September 29, 2007
The rule they strictly enforced regarding language in the Angeles tourism theme song is that only English, Tagalog, and a pidgin of the two ('Taglish') are allowed.
When I asked them via phone, "Kapampangan is not allowed?"
"That's our rule."
If you ask the ACTO people now that the issue is becoming highlighted, they would say that the prohibition of Kapampangan jingles for Angeles tourism is because of the San Miguel sponsorship -- something which I find very unbelievable because:
1) The event is also by ACTO, not only by San Miguel. SMB The Battle of the Bands usually requires the finalists to perform one original composition, one SMB jingle, and one remake. But this year, probably due to ACTO, the remake was replaced with an Angeles Tourism jingle.
2) It's the Angeles Tourism jingle; what does San Miguel Beer care about that (unless they're too imperialistically pesky)?
3) That's not the reason ACTO initially gave me when I asked them on telephone. They just said blankly that it's their rule. Not SMB's, but their rule.
When I informed them about the Kapampangan tourism jingle of Pampanga ('Malaus Ka Pampanga') and the Tagalog-Kapampangan jingle of San Fernando City ('San Fernando, Kaluguran Da Ka'), they just said, "Ours is different."
Yeah, theirs is an imperialized type, no trace of love for Kapampangan.
The issue here is not about the presence of Tagalog and English. But the questionable and heart-grinding fact is that they prohibited the use of Kapampangan in the Kuliat jingle. It is sad because I have musician friends who could have spurred out Kapampangan songs, titles such as "Indung Kapampangan (Mother Kapampangan)," "Tumaila Ding Angeles (Angels' Lullaby)," and "Tagulele Para King Kuliat (Serenade For Kuliat)." But no, they had to be in English and/or Tagalog.
So once again, Kapampangan has been treated a stranger in its own land. And the agent of this is none other than ACTO. Great job.
Should you want to give them a call: (045) 322 0507. Pamela "Pie" Flores is the Chairperson.
[*Kuliat is the former name of Angeles. It's a tree/plant.]
September 25, 2007
“Noon Pa Man, Nandyan Na Ano’t Inietsa – Pwera: Ang Maraming Wika ng Pilipinas”
REUEL M. AGUILA
“Tungo sa Pag-awit ng Inadung”
EDGAR C. SAMAR
“Paghuli sa Sigbin Pagsan (g) at’t Pagka (i) sa Tungo sa
WINTON LOU C. YNION
“Maraming Wika, Matatag na Bansa: Ang “Laum” at “Sanyara” ng Wikang Pambansa ay “Uswag” ng mga wika sa Pilipinas”
LEODIVICO C. LACSAMANA
“Maraming Wika, Matatag na Bansa: Pagbagtas sa
Landas Tungon sa Pambansang Kaligtasan”
REYNALDO C. DUQUE
“Ang Bakas ng Dawas sa mga Wika ng Pilipinas; Pagbubuo ng Pambansang Karanasan at Identidad”
EROS S. ATALIA
Makuyad a Salitang Pang-anak
“Pinaltok ni Onyok”
FRANCISCO A. MONTESEÑA
REYNALDO BIENVENIDO R. DUQUE
“Sa Daigdig ng Huni, Ugong at Tunog”
PATROCINIO V. VILLAFUERTE
“Ang Lihim sa Loob ng mga Pader”
EUGENE Y. EVASCO
“E, Di Baboy (Sikreto ng Pagkaha-habang Buhay ng Tatlong Lelang”
LUIS P. GATMAITAN
“Ang Alamat ni Nanay”
VICTOR R. FUMAR
Makuyad a Salita
“May Isa Ka Babayi”
WINTON LOU G. YNION
MARY ROSE ADELLE G. FACIFICAR
“Ang Pagpatay sang Uhaw kag Gutom, Big Time!”
GENEVIEVE LAMPASA ASENJO
NERIO ESTAÑOL JEDELIZ, Jr.
“Sa Bag-ong Paraisa”
PERRY CONANAN MANGILAYA
“Kun Diin Pa Magmal-am”
SAM “Fernan” RAMOS
“Nagapulaw nga Tanhaga ang Dagat”
WINTON LOU G. YNION
“Ang Kamingaw sang Dila kag Iban pa nga Binalaybay”
GENEVIEVE LAMPASA ASENJO
“May Hilo Gali ang mga Tinaga Kag Iban pa nga Binalaybay”
DAX GENESIA DEQUITO
“Kulang sa Bagay ang Gitara kag Iban pa nga mga Dilambong”
RODELYN CAPULOT PACCIAL
“Relasyon (Koleksyon ding kauatasan ning Hiligaynon)”
ERWIN SORONGON SUSTENTO
“Bakunawa kag iban pa nga Binalaybay”
ALAIN RUSS DIMZON
“Ang Berdeng Bayonilista Ug Ubang Balak”
“Witik-witik sa Hangin Ug Ubang Balak”
MERLE N. ALUNAN
“Paglamat Ug Uban Pang Kalisanmg sa Kahilom Ug Ubang Balak”
RICHEL G. DOROTAN
“Pagpamilig Bato Ug Uban Pang Balak
ELEAZAR T. ACAMPADO
“Lusok sa Dag-om”
NOEL P. TUAZON
“Guinsaugon Ug Ubang Mga Balak Nga May
Kalabotan sa Dakong Tahedya”
GERARDO B. VESTAL
Makuyad a Salita
“Hinog sa Panahon”
OLIVER P. FLORES
“Kasingkasing sa Anak ng Dagat”
ELEAZAR T. ACAMPADO
“Balik sa Sabakan sa Silangan”
“Balay Daplin sa Baybayon”
MARIA VICTORIA J. BELTRAN
“Bulung at aliua pang Kauatasan”
ANTONIO M. PENA
“Diwang Maniambitan at aliua pang Kauatasan”
“Ing Pamiakit Ming Miyindu”
JASON PAUL C. LAXAMANA
“Kausukan Malda at aliua pang Kauatasan”
JASPE C. DULA
“Aldo Busal ning Kabengian at aliua pang Kauatasan”
FRANCISCO M. GUINTO
“Ding Bayung Maulaga Kekami”
HERNANDO T. SABANDAL
“Epistolario ng Exilo”
AURELIO S. AGCAOILI
“Kallautang DAgiti Bayunggudaw a Dapan”
DANIEL L. NESPEROS
“Daggiti Anak ti Ulimek”
PRUDENCIO G. PADIOS
“Inka Makigubat, Ilokano”
FERNANDO B. SANCHEZ
“Dallang ni Seneka”
BENJAMIN P. PACRIS
“Pito nga Alimbasag”
JOHMAR R. ALVAREZ
AILEEN R. RAMBAUD
“Dagiti Tirtiris a Papel”
CRISOSTOMO M. ILUSTRE
DANILO B. ANTALAN
“Ubog ti Kired”
NOLI S. DUMLAO
JOVITO F. AMORIN
“An Maupay ha mga Waray ng iba pa nga siday”
VOLTAIRE Q. OYZON
“Siyam nga Siday Samarnon (9 Titles)”
“Pamasyada Ha Cebu”
“Mga Pangandoy ha Payag”
ABDULFATAH C. DECA
CAMILO M. BANGCOLA
FAISAH M. DISINDILUN
September 20, 2007
