Sunday, January 20, 2008

Learning and Speaking FILIPINO (A Book Review).....Why A National Language?



”Ang hindi nagmamahal sa sariling wika ay masahol pa sa malansang isda" - Dr. Jose Rizal

"Colonies do not cease to be colonies because they are independent” – Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister (1804-1881)

“Nations, whose NATIONALISM is destroyed, are subject to ruin.” - Colonel Muhammar Qaddafi, 1942-, Libyan Political and Military Leader)


WHAT WE FILIPINOS SHOULD KNOW: (Note: Bold,underlined words are HTML links. Click on them to see the linked postings/articles. Forwarding the postings to relatives and friends, especially in the homeland, is greatly appreciated).

“To be poor and independent is very nearly an impossibility.” - William Corbett, 1830

I just got hold of the newly published book "LEARNING AND SPEAKING FILIPINO" by Renato Perdon, who was a former researcher and chief translator at the National Historical Institute (NHI -Philippines) and author of several books on the Filipino language, i.e. dictionary, phrases, conversational, etc., for adults and the young; and of the interesting book Brown Americans of Asia.

In his Introduction to this new book, Perdon starts off with mention of the debate in our homeland on the use of Filipino versus a foreign language (English) as the medium of instruction, Perdon wrote that "we are not taking any side in the debate." Frankly, I am somewhat disappointed by his not taking side in the debate. He spoke of the raison d' etre for the book, i.e. the desire to help the Filipino diaspora (thanks to the failure of the country's rulers to generate decent jobs for the educated/schooled) --composed mainly by the Overseas Foreign Workers (OFW/OCWs) and permanent emigrants-- maintain and improve their own and their children's proficiency in our national language.

I attempt here to comment on Perdon's book with a different spin, that is, neither about its contents nor presentation since I do not have any qualification to do so from the standpoint of someone whose specialty is linguistics. Instead, I want to look at how the publication of such a book can contribute to our love for the homeland, to fostering Filipino nationalism. Thus, you may find my review as more generic rather than specific to this book.

Why the need for a national language, why learn one?
To the truly informed or well-traveled person, language is a badge of nationality. Anyone who speaks his particular native tongue, i.e. French, Japanese, Italian, Arabic, etc, --of course a number of exceptions can come to mind-- can almost surely be said or identified to be a Frenchman, Japanese, Italian, Arab, etc. The ideal model of the nation, as derived from Western Europe, rested in considerable part upon the belief that each nation is a separate linguistic identity. And any citizen with national pride knows that national prestige demands that his national language take priority.

Nowadays (Y2008), even in the supposedly "globalized" world, governments of EU nations and/or opinion makers in the USA are demanding, with various reasons, the imposition of their own national language as a requirement for immigration/residency and citizenship.

Historically speaking, it was one of the aims of the French Revolution to impose a central national language on all the people of France. Since that time, wherever a diversity of languages was involved, the national language issue became a major concern to every nation that steps out to claim its place in the sun. Fast forward post-WW2 with the concomitant advent of nationalist demands for national independence and sovereignty by former colonies, issues arose as to the place of the superimposed alien language; which often continuous to be the lingua franca and the language of the dominant elite.

Despite the two generations since we Filipinos were "independent," this issue of superimposed language is still so true in our homeland. We Filipinos, especially among our educated elite, would prefer to retain the alien (English) language. I say that it smells of the stink of a "damaged culture" quite unique to us Filipinos. We have become so awed (more aptly, fucked up) by white foreigners, i.e. Americans in our case, that we even prefer English in our own homeland as the medium: of instruction in our private and public schools; in government and business; practically in all our institutions. My main dissent is in the absolute imposition of English on our educational system and other institutions (I agree in its use in the physical sciences or high technology courses where we have a dearth in terminology).

For us Filipinos, it is long overdue and only proper that education on a mass scale be conducted in the language of the people concerned. Our
so-called educated during the early 20th century till today seem to have worked and still continue to work against the attainment of mass education for our less fortunate fellow countrymen and consequently against the disappearance of the illiterate Filipino.

