Iloco, Ilocano

On September 28, 2012, Lino Gerona/Manny Faelnar sent the following email to members of

KWF pretends to be better than the native speakers, never objected to NSA wrongly classifying Cebuano, Boholano & Bisaya/Binisaya as separate languages. For Ilocanos the native name of the language is Iloko. Ilokano, from the Spanish form Ilocano, refers to the people. By the way, the Spanish form for the Tagalog people is Tagalo, no final g.

In response thereto, I wrote:

Just want to make sure your readers get this thing right: the language of the Ilocanos (the people) is interchangeably called “Iloco” or “Ilocano”. Iloco or Ilocano may also be used as a modifier, as in “abel Iloco” (Iloco cloth), “canta nga Ilocano” (Ilocano song), etc. Also, the term “Ilocano” is a wicked reference to a tightwad, albeit “frugal” is the more acceptable connotation.

The use of “k” instead of the hard “c” is a matter of preference by Ilocano, er- Ilokano neo-revisionists who, like a dog’s tail, have this docile habit of following just anything — in this case, Lupe K. Santos and his 20-letter Abakada and Jose Villa Panganiban of the old Surian ng Wikang Pambansa. Panganiban used the power of his office to influence publishing companies, like Liwayway Publications which used to publish the Ilocano weekly “Bannawag”‘ among others, to use Santos’ Abakada. Of course, the austere 20-letter Abakada was later dumped in favor of the richer Roman alphabet for obvious reasons.

The use of “Iloco” and “Ilocano” is simply consistent with the contemporary spelling of the following proper names: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Camarines, Cagayan, Caloocan, Agcaoili, Corazon, etc.

Joe Padre

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