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  1. Why is there a need for national Filipino language?

There is no need for a national language to achjieve national unity.
Many countries find no need for a national language but they have
many or at least two official lnaugages. among these are South
Africa, Switzerland, Belgium, United Kingdom.
 
Let me share with you the views of the then Reresentative from
Bulacan and now Defense Secretary  Gilbert C. Teodoro, Jr. on this
issue:

"As far as I know the necessity of a national language, as well as a
national ideology, was brought about by pre globalization thinking that a
nation-state be built based on the cultural homogeneity of its
inhabitants.  This homogeneity was thought to be the unifying force which
was a necessary element of building up a strong state.  I think this
premise has been proven to be unworkable in the Philippines.

I believe that the Philippines is a multinational, multiracial,
multilingual, and multicultural State. In other words, we are a state
composed of different types of people, we are not and cannot be made to be
the same. A forced  linguistic and cultural integration will only breed
resentment and frustration because then the majority who can conform would
then proceed to categorize the minority who are unable to conform as
backward, laggard, or worse, as secessionists. My point here is that
instead of subjugating the different components of our society through
enforced homogeneity, we should encourage and strengthen this diversity
and EDUCATE our citizens about these differences so that an atmosphere of
respect and tolerance is developed." (Email dated 4 May 2007  to Mr. Valeriano
Avila, columnist of Philippine Star.)
 
2. Should Tagalog be the official language of the Philippines?

No. Tagalog may be the official language of the Tagalog region but not of the non-Tagalong regions. Tagalog is not
the Mother tongue in the non-Tagalog regions. The views of the Hon. Gilbert C. Tepodoro, Jr., also apply here.

3. What is the difference between Filipino and the other languages of the Philippines?
 
Let us clarify one thing. The 1987 Constitution has not anointed Tagalog as Filipino. Section 6, first paragraph of
Art. XIV of the 1987 Constitution says "Thye national language of the Philippines is Filipino. As it evolves, it shall be
further developed and enriched on the basis nof existing Philippine languagesw and other languages. Filipino as
a language is an artificial language that has no native speakers. It is like Kathafrevousa, the defunct offcial
language of modern Greece.

4. What is the background of the declaration of Tagalog as the official language
 
Dr. Aurelio A. Agcaoiloi's reseaqrch, a part of which is quoted below, answers this question:
 
" Here is what I found: That there was conspiracy, connivance, and collusion in the declaration of Tagalog as the basis of the national language.

As I write this, it is Thanksgiving in this land of our exile, and I have a lot to thank for-- such as this discovery of the triple cancer—the tripod of a C that continues to gnaw at our mind as a people, depriving us of that collective memory that should have been history's gift to us who try to keep on remembering.

But no, there are criminals of the Constitution, as the esteemed Vicente Albano Pacis declared for at least three times in his commentary on the national language situation, on the state of English language teaching in the country, and the ramming into our throat of the Tagalog language that, like the chameleon, continues to change color depending on the political, epistemic, and cultural ecology of the homeland.

First, the Gonzalez account of someone's account that there were three drafts that led to the 'framing' of the national language provision of the 1935 Constitution is lacking in perspective. The technical development of all the provisions of that constitution went through four 'drafts', with the fourth draft considered as the final draft and which was approved by the delegates of the convention, to wit, the title of that Fourth Draft as appended in the 1965 Proceedings of the 1934-1935 Constitutional Convention put together by Jose P. Laurel and published by Lyceum: "Appendix K-4: Final Draft of the Constitution of the Philippines, as approved by the Constitutional Convention on February 8, 1935."

Second, here is what is found in the Laurel Proceedings, which is not found in the version published by the House of Representatives: a first, second, third, and fourth draft of the Constitution.

Third, I must take note here that there are two accounts of the convention, one kept at the Supreme Court Library, and another that is put together by Laurel and is kept at the Laurel Foundation Library. The Supreme Court version, published by the House of Representatives between 1965 and 1966, does not contain the other drafts of the Constitution but only the final fourth draft and the proceedings beginning 1934 and ending in 1935.

Fourth, in terms of 'completeness' of the records therefore, the Laurel Proceedings contains a wealth of materials that reveals to us the kind of manipulation that happened during the convention. (I will continue to expose these manipulations by presenting documentary evidences and conjectures.)

It is not therefore true to say that the crowning of Tagalog as the glorified language of the land came as a logical choice of the people as represented by their delegates. This myth has to be unravelled for what it is: a myth that contains all the contradictions to our claims to linguistic justice and cultural democracy. In some of the accounts of Pacis, first at the Daily Express and then at the Inquirer, he recalled that right after the work of the convention was completed, many people who were in the know had been clamoring for the publication of the proceedings. This was an honorable way to check of the veracity of the proceedings and of the provisions of the 1935 Constitution.