Continuation of Dr. Nolasco's essay on languages: The best way to put down any language is by preventing it from being used in the educational system. Children bring their home and community's language to school, only to have the bilingual system extinguish them.
The favorite formula is to impose fines or punish students for speaking their home language. It is in school where our children come to know that their language is not important and therefore cannot be reproduced. Only the nationally prescribed languages and the knowledge encoded in them matter.
The usual reasons against using the home languages in school are that it allegedly promotes disunity and that it is impractical because we have so many "dialects". Disunity results when there is no respect for each other's cultures and languages.
We can learn a thing or two from Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea is the most linguistically diverse country in the world with more than 800 languages. But this did not deter that nation from developing literacy materials in a third of its languages toeducate its people. If they can do it, why can't we?
What indeed should be done to correct this iniquitous situation?A first and crucial step is to change our attitudes towards our languages. Let us look at our local languages not as liabilities but as resources which we can harness to educate society and improve lives. We need a national language much as we need our local languages and the languages of wider communication (i.e. English, Spanish).
Through these languages, we gain a local identity, a national identity and a global identity. They help us to think globally, and act locally. The indigenous knowledge systems stored in the local languages also complement our knowledge of Western science and technology.
his integrated knowledge ensures that any development resulting from it will be sustainable and friendly to the ecosystem. Our children have the inherent right to be educated in their home language. The home languages and local cultures have been found to be enabling factors to learning in the content areas. They also serve as twoway bridges to learning other languages.
A learner gains self-respect when his experiences and the language in which they are expressed are acknowledged. The child can then build from this knowledge, add new concepts and learn more remote and abstract ideas. At the same time, our people should be given the opportunity to learn the national language and the other languages of wider communication like English. They should be allowed to explore into the exciting opportunities that the national and global economy has to offer.
Linguistic diversity does not mean that indigenous cultures must remain unchanged. By valuing their first and second languages, our people regains control of their environment and their inalienable right to exist.
September 16, 2007
The project is being pursued to empower the Kapampangan language by bringing it to the world of modern music, which the young generation can listen to and which the radio stations in the balen could play without perceiving Kapampangan music as "folk."
Next week, two bands are set to record their songs. They are Neophytes (to do the Japanese period guerilla song Katatagan King Pamakilaban [Strength in Resistance]) and Silence (to do Indung Balayan [Mother Land]).
The following videos are their footages of their rehearsals:
Musikang Kapampangan Para karing Kapampangan King amanung Kapampangan!
September 12, 2007
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The lanterns of this city onceagain are in an international expedition. After wowing Filipino and foreign communities in SanFrancisco, California, the Parul Sampernandu is nowon its way to Vienna, Austria. The San Fernando City Government, through theinitiative of Mayor Oscar Rodriguez, is donating 50San Fernando lanterns to the Philippine Embassy inVienna.
These lanterns will decorate one of the 11trees in the Rathausplatz in the Christkindlmarktgrounds, one of the biggest and most popular Christmasmarkets in Europe. The Vienna Christkindlmarkt runs for six weeks fromthe third weekend of November to Christmas Day. It attracts an estimated three million tourists fromAustria and neighboring countries.
The 50 lanterns donated by the City of San Fernandotogether with another 70 San Fernando manufacturedlanterns are now on the way to Vienna Austria via seafreight. The lanterns are expected to arrive in Vienna on thelast week of October.
This project hopes to promote Philippine culture andto acquaint European visitors with the ingenuity ofPhilippine lanterns, possibly leading to marketopportunities for Philippine exporters.
The Philippine Christmas Tree at the Vienna Christkindlmarkt featuring Pampanga lanterns project was undertaken by the City of San Fernando to promote the lanterns as part of the One Town One Product program and to exhibit good camaraderie towards thePhilippine Embassy in Vienna headed by Ambassador Linglingay Lacanlale, the City of Vienna and Kreitnerand the Filipino community in Austria.
During the incumbency of former Pampanga governor Bren Guaio and largely through the efforts of then tourism secretary Mina Gabor, the San Fernando lantern hadsome exposure in the US and Spain.