We educated Filipinos seem unable to appreciate what an Indian government commission decades ago (1955) stated about Indian society then and its use of English (we can easily substitute ourselves in lieu of the Indians): "Use of English as such divides our people into two nations, the few who govern and the many who are governed, the one unable to talk the language of the other and mutually uncomprehending. This is a negation of democracy."

With the westernized orientation in our homeland, the concerned and thinking Filipino knows or learns that the successful assertion of the claim to nationhood established the presumption of a distinct national language (which admittedly in turn --due to its national usage-- may tend to absorb and/or downgrade his local vernaculars or dialects).

Regardless, we know that language is the primary instrument of social communication. Those who speak the same language have a strong common bond, have common memories and easier interaction. Critical to that common bond and easier interaction is the role of that unifying and singular language. The ability to converse, interact, trade, and communicate in a common language is key to quickly assimilating into the nation's unique fabric and becoming active participants in—and valuable contributors to—society.

On the other hand, those who have linguistic diversity require their mass media, schools, other institutions, etc. to employ the various languages and/or dialects and thus make it far more difficult: to create such a common bond, to obtain the same influences on all the people. Thus, linguistic diversity leads to separatism; it is an impediment to national unity, to nationalism. And that is, in our instance, to Filipinism

In addition, the presence of foreign schools and the foreigners ability to use their own language as medium in these schools further lend to our national language problem. These have been going on for decades, I hope I am wrong today. Anyway, I just checked the website of the International School (formerly the American School) where its syllabus showed our Filipino language as an elective, mind you, in our own homeland! Why do our traitorous rulers allow such?

To further highlight the discussion on national language closer to home, let us remind ourselves of an historical piece on President Quezon and national language, (Perdon gave an overview on the topic in his book). Obviously during the early years of the Philippine Commonwealth period, Mr. Quezon saw the development of a national language as essential in order to provide the unifying influence for us native Malay Filipinos (versus the divisive influence exercised at the time by our alien rulers, i.e.Spanish and Americans for their own interests). Mr. Quezon was open to any of our vernaculars or dialects to be our national language, but of course, for several reasons I will not repeat, it is the Filipino aka Pilipino (practically synonymous to Tagalog) which became formally our national language (<-- click to see reasons). It is sad, unfortunate and enraging that what Mr. Quezon spoke about almost three generations ago still rings very true today. Among the different peoples or countries in the world, we Malay Filipinos who comprise the majority in our homeland still have the same tribal and colonial hangups and mentality; demonstrated by our endless debate of whether to use our own national language or a foreign one within our territory, i.e. English; of refusing to recognize an historically used dialect/language by the majority; of allowing petty provincialism and/or regionalism to militate against a national language; of therefore perpetuating illiteracy and therefore ignorance among the native majority; of therefore making ourselves --us Filipinos in the homeland and abroad-- to self-destruct as a people and prevent us to be a united people, to be a true nation.

These attitudes and behaviors of not desiring/wanting our own national language in our own homeland are carried over by our fellow countrymen who emigrated to other countries, i.e. Australia, United States, Canada, etc. I think and believe such negation of our national language is the product of several unappreciated factors and realities, such as: geographical remoteness brought about by our islands, local dialects, historical tribalism untouched, and feudal society unchanged and colonial rule which reinforced the same.

Our resultant divisiveness has been much exploited by our foreign masters then and foreign businessmen now (who we should realize and remind ourselves are in our homeland for their own foreign, national interests - "benevolent assimilation" was pure BS and altruism does not come with whatever one wants to call it: capitalism, imperialism or neocolonialism/neoimperialism aka economic/cultural globalism [globalization], then and now).


Since we Filipinos were already divided as primitive tribes and traditional societies (at best) prior to and after alien occupation, neither the Spaniards nor the Americans did anything to unify us to become a sovereign nation/people, but simply maintained, used and reinforced our divided status quo. What these imperialists did is understandable, conquerors and victors win and rule through "divide and conquer." Our forefathers saw the Spaniards as conquerors and therefore enemies (so did our fathers the Japanese during WW2) and they fought these foreigners with strong determination.

