MONTH OF AUGUST IS: BUWAN NG WIKA AND HISTORY MONTH

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MONTH OF AUGUST IS: BUWAN NG WIKA AND HISTORY MONTH

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sundry-thumbProem

Celebration activities done some years ago lasted only for one day.  Soon, some celebrations lasted for a week.  Now we have celebrations that lasted for months such as “Fire Prevention Month.”  There are also celebrations that lasted for one year or even a decade.

The National Language

The month of August is designated as “Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa = National Language Month.” The question is what really is our national language?

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The 1935 and 1973 Philippines Constitution provided that the national language is “Pilipino”. It was a language based mainly on the Tagalog language.  It was then taught using the Tagalog grammar.

The 1987 Constitution changed the spelling to “Filipino” (with “F” instead of “P”).  It shall be developed using the various Filipino languages and foreign languages.  This new Constitutional provision opened the floodgates for the creation of the biggest pidgin English in the world.

The framers of the 1987 Constitution failed to provide a very important requirement.  It did not provide which grammar shall be used.

English, Spanish, and Latin are inflectional languages.  It relies so much on the verb that it usually conjugates.  When the Spanish language was still taught in school the usual lessons were conjugation of verbs.

The Tagalog, Binisayâ, Kapampangan, Bikolano, and other native languages are agglutinative languages.  These languages rely so much on the affixes. The tense, number, cases, etc. are function of the affixes and not of the verb.

For example, translate the English sentence “They are still eating” into Filipino.  If you will use Filipino grammar it can be translated as “Nag-ieat pa sila.”  If you will use English grammar it can be translated as “Nag-eating pa sila”.  This is because the English word “eat” can be considered as Filipino borrowed word.  The name of a Television noon time show is “Eat Bulaga”.

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My grandson whose first language is English had a hard time understanding the question “Kung kayo ay binubully ano ang gagawin n’yo?”  My grandson understands “bully” or “bullied” but he can not understand why “bully” becomes “binubully” in Filipino.  However, when I told him the standard Tagalog form “Kung kayo ay tinatakot ano ang gagawin n’yo?”  he already understood. However, his answer was in English.

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In my opinion the present rule of the Surian Ng Wikag Pambansa in allowing Pidgin English is a great blunder.  It should be stopped.  The Filipino should go back to teaching the agglutinative grammar of a native language.

In my classes in Sugboanon Bisayà I always insist that a student must speak and write English according to English rules and their Binisayâ must follow Bisayan rules.  They should not use Pidgin Bisaya.  Correct Bisayan grammar will make them use the Binisayâ in an intellectualized manner.

The most common comment is that the Bisayan language is difficult when used in its proper grammar.  My usual answer is that “You understand English because you studied it.  Why not study your own language?”

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I have read many posters in different schools in support of the “Buwan Nga Wika”.  When I read the written messages, I do not know whether I would cry, laugh, or be angry.  To me, it is a clear indication that the invented Filipino language has no hope of becoming an intellectualized language.  The sudden shift from Tagalog, English, Spanish, and Binisayâ will confuse you as to the intended meaning of the statement.  Add to this the situation that Tagalog and Sugboánon have many words with the same spelling and pronunciation but with different meanings such as “laban” in Tagalog is to be against but in Sugboánon it means to side with.  “Gubat” in Tagalog means forest but it means war in Binisayâ.

History Month

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On August 25, 2015 in the morning, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (formerly the National Historical Institute) will conduct a seminar about Bohol’s history at the University of Bohol.

I am assigned to speak regarding the Blood Compact Site between Chief Sikatuna and Gen. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.  Where was the correct site?  What was the correct date?  What was its significance?  If you love history, you should attend the seminar. (By Jes B. Tirol)

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