September 11, 2007
Since I got to know these people through the RocKapampangan project, they're all musically oriented people, and being the sociologist, observation has always been my habit.
One thing that got my attention is their use of the Kapampangan word tugtug to mean "to play," as in to play a musical instrument. Back when I was still ignorant of my Amanung Sisuan, I used to employ that, too, probably due to Tagalog's influence.
But actually, the correct word would have to be tigtig, as in Tigtigan Terakan King Dalan.
Like a transparent wall that hit my head, I suddenly remembered what tugtug actually means in Kapampangan, and realized how misused it is in our generation: to pour water into, like the Tagalog dilig.
Haven't our Ima commanded us, "Tugtugan mo ring tanaman king arap bale"?
September 7, 2007
He is, by far, the prime pusher of Federalism and decentralization in the Philippines, which we are glad about, since this is one way of empowering our languages independent of Tagalog-Filipino. And yes, he is aware of the language issue as well.
Preserve Our Languages, Strengthen the Republic
[Privilege Statement of Sen. Nene Pimentel at the Senate, September 2007]
I speak today of preserving the languages of our people. We have many languages. To name some: 1. Iloko in the Ilocos and in other adjoining provinces; 2. Pangalatok in Pangasinan; 3. Kapampangan inPampanga; 4. Tagalog in Manila and in SouthernTagalog provinces; 5. Bikolano in Bicol; 6. Hiligaynon in the Iloilo provinces and in Negros Occidental; 7. Binisaya in Cebu, Bohol and many parts of Mindanao; Waray in Samar and parts of Leyte, and 8. the local languages of the Maranaos in the Lanao Provinces, the Maguindanaos in Cotabato and in the adjoining provinces and Tausug in Sulu and nearby areas.
I cite these langugages only from the top of my head. Even, then, we count, at least, 9 major language groups in the country today. These languages have nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, clauses, all the major components of language that are used in verbal conversation as well as in literary works.
Unfortunately, I think, all the languages I refer to are in danger of extinction with the exception ofTagalog, which has been mandated by the Constitution as the basis of our national language.
Don't get me wrong. I am in favor of having a national language. We need it so that we do not have to speak the language of foreigners to communicate with one another.
For example, I find it distressing that in the country today, we need an interpreter to translate proceedings in our courts of law throughout the land. Usually, it is from English to Tagalog or to any of the dominant language that is spoken in the place where the judicial proceedings are held.
I thinkthat trying a Filipino especially in criminal cases in a language that is foreign is atrocious and should be rectified soonest. But that is another story.
Anyway, historically, it looks like it was the Jacobins of France in the late 18th century who led in the implementation of the Napoleonic wish to unify the people of France by mandating the use of one language -- French -- to achieve that end.
In parenthesis, let me say that that was how visionary Napoleon was. And to think Napoleon was born inCorsica and his native language was Corsican, a dialect of the Italian language.
The Napoleonic concept of language as a unifying element of nations dominated the thinking of nation-builders and policy-makers in the early 20the century.
Nowadays, however, that kind of thinking may already be dated. Multiple identities of people and diverse languages in one nation are now common place. Ready examples are Spain, Wales in the United Kingdom, Belgium and Switzerland.
Hence, I submit that forcing the language of one ethnic group upon other ethnic groups is divisive and disruptive of the national fabric. The key word here is "forcing" a foreign language on a people. It does not unite.
Pakistan learned this the hard way after the super nationalists in Islamabad declared that only Urdu would be the national and official language Pakistan. Among other things, it led to thebreak-away of East Bengal and the eventual formationof Bangladesh. The ongoing civil war in Sri Lanka had as a major cause, the imposition of Sinhalese as the sole national language over the objections of theTamils.
Belgium also nearly had a civil war and it had to recognize Flemish as an official language along with French. Until then, influenced by the Napoleonic Doctrine, only French was the official language and the sole language of instruction in Belgium. Spain after Franco wisely recognized the regional languages as official languages and as languages of instruction.
In our country, "until about 1970 there were more Filipinos who spoke Sugboanon or Cebuano-Visayan and its various dialects, than those (using) Tagalog. Tagalog as we all know was adopted as the major but not the sole basis of Filipino, our national language, in Quezon's administration.
Since then more of our people have learned to understand and speak Tagalog than Cebuano-Visayan, because of the teaching and use of Tagalog or Filipino in our schools and their daily use by radio, cinema and television" (Kapunongang Bisaya, "Dalit Bisaya - a Celebration of Cebuano Culture," Dec. 1-3, 2006, University of San Carlos, Cebu City).
Many of us who were not born in Tagalog-speaking areas believe that unless we take pains to protect our own indigenous languages, they would eventually disappear completely from our consciousness and from use in our verbal and written communications.
That would be sad, tragic and a total waste of a people's resource that can be put to promote our own understanding of concepts that the world outside our own limited firmament uses.
Indeed, an adviser to the President of Iceland in the 1800s, Ornolfor Thorsson,said: "Without our language, we have no culture, we have no identity, we are nothing."
Thorsson said this when the Icelandic language was in danger of disappearing after years of Norwegian colonialism. Had this happened, the Icelanders as an ethnolinguistic people would have disappeared from the face of the earth.
The table below is culled from census data. Gemma Cruz Araneta in her column in the Manila Bulletin of November 16, 2006: "It shows a decline in the number of users of Filipino languages other than Tagalog as through the years, Tagalog users have steadily increased in number; from 19 percent of the population in 1948 (a decade after Pres. M. Quezon decreed Filipino [Tagalog] as the national language) to 29.30 percent in 1995. The rise of Tagalog is far from spectacular, until compared to the decline of other local languages. In fact, Save Our Language through Federalism (SOLFED) woefully predicts that in about fifty more years, many of the other vernacular languages will cease to exist.