At the turn of the 20th century, when the Spaniards ceded us to the Americans, many of our forefathers also realized (though belatedly due to naive ignorance of world events) the latter as conquerors; but the Americans with military efficiency killed hundreds of thousands of them and deported/exiled those they did not.

With the more subtle American way of colonization - mainly via public education, it successfully molded the Filipino mind to be
Americanized (using English as medium of instructions that overtly and covertly incorporated American culture and value system, in turn its imposition ensured by the American martial law or military rule then).

Within a generation, our Americanization was completed and effectively made us natives forget the brutality committed by the American forces during the Philippine-American War and the anti-Filipino nationalism decreed by American military rulers for almost three decades. Within a generation, the strong anti-Americanism borne out of this Philippine-American War almost completely disappeared. Ever since, the overall result in our homeland indicates that American cultural, economic, and military influence and dominance have been attained; and have been perpetuated in the past 100+ years (till the present, now via so-called globalization).

In addition, our Americanization cloned many of us into "Little Brown Brothers" or "Brown Americans" (Perdon's), to become instant apologists for America and loud critics of Filipino nationalists in our own homeland (much more vehement and worse than the WASP themselves). As Americanized "creatures," we demonstrated and still demonstrate the unquestioning loyalty of colonized Filipino minds; combined with the feeling and showing of endless gratitude "utang na loob" and mendicant subservience. All the miseducation/Americanization of the Filipino heart and mind contributed to the so-called damaged culture with the characteristic but usually unrecognized "colonial mentality" within our hearts and minds.

Going back to Perdon's mission, I say that, having lived and worked abroad for 30 years, I am not as optimistic as Perdon about the desire of Filipino expats and their descendants to want to learn and speak Filipino since the immediate need to know the local language of their destination employer-country is paramount; and its local media a strong impediment. At the same time, our OFWs may not be able to afford the time to learn nor have the opportunity to speak our national language. Such considerations are difficult impediments to learning. (On the other hand, I believe the book will be selected more by foreigners interested in our homeland for reasons of either business or leisure.)

Even in countries where Filipino immigrants can afford to study and learn to speak (and read) our Filipino language, it is extremely rare to see them impart their native language to their descendants since by default their new milieu forces them to lose or forget their national language due to lack of usage -that's the reality. I have seen that this is the case for permanent emigrants and their children in the USA. (in my own family, our two children learned to speak and understand the Filipino language mainly by spending their grade and high school summer vacations -every other year- with their cousins in the homeland, which really helped a lot).

It is only when Filipino nationalism is present in the heart and mind of the OFW or permanent emigrant will his national pride --demonstrated by his love for homeland and his usage of national language among his fellow countrymen and their offsprings-- will he be enthused to provide the occasions for learning and speaking Filipino, aside from his own dialect, as the case may be. It takes an inner drive to actively promote the learning and speaking of one's dialect, and much more so -nationalism- of one's national language IN a foreign land.

On deeper thought however, Renato Perdon already serves the Filipino nationalist cause by the mere act of publishing his book "Learning and Speaking Filipino." By presenting a venue for maintaining and/or learning our national language, Perdon helps foster our common bond as native Filipinos; and hopefully the adage "distance makes the heart grow fonder" for our homeland and people will come to fruition; and which in the long-run could help us native Filipinos towards Filipino unity abroad; towards national unity and national sovereignty in our Philippine homeland. I hope for and wish Perdon success in his endeavor.

Contacts for getting copies of the book:
The Manila Prints, P. O. Box 1267, Darlinghurst NSW 2010 Australia. Phone, +61 2 9313 8179
The Manila Prints, 42 Hernandez Street, Chrysanthemum Village, San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines, +63 2 8682212

“The true Filipino is a decolonized Filipino.” – Prof. Renato Constantino (1919-1999)

"There is no literate population in the world that is poor; there is no illiterate population that is anything but poor.” – John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006)


24 comments :

Anonymous said...

