We give birth to Filipinos so we can raise them to speak a foreign language and work for other countries.
In my kid’s old school, the English speaking area is also the silence zone. They should have been more explicit and just labeled it the English mime hall. But really, I would have preferred to speak Filipino in my own country, thank you.
In other schools, English speaking campaigns are stricter. Students are not only required to ditch their native tongue for a foreign one, they’re also punished for failing to do so. The general intention of these campaigns is well meant. Educators think that forcing Filipino kids to learn English will open more employment opportunities and produce more Ms. Universe winners.
Sadly, these aggressive campaigns have proven detrimental to our mastery of our own national language and regional dialects. I’ve known straight A students who’d rather do algebra upside down than recite in Filipino. The grandson of Filipino hero, Ninoy Aquino, no less, sits across his mother in a milk commercial and babbles in wonderful English, asking his mom to translate two simple Filipino words he does not understand.
It’s true. Knowing English can put you at an advantage. I should know. I work for an Australian company that pays well, but I still think our children should be bilingual in equal degrees. Otherwise, we’d be nothing more than a factory of workers for foreign companies.
For the record, I had higher grades in Filipino than in English. To this day, I still confuse gerunds with gerbils and adverbs with a torture device.