To illustrate the urgency of the situation, Sambali is spoken only in four obscure towns in Zambales".
Here's another graph that illustrates the trend towards the extinction of most of the languages of the country.
Dying Languages of the Philippines
(% OF POPULATION)
[Language, % in 1948, 1948, 1975, 1990, 1995]
Tagalog, 19% < 19% < 21% < 23% < 28% < 29%
Cebuano, 25% > 24% = 24% = 24% > 21%
Iloko, 12% > 11% = 11% > 9% = 9%
Hiligaynon, 12% > 10% > 9% = 9% = 9%
Bicol 8% > 7% > 6% > 5% < 6%
Waray 6% > 5% > 4% = 4% = 4%
Kapampangan 3% = 3% = 3% = 3% = 2.9%
Pangalatok 3% > 2% = 2% > 1% = 1%
Losing a culture
The more recent statistics for the year 2000 changed the ethnolinguistic base to classify people. Boholanos were considered a separate ethnolinguistic group. But we need not go into the details of the why and how the change came about. For our purposes, it should suffice that the other languages aside from the legally mandated Tagalog as the base of the national language are clearly on the verge of extermination.
And as indicated earlier, that would be a tragedy. Dr. Kenneth Hale who taught linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said that: "When you lose a language you lose a culture, intellectual wealth, a work of art".
We, the Visayan speaking peoples of the Visayas and Mindanao, for instance, have a word, "bana", meaning "husband" in English, but for which the Tagalogs have no equivalent. Tagalogs use the same word, "asawa" for husband or wife. Our word for blanket is "habol" but "habol" in Tagalog means to run after. Our word for ant is "lumigas" but the Tagalogs would call ant "langgam".
And to us, "langgam" means bird.
In short, it would be a pity if we lose our language just because we are far from Manila whose lingua franca, Tagalog, has been the language of the people residing or working in the city, the capital of the country for centuries mainly for practical purposes.
If we, the non-Tagalogs want to give our languages a decent chance of survival, what can we do?
I suggest that there are, at least, two things that we can do: one fairly easy to do; the other, quite difficult.
One merely calls for a change in the curriculum of our schools so that we allow the use of the dominant languages in the various regions of the land as the medium of instruction from Grades I to Grade 6.
I submit that the proposal makes sense because concepts are more easily understandable to the graders if stated in the language of their homes. For instance, if one teaches a Visayan grade school kid arithmetic, the teacher would say in English one plus one equals two. But the concept of addition would be more clearly transmitted to a pupil in the Visayan speaking areas
if he or she is told in Visayan that "ang usa dugagngan sa usa mahimong duha".
I would also suggest that we should teach English and Tagalog in our grade schools by using the dominant language of the people in the community. I understand that they are doing this in Taiwan where they teach Mandarin using Taiwanese. The rationale is the same as in the use of the local language to teach arithmetic.
At this point, let me say that I am not aware that this change in the curriculum needs legislation to implement it. All it probably needs is a policy adopted by the DEPed that may immediately be implemented for the entire six grades or staggered over a few years as may be necessary in accordance with the decision of our education officials.
If a law is necessary, I think, we can easily mobilize enough support from our lawmakers to make the proposal possible.
The other way of doing it is more cumbersome because the proposal is to adopt the federal system for the country so that we create 10 federal states based mainly on the linguistic preferences of the citizens.
To adopt the federal system of government needs an amendment of the Constitution. In the instances that I have articulated the need to adopt the federal system for the country, I have always maintained that the federal system would facilitate the economic development of the country and advance the cause of peace in the land.
Among other things, the adoption of the federal system would enable the federal states to enhance their own culture – language being a major component of it.
Unless we adopt either of the first proposal as an interim measure and the second one as the more permanent solution, I fear that our non-Tagalog languages are doomed.
We can take heart from the examples of Post-Franco Spain, the UnitedKingdom, Belgium and Switzerland.
"The evolution of Spain after Franco is a thought-provoking case in point. Catalan, Basque, and Galician have been co-officialized and are now used side by side with Spanish in their respective regions. A conscious and systematic language policy favoring the elaboration and social implementation of minority languages in all fields of social life has led to spectacular results.
The affirmation of one's own linguistic identity is felt as a stronger need than the need of far-reaching communicative efficiency.
Spain is often considered as a model of linguistic development and the peaceful solution of ethnic and linguistic conflicts in the process of nation building.
In the UK, the Welsh Language Act 1993 and the Government of Wales Act 1998 provide that the Welsh and English languages should be treated on a basis of equality. Public bodies are required to prepare and implement a Welsh Language Scheme.
Thus the Welsh Assembly, local councils, police forces, fire services and the health sector use Welsh as an official language, issuing official literature and publicity in Welsh versions."
"In 1993, Belgium, there are now three levels of government (federal, regional and linguistic communities) with a complex division of responsibilities." French and Flemish are now considered official languages of the Kingdom.
In Switzerland, the land of the cantons, four languages are recognized as official: French, German, Italian and Romanch.
I guess we have other examples of countries having multiple languages which have contributed to the stabilization of their situation rather than causing them problems of division.
I end with the suggestion that the time to take the first move to revise the curriculum of our educational system so that we allow the use of the local languages as the medium of instruction in our grade school is now. Our other major languages are dying.
We have to save them now.
The other suggestion is for the adoption of the federal system. I also suggest that it would be to our advantage as a nation for us to begin discussing the issue now. The federal system is a rather complicated one. It needs time to make our people aware of its various ramifications and to discuss and negotiate with all the stake holders in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao its practical implications.
In the meantime, allow us to plead with our colleagues in government, help us preserve our languages to enhance our cultures and we strengthen the nation.