Maraming salamat po dito sa inyong ipinadalang lathala.

Sa akin pong palagay, higit na mainam sana kung inyo itong isinulat sa sarili nating wika, ang Pilipino.

Kasihan kayo ng mabuting kapalaran.

- Rey Arcilla

Bert M. Drona said...

Hi Rey,

Naiintindihan kita.

Ang problema, sa internet karamihan ay sa-Ingles at ang taong masa ay walang masyadong access dito, malungkot at kaya hindi sila nagkakaroon ng impormasyon (bukod sa maaring walang panahon dahil sa araw-araw na panganga-ilangan).

Pero bubuhayin ko ang isa kong "blogsite:

http://isippilipino.blogspot.com/,

mas mahirap at mas matagal gawin kaya na-shelve ko muna. Pipipitin kong isulat itong artikulo sa sariling wika.

At pag-retiro na ako mas me oras ako.

Maraming Salamat!!

Bert

Jason Paul Laxamana said...

You know what promotes separatism in the Philippines? It's nationalists who keep imposing that TAGALOG is the key to being a FILIPINO.

Sorry, as long as Tagalogs like you promote that ideology, I will forever hate your race.

If you don't want us non-Tagalogs to be included in your corrupted "Filipino Nation," then so be it.

"Ang di magmahal sa sariling wika masahol pa sa malansang isda."

I'm a fan of Rizal. I don't want to smell like a slimy fish. So I shall love my language.

From a Kapampangan
http://kamaru.blogspot.com
http://sisigman.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Manny! This might interest you. - Ed

Bert M. Drona said...

Hi Ed,

Thanks for sharing the post. Regards

Bert

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hi Bert! I just want to share with you the reaction of my friend whose noble advocacy as you will note is the preservation of languages and, in the Philippine context,the Filipino dialects.

My own position is that languages, dialects and whatever form of communication is important more because it bridges gaps and foster understanding as a critical tool in a civilized world.

As such, languages and dialects should not be a cause of division as what happened in the biblical account about the Tower of Babel when the “diversity of tongues” occurred (if I remember my bible history right!).

I must confess I’m not much in the languages/dialects “issue” not because I don’t care about it but because I just have not focused my attention to it. But I hasten to add that I value the preservation of dialects and languages as part of human culture and civilization. I’m copying this to my friend Manny. - Ed J. T.Tirona

Bert M. Drona said...

HI Ed,

What can I say, I write not expecting everyone to buy it. Life is too short for engaging in arguments (you know how we Filipinos are, regardless of which dialect or island we come from - and we can see them in the Filipino blogs). At least his response exemplifies how divided we are at home and abroad.

That's why we have no unity abroad as indicated by 1000's of Filipino associations in the USA based on regions, province, dialects, personalities,e tc. back home (reason I do not join any).That's why we do not progress at home. We can go on and on ad nauseam.

Re Spain, I've been to Spain 4x-most recent was last month and despite the provincial pride of the 3 million or so Catalunyans (Barcelona,Valencia,-between them divided too, Valencians do not want Barcelonans to take over, etc), but Castilian/Spanish is the official language of 40 million Spaniards and other former colonies such as Latin America,etc. totalling about 400 million.

Regards,
Bert

Anonymous said...

Bert, I share your sentiments. You just gave me a clue on the possible influence to our seeming culture of antagonism. About the Spaniards, I learned about their own hostility to one another during my visit there in May of 2006. It was my first trip to Spain though I’ve been to their neighbor Portugal a couple of times. I think prejudice is getting the better out of some thinking men.



Shalom!



Ed

Anonymous said...

Ed,



Thanks. But we Visayans, Ilocanos, Kapmpangans, Pangasinenses in DILA
(Defenders of the Indigenous Languages of the Archipelago), NAKEM, LUDABI,DILFED, SUMAKWELAN, disagree 100% percent with his fascistic ideas, ideas based on the jingoistic and dated Jacobinisim of the French Revolution which has
been discarded by the European Union. I made a presentration on this recently at the LUDABI National Convention in Cebu. I will send you an English translation.

