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(Dr.Jose"Joey"Dacudao-INM: NorthernMindanaoPh)

Dako ang problema naton mga Ilonggo. Hinay hinay nagakadula na ta. Sunu sa survey sang National Statistics Office (NSO), naganubu ang porsyento sang mga Ilonggo sa Pilipinas halin tsyempo gera.
Below is the paper I presented to the National Commission on Culture and Arts, University of the Philippines, and Kalayaan College language workshop in the University of the Philippines Cebu (Lahug campus) last Octber 27-28, 2005.  It summarizes what is happening to us.
Ang pinakaimportante nga bahin sang paper ara sa NSO survey. Nagnubu ang porsyento sang mga Ilonggo halin 12% sang tsyempo gera padulong 9% subong. Kun wala ta himoon, sa sulod sing 200 ka tuig, madula na kita sa kalibutan
SOLFED paper presented in Cebu language seminar october 27-28, 2005

(AS % OF THE PHILIPPINE POPULATION, taken from National Statistics Office Surveys since 1948)
1948     1960       1975       1990          1995
Tagalog         19% 21% 23% 28% 29.29%
Cebuano        25% 24% 24% 24% 21.17%
Ilocano          12% 11% 11% 09% 09.31%
Ilonggo         12% 10% 09% 09% 09.11%
Bicol              08% 07% 06% 05% 05.69%
Waray            06% 05% 04% 04% 03.81%
Pampangan   03% 03% 03% 03% 02.90%
Pangasinan   03% 02% 02% 01% 01.01%
Others            12% 13% 12% 13%

What do you see?
It is best to go straight to the point because of time constraints. We (in SOLFED) are determined to stop the trend above. The recommendations that follow arise from this determination, and so are easily predictable. In brief, if a recommendation can help stop the trend above, it will openly and honestly stated, and without ulterior motives.
We should implement a program to save our natural and ancient pre-Spanish languages and the ethnolinguistic peoples that they define:
General Objective 1. Teach our languages in schools in their traditional areas, especially for history and literature, and many of the arts and humanities, while retaining English for the Sciences. This is the only sure way to save a language. Empirical evidences from Iceland (Icelandic), Ireland (Irish), Wales (Welsh), Hawaii (the Hawaiian languages), mainland America (native American languages), Switzerland (Romance), and so on have repeatedly shown that minority languages can be consistently saved in this way.
Specific Objectives for attaining the above General Objective:
1. Create a dictionary, syllabus, and eventually literature for all the Philippine languages. This is necessary if we are to teach our languages in schools. For the larger Philippine ethnolinguistic peoples and some of the smaller ones, this is no problem because foreign religious missionaries from various Christian denominations and foreign linguists have often taken the time and effort to create such dictionaries and syllabuses, and to save these languages it is a matter of mass producing such syallabuses and introducing them into school curricula. (It is such irony that non-Filipino foreigners have done more for our languages than so called nationalistic Filipinos, and incredibly the national government has not funded the creation of even a single non-Tagalog dictionary or Syllabus.)
2. Create a Commission on Saving Philippine Languages and Ethnolinguistic Peoples that is funded by the national government (or federally funded if the Philippines becomes Federal) whose aims are the above, whose physically infrastructure is rotated among the present-day non-Tagalog Philippine provinces. This Commission can also accept funding from local governments and institutions, educational institutions, and private institutions.
3. Scrap the present-day Commission on National Language. It’s 50 million or so budget a year comes from the combined taxes of all Filipinos, including non-Tagalogs, yet not only has it not done anything for the non-Tagalog Peoples of the Philippines, its actions are even now contributing to their demise. Better yet change it into the Commission on Saving Philippine Languages and Ethnolinguistic Peoples mentioned above, and its aims reoriented. If taxes are to be used to promote Tagalog, then those taxes should come from the Tagalog people. Why should a non-Tagalog people pay taxes to support an institution that works to kill its language?
General Objective 2. Explicitly teach the recognition, respect, and preservation of the non-Tagalog Philippine languages and ethnolinguistic peoples in Philippine schools.
Specific Objectives for attaining the above General Objective:
1. Immediately stop the despicable habit of Filipino teachers of fining students for speaking in a non-Tagalog Philippine language in all Philippine schools, and expel teachers who insist on continuing this and other similar discriminatory practices. To teach a child to feel shame at his language and ethnolinguistic identity at a tender age when he still can not see its wrongness is the same as brainwashing and imprinting in him an unnatural and servile lifetime attitude, which in the larger perspective only serves to install a shameful inferiority complex among the non-Tagalogs Filipinos and encourages arrogance and a sense of superiority among Tagalogs. This despicable practice is a clear violation of the language rights of the Peoples of the Philippines, and shame on officials of the National Language Commission and Department of Education who are encouraging it.
2. Use regional languages for the present Makabayan subjects, or just scrap this program if its real aim and effects are to transform all Filipinos into Tagalogs. In general, any subject whose real aim and effects are to transform non-Tagalog Filipinos into Tagalogs should be scrapped.
3. Incorporate in the social sciences, history and arts subjects that explicit teach that non-Tagalog Filipinos should be of sociologically equal status with Tagalogs, and are in fact as Filipino as the Tagalog people.
General Objective 3. Promote economic prosperity for all our ethnolinguistic peoples so that they take pride in preserving their language and identity.
Specific Objective for attaining the above General Objective:
1. Support moves and organizations that aim to create a Federal Philippines, wherein local areas retain 90% or more of taxes derived from economic operations in those areas.
2. Require by law Manila-based corporations and companies, whose income is largely (say more than 50%) derived from economic operations in the provinces, to transfer headquarters and pay their taxes in the province from which they derive most of their income.
General Objective 4. Promote political freedom for our ethnolinguistic peoples so that they are free to move to save their language and identity.