September 4, 2007
Some argue that anything produced by a Kapampangan is already Kapampangan music. Well, this is what they want us to think. I call most bands "Kapampangan People who make non-Kapampangan songs."
And then the host also said something like (the host speaks mostly in Tagalog, by the way), "give the Pampangueno rockers a chance to play with national rock musicians (who are, duh, mostly Tagalog musicians."
Isn't it insulting and amazing at the same time, that we are placed inferior to our co-Filipino musicians, yet we feel as if nothing is wrong? This is because the ideology that we are REGIONAL/unofficial and they are NATIONAL/official has been injected in our brains. We have internalized downgrading ourselves as Kapampangans, to the point that the enemy is no longer the national language policy or the domination of Tagalog in mass media but OURSELVES.
This is the result of what Neo-Marxist scholar Althusser calls Ideological State Apparatuses (ISA) which bureaucratizes the propagation of an ideology to the point that people are oppressed but do not feel it, as if nothing is wrong, and tend to accept that it's all God-given. In the discourse of language, people tend to accept that Tagalog is nationalistic and non-Tagalog is being unpatriotic.
These ISAs are what the oppressive Spaniards - using the Church - employed to halt the capitalist consciousness of natives back during the Feudal Period by propagating to them the ideology that they (the foreigners) are the messengers of God, that seeking for intelligence is evil, that Filipinos then were meant for farms, and other religious baloney that discourage material progress, such as the Beatitudes, where being poor and being homeless equate with being blessed.
Even indigenous art forms like pottery and weaving were reduced to being "crafts," and Spain honored only those that are European in nature (hello, Spoliarium).
It's the same case in the Philippines - using the concept of patriotism and nation-building - where a kind of Tagalog nationalism is being employed to halt the development of other languages INDEPENDENT of Tagalog, by propagating to all Filipinos the ideology that Tagalog will build a strong nation, that loving one's own "regional" tongue is regionalistic and divisive, that Filipino is a different language from Tagalog, and other seemingly patriotic statements that put the Tagalog language (and the Tagalog people at that, especially artists) in literary and aesthetic power.
Their literature is National Literature. Their songs are Philippine Music. They are the nation, we are the regions. Most Kapampangans have succumbed to these ideologies, to the point that the enemy is already within themselves.
There were 20 or more bands last Saturday, plus a few Pampanga-based rap acts, all proud to be Kapampangans but never empowering Kapampangan by using it on stage, by singing Kapampangan on stage. The funny thing is, upon descending from the stage, they begin using their Amanung Sisuan in conversation.
Using the rock concert stage as a symbolism, Tagalog and English are the languages of the stage where musical prestige and the glory of rock music happens, and Kapampangan is the language down below.
How could Kapampangans tolerate this?
Fortunately, with the courage of one Kapampangan band, we were able to put a Kapampangan rock act on stage -- the only Kapampangan rock act out of the many performances -- during the said contest. Asthma performs Atin Ku Pung Singsing 2 with pride, using their own initiative. This is one way of empowering the Kapampangan as a people, as a part of the Philippine nation, by asserting our own identities and not succumbing to the false demands of Tagalog nationalism.
Kapampangans should dream of the day when they wouldn't have to be "given the chance to perform with National musicians," because only by asserting their ethnic identity in their own language can they determine their own music industry independent of the crazy things happening in Metro Manila.
You are a member of this nation as a Kapampangan. Do not feel discouraged in flaunting that. Break free from the enemy planted within your consciousness.
September 3, 2007
Please read the following articles from the said newspaper (September 2).
Kapampangan and Pangasinan are now DYING LANGUAGES
By Rene Q. Bas
Experts expect Kapampangan and the Pangasinan language—out of the 10 major Philippine languages—to be extinct 20 years from now.
How can this happen? It’s easy to visualize how our Negrito (or Agta or Aeta or Ata) fellow Filipinos can disappear completely from the scene. (See “Negrito (Agta) languages’ descent to extinction” below by Prof. Fred S. Cabuang.) They die and their languages go with them forever.
Experts give different figures about the number of our languages. Most say there are 120 living languages and 175 in all including our extinct languages.
The eight major languages, according to number of speakers, and their percentage of the total Philippine population are: Tagalog 29 percent, Cebuano Bisayan 21.17 percent, Ilocano 9.31 percent, Hiligaynon Bisayan 9.11 percent, Bicolano 5.69 percent, Waray Bisayan 3.81 percent, Kapampangan 2.9 percent and Pangasinan 1.01 percent.
Language experts are agreed that languages spoken by less than 300,000 persons are endangered. They can become extinct soon enough. They see that within 20 years both Kapam-pangan and Pangasinan will no longer be spoken by a native speaker.
That the other non-Tagalog languages could also someday be in peril is indicated by the steady decline of their native speakers as a part of the population. In the past 20 years, Cebuano speakers have been reduced to just about one-fifth of the Filipino people. They were one-fourth less than 10 years ago. Ilocanos were 12 percent of the population in 1948. They now make up only 9 percent of the population. The Ilonggos show the same decline.
In the articles “Kapam-pangan can still be saved” on page A2 and “IT. Globalization killing Pangasinan language (to come out on Tuesday), how these languages have taken the path to disappearance is told.
In brief, it has happened because less and less parents use the language at home with their children. They use Tagalog in Pampanga and in Pangasinan, and also English and Ilocano, because Tagalog and English give them an advantage at school where Tagalog is used as a medium of instruction. It is rewarded as a symbol of distinction.
Speaking Tagalog and English also gets a child ready for the bigger world of overseas Filipino workers. This phenomenon happens also to the Agtas, who in Casiguran, Aurora, as Thomas Headland writes, now speak Tagalog and the dominant languages of traders and employers. Their fellow-Agta returned from a stint in Saudi Arabia speak a different tongue.
