Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Sat Oct 18 19:01:34 UTC 2008


Jed, we must first address the ambiguous regard and mindless apathy by
which issues pertaining to our ethnicity, language, and culture are
looked upon by our people.   We ask ourselves, why does such unconcern
persist among our people?  Why don't they instead possess an
unequivocal, firm, strong, and determined regard for our ethnicity,
language, and culture?  Our people show an unconcern that is pestilent
to an already damaged culture like ours.  We will have to address them
first, for if not, our fight for linguistic freedom will be
jeopardized by the very traits our people possess.  As we try to
fathom the causes of a complex social behavior and understand why it
lingers in our culture, we see factors prevailing in the whole system
cultivating the continuance of such traits.  The first one, our
fragmentation and disunity, antecedes the establishment of the Tagalog
Filipino national language.  It is a social phenomenon that sustains
and spawns an ambiguous regard and mindless apathy.  Let us remind
ourselves that from our fragmentation and a lack of unity sprang forth
an ugly outgrowth - the failure of past Cebuano leaders to survive the
political skirmish that occurred over the consideration of a national

The second determinant factor is the establishment of the "Filipino"
national language itself.  By a sly, clever wording in the Philippine
constitution that "Filipino is the national language," the Tagalista
framers avoided an unyielding opposition to Tagalog while anointing it
a national sounding name, "Filipino".   Its protagonists are armed
with a constitutional mandate and by enforcing it, also forcefully
inculcate on other ethno linguistic groups a Tagalog-Filipino

A dominating national language endows great benefits and advantages on
those whose mother tongue it is but places a discriminatory burden on
the unfavored ethno linguistic groups.  As Tagalog-Filipino gained
ground through our educational system it gave rise to another reality.
 Some of our people are gradually losing pride of ethno linguistic
identity in favor of the Tagalog Filipino nationalism.   To those who
have accepted the forced Tagalog-Filipino ascription, their original
identity is something of an ambiguous meaning, it having been
confiscated or forcefully distanced from them.  You will find that
some of them are affecting an air of superiority when speaking in
Tagalog Filipino.  The forced patronage of a Tagalog-based national
language subordinates ethno linguistic pride and diminishes it.  What
once was a strong ethno linguistic identity among Visayans is becoming
a subordinate sociopolitical entity when pitted against the push of a
Tagalog Filipino national identity. To the Tagalistas, this is
national coherence.

 The burden is more than just a matter of psychological resentment.
The forced ascendancy of Tagalog Filipino coupled by disallowing the
teaching of native languages in our schools put a grip of
restrictiveness into the development and propagation of our native
languages.  When Tagalog-Filipino dominates in our educational system
and seizes initiatives for the promotion of local languages, there is
not only a restrictiveness; there is a repression of our basic right
to propagate our language. The prestige of our language and identity
takes an ill-favored plunge and gradually, our fervor for our own
language and identity is weakened.  All these assaults have flung us
to a path where we don't want to be –  a path of abortive appreciation
of our language and culture.  It is a process that goes unnoticed
while it forces in us a nebulous recognition of our true identity and
encourages a  malign neglect of our language and culture.  We are now
realizing what this means to us - cultural and emotional ties to our
true ethnicity grown denser by the decade as  the Tagalista assault
tends the fire of detachment from our original ethnicity.  Indeed, it
is a fertile political environment that shores up our people's
ambiguous regard and mindless apathy toward our own language,
ethnicity, and culture.   To us, this predicament is linguistically
undemocratic and culturally unjust.

A situation can turn out from bad to worst.  Economic realities
exacerbate the language plight we're in.  We are embroiled in the
discussion and the fight for linguistic freedom but to the common
people on the street, it is the gut issues that really concern him or
her.  I mean to say that when the demands of the belly assert
themselves, the finer things in life, like language, culture, and the
arts are consigned to the lowest rung in the list of priorities.  We
can not expect our people to be on our side fighting for a
linguistically democratic and culturally just country.  You will find
Jed that there are only a few who are vocal about a vision for our own
language and culture.  The sporadic initiatives and wavering, private
endeavors of those interested few are not enough.  Among our people,
there is very little awareness, if not nil, that the development of
our language and culture lies fallow while Tagalog-Filipino advances.
Political and economic realities melted our people's awareness about
the sad plight of our language and taxed them to yield to an onerous
demand by the Tagalistas - that our people accept and internalize the
Tagalistas' forced ascription on us as Tagalog-Filipinos.  To us, this
is an oppression.

