Response from Jose V. Abueva

Dr. Jose V. Abueva

Dr. Jose V. Abueva

Sun, Sep 8, 2013 at 2:40 AM

Dear Joe Padre,

No, I did right in promoting Filipino, our national language largely based on Tagalog, in U.P. I strongly believe we need a national language and U.P. as the national university should lead in its development and propagation. But the second component of our U.P. language policy is to also promote the learning and use of our various other languages in order to nurture our multilingual and multicultural national identity. I also value our learning of English as our international lingua franca. I only regret that my Spanish and English speaking parents did not also speak to us at home in Spanish. Some of my first cousins are both Spanish and English-speaking in addition to being Bisaya-speaking.

I did not miscalculate in promoting Filipino in U.P. I miscalculated in U.P. Diliman’s ability to also nurture our other regional languages, but as I said U.P.’s regional campuses are doing their part in doing so. I do agree with Representative Gunigundo in his criticism of our Sentro ng Wikang Filipino and its inability to adapt concepts and words from our other indigenous languages. President Aquino’s use of Tagalog in his SONA is a step forward in enabling more citizens to understand what the government is doing. but it would be better still if our national leaders could use Filipino as a national language enriched by words from our other major languages and therefore more respectful of our linguistic plurality.

As I have explained to some of our Cebuano critics of our Tagalog-based national language, if Cebu were the national capital and the commercial-industrial-educational-media capital of our country, Cebuano would be the basis of  our national language.

Mabuhi ang Pilipinas ug ang tanang Pilipinhon.

Pepe Abueva

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