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Issues concerning Philippine language policy

Education policy rooted on Tagalog imperialism

DILA message 24831

There is no reason to worry about English linguistic imperialism. What we should be gravely concerned about is Tagalog linguistic imperialism under the guise of Filipino. It is all around us - television, movies, radio,  newspapers, the educational system, Manila-based big businesses, relentlessly killing our local languages.

MTB-MLE in its current form under DO 16 s. 2012 has been hijacked by the gang of Virgilio Almario, limiting the vernacular to Grade three and textbooks being translated from a central source into the twelve languages prescribed by DO 16 whereas education materials were supposed to have been localized. The Gunigundo bill has been around for many years but has not been pushed through making it obvious that it had been a mere tactic to block the Gullas English bill. Between Tagalog and English, we choose English. To us, Tagalog (disguised as Filipino) has no value in our lives while English is more than useful in this era of globalization.


DO No. 74, s. 2009___ DO No. 86, s. 2011___ DO No. 31, s. 2012___La Union Position Paper___K-12 continues miseducation___Trojan Horse by R.Tantingco.

Bobit Avila commends Globe for customer service in Cebuano

DILA message 24636

Allow me to congratulate Globe Telecom for finally embracing the cultural realities and our language differences right here in our own country. For too long, ultra-nationalists have sold the idea of having a national language purportedly to bring unity to our country. But the reality on the ground is, under the Aquino regime our nation has become so divided, not only on political lines, but on ethnic lines as well, as it has always been since Magellan discovered this archipelago for the New World. This idea was peddled by the Marcos Dictatorship (though he copied it from the Jacobinist of Napoleon’s Era) during the Martial Law years under that slogan, “Isang Bansa, Isang Diwa”. Twenty-six years later, after the fall of the Marcos Dictatorship in EDSA when Tita Cory became President, she threw almost everything that Marcos did. She removed the 1973 Constitution and replaced it with her own 1987 Constitution, yet she continued with having Tagalog disguised as Pilipino as the national language, making all government communication in Pilipino. That act triggered a court case filed by then Cebu Governor Emilio “Lito” Osmeña and he won that case.

Today, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino goes around the country speaking in Tagalog without realizing that not all Filipinos are Tagalog speakers. When will P-Noy realize that our government is not the Republika ng Katagalugan? Jacobinism has since been replaced by the United Nations Human Rights Declaration, whereby, indigenous speakers have the right not only to speak their own native languages but also the right to be educated in their native tongues. If you didn’t know, the Philippines is a signatory to that UN declaration and our language policies contradict the UN declaration. Until this day the error persists.

Since the UN declaration was signed, Canada almost split when the Quebecers wanted to have a separate French speaking country. Czechoslovakia in 1983 split up to become the Czech Republic and Slovakia. When the Iron Curtain fell in 1990, Yugoslavia broke into pieces through ethnic lines and turned into several independent countries namely, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia with two autonomous provinces within Serbia called Kosovo and Vojvodina. Lately, Scotland wants to be independent from the United Kingdom. Who’s next?

The language of primates and fascist nationalists

DILA message 24600

Only 30% of Philippine residents today are Tagalogs if and only if we apply strict rules in a headcount like each subject is required to have at least one Tagalog parent counted as such in a census prior to birth. But what if rules are applied liberally as Tupas had famously asked of Enrile? I am convinced that 99% plus of Cebuanos who step foot in Manila functionally become Tagalogs. Someone whose thought processes change to Tagalog and whose dreams are in Tagalog. If counted that way, we are talking of something very close to 50% already so in terms of primacy they are almost there.

In the year 1900 only something like 12% of the population could be called Tagalog. Next to North Korea, where blind uniformity is the rule, we are the most overcentralized country in the world. To successfully cultivate a crop, you have to suppress its competitors in the farm, weeds like Ilocano and Capampangan have to be inhibited from growing and eventually exterminated. The Quezon constitution made sure about this and even more so the current Aquino constitution. There is a reason why the national language clause is coyly worded though, even if argued to death, it still automatically points to Tagalog.

