SHOOTING STRAIGHT By Valeriano Avila
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
A week ago today, the session at the Cebu City Council started as usual by singing the National Anthem in the Cebuano language or "Nasudnong Awit or Yutang Tabunon" despite the fact that there is a national law that penalizes anyone singing the national anthem in their own native tongues except in Filipino, which as we all know is a not-so-cleverly- disguised Tagalog. But after the National Anthem and the prayer in Cebuano, Presiding Officer Vice-Mayor Michael Rama suggested continuing the session using the Cebuano language in order to clarify all matters.
Thus it was a sort of unique, albeit historic day last week because Cebu City Councilors were speaking their own native tongue in their official session. That the City Council of Cebu defied that law against singing the National Anthem in another tongue other than Tagalog proves our point that that law has become inutile, especially when faced with our Constitutional realities where one of the most basic freedoms our people enjoy is the Freedom of Speech, which means the freedom to speak our native language.
How many times have we said it here before that we Filipinos are very good in making great laws, but we're the worst in implementing such laws? Year 2008 has been declared the International Year of Languages, which was proclaimed by the 61st General Plenary Assembly of the United Nations in their effort to promote "Unity in Diversity and Global Understanding. " This year, the UN is pursuing multilingualism as a means of promoting, protecting and preserving diversity of languages and cultures globally. I have been advocating our right to speak and be educated in our Cebuano language from the first day I became a columnist. Now something like this finally happens, almost like a dream come true!
The Philippines is also a signatory of this UN declaration, hence for a nation of more than a hundred spoken languages, we should be the first to understand the realities that we are a nation of diverse cultures and languages and that one of the most basic of human rights is the Right to Free Speech! Yet our educational policy is killing other Filipino languages.
We Cebuanos have long been proud of our cultural heritage and language; after all, the first people in this archipelago that the Europeans knew were Cebuanos. Oh yes, the Spaniards didn't forget
We are also known as the First Christians in this part of
Back on our advocacy on language. I won't forget that 22 years ago when President Corazon "Tita" Cory Aquino issued a directive ordering all government offices that official communication in her administration was through the use of the Filipino language. The
I remembered Gov. Osmena asking the question, "What is really the Filipino Language, when the reality is, it is 99.9% taken from the Tagalog language?" Since that time, despite a law ordering the singing of the Philippine National Anthem in Filipino, the City of
emphasis mine - Mr. Avila makes more sense and should be at the opinion page of the Philippine Star but his article is consigned at the back pages in the regional news section where most people don't even bother to read!
PEOPLE AND INSTITUTIONS HAPPY WITH THIS DEVELOPMENT
- NON-TAGALOG FILIPINOS (for inspiration 75% of the pop.)
- DIVERSITY LOVING TAGALOGS
- GROUPS SUCH AS DILA, SOLFED, DILFED AND OTHER PRO-DIVERSITY INSTITUTIONS
- TAGALISTA ELITE IN MANILA UNIVERSITIES
- INSTITUTE OF NATIONAL LANGUAGE (You're not? Prove it.)
- TBHON QUEZON and his wannabes
- RGMA -Bigtime Balita
- Some Television writers and directors