The mass media also help reinforce the dominance of Tagalog and the decline of the other languages—and the children’s love to speak Tagalog instead of their native tongue. In the Kapampangan Aka-demya’s letter to congressmen (see “Kapampangan can still be saved”) we learn what we have also seen in other non-Tagalog language communities that those who don’t speak Tagalog are looked down upon if not ostracized by classmates and teachers.
Experts and language-preservation advocates agree on some steps that can be taken to preserve the Filipino languages. Coming out next week is the story (by Prof. Fred S. Cabuang) about how the Butuanon language is being rescued from doom.
The most important recommendation is to do what the Constitution says: use the other languages also in schools and government activities and find ways to erase the second-class image of the other languages to Tagalog-based Filipino (which is the national language). See “Why our languages must be preserved.”
The Save our Languages Foundation Inc., or Solfed—to which Dr. Jose P. Dacudao (founder and president) and Prof. Fred S. Cabuang, spokesperson and congressional-relations vice-president, belong—recommends that Taga-log dominance be pulled down to allow the other languages to breathe a sense of new life.
Although millions of Filipinos with Kapampangan or Pangasinense blood flowing in their veins will never disappear, they will no longer be Kapam-pangan and Pangasinense once they have lost their languages.
The state must help preserve these languages. It can be done. They did it for Irish Gaelic, Icelandic and other languages.
But it is easier to preserve languages that have been used by their speakers and writers to create literature.
It is almost impossible for those languages, such as our aboriginal compatriots, that have no written records of their perilous voyage through the forests of their lives.
State help can still save Kapampangan
ON January 14, 2006, the Akademya Kapampangan wrote to the then-congressman representing the First District of Pampanga province, Rep. Francis L. Nepomuceno.
The Akademya’s letter is still valid today. It should be acted on by the Pampanga congressmen, one of whom is Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, the President’s son. Perhaps the Akademya can also seek President Arroyo’s help. She is a Macapagal of Pampanga after all.
“We wish to bring to your attention an extremely grave matter of concern to every Kapampangan. There is no longer any doubt now that the Kapam-pangan language is dying. If nothing is done, it will soon be dead, and so will the Kapampangans as a people.
“In his essay ‘The Vanishing Pampango Nation’ published in 1985, Renato Tayag predicted that the language would disappear within a century as Kapampangans become Tagalog. He may have been too generous with his timetable. Kapampangan may be beyond saving within a generation.
“The census shows how non-Tagalogs have been declining vis-à-vis Tagalogs for decades. Between 1948 and 1995, the proportion of Tagalogs rose from 19 percent to 29 percent, while that of Cebuanos dropped from 25 percent to 21 percent, and those of Ilocano and Ilonggo from 12 percent to 9 percent.
“The decline is especially critical in some areas. For example, the proportion of Kapampangans in Hermosa, Bataan, plunged from 55.6 percent in 1948 to 19.9 percent in 1995; in the same period, that of Dinalupihan, Bataan, fell from 47.8 percent to 19.35 percent. In Candaba, it was down to 63.6 percent by 1995.
“Census figures do not tell the whole story. The survival of a language depends on its transmission to the next generation. It is ominous that even in Pampanga, for more and more families, the language is simply not being passed on, as the younger generation is brought up speaking only Tagalog. “Tagalogs” born to Kapampangan parents are a rapidly growing sector lost to Kapampangan, and might as well have been born in Bulacan, Batangas or Rizal.
“Most disturbing of all, children who still speak Kapampangan are being ostracized and forced to switch to Tagalog to conform. Thus, in many families in which the older children still speak Kapampangan, younger ones are brought up Tagalog. The language may not even outlive this generation.
“So what if Kapampangan dies? It means that an important people, one of the eight major groups, represented by two rays in the flag, which produced many great men and women, including heads of all three branches of government, will disappear from history. It will unravel a main strand of the Philippine tapestry, without which the country’s history and identity would be incomplete. The death of our people will tear away pages from the book of humanity. A culture and identity centuries in the making, unique, beautiful and extraordinarily productive, will cease to exist.
“In practical terms, it will remove the check-and-balance which has promoted freedom at various times in history. As Nick Joaquin noted in The Aquinos of Tarlac, Tagalogs and Kapam-pangans, who occupy the Luzon heartland, have, together, kept stability in the islands. The disappearance of Kapampangans will put the most strategic parts of Luzon entirely in the hands of one group, leaving the field more susceptible to dictators. History has shown that Kapampangans have, at key points in history, stood for liberty, from Macabebe to King Soliman who fought the Spaniards at Bankusay in 1571, to revolutionaries who secured two rays (for Pampanga and Tarlac) out of eight in the flag.
“Our people have voted solidly in practically every election, often against the prevailing trend, ensuring check-and-balance. Pampanga and Southern Tarlac went for Macapagal in 1965 and Osmeña in 1969, de Venecia in 1998, and Arroyo in 2004, defying Central Luzon/Tagalog landslides for Marcos, Estrada and Poe. Consider the consequences should Kapampangans turn Tagalog and disappear as a voting bloc, removing an important political counterweight.
“Moreover, the Kapampangan language is a powerful focus for regional solidarity and identity, as well as a criterion for distinguishing natives or long-time residents, and testing the commitment of immigrants. Take it away, and Pampanga/Kapampangan will be just another political unit, instead of an entire people at par with the Tagalogs, Ilocanos, Cebuanos and other larger groups.
“It is said that the language shift is due to mass media and education. Education may be the more important factor not only because it is compulsory, but also since it ensures a ready market for mass media in Tagalog while discouraging one in the vernaculars. No program to revive Kapampangan will succeed outside the educational system. While the use of regional languages is prescribed in the Constitution, little is being done to implement those provisions.