I see a parallel with the Corona impeachment proceedings. Noynoy and minions orchestrate prosecution under flimsy charges but the major effort is external through their propaganda outlets ABS-CBN and Inquirer. They destroy the reputation of Corona and when the damage has been done they say that he is not fit for the high court. Who cares what the court of law rules when you can more easily manipulate trial by publicity? Same perpetrators, same thing that has been done to the non-Tagalog languages over the past 77 years. After Cebuano and the rest are weakened beyond recovery, the victors claim the crown of national unity and proclaim that Tagalog is the only language of the Philippines.

Back in 2007 I predicted that Gloria will be replaced by a true blue Tagalista. All is not lost at this point. Corona could be the downfall of Noynoy. If he falls, there will have to be a reassessment of our institutions of governance. The right people may realize how badly designed and administered this republic is. It took a civil war of 25 years in Sri Lanka to make things right. While the Tamils lost the war, they won the language issue. The Sri Lanka Constitution was amended to make Tamil a national language alongside Sinhalese with English as the link language between the two communities.

Must we have a civil war to have our non-Tagalog languages recognized properly? Are the Neo Nazi proponents of a single national language so stubborn that it will have to come to this? Spain and Belgium averted a civil war by recognizing the other ethnic languages as official languages. UK recognizes Welsh as an official language. South Africa has no national languages but ten official languages. India has about 18 official languages.
A helping hand from WIKI extended to Philippine languages
To have an idea how influential and useful Wikipedia has grown, even the Vatican employed its materials for a brief on its newest cardinals. Early on, several DILA subscribers had tapped on the friendliness of Wikipedia to all language communities. It has since become the largest repository of articles written in or translated to our non-Tagalog languages on the global net. Our collaboration with Wikimedia is geared towards strengthening this. Wiki is also enjoining its users to provide financial support for its noncommercial service, details for which are on the top frame of their pages. Manny Faelnar provided us with this photo.



Vernacular instruction under MTB-MLE has started

The memorandum circular from DepEd-Bicol reveals a few things. Dated August 9, 2011, it is indicated that the school year started without distribution of vernacular textbooks for Grade 1. Only 100 teachers were deployed in six provinces for which everything rests on their individual oral instructional skills. That would be for character education, communicative language, arithmetic and aralin panlipunan in the Bicolano languages. The reinclusion of Filipino/Tagalog as a full subject is anomalous since it was meant to be deferred to Grade 3 by the original planners. The Tagalistas are obviously very displeased that Bicolano has inched its way back to the classroom but they are also aware that they just have to bide their time. It is notable that Calamba in Laguna has more participant elementary schools than all the cities and towns of Cebu province.



Filipino dialect - a National Language for the unlearned

It all started with someone's rather innocent opinion on the shortcomings of Filipino that was published on Manila Bulletin. This set into motion a frenzied attack from the likes of William Esposo, Conrado de Quiros and other Tagalista Nazis out to defend the sanctimonious reputation of their national language from James Soriano.

Here we present an overview of the matter beginning with Miguel Tajan's critique of the national language of the Philippines, the Filipino dialect.

a National Dialect that is not the language of the learned

National Language vs Native Language

by Robby Tantingco

We should thank the Catholic clergy for using Kapampangan in the Mass, novenas, rosaries and other church services. The Church is the last bastion of the Kapampangan language; all the other institutions like government offices, the courts, media and academe have resorted to Filipino and English. (I just can't understand why we keep using Tagalog hymns during a Kapampangan Mass when we have more than enough beautiful Kapampangan hymns just waiting to be sung.)

As you can see, we have a lot of people who are determined to promote the Kapampangan language. The only problem is the equally determined effort of national government and national media to promote the Filipino language. We should teach our cabalen to learn all three languages (Kapampangan, Filipino and English), but if they must learn only two, let these be Kapampangan and English. Of the three, the most dispensable is Filipino; we need to speak Kapampangan because it is our mother tongue, and English because it is the language by which the rest of the nation and the world can understand us.

When our government promoted Tagalog as national language, they called it by another name, Filipino, and told the rest of us that they'd reinvent it as an aggregate of different regional languages. It didn't work. Filipino was, is and will always be Tagalog, the language of the people living in Southern Luzon. It is not superior to Kapampangan or Cebuano or Ilocano or Hiligaynon, and therefore should not be imposed on us as a replacement for our respective native languages.