Our raw confrontations with political and economic realities make it
hard for us to untangle that grip of restrictiveness that suffocates
the development and propagation of our native languages.  But as a
people, we must first struggle to renew from within each of us in
order to break free from our own apathy and fragmentation.  Issues
that haze our approach to our own ethnicity and befog our movement
need to be dug out from their unfathomable obscurity, untangled,
understood, and addressed before we can even start a movement
resisting the Tagalista oppression.  Our people need to know how these
two traits are pestilent to an already damaged culture like ours.  We
should educate them so that they will develop a keen sense of social
responsibility toward our own language and culture.  When we've
changed our people's unconcern and impassivity, we can count on each
one to care to do something within the limit of each one's capacity.
But first, how do we acquire a will power that is so strong as to
enable us to overcome all opposition, especially that which arises
from our own?  That would be our first challenge.

Jed, we must remember that character shapes destiny.  A part of the
fight is that it is character that will arrange our destination.
Possessing the desired character and the persistence is power that
will equip our inner selves to carry on the fight.

For the longest time, our ethno linguistic rights and interests have
been under assault and in the absence of an effective counterforce
that assault can only grow more brutal.  The coercive political power
that Tagalistas use to attract followers to a Tagalog Filipino
nationalism can partly be attacked by a soft power, a power that comes
from within each of us.  The power to find a positive foothold of
imagination for our ethnicity, language, and culture starts from
within each of us.  We first have to manifest outwardly our pride of
ourselves as Cebuanos, Warays, Capampangans, Ilocanos, Bicolanos,
Karay-a, Ilonggos, Sambals, etc. before we can imagine ourselves as
Filipinos.  A love for our language that is not anemic but is charged
and forceful will supply the motive force for the continued
propagation of our language.  Coupled by our people's solidarity, this
will be our saving grace and the Tagalista's nightmare.  We must
recast ourselves and before we know it, the metamorphosis will seep
into every sector of our society and the change becomes exponential.
This is the way we can move into position.

Our second challenge would be to assert our rights.  We must confront
those who have a monopoly over the label "nationalist" or "patriot" or
"Filipino heritage" and those who have the monopoly of writing and
teaching our history thru Tagalog lenses.  Those are the Tagalistas,
the manufacturers of knowledge, with their importunate demands for the
Tagalog-Filipino national language to be viewed or recognized as a
"Filipino heritage."  They tout it as an  integration or a
hybridization of our varied languages and cultures when in essence it
is 99% Tagalog.   These are the same Tagalistas who, at every
opportunity, display their manifest intent of wrongfully labeling
people with strong ethno linguistic feelings as regionalist while
promoting Tagalog Filipino not as ethno centric as it is, but as

Jed, the Tagalista academics will challenge native speakers of any
language if they choose to abandon their language or if they choose to
propagate it.  They'll say, "If you lose your identity, it's all up to
you."  Tagalistas would want us to believe that factors internal to
the speech community decide whether our various languages get
marginalized or if they die, as if it were possible to separate
internal and external factors and thereby assess the blame.
Certainly, in the final analysis, speakers make language choices
themselves.  But there comes a point when multilingual parents no
longer consider it necessary or worthwhile for the future of their
children to communicate with them in a low-prestige language variety.
Children, in the long run, are no longer motivated to acquire active
competence in a language that is lacking in positive connotations such
as youth, modernity, technical skills, material success or education.
The languages at the lower end of the prestige scale retreat from ever
increasing areas of their functional domains, displaced by higher
prestige languages, until there is nothing left for them to be
appropriately used about.  In any particular speech community that is
suppressed and threatened by a dominating language, this scenario can
happen.  We know that this can happen slowly without us noticing it.

While it is true that the speakers themselves have a responsibility to
nurture their language and culture, the whole picture of a language
being suppressed and marginalized involves factors that are both
internal and external to the speech community.  The social forces
underlying the native speakers' choices that may result in languages
dying or becoming marginalized are not only composed of factors that
are internal to the speech community itself.  The process always
reflects external forces beyond its speakers' control: repression,
discrimination, or exploitation, in this case, the Tagalista
onslaught.  Already, a Manila-centric culture dominated by Tagalog
cultural influences in media, schools, and institutions cultivates
intolerance and sustains an atmosphere of ethnic snobbery and cultural
supremacy.  Stoked by Tagalog cultural domination, you could hear
ethnic slurs against Visayans in Tagalog television programs, Tagalog
movies, and even in personal jokes among the Tagalogs.  What else
could you call these?  They are certainly insults to ethno linguistic
identity and in plain view, Tagalog ethno centric prejudice in action.