“The effectiveness of using the first language as the medium of early education is affirmed by numerous experiments, from the Iloilo Second Language Experiment in the 1950s to the recent one using the regional lingua franca. Its role in building children’s self-esteem is undeniable:
‘The child should learn in the language he thinks in. The child needs approving emphasis on his own culture to feel good about himself.’ This emphasizes the discriminatory nature of the existing policy, which gives Tagalog children an unfair edge over non-Tagalogs, unless the latter commit cultural suicide by abandoning their languages in the home.
“The shift to Tagalog, with which our descendants will have no ethnic affinity, robs them of their past and identity, without removing discrimination or negative stereotypes of Kapampangans. Note how much prestige is commanded by ‘pure’ or ‘real’ Tagalogs. Our descendants, while exclusively Tagalog-speaking, will be anything but ‘pure,’ being of Kapampangan ancestry. Even as they have lost their language and identity, they will merely be second class Tagalogs.
“Given the gravity and urgency of the situation, we respectfully urge you to take, as soon as possible, emergency measures to save our language:
1. To use the local language as the main medium of instruction at least in the first two grades, and as a subject at higher levels.
2. To encourage the use of the regional languages in government and the mass media.
3. To constitute Kapampangans into their own state, with power over education and language policy, in case of a shift to the federal system.
“So critical is the situation that our language will reach a point of no return in a few years. When that time comes, no amount of government intervention will make a difference. When our era is judged by history, let it not be said that we did nothing to save our languages when we still could. On the other hand, the gratitude of future generations will be boundless if we succeed.”
The letter is signed by the president of Akademyang Kapampangan, Josefina D. Henson, and the moderator of DILA Philippines Foundation, Edwin N. Camaya.
What should be done to keep diversity alive
THE effort to preserve our languages in the end serves the objective of preserving our nation’s cultural diversity.
Without the ability to speak, read and write in their languages, the next generation of Filipinos in whose being Pampango and Pangasinense blood flows, can no longer be truly Kapampangans and Pangasinenses.
In his presentation to the Thirteenth Congress to dispute the claims and advocacy of those who want to strengthen the Tagalog-based national language without giving a thought to the minority languages, SOLFED’s Dr. Jose Dacudao gave these policy recommendations to save our languages while at the same making the use of language effective as teaching tools.
“We should implement a program to save our natural and ancient pre-Spanish languages and the ethnolinguistic people that they define:
“1. Teach our languages in schools in their traditional areas, especially for history and literature, and many of the arts and humanities, while retaining English for the Sciences. This is the only sure way to save a language.
Empirical evidences from Iceland (Icelandic), Ireland (Irish), Hawaii (the Hawaiian languages), mainland America (native American languages), Switzerland (Romance), and so on have repeatedly shown that minority languages can be consistently saved in this way.
“2. Create a dictionary, syllabus, and eventually literature for all the languages. This is necessary if we are to teach our languages in schools. For the larger Philippine ethnolinguistic people and some of the smaller ones, this is no problem because foreign religious missionaries from various Christian denominations and foreign linguists have often taken the time and effort to create such dictionaries and syllabuses, and to save these languages it is a matter of mass producing them and introducing them into school curricula. (It is such irony that non-Filipino foreigners have done more for our languages than so called nationalistic Filipinos, and incredibly the national government has not funded the creation of even a single non-Tagalog dictionary or syllabus.)
“3. Promote economic prosperity for all our ethnolinguistic people so that they take pride in preserving their language and identity.
“4. Promote political freedom for our ethnolinguistic people so that they are free to move to save their language and identity.
“5. Teach one or two Philippine language electives in the Tagalog regions so that Tagalogs in general will learn to tolerate and respect their fellow Filipinos as brethren and peers, and not as inferior races and provincianos.”
Before reaching the recommendation portion of his presentation at the House of Representatives, Dr. Dacudao offered compelling reasons why the Republic should care to preserve all our languages.
One of these reasons is to preserve the species.
“The basic argument for preserving a people is the same as that for preserving a species, that is, a conscious decision to stand for the diversity of Creation, he explained.
He explained: “A renowned paleontologist once said: I can see and study the fossil bones of now extinct birds, but never will I see the colors of their feathers nor hear the sweetness of their songs.
Costumes and artifacts are dead things we keep in museums and show to tourists, but the living soul of a people is its living identity carried by its language.
“A government that makes a minority people wear native costumes and dance in front of TV cameras for the sake of attracting tourists, but does not teach its language in schools, is utterly hypocritical and exploitative.
“If we are sincere in helping our ethnolinguistic people to survive, we must teach their language in schools in their traditional areas. Once a people is dead, we will never ever see the bonds that they formed, nor ever hear the melody of their tongue.”
The irony is that the government—and private sector groups—are pouring more funds and devoting more effort to save the environment and preserve plant and animal species than to save the languages of our minority peoples.
Why all our languages must be preserved
By Dr. Jose Dacudao President, Solfed
In 2004 Dr. Jose P. Dacudao, founder and president of the Save Our Languages Through Federalism (Solfed), Inc. Foundation, made a presentation to oppose the language bill filed in the House of Representatives to make Filipino (otherwise also called Pilipino at various times) the medium of instruction in all schools.
One of his points was that enactment of the bill would mean the death of the other Filipino languages.
Solfed again presented to Congress its opposition when in the Thirteenth Congress the bill was again revived.
The opposition arguments are available for all to see in the Solfed website under the title “Main Argument For Preserving Our Languages” by Jed Pensar a.k.a. Dr. J Dacudao.