I'm sorry if I talk this way about our so-called national language, but I have enough sympathy only for the underdog. In this case, the underdog is Kapampangan.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 09, 2011.

Tuao Municipal Hymn (Province of Cagayan)

by Ferdinand M.


Nepata'dak ya Makapangngua, ~~ ginibawwan ya Cordillera ~~ Wangag Chico kanya nallatanan, ~~ paggafanan ya pattolayan.

Ya Ina ya Pia, anna nga u'dungan ~~ yaw nga lugar anna kassingahawan ~~ ya totolay na, nasimpat kappianan ~~ kagitta pay ya pia ya ngammin mema'matan.

Tuao, babalay nga id-iddukang-ku ~~ maski no be lugar y'angngayang-ku ~~ Aggala ya ayat ku napafutu ~~ kan ikaw aggagalut ya angat ku.

Tuao, kan ikaw ya naggafanan ~~ ngammin nga appanonot, kamurayan ~~ lallahud awan na karwan bibingalan ~~ no si ya ngaham-mu annak immuhuran.

Tuao, kan ikaw ya naggafanan ~~ ngammin nga appanonot, kamurayan ~~ ya itabbak kan sangaw e kasimpattan ~~ ngaham-mu ya annak nga immuhuran.

Lallahud, awan na karwan bibingalan ~~ no si ikaw nga kararwak, pahitturan.

Tuao, awam-mu kekunnayan ~~ paddianan cha pansaw ya Cagayan!

(Not all of us may believe in anthems of any kind but anything composed with the locality at heart has certainly more meaning than an alien one that starts with Bayang Magiliw. God bless the Itawit people.)


Presenting Firth McEachern's "Diversity Shock" series

by Merlie Alunan

Salamat Firth McEachern sa imong hapsay nga pagpahiluna sa mga panghunahuna nga makapabukhad sa atong pagtan-aw bahin sa linguistic diversity sa Pilipinas. I've been following your Diversity Shock essays with deep appreciation. Thanks for being with us in this struggle. It's part of our colonial mentality mentality that people will listen more to you than to any native speaker.

Unfortunately, like everything else in this country, we are so caught up in the politics we engage in in our civil life, we have no time to think of anything. This quarrel over language involves the politics of power. This goes for many other things in our cultural life. Within the NCCA for instance, there is a struggle to maintain power and control within a central domain, bringing the peripheries further and further away from that center. Whose priorities are served? Certainly not those of the people who have been kept in the dark most of the time about their rights and what they can do with it within the bounds of their own circumstances. I'd say, let's change the laws and the political system where these inequities are being perpetuated, but let us not forget to awaken our people to the fine uses and beauties of our mother languages.

I have thought of this a long time ago when I began my advocacy of encouraging young people who want to write to write in their native language. A few people in the culture who use the language with depth and elegance preserves the language for posterity and shows the present generation how to honor one's own with excellent and appropriate usage. Working in the classroom, I have noticed more and more our lack of interest in speaking properly, with fluency, respect for the niceties of language, a striving for elegance. Media has a large share in this, but also our schools which are propagating the odious usage of Filipino. I believe we have become a nation who speak no language of any quality, not the languages we have been borrowing, nor our own.

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The WIKA agenda of language death

by Manuel Faelnar

Many Visayans cannot understand that the adoption of a national language, the Jacobinist principles of Quezon and Recto, and indeed almost all the politicians at that time, led to the marginalization of our mother tongues. At that time having one national language was more important than the mother tongues which, they believed were divisive. In fact they believed the myth that the mother tongues were mere dialects and not real languages, and their successors in interest perpetuated this myth which has been so ingrained many people actually believe it.

The late Bulacan politician Blas Ople was not happy that Cebuanos refused to accept Tagalog. He expressed the hope that one day Cebuanos would use their "dialect" only at home and use Tagalog in all public activities.

