Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Surfing around. Read this great entry in Howie Severino's Blog about English vis-a-vis Filipino.

Carabao Taglish Anyone?
Language is the unspoken wall in the Philippine version of apartheid
by Howie Severino

Naturally, my big mouth replied. Bored lang kase eh.

"Inasmuch as I do respect Filipino (which is different from Tagalog mind you) and use it everyday, I cannot overstate the importance of learning English. Especially in a developing country such as ours.

Language is the door to a world of ideas. The more languages you know, the more possibilities are presented. Knowing English allows you into books, movies, and culture available in those languages.

"America's Boy" and "Still Life with Woodpecker" are a couple of my favorite books. But I could not have known how brilliant they were unless I understood English and understood it well.

Unless Philippine society and it's government goes out of it's way to translate the world's greatest literature (classic and contemporary) into passable Filipino editions - so sorry, it's English as the language of choice for me. Nothing wrong with living in a world where you can only understand Filipino newspapers, Filipino TV, Filipino movies, Filipino radio, and Filipino books I guess. But that's just a little too insular for me. The problem is not the language. The problem here really is that some Filipinos think they are hotter shit than other Filipinos just because they speak English. Now that is not the fault of the language, is it?

Bilinguality should really be promoted. It's possible. One doesn't have to sacrifice one or the other. English in School. Filipino in Government and at Home. "

Thank you Francisco Reyes for the white carabao.