The absence of indigenous language in Quezon Day parade

THERE are many reasons for celebration during August but there are three most important events in my life that I personally look forward to yearly and treasure this month—the Buwan ng Wika (Language Month), the birth anniversary of the First President of the Commonwealth Manuel Luis Quezon and the special tribute to the indigenous language of my hometown, Lopez, Quezon, the last is most of the time remembered not only in this season but all throughout the year.

Being a native speaker of the Filipino language, the observance of this month’s commemoration is as significant as the Independence Day because the common tongue is a kiss sealer and a lip service to all freedom-loving Filipinos not only in the Philippines but also among Filipinos in diaspora.

Filipino as the National Language is a mandate that coheres all languages of the country—Tagalog, Bicolano, Pampango, Chavacano, Muslim, Tausug, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Ibanag, Bisaya, Cebuano etc.

So I think the whole nation this month should pay homage to all dialects in this country of more than seven thousand islands.

Although, it is a common impression and perhaps knowledge that Tagalog is the basis of Filipino, it should bring back the contention that each barangay in the entire archipelago should observe Language Month and not only the Tagalog-speaking places should be accounted for on this occasion.

Filipino language experts have already dispelled the wrong notion that Filipino as a common lengua franca is the sole monopoly of pure a Tagalog.

To achieve unity among citizens of the land, a multi-ethnic language is a wrapper and a ribbon of a special gift that can unify diverse interests for the welfare of the majority.

Assigning Filipino as the Mother of all Vernaculars is an ideal set-up in the hegemonic hierarchy of spoken and written communications devices, verbal and non-verbal thought processes and articulation.

Imagine a country which is gunning for unity and national identity to achieve success in many forms of its endeavours through oneness of media expression.

It is a tall order.

Leadership therefore is the mastery of many human tongues let alone Filipino and the colonial influences that is English and other foreign languages.

Lopez town in Quezon Province is one shining example and a reflection of the objective to unify a state in its diversity.

During the pastoral parade of many inter-agencies in the community, human and machine, public and private enterprises, held last August 19, 2012 in the municipality, a small but big in population rural pueblo, managed to bring in the message of hope of uniting the multifarious elements of society through language to achieve simultaneously individual progress and national development as well.

Tens of thousands of sectoral reps joined the march to honor the 134th birth anniversary of the Commonwealth President and Father of National Language Manuel Quezon.

However, consciously or unconsciously, the marchers might be aware of the pursuits of liberation through people’s struggle in the use of the common, if not national, language.

Quezon, who was born to mestizo mileage was more attuned to Spanish or English than his own native tongue but he nevertheless sponsored and fathered a national language mostly spoken by his subordinates if not the servants in the household or the peasants and encargados.

These helps and tenants were the ones who needed freedom, economic the foremost, unbound just as the other lowly individuals in any social station during and after his reign.

It was even Dr. Jose Rizal who before Quezon had mouthed his nationalist thought “ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika ay higit pa sa hayop at malansang isda.”

What is surprising though, in the parade and convocation of Quezon parade at the Dolor Amphitheater at the Lopez Comprehensive National High School was the absence of indigenous Lopez language, the kind of inflection and accent every participant on stage could very well speak during their turns.

There was only retired judge Aurora Maqueda Roman, the special guest of the occasion, who’s a resident of the town and no more outsiders who couldn’t understand and be prompted of Lopez Tagalog.

We missed the Lopez native words, though, like adyo (to climb), sagmaw (swine’s food), buringka (to fall; to slip off a chair), tingkayad (to squat), hawot (dried fish of the salinas fish-type) and a lot more.

Mayor Isaias B. Ubana and Dr. Violeta de Asis, the latter being the host of the event in behalf of the Lopez East District of the Department of Education could very well embrace the spread of richer national language had they employed indigenous Lopez dialect in their respective speeches.


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