When one is passionate about one's language, one goes into all facets, including the blame game. The Spaniards are blamed for not teaching us Spanish, allegedly to insulate us from the liberalizing trends on Europe. The truth is they recorded and promoted our mother tongues in their evangelizing work. Because of them Cebuano has survived.

In contrast, the Americans tried to Anglicize or Americanize us, banned the use of the native languages by government employees at work, banned the use of the native languages by students in school. The American occupation, happily, was too short to really succeed in eliminating our languages.

For some reason which I no longer remember without researching, the Americans encouraged the development of a national language when they don't even have one in the US. The Japanese occupation forces took this one step further and had their puppet government led by the Tagalog Laurel proclaim Tagalog as the national language (to wean us from English). The Japanese occupation was the most productive time, the golden era of Tagalog literature.

Post war administrations continued the policy of marginalizing our languages, continued to punish students for speaking the "dialect". We did not realize at that time that these policies violated the Constitutional provisions on freedom of speech and freedom of expression which extend even to children. Congressman Gunigundo, the foremost legislative proponent of mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTBMLE) advises parents to hail to the courts offending school administrators and DepEd officials who violate the Constitution. Of course, his main beef was banning Tagalog in English-only schools but I pointed that from 1974, only Tagalog and English were allowed to be spoken in school. So parents could go to the courts if their kids were forced to speak only Tagalog or English.

Finally, WIKA is for the abolition of English and Spanish in our schools and in our lives, except on an as needed basis. Make English and Spanish elective subjects in school, no mention of mother tongue. They want us all to be Tagalogs.


Songs of Tagalog supremacism

by Jose Pepe

For years, Tagalistic nationalists had been lying about our history. It was a program of "partisan scholarship" cooked at UP by armchair leftist intellectuals who exaggerated events in Philippine history with half truths and fictionalized accounts of our so-called glorious past as a "united kingdom." It has not helped that Marcos adopted the same line in his quest for power using Tagalist nationalism as a tool to legitimize his family as the Adam and Eve of "Pilipino." He was not tagalog and the opposing factions were not tagalogs either, but they all espoused the same line of "Filipino" nationalism.

There was nothing more unFilipino than the Tagalist nationalism being used by competing factions of the left and the right. Everything was for tagalog nationalism and it has not abated. I continue to read the same fiction not only from the imperial tagalogs but also from visayans programmed acting like marionettes of internal colonialism. Visayans will not remain the way we are for long. What we fear will come to pass and the only remaining avenue that may help us is independence. The enemy of the Filipino is not regionalism. It is Tagalog nationalism.

(This was in response to another message posted at

> Ako Ay Pilipino - Bayan Ko - Lupang Hinirang - Mabuhay - Pilipinas Kong Mahal

I recall the above anthems employed by the nationalist dictatorship of Marcos to brainwash schoolchildren and their parents. If you have not visited North Korea yet, you have not missed much if you had experienced Marcos' martial law. Marcos pandered to the Tagalogs as the master race that rules the rest of us. Cory nurtured the mindless fascist nationalism of Macoy beneath her pretense of democracy. The only thing that has improved today is that I can turn on a portable player or vamoose when any of the above pollute the airspace.


A testimonial to Mother Language Education

by Merlie Alunan

My work for mother language has been focused on encouraging young writers to use their respective mother languages for creative writing. I have been fairly successful in Region VIII where at least five writers have actually come up with whole collections of poetry published by NCCA no less. This is a bumper crop, considering that no one has been writing in Waray for the last fifty years at least.

These writers are young so we can expect more from them, and they will hopefully be influencing other younger writers to write in the mother language. If you teach mother language, there should be a body of works beyond the classroom to sustain the interest and to inspire its continuous usage, and scholarship to preserve and enhance what lore exists in the language.

We cannot have teachers who only know the cartilla and cannot think beyond it. The language must move from pragmatics to grace and elegance and depth. I guess that's the long view. Our public school system, unfortunately, is notorious for dealing only with the short view and are quite happy with numbers, not with quality.