While the speech community itself has a role in deciding what to speak
and what language to impart to their young, changes in attitudes and
values that discourage the teaching of its vernacular to children and
encourage loyalty to the dominant tongue are brought about by the
uneven terrain in Philippine linguistic reality.  That terrain is of
course, favorable to Tagalog than to any other language.  There are
varying degrees by which any of our varied languages are marginalized
and while not all are dying, some are just hemorrhaging too fast.

Jed, what the Tagalistas actually want  us to believe is that changes
in attitudes and values that lead  to a shifting of loyalty to the
dominant tongue won't happen without complicity on the part of the
losing speech community itself, them being the ones who will decide
whether to shift to the dominant tongue or not.

But let us expose the truth: It is also true that external forces are
responsible for this predicament and in this case, it is the
preferential constitutional mandate on Tagalog-Filipino.  Deliberately
not allowing our native languages to be taught in schools and
deliberately not providing a wide political avenue for it to flourish
and develop will enfeeble its development and impact on its prestige.
The Tagalista explanation that the speakers themselves are responsible
if they lose their language is overly simplistic.  That argument lends
support to justifying their  prerogative to coerce assimilation or
blame the losing speech community for acquiescing and eventually,
losing their language.

The crafty Tagalistas knew that a calculated renaming of Tagalog was
necessary in order for us to embrace Tagalog-Filipino nationalism.
Thus, a name which beguiles the population into thinking that language
and citizenship are the same was chosen.  "Filipino," is nothing but a
national sounding word concept that effectively blunts the ideal of
multiculturalism.  It buttresses the Tagalista position that having
the national "Filipino" language is an absolving excuse to forego of
our linguistic rights.  But it cannot be hidden that
government-sanctioned censure of local languages in schools,
institutions, and media while allowing a state sponsored national
language monopoly of these avenues has a negative impact on our native
languages.  The forced ascendancy of Tagalog Filipino subordinates,
seizes, and paralyzes the development of our varied languages.  People
in academe recognize that our native languages are stuck in baneful
circumstances and are aware of a language predicament that needs to be
fixed.  We should advocate for and defend our linguistic rights.

The 1987 Constitution states that, "The national language of the
Philippines is Filipino. As it evolves, it shall be further developed
and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages."
   A "Filipino" national language, propagandized and forcefully taught
as a fascinating hybridization of all our languages and cultures, is
essentially Tagalog.  All cultures are hybrids, as the Tagalistas will
claim, but the few Visayan words included in "Filipino" are an
emotional consideration to the Visayans.  "Filipino" is valid only to
those in government and in the Tagalista academe, whereas people
recognize that Manila Tagalog and "Filipino" are more or less the same
languages with different labels.  Ethnic tensions fester, not totally
unnoticed, behind the emergence of a Tagalog national language and the
reality of an unequal playing field in the Philippines' linguistic
situation.   People in the provinces recognize that the emergence of a
Tagalog-based national language results into a great political,
economic, and educational hegemony by the Tagalog ethnic group over
the other ethnic groups.  Pointing to a higher Tagalog hegemonic power
becoming the standard, regional communities come to realize that a
national language ideology does not allow non-Tagalogs to retain
linguistic diversities.  This creates a sense of feeling that
non-Tagalogs are second class citizens and other ethno linguistic
groups gave severe critics to this phenomenon as a fourth colonization
by the Tagalogs (after the Spaniards, Americans and Japanese, in that
order).  Thus, the national language policy is a crisis not only to
the Binisaya speaking ethnic group, but to all ethnic groups in the
Philippines.  It is a torment that wrings the heart of every proud
Bisaya, knowing that our mother culture and language plus one
intellectualized language like English are abundantly adequate for us.
 The question that springs out of our hearts is: Why should we,
Visayans accept a forced ascription of a Tagalog Filipino national
identity?   Why should we accept a Tagalog-Filipino national language
when that, too, is foreign to us?  To pay our dues as nationalistic
Tagalog Filipinos is difficult to extract because it is based on a
language and culture that is foreign to us.  This paradigm does not
fit the landscape of linguistic equality that Visayans silently

The 1987 constitution further elaborates that, "The regional languages
are the auxiliary official languages in the regions and shall serve as
auxiliary medium of instruction therein."   These are statements
intended for emotional considerations to non-Tagalog ethnic groups.
This constitution is defective because it does not provide for the
constitutional protection of an ethnic group's right to propagate and
develop its language.  Nowhere is protection for our varied languages
and cultures expressly enshrined, nowhere is any specific provision
that we have the right to propagate our language and culture and teach
them in our schools.