Dacudao begins by extolling the value of language:
Language defines a people. A Visayan who cannot speak a Visayan language, even if he or she was born and grew up in the Visayas-Mindanao area, where there have been Visayans for more than a thousand years, is not Visayan. He has been cut off from an ancient cultural identity that remains one of the oldest in the world. Or how can a person be an Ilocano if he cannot speak it? You can’t speak Kapampangan? Then you are not Kapampangan. Ditto for Bicolanos, Warays, and all the rest.
Without our language, we have no culture, we have no identity; we are nothing.
“No one can artificially create an ethnolinguistic people. Only the Creator can. Each ethnolin-guistic people is unique, irreplaceable, and priceless. To kill off an ethnolinguistic people because of nationalist ideology or economic expediency is abominable. The survival of our ethnolin-guistic people in a Creation of diverse beauty is not even a matter of right or wrong but a matter of existence or oblivion. A hundred years from now, any debate as to whether the existence of an ethno-linguistic people is right or wrong when it has ceased to exist is completely inutile, because what is being discussed is already dead.
“Likewise, any discussion on the so-called ancestral lands issue loses its essence when the ethnolinguistic people involved has ceased to exist because of the death of its language. For example, a Manobo is by definition as a person whose native language is Manobo. So how can you talk of the ancestral lands of Manobos when the Manobos have been obliterated with the death of their language? How can you talk about a people’s ancestral lands if the people do not exist? A person who keeps on talking about defending an ancestral land of the Manobos but opposes the teaching of the Manobo language is plastic. He may in fact only be interested in land grabbing or making political capital out of the issue, but is not really genuinely interested in the survival of the Manobo people.”
Dacudao then questions the policy to “homogenize” all the Philippine languages. He says “there is something wrong with that ideology, even if it has been taught to us since elementary school by a system that does not respect its own people.”
“The basic argument for preserving a people is the same as that for preserving a species, that is, a conscious decision to stand for the diversity of Creation. A renowned paleon-tologist once said: I can see and study the fossil bones of now extinct birds, but never will I see the colors of their feathers nor hear the sweetness of their songs.
Costumes and artifacts are dead things we keep in museums and show to tourists, but the living soul of a people is its living identity carried by its language.
“A government that makes a minority people wear native costumes and dance in front of TV cameras for the sake of attracting tourists, but does not teach its language in schools, is utterly hypocritical and exploitative.
To be continued
September 2, 2007
There I met other Kapampangan poets and enthusiasts, some members of this organization I'm part of, SOLFED (Save Our Languages Through Federalism), and it's all so overwhelming. No one - including myself - could have ever thought that I'd be regarded as an officially recognized budding Kapampangan writer, because honestly, I seem to be the only one from the teenage generation who takes seriously Kapampangan writing and production of new literature.
Before I ventured into Kapampangan writing, people already saw me as a person bound to become someone big in English and Tagalog writing, especially with my entertaining (according to readers) pieces posted on my column at Peyups.com. Right now, Cozy Reads Publishing is releasing a book, a love story collection, and I have one short story included in there, and it's in English.
However, back when my Kapampangan consciousness was beginning to grow, I decided to start anew, by writing in Kapampangan and challenging myself more.
I was told by Fr. Venancio Samson, one of the secret judges in the contest (and also the translator of Fray Diego Bergano's Kapampangan dictionary), that I garnered a high score in the content of my pieces, and scored relatively lower compared to the first- and second-placers in terms of grammar and vocabulary.
As Dr. Juliet Mallari said, director of UP Pampanga and one of the organizers in the Kapampangan literary contest, my writing has potential but I just need to undergo some workshops on the Kapampangan language to "perfect" it.
At least my intention was recognized - I wanted to produce new and modern Kapampangan literature, because as I've read in lots of references, one of the reasons why Kapampangan literature deteriorated is because the topics being produced in general were becoming trite and simplistic (apart from the loss of interest in Kapampangan by the new generation). Actually, that is always one of the reasons of literature deterioration in any given culture.
If you'd read my poems, themes are both philosophical and sociological.
For example, Ing Anak a Tagak symbolically talks about migration to other countries. Manukluan speaks of the youth's experience of being condemned in school for speaking in Kapampangan, and in a macro view, speaks of being branded negatively - an anti-nationalist - when loving your own homeland.
Dumulung Ka on the other hand puts on equal footing the artists, professionals, and prostitutes, in that all of them sell parts of themselves to people, thus, making the world a marketplace which makes any place a pirulungan; the artists sell their soul, the professionals sell their minds, and the prostitutes sell their bodies.
This is Kong Tony Pena, the Kapampangan poet based in Catanduanes, who won first place in the ligligan, giving a victory speech. His winning poetry collection includes Kapampangan haikus and tankas, something which I believe was never done before.
The second placer is US-based artist Rafael Maniago, also of Pampanga Arts Guild, who, of course, was not there to join us in the ceremony.
There were also three Honorable Mentions, one of which is Mr. Jaspe Dula, a very lively and entertaining polosador (spontaneous) and zarzuela actor (during his days) who never runs out of stories to tell and who makes friends with every person he meets, including the security officers. Prominent writer Jose Gallardo used to be his friend when he was still alive.
I was also awed by the speeches of the winners in other language categories. It went to show that we, Kapampangans, are not alone in struggling to preserve and develop our native languages amidst the dominance of Tagalog and English in the country.
It encourages and inspires me more to continue this less-than-a-year-old advocacy that I am holding. And it's not yet over. Never be over in my lifetime perchance. As long as there are people in the Kapampangan Region who look down on their ethnicity, I shall never stop.
[Good news: the President of the Holy Angel University has approved this project I am organizing - RocKapampangan, an album of Kapampangan rock/alternative music as rendered by local bands.]