Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Speak English Softly

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.


  1. This blog is literally the story of my life.
    Although is a more of a comfort that english was learned as a couch potato via cable television than an institutional agenda?
    Then again, I still managed to cruise through Filipino and graduate both college and high school with horrible Filipino grades.
    Dear God, it's a conspiracy!
    Do you think this is how the English folk who traveled to the new world eventually invented their own language with "like" is every other sentence?!

  2. Hehe. I was thinking of your batch when I mentioned those straight A students :D But I think J was pretty good at Filipino...

    Pareho ta, I didn't learn good English in school. I learned from another source... ;)

  3. Totoo, totoong totoo. Kung hindi pa sapat ang totoong yan, maaari pa nating dagdagan. Very well said Grace.

    Ngayon lang ulit ako nakapaggala sa mga blog kasi lagi akong busy eh.

    Musta na?


    Vener(if you can still remember...)

  4. Woi Vener! Of courzzzzz I remember. Haha. Tingnan mo nga ang right side bar and you'll still see your old blog there! Ba't di ka na nag bloblog?

  5. Oo nga ano, hahaha. Maraming ginagawa, tinatapos ang pag-aaral para hindi mapagiwanan, hehe. Ganda pa rin ng mga post mo, naandun pa rin yung mga spices na kailangan ng mga mambabasa.


  6. Ai saludo ako sayo kaibigan. Oo talagang pag tuunan mo ng pansin ang pag-aaral. Sa hirap ng buhay, you need all the edge you can get. At maski nakakatrabaho naman ang mga di nagtapos, isang paraan ng pag linang ng pagkatao and pag-aaral sa kolehiyo. Go go go :)

    At salamat sa papuri. Therapy ko to :D

  7. reminds me of the crown with "SPEAKING THE VERNACULAR" (WTF? vernacular? seriously.) that did the rounds when i was in grade school. the last person to have it on his/her head pays the penalty. but it was fun. no regrets. i paid only once since i grow up with sesame street, flying house and superbook! hahaha

  8. You guys wore a crown? Whoa! That was much worse than our cardboard tag when I was in grade school. I never wore the tag because they made me the spy. Eeps. Now I wish I was never given that role. I should have started the underground speak in Filipino movement ;)


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