This brings us to a greater truth occurring in most colonial
societies, once the struggle for self rule is over and independence is
achieved:  The most widespread genre of injustice in the world today
is the hidden internal colonialism, justified as "nationalism" or some
other convenient word-concept, that goes on unabated in former
European colonies; and which has resulted in staggering poverty,
destroyed ecosystems, monstrous primate cities, languages and
ethno-linguistic peoples held captive and extinguished.   This is a
picture of the current Tagalog-Filipino Philippines.

This is the Dark Age for a country that is now called the Philippines.
Each one of us is coerced to put pride of our original identity in the
backseat in favor of a forced ascription as Tagalog-Filipinos. It
creates a sore feeling of dispossession from one's true identity that
is not outwardly manifested.   The Tagalog people would never have to
experience the same because the "Filipino" national language and
identity is steeped on the milieu of their very own language and
culture.  There is no need to cross over ethnic lines.  For
non-Tagalogs, we are witnessing that a dichotomy of loyalties, one for
a forcefully imposed Tagalog-Filipino nationalism and one for our own
ethnicity is not possible without subjugating one to the other.   We
are subordinated to the ascription as Tagalog Filipinos and as the
remaking of our identity into Tagalog Filipino surreptitiously
continues, the more that the Tagalista establishment will demand from
our people to possess, love and show, first and foremost, a
Tagalog-Filipino identity.  Insisting on that guidepost is a sore
point because it is hard to extract and express a Tagalog-Filipino
nationalism from us.  We need a constitution that is not preferential
to one ethno linguistic group and that is not restrictive to the
others.  Let us remind the Tagalistas that the torment of being
forcibly ascribed a Tagalog-Filipino identity cannot remain latently
manifested.  We will carry a resistance movement so that this inner
conflict inside our hearts will be outwardly manifested and prod us to
action.   Let us remind the Tagalistas that when a minority mother
tongue and identity comes under attack, its users feel uncomfortable
and experience an inner conflict.  When people aren't at peace with
themselves, they can't be at peace with others.  The armed conflict in
Sri Lanka between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils had
as a major cause the imposition of Sinhalese as the sole national
language over the objections of the Tamils.  In 1956, passage of the
Sinhala Only Act in parliament made Sinhala the sole official
language, and the Tamils resisted by armed conflict.  Over the years,
the violence associated with the introduction of the Sinhala Only Act
forced an explicit reversion to parity of status to the two languages,
Sinhala and Tamil, which came in 1987 and 1988 as part of a political
settlement brokered by the Indian government.  Violence is an
effective way of communicating sensitivity of an issue that unfavored
ethnic groups are passionate to another ethnic group with higher
hegemonic power in the political, cultural, educational, and economic
arena but is not sensitive to the issues felt strongly by the
unfavored ethnic groups.  In an ethno linguistically diverse
Philippines, we will avoid  resorting to violence to achieve
linguistic and cultural equality as well as political and economic
parity, areas presently dominated by the Tagalogs.  But if all
peaceful efforts fail, we shall not fail to count that as the last
option.  Thus, if a million Tagalogs need to be killed to get rid of
that stupid national language, RISE! RISE! RISE! RISE! RISE!