Specific Objective for attaining the above General Objective:
1. Support moves and organizations that aim to create a Federal Philippines. In such a Philippines, each local state should recognize its traditional languages as official.
Note: It is a well known fact that a people with political freedom and economic prosperity tends to strengthen its ethnolinguistic identity. The corollary is also true. A people with a strong ethnolinguistic identity tends to defend its political freedom and economic rights.
General Objective 5. Directly and explicitly promote non-Tagalog Philippine languages in the mass media (as of now, only Tagalog is being promoted).
Specific Objective for attaining the above General Objective:
1. Require (by law if possible) that all public signs in the regions be written in one or more of the regional languages, or at least have translations into the regional languages.
2. Require (by law if possible) that all public verbal and written announcements and instructions in airlines, boats, and other public transportation systems to use at least one regional language if such transports are going to or leaving a particular region.
3. Require (by law if possible) that all music radio stations in the regions play songs written in one or more regional languages for at least half of each hour of broadcasting time, and that all radio broadcasters be fluent in at least one regional language so as to enable them talk to callers in a regional language.
4. Require (by law if possible) all TV programs in the regions to use one or more regional languages for at least half of each hour of broadcasting time.
5. Exempt from national taxes the production and broadcast of any movie, TV or radio program, in a regional language, in their native regions.

Note: The above aims are not as difficult as they seem, as there are numerous recorded songs, radio plays, and even experimental movies in regional languages, which at present can not compete with songs, plays, and movies in the only Philippine language that the Philippine State supports. The attainment of these aims will also encourage the local music, drama, and movie industries in different Philippine tongues, and there will be a flowering of native Philippine songs, plays, and movies as never been seen before.
General Objective 6. Teach one or two Philippine language electives in the Tagalog regions so that Tagalogs in general will learn to tolerate and respect their fellow Filipinos as brethren and peers, and not as inferior races and provincianos. (Tagalistas will probably be howling in protest at this but this is fairer in the end for all our peoples.)
There is no legal barrier to this program, and in fact our Constitution says that our regional languages should be auxiliary media of instruction. Unlike present ‘Filipino’, the definition of which is subject to dispute or the creation of which from all Philippine languages while retaining each component language’s uniqueness is linguistically impossible, our regional languages are clearly defined and have pre-dated the existence of the Philippines itself.
Regarding the present ‘Filipino’ language itself, it is a dialect of Tagalog. It is mutually intelligible with all Tagalog dialects and mutually unintelligible with all non-Tagalog languages, and moreover, any Filipino who grows up learning only the ‘Filipino’ language grows up into a Tagalog. There is no law at all that mandates the teaching of Tagalog in Philippine schools or says that ‘Filipino’ is Tagalog.

