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In Re: Betraying the Filipino language June 18, 2014

Posted by Janjan in Uncategorized.
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I write in response to the eloquent and well argued opinion proferred by Antonio P. Contreras in the Opinion section of the GMA Website. While it does state the case for the protection of the Filipino language, it likewise acknowledges, and I quote:

“Cebuanos are in fact very vocal about their assertions of their own language and culture, with them even attempting to draw their own adaptations of national symbols and discourses such as the National Anthem. The hurt felt by Cebuanos, and of other regions, of being forced to speak a language not their own, and to further inflict on them a national language that for all intents and purposes is an imposition from imperial Manila, is a highly charged discourse. It is a highly emotional issue that even enlightened academics I know who are non-Tagalog speakers and are based in their regions would gravitate towards a hostile attitude at the Filipino language.”

I will refrain from substituting Tagalog with the word “Filipino”, for indeed, I am one of the very vocal and assertive Cebuanos who refuse to acknowledge Tagalog as our national language. To call it “Filipino” would be to vest importance and officiousness on the language and declare that it has primacy over the other regional languages in the Philippines. Our languages are also Filipino. By declaring Tagalog as Filipino, you are in fact stating that our languages are mere second-class “regional” dialects.

The blog goes on to argue how we are losing our national heritage by removing Tagalog as a medium of instruction in education. Perhaps now, the Tagalog policy makers will have a better understanding of how we “regional Filipinos” feel about the primacy granted to Tagalog over that of our native tongues. We are likewise in the fight to preserve Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray and other regional languages, and because Tagalog was given more importance in our national education, the sad fact is that our languages are likewise slowly dying. I myself could no longer speak nor write fluent Cebuano. Reading a complete text of Cebuano is a painful exercise to me because I lack the reading fluidity and practice which I have for English.

In the metropolis of Cebu, rare is the person who can speak fluent and formal Cebuano, the “ludabi“. By enforcing Tagalog on us, the ordinary Cebuano lost knowledge on the proper syntax and grammar of the Cebuano language. An American friend was asking me to teach him our language but I cannot do so. I cannot explain why and when to use the words “gayud“, “og“, “man” and other Cebuano words because I never understood how to use it. But ask me to teach you Tagalog and I can tell you the difference between a “salitang-ugat” and a “pantukoy“, and why a “tayutay” is comparable to the English omnomatopeia.

The Philippine government’s enforcement of the Tagalog language on my childhood years has robbed me of the opportunity to learn my heritage, the Cebuano language, in favor of the Tagalog tongue. So please do not fault us for seeing you as Imperial Manila. A study of our government and its workings will show how much is skewed in favor of the Luzon region, to the detriment of Filipinos living in other parts of the country.

The opinion espoused by Mr. Contreras goes on to insist that Tagalog should continue to be taught nationwide. I do not contest that. I find it useful to know Tagalog. The only thing I oppose about it is again, what is it about Tagalog that gives it primacy over Cebuano, Hiligaynon and the other Filipino languages? Why is it that the survival of the Tagalog language is given primary importance over the survival of the other tongues? It is good that we acknowledge our mutual divisiveness on this matter, but until Tagalog speakers see the other languages as co-equal and as important as their native tongue, then we could never talk eye to eye.  You will always speak on a pedestal placed higher than the rest of us on the ground.

Let’s not remove English as a medium of instruction. While it is not our country’s tongue, it is, however, a language better suited for instruction in subjects such as Science, Math, Social Studies, and the like. Teach Literature, Arts and Music in a Filipino language, if you wish, but technical subjects should and must be taught in English.

Finally, the opinion implies that we “regionals” betray the language by giving a foreign tongue, English, primacy over a Filipino tongue, Tagalog. The betrayal over the Filipino language is real, in that, I agree with you. But your opinion is that such betrayal started when the Department of Education started implementing the new K to 12 system. We “regionals” think otherwise. The betrayal started when President Manuel L. Quezon issued Executive order No. 134, on December 13, 1937, approving the adoption of Tagalog as the national language of the Philippines.


An Open Letter to Nice Guys from a Veteran of the Game June 4, 2014

Posted by Janjan in Uncategorized.
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Friendzones and Nice Guys. It seems like everywhere I look in social media, there’s either a meme or a blog being posted about nice guys whom girls place in friendzones because well… they’re too nice.

I laugh at that. No seriously, I do.

I’m the so-called nice guy that this trend revolves around. I built my life around accepting the fact that I will be perenially friendzoned. I could write a book on the topic. When I court a girl, I’m open and honest about my feelings. I’m emotionally supportive of her. I don’t play games. Heck, I could be the poster boy for nice guys everywhere.  Look it up in the dictionary, that’s my picture placed right beside the word “doormat.”

I laugh at that phenomenon because so many people seem to be making a big deal about it, pointing fingers at women who break a nice guy’s heart because he’s too… well… “nice.”

See the thing is, getting busted is a rite of passage. I don’t consider anyone a real man until they know what it’s like to have their heart broken by someone they love. From this experience, you learn how to court a lady better. You learn exactly what you want out of a relationship and a significant other. You learn how to become a better man.

Hell yes, having your heart broken is painful. It’s probably the deepest emotional pain anyone can ever go through in their life. But face it, it’s part of growing up. It’s as necessary as shedding off excess skin to allow new epithilial cells to grow.

I even remember when I was 26 years old, someone was trying to hook me up to her friend. But when she described me saying, “He’s a nice guy, intelligent, and has a stable job. And he’s never had a girlfriend.” Her friend remarked, “Really? He’s never had a girlfriend? What’s wrong with him?” Ouch. I tried to smile that answer away, but the truth is, that remark really really hurt. A perfect stranger who’s never met me was judging me solely based on my dating history. If that’s not a sucker punch to the nads, I don’t know what is. But hey, that’s the breaks you get.

So, don’t blame the girls in their teens and 20’s who choose the bad boys and assholes over the nice guy like you. Face it, those guys are more exciting than us nice guys. It’s a mistake that girls at these age need to make in order to become wiser and more mature, just as it’s necessary for us nice guys to have our hearts broken so that we will learn how to take better care of it and choose the right partners for ourselves. And as for the girl who asked me “What’s wrong with him?”. I now realize that the more appropriate answer was, “I’m a great guy with no hang-ups and a clean slate. And you won’t go out with me. What’s wrong with you?”

Be patient nice guys. I had my heart broken early in life but when I turned 30, things changed. From someone whom girls treat with patronizing tolerance, I suddenly became a prized commodity in the dating market. I was a nice guy with a stable job, no baggage, and the emotional stability needed for mature relationships. It was easier to get dates, but this time with women who were ready for a relationship with no drama. Women who were previously burned by their flings with assholes and bad boys. Trust me on this, you will have the pick of the dating pool. The best of the best.

And now, I’m in a happy relationship with a wonderful lady who accepts me for who I am… boring nice guy tendencies nonwithstanding.

Nice guys guys finish last. Don’t be bitter about that fact. It’s who we are, but it doesn’t make us losers. Women will eventually realize that they indeed have saved the best for last.

And that’s when they’ll find you, nice guy. Swaggering out of the friendzone like a champ.