That request was never granted.

The publication of the 1934-35 ConCon Proceedings happened only 30 years after when many of the delegates were long gone, senile, or had lapses in memory and judgment. Think of the kind of reaction and counter-reaction if these lies and manipulation were exposed as soon as the 1935 Constitution was approved.

The dishonesty of those involved was something.

The continuing linguistic injustice committed against the peoples of the Philippines at this time is an addendum to that dishonesty that became the basis for Tagalog as P/Filipino, that schizophrenic language of the center of power, commerce, education, and now media.

Think of academics schooled in this monolingual mindset, as is the case of many of the Tagalog teachers in the United States, many of them ignorant Ilokanos passing themselves off as Tagalog, or academics who cannot afford to have some intellectual breadth and depth—and resonance. One even had the temerity to say that we need to drumbeat Tagalog, a.k.a. P/Filipino as a 'global language' to, among others, avoid 'regionalism.' In cases like this, we need to pray to the anitos and ask for patience so that these linguistic idiots will come to their senses.

Fifth, let these drafts from the Laurel Proceedings tell you of the ruses that happened.

First draft: Article XIII, Sec. 2: "A national language being necessary to strengthen the solidarity of the Nation, the National Assembly shall take steps looking to the development and adoption of a language common to all the people on the basis of the existing native languages."

Second draft: Article XIII, Sec. 2.a: "The National Assembly shall take steps toward the development and adoption of a common national language based on the existing native languages, and until otherwise provided by law, English and Spanish be the official languages."

Third draft: Nothing on Article XIII. Other parts of the draft of the Constitution had provisions. We must note here that the second draft was to be 'polished' for style—but not for substance! —by the Committee on Style chaired by Claro M. Recto. We note here that in the third draft, only those provision that have revisions for stylistic reasons were to be reviewed so that these provisions could be incorporated as part of the final, fourth draft. In the case of the provision on the national language, that was not mentioned, there was nothing, and thus, logically, the second draft is deemed that which was to move to the final, fourth draft.

But, here is what we have got:

Fourth draft: Article XIII, Sec. 3: "The National Assembly shall take steps toward the development and adoption of a common national language based on one of the existing native languages. Until otherwise provided by law, English and Spanish shall continue as official languages."

Now, we see a hand—or some hands."
 
5. What's the future of Filipino as both the national language and as a living language? What about the other languages of the Philippines?
 
Filipino as both the national language and as a living language will have the fate of Katharevousa, the national language
of Greece for over 150 years until it was junked by the government of Konstantin Karamanlis on April 30, 1976.

6. What are the drawbacks to using Tagalog as the official language of the Philippines?
 
The drawback is the Jacobinist underpinnings of having one official mlanguage for the Philippines.
The concept of a single national language comes from Jacobinism during the time
of the French Revolution. This concept has remained one of the pillars of French
political life and this has some features such as attempts to control language
(an enduring project of the French Revolution) which persist today. The French
Revolution adopted a policy on language that was very different from the kind of policy
on language that other democratic nations see as appropriate. In the French 
revolution indigenous languages other than French were disenfranchised and to use
them was called counterrevolutionary activities, according to Harold Schiffman in
'Dirigisme and Jacobinisme', a section in his paper  "French Language Policy:
Centrism, Orwellian Dirigisme, or Economic Determinism?" (Department of South
Asian Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 11/20/2000).
  
This Jacobinist thinking dominated the modern nation-builders of the 19th and 20th
centuries. This was also the thinking of Quezon and others.
 
Forcing a language on others can break a country apart. Bangladesh was born when it
split from Pakistan because of language. The 20-year civil war in Sri Lanka started
because of language. Spain and Belgium nearly broke apart because of language.
 
 7. What are the advantages of using Tagalog as an official language to non-Tagalog speakers?
What about its disadvantages?
 
There is no advanftage in using Tagalog in areas of non-Tagalog speakers. Tagalog is a
foreign language to these speakers.and is unwelcome.

8. For non-Tagalog speakers in Central Luzon, what is your stand regarding Tagalog as the official language?
 
Josie, I cannot comment on this  as I am nogt from Central Luzon. Edwin has a vewry good reply.

9. Recently, there have been developments with DepEd re: using dialects to teach schoolchildren (grade school). What are the advantages of using a dialect to teach children, rather than Tagalog?
 
The way the question as worded is highly condescending and reveals that the one who
made the question is not aware of modern linguistic principles and has not read 
Article  XIV, Section 7 of the 1987 Constitution. 
 
