“Calling Houston: WE HAVE A NATIONAL LANGUAGE!”

k7909020Right after I hit the Send/Return button to post my last comment at Herdy Yumul’s riknakem blog, I almost fell off my seat in my excitement to realize, “Yeah, Houston, WE HAVE A NATIONAL LANGUAGE!”

And it’s not the Wikang Filipino that Commissioner Virgilio Almario and the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) want to shove down our throats. No Siree, Bob!

It’s a national language, despite the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino. Abolish KWF and you won’t miss a thing except those fossilized bags in it that behave like a music box: wind it and it emits this series of musical notes — exactly the same series of notes the next time you wind it.

Is it constitutionally mandated? In a sense, yes, and abundantly so.

Does it have a grammar and an orthography? Does it ever! It already has several. It has essentially one grammar for each language it assimilates, although the overarching grammar is influenced by the grammar of the local language. However, It is rich in that it tolerates an amalgam of grammars and orthography from its indigenous roots and foreign language influences. This national language is robust and remarkable in its ability to assimilate our indigenous languages, Spanish, English, and various other foreign languages of the world on account of our people’s adventurous forays in foreign lands principally for economic reasons.

This national language is the language on the street, radio, television, Internet, print media, in official settings such as Congress, the classroom, in the playgrounds and at work. At this point, this national language has common roots in English and Spanish and years of DepEd endorsed Tagalog and it is heavily influenced by the dominant language in the locale or region it is spoken. It is a national language which Filipinos are voluntarily and brilliantly evolving by way of code-switching which is the switching between two or more languages, or language varieties, in the context of a single conversation. In linguistics, “code-switching” is sometimes used interchangeably with “code-mixing”.

The reverence we have for this national language that had its beginnings on the street sparked the following Facebook dialog:

“Ang palisi ay naglilimita sa kalayaang magpahayag sa anumang wikang nais ng mag-aaral-sa wikang kaniyang pipiliin dahil ito ang kaniyang alam na epektibong magpapahayag ng kaniyang kaalaman at damdamin. Ang ganitong pamamalakad ng isang paaralan ay hindi lamang ‘paurong’ na pag-iisip; ito ay primitibo at walang puwang sa demokratikong lipunan.”Official statement of the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino chaired by National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario on the issue of 3 students kicked out by Saviour’s Christian Academy for speaking Ilocano.
  • Joe Padre: “paurong” is definitely understandable. But “palisi” for “policy”? Slow-witted that I am, it took me a few seconds to realize the equivalence…
  • Amur Mina Mayor: Bro, ang karapatan sa wika ay karapatang pantao…
  • Joe Padre: Linguistic rights = language rights + human rights” — someone spelled that out for me.
  • AJ del Rosario “palisi” (policy)….yun po ba yung panuntunan? Dumudugo po ang ilong ko sa pagsasalin ng ating mga dalubhasa sa wikang Filipino sa mga salitang hiram.
  • Peter Julian “Palisi” as a problem of orthography. Probably an attempt to include the word in Filipino to reflect that the national language is an amalgamation of different languages. But “policy” already has an equivalent in the regional languages like “annuroten” in Ilokano. Yet if policy has become part of the national language, it should be spelled the way it is spelled in English or whatever the orthography KWF wants to adopt. There is already a problem in “palisi”.
  • Joe Padre Impagarupko la no sisiak ti nangudel itayen. “Aglisi”? “Paglisien”? “Palisi”? Isu ngarud tay kunakon nga imbes a palakaenda a maawatan ti pagsasao, gapu ta “dalubhasa” dan ket ad-adda ket ngarud a parigatenda a maawatan dagiti balikas a putarenda manipud kadagiti ganggannaet a pagsasao. Kas iti “barayti” wenno “varayti”, ania pay la a kinaduldog ti labid-labidenda idinto a nalaklaka a mailasin ken maawatan ti “variety” ken “policy”. No saan, ket Ilocanuemon wenno Tagalogemon ta di ket ti la ania a pagsaysayangam kataymo, Almario… Agsasaruno koman ti sanantek daydi Dios ti aluadna nga uliteg a makangeg kadayta a minamaag…
  • Peter Julian Is-isuda met laeng ti mangtubtubay iti Filipino. Nalabit adda laeng ni Almario iti Katagalogan ket awan ti ammona iti mapaspasamak kadagiti dadduma a lengguahe iti pagilian. Awan kadi planoda iti research-based national language? Wenno aramatenda met ti padas ti Bahasa Indonesia, no kasano a nadevelop daytoy ket nagbalin a national language ti Indonesia? Kasano a naisaknap iti nakalawlawa a pagilian a kaarrubatayo? Kas maibatay iti sukisokko, maysa a lingua franca ti Bahasa iti maysa a lugar (isla) a pagdudupudopan dagiti nadumaduma nga ethnolinguistic groups. Language of commerce ta traders dagitoy. Nausar daytoy a kas modelo ti lengguahe ti pagilian and it was improved and perfected through time. Kasano a naisaknap? Through radio TV broadcast. Adda national broadcast ti DZRH iti tunggal Domingo a nadumaduma ti lengguahe ti maus-usar–no ti broadcaster ket agited ti damag from the Ilokano region, Iluko ti usarenna; no Cebuano wenno Bicol, usaren dagiti lengguahe iti dagita a deppaar, and so forth.This is the model that I want them to adopt. We in the Ilokano writing groups could sit down with them (KWF) for the development of a truly national language–saan a dayta a kita ti Filipino-Tagalog ni Almario parading as the national language. That includes orthography, saan nga ortografia ti Bannawag a pulos nga awan ti nangibasaranda–they merely copied without thinking ti diktar no sinno ditan a Pilato.
  • Joe Padre Ti nabileg a manglapped iti alisto ken naayas a panag-assimilate dagiti nadumaduma a pagsasao, kas Ilocano wenno Cebuano, iti Tagalog/Filipino, iti pammaliiwko, isu ti panangipilit dagiti naglabas ken agdama a mangimaton iti Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) iti bukodda a pammati a nainaig iti imperial a pagannurotan: “When you are in Rome, do as the Romans do”. Of course, the Romans back then in their empire-building prime could afford to tell that to the whole world. Isu nga iti likud dagiti pronouncements ti KWF maipanggep iti constitutional mandate for it to develop a national language based on Tagalog and all the indigenous languages, KWF has basically embraced an almost unyielding mantra that another language, say Ilocano or Cebuano, for it to assimilate into Tagalog it has to do so by “doing what the Romans do”, or simply put, Ilocano or Cebuano or any indigenous language — to assimilate into the Wikang Pambansa has to follow the in-house rules (grammar, orthography, etc.) of Tagalog — no two-way street! If Peter’s example above of the newscaster broadcasting in different languages were to do so like in an almost casual code-switching manner using our “different” languages with an open-arms attitude for using the idioms, the grammar, etc. of each “different” language he code-switches to — instead of sticking to the Tagalog/Filipino grammar — he has a better chance of accomplishing something KWF was unable to do in more than half a century. If this newscaster were to report each particular news item in the various languages and if he were to seamlessly code-switch to any of the languages that he knows, and if we continue to field so many code-switching newscasters on radio and television, I foresee that after a relatively short while, we should have a vibrant, thriving Wikang Pambansa every ethnic group would — without reservation — heartily embrace. It’s like, “Halika, Peter, at magbabad tayong magdamag, ania a magdamag, mag-overnite tayo a mangputar iti response to Shah’s apology, no la ket ipabulodnaka ni Mrs…”
  • Joe Padre At first, I was averse to the code-switching phenomenon. But when I heard what’s on the street, on radio and on television, and saw the same in a doctoral thesis, I realized even the Lord God won’t have the heart to disallow it…
  • Joe Padre If Almario and his cohorts at KWF are slow to recognize, or worse, if they refuse to recognize the significance of what I just wrote above regarding code-switching, I’m afraid they will be swept into the dust bin of history wondering how the wind blew them there. Because code-switching, rendered so elegantly by Filipinos, is the unwitting force majeure that will deliver us from the clutches of the likes of Almario into the beginning and ever so broad acceptance of a real “national language” of sorts… Goodness, we don’t even have to have KWF — a useless baggage, at best — to develop the new national language. The new national language started hapenning a while back; it’s happening and evolving, and it will continue to happen and develop with time — DEFINITELY NOT with the aid of Almario and KWF.