An imposed natonal language does not unite. It divides. Let us learn from the violent lessons of Pakistan and Sri Lanka and the happy solutions in Belgium and Spain.


Manny

Bert M. Drona said...

Hi Ed,

Prejudice in many instances is due to ignorance.

A profoundly thinking person is capable of self-analysis to seek and understand the roots(causes) of his prejudice and its manifestations(effects)-- which is mainly characterized by one's discriminatory attitudes and behaviors.

Thus in our peoples' case, it is ignorance of history and miseducation that are both causes of these antagonisms.

As to foreigners in our homeland, let us take care of our own people first and foremost; and when we are united and strong, then we can be afford to be more open to foreigners.

Not the other way around as we have been and are so open -which we blindly copy from America, and latter since united and therefore strong in turn CAN AFFORD to be so (open and multicultural -I mean- with other foreigners/countries, not just states of the Union).

Bert

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I'm Bentong Isles, moderator of The DILFED Forum, an online forum for discussing ways and means of saving Philippine languages and raising awareness of federalism in the country.

I've always been an avid reader of your The Filipino Mind blog, and it would be a pleasure for us at DILFED to interact with you.

Respectfully yours,

Vincent "Bentong" S. Isles

Bert M. Drona said...

Hi Vincent,

Thanks for the invitation but I am not into joining discussion groups and have before refused other invitations.

I simply write to "shake the foundations" not to seek agreement nor disagreement. I write and let go. i.e. "take it or leave it." Am just happy and thankful that I am read and even replied to sometimes.

Given our Filipino attitudes and behaviors often exhibited in person, or expressed in the mass media including blogs, I decided to avoid getting involved with any group. I hope you understand.

Regards,

Bert

Anonymous said...

Hi Sir,

I understand, and I thank you for the prompt reply.

I hope you will not tire in your blogging, since a lot are reading you.


Respectfully,


Vincent Isles

Bert M. Drona said...

Hi Vincent,

On few instances, thoughts cross my mind about my blogging, whether the time and effort are worth it. But at the end of the day I tell myself yes.

Till about two years ago, I used to simply email my friends and relatives and their buddies but my former manager and colleague in the homeland wrote prodding me to blog. He said probably many of my friends in the USA are Americanized and don't give a shit.

I agree and so I blog to reach our compatriots IN the homeland. Since then I had more encouragements (including from some whose opinions I think "matters") than criticisms.

But I value both since we learn from them, especially from the latter,i.e. criticisms(what's the use of writing only for those who agree: boring at the least).

To expand somewhat,when I write/ say Filipino, I do not think singularly of Tagalogs. I find that thinking childish and ingorant at best. I think of our Malay race, for lack of a better term.

And to me Filipino as compared to the foreigner abroad and in our homeland.

As long as we are all from our islands, in Philippine territorial waters, we Malayans are all Filipinos - whether that term is by Spaniards or what not.

I can go on and on but I feel and think there are more important issues to address especially with our institutional/government's local and foreign interactions (with other countries/peoples in the homeland).

Thanks and regards,

PS. Please do not Sir me. It's nice, but I do not teach anymore and "we are not British subjects anymore" as an Indian colleague told me when I kidded him and called him "Sir" eons ago.

Bert

Bert M. Drona said...

Jason,

Frankly, I was hesitant to reply to your "hateful" comment because I think you do not comprehend what I write about. I was wondering also if it would be worth responding to.

But anyway, did I declare or state specifically anything in my postings, including the one you commented on, that nationalism = being Tagalog?

I think you have prejudice against Tagalogs and their dialect or language, whatever you want to tag it.

If you are truly interested, I suggest that you read slowly, chew and digest this and some of my past postings and without prejudice, you'll realize that I do not equate (Filipino) nationalism with being a Tagalog.

If that's how you see it today but are open to understanding deeply (NOT agreeing - I do not need anyone to agree with me), read my Recto and Constantino postings. You'll get a better idea of what Filipino nationalism is all about - which is all I rant about.