What we seek is a Philippines in an enlightened age.  Knowing that we
are an ethno linguistically diverse country, we ask ourselves, what
constitutional moorings must this country begin with?   Forcing the
language of one ethnic group such as Tagalog, under the guise of
"Filipino" upon other ethnic groups is divisive and disruptive of the
national fabric.  We need a constitution that explicitly recognizes
and sets provisions for the protection, development, and promotion of
our varied languages and cultures.   It must provide that every group
has the right to use its own language in every domain, to preserve it
as a cultural resource and to teach it in our schools.  Let our
Tagalog brothers know that the constitutional  moorings of an ethno
linguistically diverse country must begin with parity of status
between ethno linguistic peoples.  Mutual respect blossoms in a land
of different ethno linguistic groups who are coherent in their
recognition - of the truth.  It is our birthright, it is our
inalienable right that our languages are free to be used not only in
the marketplace but  in every domain – in government, schools, and
media. The reality of a multi-ethnic nation should not be suppressed
in favor of Tagalog masquerading as the "Filipino" national language.
Without constitutional protection, the promotion of our various
languages will continue to endure a grip of  restrictiveness while the
legalized ascendancy of Tagalog grants it the impetus to grow and
develop as the national "Filipino" language.   Our varied languages
and cultures must become  integral parts in the fabric of our national
life.  Legal protection for them must be enshrined in the constitution
in order to give each language the impetus to be dynamic and robust.
Our native language must be the official language in the areas where
it is dominant – it is not an auxiliary official language as the
present constitution provides.  All Bisaya people must be made aware
of Tagalista thinking about the national identity of a multi-ethnic
Philippines because behind those concerns always  lurks a conspiracy
against ethno linguistic freedoms.  We will reawaken every Bisaya to
these truths.   No Tagalog-Filipino national language must be allowed
to lord over our birthright and inalienable right to teach our
languages in our schools.  Our way is the truth and it is only the
truth that aims at preserving knowledge of who we are, knowledge of
the best way we have found to relate each to each, each to all,
ourselves to other peoples, and all to our surroundings.  We hope not
to go the way Sri Lanka has gone – armed conflict.   The way should be
parity of status and reciprocity and by it we mean that if we are to
study Tagalog language and culture, the Tagalog ethnic group must be
required to study at least one major language and culture in equally
the same breadth and depth as we learn the Tagalog language and
culture.  All Filipinos, including Tagalogs, must be obliged to learn
as many languages spoken from end to end of our archipelago.  Knowing
as much of the Philippines as possible, without prejudice would make
us proud of our rich cultural heritage and help us understand each
other.   We could still be united while staying true to our original
identity and flaunting it.  An enlightened course would be to follow a
pluralist rather than an assimilationist language policy and devise
ways for including regional languages in the educational curricula.
This pluralist perspective presupposes broad legislative support for
the maintenance and development of any ethnic group's language and

Establishing and recognizing the truth is one thing.  The way
legislation is written to express and protect the truth is another;
but provided legislation comes  up to the same fundamental sense of
meaning as the truth it intends to recognize and protect.  When it is,
there is not an iniquitous language situation.  There is wholeness.
Our way, the way, is wholeness.   A paradigm that creates a landscape
of ethno linguistic freedoms must be achieved.  Therefore, there must
be no Tagalog Filipino national language, but in its place, all major
languages must be declared as national languages and an effort to
study each other's culture and language must be instituted.  It is the
truth:  It is not through domination by one ethno linguistic group
over the others but through mutual  respect and reciprocity that
cross-cultural understanding and unity will blossom.  Disunity results
when there is no respect for each other's cultures and languages.  As
the experience of  Switzerland shows, assimilation into a larger
nation-state does not necessitate monolingualism.

 A movement of a culturally and linguistically subjugated Philippines
carried out by Tagalista rhetorical ghouls cannot hold through time.
A nation with cultural and linguistic diversities such as ours should
be built with mutual respect and parity of status between ethno
linguistic peoples as the bedrock.  For now, the paradigm of a
Tagalog-Filipino nation is accepted only in sufferance.  Unity does
not come from a choice of the expedient, which is the Tagalog-Filipino
national language.

When these truths are not in our hearts and minds, we will fail to act
on them and the Tagalistas will continue to propagandize and
forcefully teach to a credulous population that the "Filipino"
national language is a fascinating hybridization of our varied
languages and cultures.  Jed, you will find it in our history how easy
it is, just like slipping on a river stone, when our people fell into
the agendas of those who are in power.  Having the constitutional
power and resources, the Tagalistas will propagandize that it will
bridge the differences of the various ethnic groups.  We will slip to
the Tagalista drumbeat that for the sake of national unity we should
be willing to sacrifice our ethno linguistic rights.  A semblance of
unity, there seems to be, when some of our people have already been
subjugated  to an assimilationist Tagalog-Filipino nationalism  and
don't care about a pluralist policy.  But underneath that fragile
Tagalog-Filipino unity are cultural cleavages that fester.  This
assimilationist policy is working only for the Tagalog ethnic group
whose language and culture a "Filipino" national language and identity
are anchored on.  A social division exists between the Tagalogs and
the unfavored ethno linguistic groups.   What is called for is much
more equitable and productive paradigm of language use.

