos, disqualifying it from becoming a “native” language.

English cannot be the sole official state language in our country because the cultural, political, and religious backbone of Filipino society (except among our Moro brothers) were laid down by our Spanish colonizers.

Therefore from the historical viewpoint, Spanish has a stronger case to be the sole official language in our country, although for the sake of realpolitik right now, it cannot be done.

I have instead been proposing for years that in the national or federal level, both English and Spanish should be recognized as our official languages just like in Canada where the government recognizes the languages of their colonizer by having English and French as official languages.

Language in our country has been a complicated issue. Many political scientists or politicians don’t even bother to talk about it because many of them come from the Tagalog regions that might be affected if Filipino or Tagalog is removed as national language.--Joseph Solis Alcayde
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