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WIKA: an Intergenerational Dialogue on Language, Assimilation, and Colonialism of the Philippines

Audio discussion between Mildred German and Ted Alcuitas

by Mildred German

Baybayin: Pre-Spanish Philippine writing system
Baybayin: Pre-Spanish Philippine writing system
 
August 24, 2019
Two Filipino-Canadian journalists from different generations share a dialogue on the Pilipino Language, one of the official languages of the Philippines. In addition, this dialogue highlights topics on the Colonialism of the Philippines by Spain that resulted to loss of identity and culture including language. This dialogue also coincides with the Philippine National Language Month, which is every August.
 
Ted Alcuitas, publisher and editor of PhilippinesCanadianNews.com, the first and only online newspaper linking the Filipino communities across Canada, discusses with fellow young journalist his knowledge and experiences on the assimilation and language barriers in Canada, the Pilipino  anguage, and the many dialects the Philippines has.
 
Forced migration that resulted to Filipinos diaspora to over 150 counties has also resulted to loss of Filipino identity, culture, and language for many overseas Filipinos, and their children suffer the most on this Philippines indigenous language gaps.
 
In Canada, there are new initiatives to learn Pilipino. One example is the Filipino-Canadian community’s push of Pilipino language as a curriculum has been passed. The latest census figures  how the Pilipino language is the second most common mother tongue in Winnipeg. Statistics Canada reports Pilipino is the first language of 35,620 people in Winnipeg census, and Pilipino is the fastest growing language in Canada with native Pilipino speakers increase between 2006 and 2011.
 
The recent announcement that indigenous scripts Baybayin’s resurgence in the Philippine education system remains a far yet platform for communication. Baybayin has almost disappeared due to the English brought by the US colonialism of the Philippines, and Tagalog has been the major dialect used as declared in 1937 proclamation that Tagalog is the platform and basis for and as the Philippine national languages.
 
In a statement on South China Morning Post, Virgilio Almario, Chairman of Government  commissions on Language and Culture, said it was important to walk the line between losing scripts to extinction and being practical about usage. “We need to balance this carefully. We need Filipino as a bridge language but weshould also appreciate the languages of all communities,” Almario said.
 
Baybayin is an ancient pre-colonial written scriptures prior to the Philippines became Philippines under the colonial rule of Spain. Baybayin has 17 indigenous script used in the Philippines before Spanish colonization.
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