Sun.Star Baguio

Filipino, our na­tional lan­guage

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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

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