Languages should be dynamic.   For our Binisaya language to be robust
and dynamic, it must flood into the educational and government
institutions as well as the media.  But when our own government forces
it out of these domains and degrades it as an "auxiliary language," as
the present constitution provides, we could see that grip of
restrictiveness that suffocates its propagation.   Meanwhile, a
Tagalog Filipino language that is preferentially treated by the
constitution ensures its dominance in the domains of education,
government, and media and provides the impetus for its development.
By relegating the other languages to the home and market place only,
they languish and are regarded lowly.   As this is happening,
promoters of Tagalog Filipino will merrily point out that a quick trip
to any community market will confirm that the population speaks their
native languages freely and thus these languages are alive and do not
need to be taught in schools.   We could not expect our people to
appreciate and cultivate a high regard for our native language  if it
is not taught in our schools.

Because it is their language and culture that Tagalog-Filipino
nationalism is based on, the Tagalog people will continue to demonize
regionalism while not looking at their own ethno centrism.  Our
regionalism is not an attempt to go back to a pure pre colonial past.
It is an attempt to reclaim our pride and our true identity and
repudiate the subjugation to a Tagalog-Filipino identity.  It is an
attempt to preserve our language as a cultural resource, to develop,
propagate, and teach it in our schools.  It is our response to a
Tagalog Filipino nationalism that is bent on subjugating our varied
ethnicities into a larger nation-state with a Tagalog-Filipino
identity and unity.

Other than force feeding  "Filipino" as an integration of our varied
languages and cultures which is a blatant lie, other than cleverly
tying language and citizenship into one name, "Filipino", what are the
truths  surrounding  the  establishment of the "Filipino" national

When they say it can be fascinating to unravel all the sources and
processes involved in the hybridization of "Filipino," the Tagalistas
are actually creating a positive spin on a national language that is
99 %  Tagalog.  The few Visayan words included into "Filipino" are an
emotional consideration to Visayans.  That fascinating hybridization
is nowhere to happen and will remain a figment of the Tagalista's
overwrought ultra nationalistic imagination – that the Philippines
become more and more linguistically and culturally homogeneous under
Tagalog Filipino. "Filipino" somehow succeeded to establish political
control over all other  ethno linguistic groups.  Had Tagalog been the
name of the national language, it would not have succeeded.

The Tagalistas' espousal of an  ideology of resentment to anything
that is American  is often used to justify the ascendance of Tagalog
Filipino and discourage the use of English as an extension of American
domination.   Such sentiments are used to reject and treat English as
foreign when in fact, to us Visayans, Tagalog Filipino is foreign as

For something which was an outcome of political opportunism, the
Tagalistas will argue that the establishment of the Tagalog-Filipino
national language was decided upon by history.  The Tagalistas could
not face the stealth issue of the beginnings of the national language.
 History respects no secrets and the truth will come out eventually.
According to official records and documents, the language provision
approved by the Constitutional Convention of 1934-1935 was as follows:

The National Assembly shall take steps towards the development and
adoption of a common national language based on existing languages
(Constitutional Convention Record, Vol. IX, pp 470-471).

There was a sabotage of the Convention's approved resolution on the
national language when it was incorporated as part of the 1935
Constitution.   Between the time the provision was approved and the
time it was printed in the official copies of the 1935 Constitution,
it was tampered with.  The words "one of the" were inserted between
the words "on existing" in order to read "on one of the existing."
When the constitution was printed, this provision read, "based on one
of the existing languages" (1935 Philippine Constitution, Article XIV,
Sec. 3).  Then President Quezon created a commission to select the one
language to serves as basis.  To the commission, he appointed various
experts on the principal vernaculars and made Jaime de Veyra of Leyte,
a former resident commissioner in Washington, its chairman.   After
twiddling their thumbs for a while to earn their pay, they chose
Tagalog, knowing that Quezon wanted Tagalog to be chosen.  The altered
provision pointed to Tagalog as the sole basis of the national
language without mentioning it.  Quezon was a Tagalog and was about
the first to urge a common national language.  We have to expose this
Tagalista stealth, this knavery.

