Filipino, our national language
AT PRESENT, the Filipino language is spoken by almost 33% of the Philippine population while the rest which is roughly 2/3 of the population speak Filipino only as their second language. Philippines which comprises of 7,641 islands has 8 major dialects and roughly 87 other dialects. Filipino being the national and official language as declared in the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
Looking back at the development of the Filipino language, during the American regime the English language was utilized in all public schools. Then during the Japanese regime, Tagalog once more became the official language and the English language was prohibited especially in literature. Then came Manuel L. Quezon, he proclaimed Tagalog as the Philippines national language. This should be a proud legacy for all Filipinos, now and in the future.
As our national language, the Filipino language is supposed to unite as together towards unity and progress. It is also what makes us distinct and unique from other races. Hence, what comes to mind is the use of the mother tongue in our educational system. Would this further divide us as a nation or would this strengthen our regional unity and further strengthen us as a nation?
As it is the Filipino language should always be given paramount importance in our educational system and Filipino should always be in our curriculum. Should Filipino remain as a subject to be taught not only in elementary and high school but also in college? The answer should be a resounding yes! If foreigners can speak our language quite well and proudly does it too, so should we.
Filipino remains as a vehicle for unity and understanding especially for a country which is separated by cultural diversity like ours.
Our love for our language should never wane and every Filipino should always be conversant in the Filipino language. We should continue to use it and forever be proud to use the Filipino language, our own national identity.
By Teresita D. Estocapio