Therefore from a certain point of view, what is being taught in Philippine schools as ‘Filipino’, is illegal since it is in fact a Tagalog dialect, and nowhere in the Constitution does it say that Tagalog is the national language.
Furthermore, the creation of which from all Philippine languages while retaining each component language’s uniqueness is linguistically impossible, given the differences in grammar, syntax, idioms, accents, tonality of each separate language. This might have been the intention of the delegates to the Philippine’s 1935 Con-Con perhaps because they believed it could have been possible, but they were wrong. Human beings commit mistakes. It is now time to recognize that these delegates have made a mistake based on a wrong belief. In any case, it is certain that the majority of them had no intention whatsoever of killing all the ethnolinguistic peoples of the Philippines except one. If they were alive now to ruminate on the way the ‘Filipino’ language provision was used to demean and slowly kill off the ethnolinguistic peoples of the Philippines, they probably would be horrified.
Furthermore, the delegates to the Philippine’s 1935 Con-Con were also no doubt influenced by the peculiar nationalism of the 19th century, which equated a nation-state with one particular language. This started with Napoleonic France, which consciously supported the hegemony of the French language. We now know that this policy, which is based on the idea of unity in uniformity or one nation – one language, causes great harm to the diversity of a country’s culture by lowering the social status of its constituent peoples who do not speak that language, turning them into second class citizens, and if left unchecked, exterminating their very identities. In a few cases, the arrogant insistence of a State to legislate and impose a national language has resulted in civil strife (such as the Tamil-Sinhalese, the Pakistan-Bangladesh, Basque-Spanish, Corsican-French conficts.)
In fact many countries that have turned Federal, after the 19th century age of language and Unitarian nationalism, have consciously adopted the idea of unity in diversity. Most Federal countries, and even many Unitarian countries today in fact recognize and use several official languages (for example, India has almost 20, Switzerland 4, Canada 2). The historical bulwark of Federalism, the USA, does not recognize a national language in the Federal level at all. When do we, peoples of the Philippines, adopt such liberating policies? When do we leave behind the oppressively centralizing policies of the 19th and early 20th century, and stride forth in liberty toward the 21st century?
In Asia itself, China was the first nation-state to legislate a so called national language (Mandarin) and the Philippines, following the trend of the times, unfortunately followed suit. The present-day Chinese are now trying to correct this mistake by recognizing and using their regional languages in their traditional regions. The Philippines has not, and it is time that we do so now. Before our diverse peoples die out, or before outright conflict ensues from awakened minority peoples justly trying to save themselves from extinction.
SAVE OUR LANGUAGES THROUGH FEDERALISM, Foundation, INC. (SOLFED) ===========================================                                                                 (BenjieEstuche-INM: OklahomaUSA)  

Daku guid ang akon nga kalipay nga may mga tauo pa nga katulad ninyo nga naga-ulikid pa sa mga hilikuton pangkultura katulad sang guinatawag mo nga "ethnolinguistic concerns."

Masuwerte ako seguro kay naabtan ko pa nga nangin-maestro ko sa kolehiyo si anay Gob. Conrado Norada, Jr. sang Probinsiya sang Iloilo, isa sang mga bansagon nga nobelistang Ilonggo.  Nakaupod man ako pangapekape sa kay Manong Loreto Angayen, isa sang mga Ilonggo nga manunulat who was concerned with the history of Panay, especially the myth about the 10 Datus from Borneo. I designed the covers for the books of Atty. Agustin Misola and Prof. Max Salvador  ("Panay Guerrilla Memoirs.") when printing was  still "alsa-takop, alsa-takop"  they called lithography.

There was a time in our college life at the University of Iloilo that having "mastered" the King's English, we spoke Kinaray-a in the campus even with our English teachers, Ernie Garin, Tim Gasacao and Nick Tabigoon (all from the 1st district of Iloilo) and such students as Pat Quema,  Fruto Saavedra, Joe Eiman, Alex Siruelo,  Pete Gellada, Manny Sollesta, Rudy Castrojas, Danny Marfil, Tont Natino, among others. Huddled under the catwalk, conversation was in Kinaray-a. City Fiscal Jacinto "Boy" Evidente, Jr. would, sometimes, pitch in his "maan kanimo" while Fiscal Querico Defensor would mix up his "andot haw?" with the central Panay's "insa man?"

We agree with you that our Ilonggo dialects (Kinaray-a, Sulodnon, and Hiligaynon) are one of the romantic languages in the world and Gob. Rading Norada was proof of that as he gave accolades to the "Hara sang Kagab-ihon" in almost every town fiesta. The other regional tribes had always called us Ilonggos as "malambing."

We appreciate your efforts to "preserve" and "save" our various archepelagic dialects, especially, the Ilonggo/Kinaray-a we use in Western Visayas, a great part of Mindanao and Palawan. La Panayana Printers, I suppose, had printed an Ilonggo-English dictionary aside from their yearly Almanaque, which my Lolos and Lolos, Mandings and Tatays would prefer as a Christmas gift rather than a "kalo nga buri."

