I’ve been thinking a lot about Manong Resty’s post below. Yes, why did nobody raise the issue that the base language of Filipino was not identified in the Constitution? Was it intended (to avoid further debates) or there was just no linguist around? Maybe it is a blessing that it was not identified so that we can reinterpret from a pedagogical and global perspective.
I think the learning of Filipino (as intended in the Constitution) can provide the space for the acquisition of a cosmopolitan identity. This would resonate with the oft expressed sentiment of parents that they want their children to be “globally competent.” Oftentimes this explains the reason that some oppose MTBMLE (in one area, the parents went to bombo radyo to raise their complaint about the use of MT in school)
Appadurai wrote about cosmopolitanism (“the urge to expand one’s current horizons of self and cultural identity and a wish to connect with a wider world”) that is non-elitist, something that starts where we are, “builds on the practices of the local, the everyday and the familiar, but is imbued with a politics of hope… which builds towards global affinities and solidarities” This is the kind of identity we promote in our MLE program.
And so now i think we can re-interpret Filipino to be the so called “Filipino English.” There are two possible variants. One is the use of English vocabulary but spoken using the grammatical structure of the Philippine type language (Btw, Filipino English is now recognized as one of the World Englishes) Dr. Nolasco and the LSP people can show us convincingly that the English we proudly speak now is actually spoken the Filipino way.This is the reason that our call center agents have to learn the kind of English that their clients in the west use and can understand.
The other possible meaning of Filipino English is the Ceblish or Taglish or Ilocalish. Among us Ilocano we would often say “be careful, bog kunana.” Some Singaporeans are actually making a strong case for the recognition of their own Singlish in schools.
I would rather choose the first type–the Filipino English. This would simplify our work in implementing MLE. This means that in MLE we start with the local language as L1, then L2 is the Filipino English and L3 is another local language (can be the regional lingua franca or one of the most common languages in the country). This would make all regions at an equal footing. I once heard that non Tagalog parents would say it is unfair that the Tagalog pupils moved to English (their L2) more quickly while their children have to learn in the local language first (L1) then “Filipino” as L2 then English as L3.