This is one of my concerns, the corollary development of a reading culture in MLE. After the classroom, what? There are no reading materials in most mother languages, except possibly Tagalog, and in a very limited way, Cebuano. The Komiks and magazines we have driven out of business for one reason or another, or simply because no one can afford to buy them anymore, they serve as part of this corollary materials. After the grammar lessons, how is one to extend his/her reading to the point that a student can see the mother language used to its fullest possibilities as a medium for information and entertainment. The power of English lies on this, that if you don't like to do the grammar part, you can just read and read, and thus absorb the language as it were. Of course in the case of the mother tongue, it's all around us, so we might not feel compelled to look for reading materials in it. But if the mother tongue is to remain in this level, it will still continue to dteriorate, since it's use is limited to the uses of the market place.

The thinking at the MLE in Cagayan de Oro seems not to have included this aspect. Granting that the immediate concern was the elementary grades, still there is a need to develop professionals in all aspects of language, including the information and creative levels who would think beyond the reader level of language. This should be a concern of those in Education itself. The SIL have done a great job in MLE education and they have a ready and significant body of readings to press for post-MLE readings--this comes in the form of whatever religious agenda they are espousing. But this is our culture we are talking about. We should be pushing for more. Perhaps there is a need to include our creative people into the dialogue of MLE to discover what they do have that could contribute to the MLE initiatives that are going on now.


Google, for some, is no longer in Tagalog

Six years of the abusive redirection of Philippine websurfers to the Tagalog search portal by Google has ended. But only for those whose internet services are not tied up to a local internet provider. Right after they redirected China users from to the uncensored, some Google searches in the Philippines no longer get automatically rerouted to the Tagalog-formatted

Complaints had been forcefully raised in the past and if the owners of Google have only belatedly discovered this heinous transgression, they still have the obligation to punish the perpetrators in their ranks. Send them to prison in China perhaps. The rest of us continue to suffer Google in the Tagalog/Filipino national language.


Debunking a Tagalista minion

by Harvey Fiji


"I just condemn (fight, and bitterly, that is) the idea that English and Spanish are pressumed harmless to the Amanu, while we think Tagalog is. That is just outright unfair. We have so many Kapampangan terms that are Tagalog, and Tagalog has gazillion of terms that are Kapampangan. These languages are related. Tagalog and Kapampangan are like Portuguese and Spanish-- you don't know where they start meeting and you don't know where the end of their meeting is. But to say that people like English and Spanish more than Tagalog, that is just simply colonial shit, that just shows what the color of their crap is, that just shows from where their soul is molded. More than half of the Tagalog words that I know (and they are too literary and meaningful and considered old by current Tagalog speakers) are from Kapampangan. I hate colonial mentality. I just can't compromise. I will always fight (condemn, bitterly, that is) the groups (maybe Anasi? maybe Dila?) that promote colonial attitudes and mentality. What I mean is if they condemn Tagalog, they should also condemn English and Spanish. There is no "But". I want it straight. I hate people singling out Tagalog. In fact, take out all English and Spanish terms from Kapampangan and leave out all Tagalog terms in it, Kapampangan sounds much purer and more indigenous than the shit that we have now. I like borrowing (from whatever language-- I don't say no to one language and yes to another) where it can't be avoided and where it is very necessary. But I like invention more-- we can invent words, why not? We need neutrality, but if we need to take sides, take sides on our own kind. Don't display the beauty and wonders of "colonialism" . Don't be so stupid. Even if colonialism gives me gold and diamond, I still prefer the mud and pebbles I pan out of my small rivers. Even if colonialism gives me great things (which others think it is doing to us), I still fight it. I will fight it bitterly. And I will fight those who condone and justify colonialism, even if they are my own blood-brothers."


This is a rather peculiar message by Balajadia since he contradicts himself all over the place. Leaving aside his own use of English--and vulgar English at that--the gist of his argument is that he claims to "hate colonial mentality" and to prefer English and Spanish instead of Tagalog is colonial mentality while favoring Tagalog is not. Balajadia's piece is just irrational rambling. I'll limit myself to examining a few of the multiple errors in his piece.