Bert

Anonymous said...

Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2008 16:14:47 -0800
Subject: [KapampanganPride] Language colonialism

Most people don't even notice or realize it, but there is language colonialism and language dictatorship in our country today. Our indigenous languages all over the archipelago from Batanes to Sulu have become captives in their own territories and are virtually colonized in the name of nationalism.

For how else would one look at the picture? Our languages have been shackled,redounding to the loss
of their freedom. The altars of their schools have been occupied by another language for almost a century now.

It's now time for these languages (Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Ilocano, Bicol, Waray, Hiligaynon, Cebuano, etc.) to be emancipated.

They have suffered a lot, and the toll exacted on them for their non-use as well as for the effect of the national language on them is immeasurable.

Having been learned already by people nationwide on account of the schools and the media, the national
language should now let go of its hold. It should now be taken off the curriculum and replaced by the
language of the people in the area.

This is a matter of language survival. The local language will have a long way to go and would never be able to catch up,but at least, it would have the chance to get developed and intellectualized like the national one.

Its speakers have as much love for it as Tagalogs have for their own language.

Why is this so important to us, Kapampangans? After all, can't we, Filipinos, just adopt one language, the national language that is, as the country's lingua franca? We would then look united as one people before the whole world. Won't that be great?

Well,the thing is we,Kapampangans have our own culture, having been once a nation independent from
the other nations conquered and unified by the Spaniards. The Kapampangan language is the nucleus of our culture and on which all aspects of it, including
our customs and traditions, revolve or center around.

This is the main reason why it is so invaluable to us, as a people and why we are so determined to save it from extinction.

We, Kapampangans, just want to keep our ethnic identity alive. This is, because unlike other tribes or groups, we have just so much to be proud of: our history, our art and literature, our industries and
products, and everything in our heritage that points to our being civilized as a people!

-Ernie Turla
(KapampanganPride)
Anyway, we Kapampangans, are cooperative and enjoy being Filipinos like all the rest of the various groups incorporated in this state we proudly call Philippines. We can be united even when speaking
diversified languages.

In front of the whole world, we, Kapampangans, are proud to be Filipinos. But before all other Filipinos in the Philippines, we want to be Kapampangans. And if
God permits, we intend to stay as such.

Bert M. Drona said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

On Fri, 25 Jan 2008 10:51:50 -0800 (PST) BMD wrote:
Bert,

I visited your Blog site and found it interesting. India,as you know,also had a colonial past but came out of it about 50 years ago.

It took a lot of sacrifice to kick the British out of India. You may have got some idea about India's freedom movement from the movie Gandhi though I do not completely agree Gandhi was the only person responsible for reclaiming India from the British.

I agree with your opinions about National language though in the case of India it is more relevant to talk about regional languages than a National language(though India has a National language called Hindi) as we have more than 20 regional official languages in India and more dialects.

My mother tongue is Bengali which
is a very rich and complex language and is one of the five most spoken languages in the world.

A culture's main treasure is its language and you should never forego your indigenous language (Tagalog or any other similar language) under any circumstances.

The gateway into any culture is through its language and if you do not know the language the entrance is closed to you.

Abhijit

Bert M. Drona said...

Abhijit,

Thanks for your input.

I have started reading more about India given the strong unity and nationalism its citizens exhibit in relation to other countries. And it has progressed economically and greatly in recent years.

I have looked at how its leadership, past and present, have handled the language issues and I see that its leadership, then and now,were truly sensitive,receptive but at the same time, forceful and steady to preserve regional cultures.

I think the bottomline is unity and the statesmanship of the leaders. On this matter I envy your people and nation.

Bert

Filipino Language said...

Just as Rizal said we have to love our Language and my language is Hiligaynon and I will love it and NOT let it be obliterated by an outsider imposed LANGUAGE. Yes, a true Filipino is a decolonized Filipino it also includes Manila colonization.