There are many Ilonggo traits which we could no longer see among our later generation. But it would be a joy to us if we can imbibe these to our children and grandchildren. They are all there in a book "ALAMEDA" written by Eugenio Ealdama, Sr., 1937 ConCon delegate, Assemblyman, and first Governor of the Rehabilitation Finance Corporation which, later on, became the Development Bank of the Philippines. "Kapisan" and "Kakugi." He wrote a poem, in the book,

Hinugay dagaas, Linaw,
Ang kasulgan magababaw dayon,
Kay ang tubig sa tingulan,
Sa tingadlaw babawi-on!

Ealdama's book, ALAMEDA, was his ideal society, a Utopian look into our past which could have been Jose Rizal's Perdido Eden. Both men were endowed with a love of country that bordered Nature-worship, a sense of Pantheistic religiosity.

Sad to say, our so-called "Mainstream Historians," aside from making a nomenclature of people and events of our history, made a terrible blunder by writing history for the Westerners, instead of writing it to preserve our cultural heritage. I wish your organization could finance a study group that would research into the hinterlands of Antique and Central Panay into our ethnicity and linguistic history before they totally fade into merely a corrupted memory. We could not even recall what is the word for "blue" or "green" and what are the equivalents of north, south, west and east. Catholicism brought to us by the Spaniards had corrupted our culture and ethnicity. US Fundamentalist Christianity had muddled the issue.

We cannot do it by legislation because our legislators could not gain financially from the endeavor. The challenge is hurled to SOLFED if they are up to it. ===========================================                                                                     Ginabuhat don namon ang tanan. Sagad don tamon ka lobby sa Congress nga i-officialize ang mga non-Tagalog languages ka Pilipinas kag itudlo dya sa mga eskwelahan.                                                                              -------------------------------------------------------                                                                                   Ugaling daw indi masarangan. Kulang. Daw ang kinahanglan gid kadya mag butang mga Congressmen ukon MP (kun madayon ang ChaCha) tuya sa Congress (ukon Parliament). Agud maydiyan ang katawhan naton direkta nga lobby.                                                                                                                                                  ---------------------------------------------------------                                                                          Nabudlayan gid tamon sa paglagas-lagas sa mga Congressmen kag Senators kay daw wara man sanda labot sa pagluwas sa aton nga mga pinulungan. Maydiyan sanda tanda mga kaugalingon nga agenda.                              ---------------------------------------------------------                                                                                      Kun sin-o gali ang interesado kadya nga hublag sa pagluwas ka Ilonggo nga katawhan, palihog lang mag- email kanakon. Kinahanghlan gid ka hublag nga diya it tabang ninyo.                                                                                                --------------------------------------------------------                                                                                                               Bisan tulad, kun kis-a daw madismaya ako nga halos waay mga nagapost sa Hiligaynon ukon Kinaray-a giya nga forum. Susmaryosep, mas duro pa gani post nga Tagalog sa banta ko! Pay 'Ilonggo Nation' taton! Pungsod Ilonggo! Makuun ba naton Ilonggo ta nga indi man tatun maka Ilonggo?                                                                              --------------------------------------------------------                                                                                                                  May plano man gali ako magpost ka Hiligaynon primer nga binuhatan ka mga missionaries. Agud makamaan man ang mga members kadya nga forum nga indi kamaan mag hambal bisan Hiligaynon lamang. Pay kinahanglan maglisensya anay kami sa mga missionaries nga nagbuhat kadya.                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------                                                                                     May plano man kami magbuhat Kinaray-a nga Wikipedia, galing kulang gid resources. Nagtilaw don tamon, indi gid pa masarangan.                                                                                                                                     ---------------------------------------------------------                                                                                   Maan kadya, budlay gid ang kahimtangan naton nga mga Ilonggo. Second class citizens don ta, mapatay pa tatun sa sulod mga 150 ka tuig kun magpadayon diya ang Tagalization ka Pilipinas... JD