According to linguistics experts, if two ways of speaking are not mutually intelligible, like
Ilocano and Tagalog, they are sepafrate languages. If they are mutually intelligible like the
Tagalog of Bulacan and the Tagalog lof Batangas, they are dialects (of Tagalog). Further,
Art. XIV of the 1987 Constitution expressly recognizes the regional languages as languages.
Also Filipino shall be further developed and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine
languages and other languages.
 
Chilkdren who do not speak Tagalog as their Mother tongue will be disadvantraged. As Tagalog is an alien
language, it will slow down the development of children's cognitive skills and lewarning in general. The
Lubuagan experiment has shown that when the  Mother tongue is used as the lanbguage of teaching and
learning, children develop cognitive skills faster and learn the subjdect being taught much better.
 
 
10. Should other languages be encouraged, and if so, how do we manage this? What are organizations pushing for?

Again, in reply, let me quote from the letter of the Hon. Gilbert C. Teodoro, Jr.
to Mr. Valeriano Avila:

"I believe that the message in your article is that we must redefine our
concept of what the Philippines is and what being a "Filipino" means.
If being a Filipino means being subsumed under a cultural or linguistic
regime which one feels is alien to what he really is then the natural
instinct would be to reject being Filipino.  I would therefore propose
that the Philippines be thought of as a legal and political concept: as a
STATE composed of many cultures, perhaps nations; rather than as a
NATION.  Collorarily being Filipino should be thought of as being united
with others of different cultural persuasions for political, economic, and
other similar common purposes.

The adoption of this mindset will go a long way toward building up a
strong and globally competitive state.  We will lose our hang-ups over
strengthening our proficiency in English, we will genuinely accept the
idea of  the autonomy of  component political units such as regions and
provinces, and because each unit will be busy with it's own development
giving less time to squabbling with the central super body: we MAY have peace."
 
 11. What is the importance of language to identity and culture?
 
"Without our language, we have no culture, we have no identity, we are nothing."
Ornolfor Thorsson, adviser to President of Iceland.

"When you lose a language you lose a culture, intellectual wealth, a work of art."
Kenneth Hale, who taught linguistics at MIT.

12. Is the diversity of languages or dialects divisive? Why? Why not?
 
Diversity of languages and cultures is not divisive per se. It is when these lannguages are marginalized
or suppressed by official policy and/or neglect that they become divisive. Switzerland, India and
South Africa have a diversity of official  languages. Spain and elgium could remain as united modern
countries only by recognizing the other languages and making them official.
 
Again, to quote the Hon. Gilbdert C. Teodoro, Jr.,:
 
" I believe that the message in your article is that we must redefine our
concept of what the Philippines is and what being a "Filipino" means.
If being a Filipino means being subsumed under a cultural or linguistic
regime which one feels is alien to what he really is then the natural
instinct would be to reject being Filipino.  I would therefore propose
that the Philippines be thought of as a legal and political concept: as a
STATE composed of many cultures, perhaps nations; rather than as a
NATION.  Collorarily being Filipino should be thought of as being united
with others of different cultural persuasions for political, economic, and
other similar common purposes."
 
13. What is the truth in the statement that "Language is the DNA of a culture?"

Already answered in Question  11 above.

14. Do you agree with the other schools of thought/point of view that Tagalog, as the major language of the Philippines,
may be responsible for killing off other minor languages?
 
In the first place, Tagalog is noit a major language. It is a minority language spoken by only about 30% of Filipinos as a
Mother Tongue. But government use of Tagalog in education and its promotion by media is killing the other languages.
 
According to Dr. Jose V. Abueva a former President  of the University of the Philippines,  
 
Until about 1970 there were more Filipinos who
spoke Sugboanon or Cebuano-Visayan and its various dialects, than those of Tagalog,
... Since then more and more Filipinos have learned to understand and speak Tagalog 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).
 
 
15. How do we save these dying languages?
Mother-tongue based Multilingual education (MLE) will be a good start.

16. How is it possible to allow a national language to thrive without killing off other minor languages?

As the Hon. Gilbert C. Teodor has said, this whoile thing has to be reexamined.





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--
Atty. Manuel Lino G. Faelnar

Co-Convenor for Language and Culture,
Subsidiarity Movement International

Vice President
DILA Phils. Foundation, Inc.
(Defenders of the Indigenous Languages of the
Archipelago)

Director
Lubas sa Dagang Bisaya, Inc. (LUDABI)

Member
Linguistic Society of the Philippines

"Without our language, we have no culture, we have no identity, we are nothing."
Ornolfor Thorsson, adviser to President of Iceland.

"When you lose a language you lose a culture, intellectual wealth, a work of art."
Kenneth Hale, who taught linguistics at MIT.

"Words, if powerful enough, can transport people into a journey,
real or imagined, that either creates
a fantasy or confirms reality."
Rachelle Arlin Credo, poet and
writer.

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