2 thoughts on ““Calling Houston: WE HAVE A NATIONAL LANGUAGE!”

  1. Nakapagtataka at katawa-tawa ang mga nangyayari sa ating mga Pilipino. Pinapalitan natin ang mga pangalan ng ating Pambansang Wika….ooops, Wikang Pangkalahatan? Pangalan ng ating bansa…. oops! Mga bansa? Idinedeklara and digma laban sa Pilipino….ooops na naman, sa Tagalog at Ingles para makawala sa tanikala ng mga sumakop sa ating pananalita at pag-iisip? Subali`t hindi ba masakit isipin na karamihan sa mga larangan na pinagtatalakayan ng sinasabi nilang emansipasyon, at pagtangkilik sa sariling dila, ang ginagamit sa mga pagtitipong ito ay Ingles na isang banyaga. Hindi ko ikinahihiyang sabihin na sa lalim ng pananalita ng iba, ay kailangan kong buklatin ang aking diksionaryo para malaman ko ang kahulugan sa sariling dila.

    Ano pa ba ang gusto nila? Tapos na ang labanan! Panalo na ang Tagalog! Panalo na ang Ilokano! Panalo na ang Bisaya, Pangasinan at ng iba pang mga lengguahe!

    Hindi ba`t kasali na ang mga ito sa kurikulum? Nagdaramdam ba ang iba dahil hindi and wika nila ang napiling wikang pambansa? Bakit matatakot tayong sakupin ng ibang lenguahe ang sarili nating wika? Tangkilikin natin at pakamamahalin itong ginintuang pamana sa atin ng ating mga ninuno. Nakakahiya…..bakit Ingles pa ang pipiliin nila kaysa isa sa mga wikang Pilipino para sa pangkalahatang pagkakaintindihan ng mga nakatira sa lupaing ito..

  2. Sa dami ng problema ng ating bayan, ito pa ang kanilang pinagkakaabalahan. Sa simpleng pagpapalit ng isang titik at gawing Filipino ang pambansang wika imbes na yng talagang tunay na spelling na Pilipino ay nangangailangan na ng bilyong pesos. Sa sueldo lang ng mga magtratrabaho ay milyones na. Yong halaga ng mga lumang libro na nagtataglay ng Pilipino ay a abutin din ng milyon dahil siyempre papalitan. Milyong aklat din ang kailangan para sa libo libong paaralan sa elementarya, sekundarya, at kolehiyo. Siyempre may gastos din sa promosyon.

    Daig pa sa hayop at malansang isda ang may akda nito. Sana ang gastos dito kung gagamitin na lang sa flood control, at pagtulong sa mga mahihirap, kahit papaano, may maitutulong sa pag-unlad ng bayan.

    Sapat na siguro na Filipino ang gamitin sa ating identity kung sa salitang English. Ngunit sa Tagalog, masasabi kong Pilipino ako.

    Hindi siguro alam ng otor nito na dati, walang f, q, v, c, j, x, at z ang abakada natin? Kaya lang may dagdag na ng. Ang Iluko yata ay pareho sa English kaya lang may dagdag na n~ (enye).

    Sa mga ganyang kaisipan, Hindi uunlad ang bayan.

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