I think we will be a much stronger nation if other ethnolinguistic group put themselves above others and discriminate them just because they have accents. That prejudice triggers resentment - and division!

Bert M. Drona said...

Filipino language:

I suppose you meant to say: "I think we will NOT be a much stronger..."

-Bert

Anonymous said...

I didn't really the whole article, but judging by all the headings, I would assume that you are one of the many radical Filipino nationalists. I have nothing against you. It's just that, it's so ironic sometimes of how Filipinos explain the importance of using the Filipino language in English. If you truly wanted a love for one's mother tongue, then why create an article in English that's supposed to promote the Filipino language?

This is the problem of most extremely nationalist Filipinos. They want to "educate the masses". And yet, even the intellectual people in Philippine society, who are mostly English speakers, are attacked by criticisms of how post-colonialism has ruined the Philippines just because they use the English language. I think the biggest reason why radical Filipino nationalists write English articles about the Filipino language is to let "people" understand the problem of not using the Filipino language because writing an article in Filipino would not garner a lot of intellectual followers. This IS the problem. These nationalists don't even KNOW who their audience is. Is it the intellectuals of society, who are mostly English speakers, or is it the masses of Filipinos, who are even uneducated?

”Ang hindi nagmamahal sa sariling wika ay masahol pa sa malansang isda." Nice quote. It's so ironic that you wrote this article in English to sound "intellectual". And even explaining this in Filipino is very difficult because the masses of Filipinos themselves, who are uneducated, do not know deep and abstract terms. Please do not be a hypocrite.

Bert M. Drona said...

Anonymous,

I can only agree with your implication that writing in our native language(s) would not lead to more readers; which is very true in the case of the majority of our native people -many of whom because of generational poverty did not have much education as we do.

I write in a blog and that fact alone limits my access to most native Filipinos who due to poverty, do not have access or easy access to a computer and more so to the internet. Or would they rather play computer games or surf the net as any other does?

If you were in my shoes, how would you go about reaching the uneducated? I'd love to hear and maybe try your suggestions, if any.

BTW, if you looked into my profile, you'll see that I have an equivalent blog "Isip Pilipino" which I had to discontinue since readership was very low and was laborious to pursue, that is, impractical; unfortunately I also have to work and earn a living!

A teacher-friend who majored in Pilipino from U.P. Diliman who have reviewed my initial attempts to write this Filipino-language blog told me that my Filipino writing indicates that "my thoughts was in English."

See, when we use a foreign language -having been conditioned and reinforced to use it as medium of instruction via our educational system/national media,etc., our thinking becomes foreign too.

Because it becomes the easier or more natural flow of thinking. Unless we become aware of such conditioning and fight/adjust, we will suppress if not lose our native Filipino-ness.

Japan in its 19th century modernization actively pursued westernization by sending the equivalent of our "pensionados" to study in Europe and the US to learn about modern technology and western culture to understand them. But not to replace their Japanese-ness/culture; their Japanese nationalism.

The japanese translated Western technology, medical, etc. books into Japanese. So they learned foreign stuff but kept their own culture intact despite their pursuit and excellent attainment of modernity and national progress for its people.

Compare them to what our native pensionados did: most of them became essentially the Quislings/traitors to our native homeland and apologists to our American colonizers. We still have lots of them in today's times. The Filipino nationalism of a few (as many were already opportunistic ilustrados since revolutionary times) got lost in the translation! (is that a movie?)

If I may add, my travels to other countries since the late 1980s taught me that all their books where in their own native languages, in all fields; in fact, one finds it difficult to see bookstores that sell English-language ones. Thus, they have preserved their own cultures while being abreast or on track with modernity.

In contrast, we native Filipinos tasted, swallowed, digested all American culture and products unquestioningly, no translated science/technical books in significant numbers, etc. and so we have a damaged culture, a colonial mentality, lack of national identity/unity, inferiority complex/subservience and seeing national and international issues through American eyes and American interests. ad nauseam. We can say, we deserve what we have. (Unfortunately for the poor native majority, who did not/do not understand and had no say).