The Tagalistas will tell us that "Filipino" reigns supreme from Aparri
to Jolo.  The truth is the language in the broadsheets, television,
and the language spoken on the streets is Tagalog.  We should have an
international team of linguists arbitrate  if indeed "Filipino" is a
separate language or a  dialect of the Tagalog language.   At the
present time, a "Filipino" dialect of Tagalog overloaded with English
loan words spelled or altered  "Filipino" dialect style is being
concocted by Tagalista academics.   The effect is "Filipino" is so
stilted, so difficult to read and understand, that one is  given a
reading experience  of a laboratory  "Filipino."   A laboratory
dialect that could not excite or inspire but instead confounds and
bewilders readers as reading all those English words spelled
"Filipino" style impede comprehension and reading appreciation.
Nevertheless, the Tagalistas' minds are warped with Tagalog-Filipino
ultra nationalism and are keeping themselves busy concocting a
prescriptive, laboratory kind of Tagalog aka "Filipino."

Jed, all these Tagalista untruths were meant to justify
Tagalog-Filipino nationalism and create a positive spin around that
political movement, could we fight it with the truth?   The ultimate
weakness of the "Filipino" national language is that it started on a
deception and continued with a crafty contrivance of  a national
language renamed  "Filipino," a calculating way that has  beguiled our
people into thinking that language and citizenship are the same.   We
should not be afraid to expose Tagalista guile and craftiness such as
claiming "Filipino" to be an integration of our varied languages and
cultures, or their loathing of  English as foreign and promoting
Tagalog Filipino which to us is foreign as well. Should we continue
writing in order to assert our rights?  We should.   To the rabid
Tagalistas this idea might seem outlandish but if we fight the
untruths they're espousing with every fiber of our being, we can turn
the tide.  Any additional writing is not isolated and unconnected from
all the others, but is rather an extension, a continuum of all efforts
that has come before.   Don't worry Jed, all those years' writings
plus one more, this one added to the others, will surely turn the
tide.  If our efforts and luck in previous years have not been quite
sufficient, never fear because we are capable of  resurrecting
sensitivity to language rights among  the old and new generation.
This inner anger in our hearts cannot remain latent. We will carry a
resistance movement so that this inner anger in our  hearts will be
outwardly manifested and push us to action.   Ethnic upsurge is
happening everywhere in the world and the tenacity of regional
identity and the attachment to language are evident.   We have to
expose our people to these Tagalista stealth and knavery and prod our
people to advocate for and defend our language rights.  It is by
challenging Tagalista untruths and exposing disturbing, bitter truths
that we can reawaken our people's pride and elevate once again
sensibility to language and cultural issues. The truths we expose can
be amplified in its resonance when bound so well in an artful
rendering that appeals to the silent anger in our peoples' hearts.
Jed, believe in the convincingness of truth when expressed like a work
of art, that it has a vast potential of being irrefutable and powerful
enough to take out the inner anger in our hearts.  It will become an
irresistible call to everyone to be proud of one's original ethnicity.
 It is a call to our lawmakers that they ought to act on an iniquitous
language situation.  Truth has the capacity to change lives, sometimes
by the sheer force of ideas communicated with felicity and grace.  We
will find that as long as that sense of ethno linguistic pride and
liberty burns in the hearts of our people, we can reawaken it.  When
it dies there, no one can save it.

The truest tribute to a language is not in the regimented classroom
settings imposed by the Tagalista institution; rather, it is in
peoples' hearts and it can be seen or felt through their silent
aspirations to promote their own language and culture.  It can be felt
from their silent yearnings to get rid of a colonizing Tagalog
Filipino national language.  It can be seen by their spontaneous
collaboration in literary contests.  We cannot remain strangely silent
in advocating for our linguistic rights, nor can we continually be
overwhelmed by decades of negative evaluation and subordination to a
Tagalog Filipino national language and identity.  The national
language debate is not closed.  It  merely started.  We are going to
compete freely for the hearts and minds of our people.  Let us be
aware that if the Tagalistas succeed on suppressing regionalist
aspirations and on instituting a nationalism based on
Tagalog-Filipino, it will skew tribute towards the Tagalog-Filipino
national language.   We need to reawaken our people about advocating
for and defending our language rights and unleash a vast reservoir of
ethno linguistic pride.  The "soul" of the nation called the
Philippines does not reside in a Tagalog-Filipino nationalism.