(BGen.Michelangelo Siscar-INM: MetroManilaPh)
Masubo gid ang matabo kon ang aton nga local nga hambal (dialect) ay madula na sa kalibutan, kag makita naton subong nga daw indi na gid man magdugay pa. Siguro mga isa pa ka gatos ka tuig madula na ang kinaray-a, kag sa tatlo ka gatos ka tuig madula man ang Hiligaynon. Ang mabilin amo ang Hili-kinaray-a-tagalog. Sari-sari na ang linguahe nga ginahambal sa Probinsiya sang Iloilo. Ang Pavia sang una nga puro gid kinaray-a ang ginahambal naga Hiligaynon na ang 20 porsiento. Pay ako tana nagatindog gid ang balahibo ko kon maghiligaynon takon. Daw katingalahan. Pero amo ina ang nagakatabo subong.
Katong una ang mga tagainterior ginakadlawan kang taga siyudad kon maghambal sanda kang kinaray-a. Nga kuno mga buki (taga bukid) ang mga nagakinaray-a. Pay pati timo halos tanan nga tagasiyudad mga taga gwa kang siyudad man. Nagakatingala lang ako nga insa pagabot kang "buki" sa siyudad kang Iloilo dayon nanda "Sina." Matyag ko ang hambal nga Hiligaynon, hambal kang mga Insik nga istranghero nga indi makairo maghambal kang Kinaray-a. Kung indi man, siguro hambal kang mga taga-baybay. Pay bisan ano ang ihambal ta, iba gid tana ang hambal kang mga taga-baybay kag mga taga-bukid. Ang hambal nga "Tuya" sa taga bukid, ay "Didto" sa mga taga-baybay. And hambal nga "Di-a" kang taga bukid, ay "Ina" sa taga baybay. Ang "Tuya" sa taga bukid, ay "Didto" sa taga baybay. Pa-ano nag iba ang mga hambal sang duha ka grupo ka tao nga nagaistar sa isa ka isla sang Panay? Kag may pangatlo pa nga hambal sa sulod sang Panay. Inang hambal kang mga taga Aklan. Ay abaw, ti linti gid. Insa nagrako ang mga dialect sa isa ka isla nga gamay? Insa sa Palawan waay ti Hiligaynon kundi Kinaray-a lang kag Tagalog? Tagalog sa Puerto Princesa City nga may asik-asik nga Cuyunin (Kinaray-a kang Antique). Sa sagwa kang Puerto halos tanan naga-kinaray-a man. May mga nagaistar man sa baybay kang Cuyo, Palawan, pay insa nga waay ti nagaHiligaynon tuya? Tungod nga halin sanda tanan sa Antique?
Sa sige nga mixla kang hambal ta sa Panay, Palawan, Luzon, kag Mindanao sa pira ka adlaw champorado ang aton nga linguahe. Ang importante lang karan diyan nga nagaintindihanay ang tanan. Kag sigurado nga maging damgo dulang ang tinubuan ta nga hambal. Mapadayon lang siguro diya kon maghambal kag magsulat kita pirme sa amo diya nga linguahe.

(Commentaries-June 17, 2006)
Kanamit gid magbasa sang hiligaynon...
madamo tani ang inyong lahi...
kanamit pamatyag ko kon
makabati sang inyong estorya.
namit gid, gusto ko magkadto sa inyo



I. Meaning of ‘Visaya’ (pronounced as ‘bisaya’)


Bisaya means ‘our own’, ‘native’, ‘indigenous’. When Masbatenos say they are speaking in ‘Binisaya’, they mean that that are speaking in Masbateno. When Ilonggos say they are speaking in ‘Binisaya’, they mean that that are speaking in Ilonggo. When Cebuanos say they are speaking in ‘Binisaya’, they mean that that are speaking in Cebuano. ‘Bisaya nga manok’ means native chicken. ‘Bisaya nga iro’ means native dog.

II. Five Branches of the Visayan Languages:
1. Southern Visayan branch: Surigaonon (spoken in Surigao Norte and part of Surigao Sur), Butuanon (spoken in Butuan, and parts of Agusan Norte and Agusan Sur), Tausug (spoken in Basilan, Sulu)
2. Cebuano branch: Cebuano (the only surviving language of this branch spoken in Cebu, East Negros, Siquijor, Bohol, Southeastern Masbate, West and South Leyte, West Biliran, Camiguin, most of Mindanao)
3. Central Visayan branch: Waray (spoken in Northeast Leyte, Samar, and possibly Sorsogon Bicol is a dialect of Waray), Masbateno (spoken in North Masbate), Bantayanon (spoken in Bantayan island), Romblomanon (spoken in Romblon and Sibuyan islands Romblon province), Capiceno (spoken in North Capiz, but this is probably a dialect of Hiligaynon), Hiligaynon (spoken in the Northern coast of Iloilo, Southwest Masbate, most of Guimaras, West Negros, parts of the Cotabato provinces).
4. Western Visayan branch: Kinaray-a (spoken in most of Panay- South and interior Iloilo, Southwest Guimaras, interior Capiz, Antique), Aklanon (spoken in Aklan), Unhan (spoken in Tablas island Romblon province), Cuyo (spoken in the Cuyo islands and previously but recently extinct in the Puerto Princessa area of Palawan), Calayanon (spoken in parts of Palawan).
5. Asi branch: Asi (the only surviving language of this branch spoken in Tablas island). If this language dies, one of the major linguistic divisions of the Visayan languages will have become extinct.