I don''t know about his assertion that Kapampangan and Tagalog are like Spanish and Portuguese. Spanish and Portuguese belong to the same language family the Romance language family and are directly descended from a well-documented ancestor language: Latin. Kapampangan and Tagalog despite being Austronesian languages belong to different language families: Tagalog from the Central Philippine language family while Capampangan is from the NORTHERN Philippine language family. So much for being in the same language grouping let alone having a well-documented ancestor language. (And we're not even going to get into an extended discussion of the historical clashes between the Spanish and Portuguese and why no Portuguese would desire to be called Spanish despite Spain and Portugal being both Iberian, former Roman territories, Catholic, and winning sovereignty from the Moors through the reconquista).

Balajadia claims that he will fight colonialism but that begs the question of what he considers "colonialism". Does he consider colonialism only those perpetuated by the Spaniards and the Americans? And what exactly does he mean by colonial mentality? Is it colonial mentality to use the English and Spanish language while supporting Tagalog hegemony isn't? And what does he mean when he accuses ANASI and DILA of "promoting colonial mentality". Before a rational discussion can take place, he should first explain what does he mean by "colonial mentality" and "colonialism".

He says "but if we need to take sides, take sides on our own kind. " What does he mean "our own kind"? Who are "we"? What does he mean "kind"? Or "condone and justify colonialism"? He claims he "won't compromise" yet he contradicts himself by showing willingness to accept Tagalog hegemony. In a rhetorical flourish he declares "Don't display the beauty and wonders of "colonialism". Don't be so stupid. Even if colonialism gives me gold and diamond, I still prefer the mud and pebbles I pan out of my small rivers. Even if colonialism gives me great things (which others think it is doing to us), I still fight it." A rather peculiar argument to make considering that he is open to receiving the fool's gold and fake diamonds of Tagalism. Where's his outrage towards Tagalism? Evidently, Balajadia is content to fight "colonialism" however he defines it so long as the objects of his wrath are Spain or the U.S.. But he won't fight Imperial Manila. As to why, he won't explain. (
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Different spelling standards for different languages

by Ernie Turla

Ot acu, e cu cacacasnucan ustung ababasa cu ing K-orthographing penimunan dareng Tagalug? E cu agaganacang ing sulat aini, nga cu ware, sistema re queng pamanyulat deng papatda queng salita tamu. Iti, aniapin libri tamu queng nung sanung sistema ing buri tang tuquian, pati na itang paclang a tutuquian ning Mayap a Balita.

Why be disgusted to see the Spanish style of writing simply because the Spanish were the ones responsible for the death of Tarik Soliman half a millennium ago? The Spaniards did more good to the archipelago than bad. The Philippine revolution was more of a war for independence than a war against government abuses. Like many, I was also brainwashed and made to believe when I was in grade school that the Spaniards were wicked and the Americans were good guys. The patriotic feeling instilled in me was all the result of hating the Spaniards and fighting against such abusive tyrants.

But let's get to the bottom of the real problem which is the use of the much-hated C-Q orthography. We should bear in mind that it was the Spaniards who introduced the Roman alphabet that we are using now. Getting rid of the C and the Q would not solve the problem of getting reminded of the abusive Spaniards. For the rest of the alphabet - all 24 of them also came to us through the same people. If you really don't want to see vestiges of Spanish influence, adopt the system of writing of the early Filipinos, the Baybaylan or whatever it is called.

And of course, you don't just stop there. The Roman alphabet introduced to us by them is just a drop in the bucket. Take into consideration our names, both first and last. You then have to do away with such names as Aida, Oscar, Roberto, Alejandro, Castro, Garcia, etc. You would also hate to hear the name "Philippines" and our own nationality, "Filipinos". Many of our barrios, towns and streets are Spanish-derived. Some good examples are Angeles, Mexico, San Fernando, Hermosa, Concepcion. All those that start with San, Sta. and Sto. such as San Simon, Sta. Ana and Sto. Tomas are Spanish. Avenida Rizal, Calle Real, Plaza Burgos are Spanish too. Now, do you get disgusted to hear the names of such places? Then of course we have so many words that are derived from Spanish and which are too numerous to even mention. In fact you have already changed some of them into our language. You now use pipagaralan, talaturu, aklat. Common terms which we ordinarily use become weird and artificial to the ear. I'm sure even my friend, Felix, would be wondering what "banuang dalan" means!