And how could we ask our people to pay tribute to our language,
culture, and identity the way it should be due?  How could we release
an unbridled ferment of local language defense and promotion?  How
could we prevent this Tagalog Filipino nationalism from confiscating
our true identity?

 As a way of rejuvenating our lost fervor, a cultural battle for
hearts and minds must be waged.  We need a Binisaya Language Month and
fill it out with cultural activities.  Let it be filled with
persistent, traditional, and creative ways of language maintenance for
our people to acquire a strong attachment and be empowered with a
greater ethnic pride.  We can utilize the Binisaya language as a
centripetal force to unite Visayan speakers and strengthen a sense of
ethnic solidarity.  Let us inculcate discipline, propagate our
people's values using our own language and attract followers by the
strength of those discipline, values, and culture.  Nothing is more
important than reawakening the spirit of ethno linguistic liberty that
lies quiescent in our people's hearts.  Nothing is more effective in
confronting an intense enroachment of Tagalism in our areas than by
putting that ethno linguistic fervor back.  A renewed interest that is
charged with pride for our ethnicity will nurture a fierce love for
our language.  Daghan nga mga isla, apan usa ka katilingban, usa ka

By writing about the  truth we could strengthen the tenacity of
regional identity and the attachment of an individual to his language.
  We need effective evangelizers to bring our people to realize the
importance of advocating for and defending  our  language and culture.
 We should confront head-on this unflinching unilateralism about
language by fighting for parity of status and reciprocity and
defending our inalienable right to teach our language in our schools.
Jed, let us remember that there is no place else to put the onus on
reaching the ideal of  an organizationally mature resistance movement
but on ourselves.  But how could we overcome our organizational
immaturity when our people themselves show an ambiguous regard and
mindless apathy toward our own ethnicity, language, and culture?  By
struggling to renew from within each of us!  It is easy to say that
but each one of us needs to possess an indomitable will in order to
advocate for and defend our language and culture.   That indomitable
will is evasive.  We must repair our damaged psyche.  There must be an
internal unraveling within our ethno linguistic communities that will
make each one be aware of our linguistic and cultural rights and
empower each one to advocate for and defend them.   As soon as our
struggle to renew from within each of us seeps into the mass sector,
expedient and coerced symbols of unity like the Tagalog-Filipino
national language, harnessed as a patriotic guidepost – even with its
mighty apparatus of a constitutional mandate – will diminish in
meaning.  The strength of each one's personal commitment becomes our
triumph and our people will be ready to adamantly pursue linguistic
and cultural equality, political parity and economic opportunity.
There will be a shifting paradigm on language policy.  Collectively,
we will pressure lawmakers for a change in the language policy.

We also need to understand who we are by looking into our past.  What
happened to us as an ethno linguistic group, we did not create nor
design ourselves but nevertheless, we were willing collaborators to
it.  Our past reveals to us how easy it is, just like slipping on a
river stone, when we as a  people mindlessly fell into the agendas of
those who are  in power.   Silently aspiring for a landscape of ethno
linguistic freedoms is not enough.  We should acquire a forceful
vision for our language and culture.   Without a sense of what's
honorable, right, and true, what buoys up in our culture is our habit
of throwing up our lot with those who are in power.  It is time to
correct ourselves.  To reverse this, our people must possess the
indomitable will and the persistence to advocate for and defend our
language and culture.

Let us create a forceful vision and seize the shaping of our own
destiny.  After we've struggled to renew from within each of us, all
of us will be a vigilant steward of our language and culture.  An old
Maori proverb will remind us:

Uia mai koe ki ahau

He aha te mea nui o te ao

Maku e kii atu

He tangata, he tangata, he tangata

which means,

You ask of me

What is the most important thing in the world?

My reply must be

It is the people, it is the people, it is the people …

 Once again, Jed … possessing the indomitable will and the persistence
is very important to carry on the fight.  It is the people, it is the
people, it is the people …when they possess the desired character and
the persistence…who are going to help us succeed in our fight.  We owe
it to ourselves to struggle to renew from within each  of us.  Our
government owes it to us to amend this iniquitous language situation.
Ethnicity matters here.  Our cultural-linguistic pride matters.
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