‘Castrated’ MTB-MLE

Dr. Ricardo Nolasco

Dr. Ricardo Nolasco

By Ricardo Ma. Duran Nolasco, PhD
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Friday, September 13th, 2013
Associate Professor, UP Department of Linguistics




The term “castration” refers to the removal, by surgical or other means, of the reproductive organ of an animal. The intention is to prevent the animal from spreading an “undesired” genetic trait in succeeding generations.

This is precisely what the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 10533 (otherwise known as the K-to-12 Law) appear to be doing to the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) provisions of the original law.

The IRR provide, albeit illegally, foreign and local lobbyists of the discredited bilingual-education policy with enough escape clauses for them to continue defying the law.

This introductory clause in Rule II, 10.4 circumscribes all the other language provisions: “The curriculum shall develop proficiency in Filipino and English, provided that the learners’ first and dominant language shall serve as the fundamental language of education.”

This provision, absent in the original law, confirms suspicions that the government’s language-in-education policy is MTB-MLE in name but L2 bilingual education in practice.

Continue reading

What National Language?



By benignO

So where has this drive to institutionalise the national language gotten us so far? A fatter Filipino dictionary? Granted, a national language is a good thing (we just have to figure out why in practical terms) and there has been a significant increase in the number of Filipino-language publications and television shows. (Ok, let’s just use the word Tagalog for purposes of conciseness from here on that’s what Filipino essentially is, isn’t it)

But let’s analyse the quality of the information that reaches the majority of the people. Ask the average Filipino to name any Tagalog publication. What comes up? Abante. A Tagalog TV show? Palibhasa Lalaki (or whatever; they’re all the same). Tagalog books? You’ll get any one or two of hundreds of titles of those cheesy romance novelettes sold at every corner store. Tagalog material of an academic or literary quality above cheese and sleaze languishes in the dusty Filipinana sections of libraries and the low-customer-traffic areas of bookstores and on graveyard or early morning television timeslots.

Continue reading

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

Use of Mother Tongue Beyond Grade 3

young_boy_28480_mthManong Joe,

Here is a copy of a PowerPoint Presentation about late-exit or extended Mother Tongue (MT) education, which you may find useful.

It includes extensive research about the role of MT in upper primary grades, possibilities for extended MT in the Philippines, and constraints.

I presented it as a plenary session at the K-12 International Research Conference in Bicol last week. My goal was to make a comprehensive summary of extended MT education and related issues.

Kind regards,



Click on the title, Use of Mother Tongue Beyond Grade 3, to view the PowerPoint Presentation. When PowerPoint opens, choose “Slide Show”  on the menu bar and click on the green arrow to have the presentation on full screen. Tap on the space bar to advance to the next page, or if you’re using a tablet or smartphone, you may have to scroll from page to page.

Use of Mother Tongue Beyond Grade 3

By Firth McEachern
Consultant on Language and Education


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.

Continue reading

‘One nation, many languages, cultures’

Rep. Magtanggol I. Gunigundo II

Rep. Magtanggol T. Gunigundo I

By Magtanggol T. Gunigundo I
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Monday, August 19, 2013

(The writer is the representative of the second district of Valenzuela City in the House of Representatives.)

The designation of Tagalog/Pilipino/Filipino as wikang pambansa has led to a dangerous misconception that any work written in a language other than in the national language is not considered part of the national literature.

This “overprivileging” of one region’s language and literary imagination also affects the writing of our nation’s history. The struggles in the various regions for freedom and democracy have been ignored in favor of the political center’s narrative of the making of the nation.

Continue reading

NAKEM, on behalf of 3 students excluded from Laoag school, responds to Shah apology

The International Committee in Support of Bautista, Abadilla, and Respicio
c/o Nakem Conferences International
2540 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI 96822
T. 808-366-9000,
August 15, 2013 PST/August 16, 2013 PHLT 
Rev. Brian Shah

Rev. Brian Shah

In his public apology, the Rev. Brian Shah conveys that he had already apologized to the parents of Carl Andrew A. Abadilla, Kleinee Xieriz Bautista, and Samuel G. Respicio, the three students he unjustly and unduly excluded from the Saviour’s Christian Academy (SCA) for violating its English-only policy.

While the apology may read sincere, it fell short of the more important aspect of a decent apology, i.e. the full recognition of all his misdeeds.