To get rid of Spanish, we have to burn the works of Rizal which were all in Spanish, the works of Bergano and others which are presently pulled from archives and studied and translated by scholars and other researchers.
Get rid of the Spanish-style houses which Ivan is trying to preserve. Just settle for native nipa huts, for that's a more progressive way of life. And of course, you have to go back to being either Muslim or pagan. For that's what most Filipinos were before the coming of the Spanish. Burn the cross, the Bible, the chapels and churches, both old and new. No more fiestas, Christmases, Easters, Mass, processions, baptisms, etc. Otherwise, they would remind you of the Spanish who introduced all these to us.

In my case, I'm just proud of our good relations with the Spaniards for 327 years. Our Kapampangan ancestors were their allies. In a way, they helped the colonial government rule the archipelago. So, hating the Spaniards would be tantamount to hating our forebears and our own kind. Kapampangans were said to be the favorite of the Spaniards. In them they found the tribe they trusted most. In them they found the brave and loyal soldiers, the dugong aso who would defend the colony from all other foreign aggressors and keep the archipelago intact and united. Our being united as a people since 1571 is a legacy we should be thanking the Spaniards rather than despising them. No single person that our society honors can claim having done something that big for the Philippines.

Spanish influence is everywhere in the Philippines. Spanish culture would be with us forever and everybody should learn to live with it.. After reading all this, you would, I hope no longer be offended by my particular writing style, my using the C and the Q.
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Favoritism in the PEN

by ES Fernandez

Whether we like it or not, regional writers cannot compete with Manila writers because of uneven cultural development in the country due to the present politico-economic structure. The reason why they can meet together, launch their books, talk about their works, as you say the privileges we "can only dream wildly about" is because of this unequal and unfair representation. But let us face it. These "tribal" attitude creates an attitude of superiority over writers from the regions. The latter gets only recognized as a kind of tokenism from the center. Since when did these literary organizations consider non-Tagalog languages equal to and deserving of state and non-state support? Until now, no vernacular writer had been conferred with the National Artist award, which tells us of the low opinion of these literary mandarins toward writers from the periphery.

We are working in a very difficult situation since our own people are educated and being educated to become good Tagalogs. Our people can sometimes be our greatest enemies. They had become illiterates in their own languages. They will favor Tagalog instead of their own language. I felt compelled to react to National Artist F. Sionil Jose when he blamed the Boholanos for not reading their own literature. I said to him and to the audience that he cannot blame them for that because their language and literature are not taught in schools. Then, Karina Bolasco arrogantly accused us that we are to blame since we cannot even make our people read our works. I said to her that it is a question of political economy. This brings me to what Ricardo de Ungria said that we, writers from the regions, should publish our own works using our own resources. What? So, Manila writers get all the funding and all the publicity but we should rely on our own. What happens to the taxes we are paying? Are they to benefit only the center? This is pure and simple thievery.

We are not even acting as "spoiled brats" because we in the first place are never spoiled. Those in the center and those who benefit from patron-clientele politics are the ones spoiled. We don't want recognition from them anyway. The literary organization that I envision is a group that will do away with the discriminatory, prejudiced and reactionary principles of these associations. We cannot wait from Manila the recognition of non-Tagalog languages. It is from the periphery, from the regions, from the marginalized, which are the majority, where we should seek recognition. If we, writers from the regions, are united together in one literary group, we will be able to promote equality among languages, support for each other in terms of publicity and publication, and awareness among our people.
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Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTBMLE)

Department of Education (DepEd)
A Strategic Planning for Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education (MLE)

by Josie Dizon Henson
President, DILA Phils. Foundation Inc.

The first ever Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTBMLE) Grand Alliance StratPlan was held last November 5 - 6, 2009 at Tagaytay International Convention Center (TICC). I was invited to represent DILA Philippines Foundation, Inc. (Defenders of the Indigenous Languages of the Archipelago) and with me was Andrea Gatchalian who represented Akademyang Kapampangan (AKKAP) and Angeles University Foundation (AUF). » Read more...
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Call for Papers : 1st Philippine Conference-Workshop on Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education