Nothing to celebrate with the Buwan ng Pambansang Wika

You Tagalize the country for your own political survival.

Today, 19 August is the 134th birthday of the Father of National Language and the former President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Manuel Luis Molina Quezon. The whole month of August has been commemorated as the “Buwan ng Pambansang Wika” or National Language Month in honor of Manuel Luis Molina Quezon’s birth month. His presidency was significant as he was during the presidency that a national language was enacted by our constitution of 1935.

Before his presidency, there was no single common language spoken among the Filipinos (even today as most Filipinos speaks with their respective languages even through there is a national language imposed by our constitution) although Spanish was served as the lingua franca among Filipinos who wants to speak with other ethno-linguistic groups however, Spanish never became a real common language among the Filipinos, let alone of becoming a first language among the majority of the Filipinos as the evolution of Spanish language as the common and national language among Filipino was derailed by the American colonization where the Americans imposed their language, English as the common language through a massive public education, the declaration of Tagalog aka “Filipino” as the national language in 1937, and the destruction of the Intramuros during World War II where most Spanish-speaking Filipinos used to live, and the Black Legend-inspired anti-Spanish resentment among Filipinos who raised during the American and post-American era.

The installation of Tagalog language as the basis for the national language to be called later as “Filipino” was based on naive and ill-advised perspectives among the delegates of the 1934-1935 Constitutional Convention where most vocal delegates were Tagalogs.

The delegates who passed the 1935 constitution never realized the country’s multilingual and multinational nature where imposing one national perspectives over the other nationals within the country resulted into a resentment between nations within the Philippine archipelago even until now as the economic and political developments of the country are focused in Tagalog regions at the expense of other regions due to political, economic, cultural, and linguistic systems that gives them an unfair comparative advantage over the other nations like the Cebuanos, Ilocanos, Hiligaynons, Warays, Pampangos, and many other Philippine nations.

The naive and ill-advised perspectives among the delegates of the 1934-1935 Constitutional Convention who passed the 1935 constitution have resulted into distortion of the evolution for a single Filipino identity and nation and this distortion is the cause of our cultural, economic, linguistic, and political backwardness over the rest of the world for the last 77 years and maybe irreversible unless we accept the reality that our cultural, economic, linguistic, and political system needs to be fully changed through a constitutional revision.

For me, to correct the mistakes of our politicians during the 1934-1935 Constitutional Convention is to make other Philippine-based languages as national language in par with Tagalog and the instruction of Philippine-based languages especially the major ones like Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Pampango, Bicolano should be limited to their respective regions while encouraging Spanish (most preferably) and English as the common language of all Filipinos from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi.

14 thoughts on “Nothing to celebrate with the Buwan ng Pambansang Wika

  1. Para sa akin po, mas makapilipino ang magkaroon ng common native language (like Tagalog) than using a “foreign” based language like English or Spanish. Adopting a foreign language to become a national language of the Filipinos though practical does not promote nationalism (love of country). It will only make the Filipinos become more sustaining in the so called “colonial mentality” which has been the object of the concerned Filipinos to erase….because it has a negative impact in the social behavior that into a negative value system such as Filipinos have the belief that anything foreign is far superior to Filipinos’ products , thus we keep “importing” and so our reserve is going out of country, bad to our economy. Palagay ko po mas maraming advantage ang HINDI gumamit ng banagang/ foreign language (Englih/Spanish) kaysa pumili ng isang tunay na dialect , like Tagalog as our national language…

    • By the way, with the age of globalization, colonial mentality is a bogeyman as all acts in our daily lives are using foreign-made products and through internet, interaction between countries is inevitable and through trade also,
      economic interaction is inevitable also and interacting them needs to use a language where two person persons from different parts of the world are comfortable.

      History shows that having Tagalog as the basis of our national language further divided not united our country as Tagalogs gained unfair advantage over non-Tagalogs.

      We should take the examples of Mexico and Peru where they made Spanish as their respective common language that unites the Nahuatl and Mayan descendants for the case of Mexico and the Quechua and Aymara for the case of Peru.

    • Kun “langyawanon” nga pinulongan it Ininggles o Kinatsila,¿huna mo kami nga mga diri-Tag-alog diri nagtatagad hit Tinag-alog nga “langyawanon nga pinulongan” gihapon?

    • It’s not about colonial mentality; it’s about compromise and consensus.
      Imagine if Malay became our lingua franca, will we have a problem like this today?

  2. It’s a Cultural Suicide to make a common Language.

    It will DO MORE HARM than doing good for a country.

    India has more than Dozen National Languages, still they are progressive…

  3. Hello Joseph,

    “…although Spanish was served as the lingua franca among Filipinos who wants to speak with other ethno-linguistic groups however, Spanish never became a real common language among the Filipinos, let alone of becoming a first language among the majority of the Filipinos as the evolution of Spanish language as the common and national language among Filipino was derailed by the American colonization…”

    This is not completely correct. Spanish did become a ‘common language” among Filipinos. Why? While it is true that it didn’t become the first language of a majority of Filipinos, it was the second language of a huge majority (and this fact is not taught to us). Also, it is quite ironic that during the first decades of the US Occupation, Spanish flourished all the more compared to the three centuries of Spanish rule. Lastly, please refrain from using “American”. All the people of North and South America —from Canada all the way to Argentina— are Americans. And all the peoples of both continents know this for a fact. They refer to themselves as Americans. It is only the citizens of USA which have unjustly appropriated the demonym “American” for themselves. The reason, aside from neocolonialist policies and globalization, is that they have no true identity themselves.



  4. I realized the sins of institutionalizing a national language (and culture) only when I was able to recognize that the other ethnicities and languages in this country are distinct from one another. The fact that our educational and cultural system blindly obscurizes all these realities is another point of suspicion. This malignant status quo breeds generations that easily ridicule any identity outside what is being ascribed as ‘elite’ and ‘nationalistic.’

  5. Benjamin, love of country is love of the land and the people who has a stake in it, those who will fight for it, regardless of race or language. Spanish and English is a Filipino language too for cultural reasons, that is it is the language of the revolution and what shaped our nation. What you are referring to by loving only the aborigines of the land, regardless if they are fruitful or harmful to the nation is not nationalism but RACISM. You are loyal not to the land or the country but to only to your RACE!

  6. Pingback: Pag-alaala sa Buwan ng Wika « PraxiS

    • Ang tanong dito eto, ang wikang Filipino ba ay halo-halo ng mga ibat-ibang wika mula sa mga kapuloan o kahawig lang ng Tagalog?

      Malinaw na ang sagot na kahawig lang ng Tagalog kaya kaming mga hindi Tagalog ay hindi masyadong gumagamit ng wikang iyan.


    Ngunit sa kasalukuyan ang linggwahe ng call-center agents, mayayamang tao at sa global na sirkulasyon ng pera ay coñyo, este Ingles pala. Ayon na rin sa mga eksperto, mananatiling English ang lingwahe ng Kapitalismo – kahit sa pagsibol ng Mandarin at paglubog ng hegemonya ni Big Brother. hindi na maikakaila ang pangangailangan sa Ingles.

  8. Let’s face it:
    Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina idolized the Katipunan, so he chose Tagalog as the basis of the so-called “national” language.
    Imagine if Sr. Quezon was forced to compromise in favor of Malay as the lingua franca of the Philippines?
    Maybe we don’t have so many problems like today.

    Guys, look at Indonesia; they adapted Malay as their national language (as Bahasa Indonesia) though most of the main personalities of their independence movement are Javanese. Why? Malay is used in Indonesia since ancient times.

    Remember the Laguna Copperplate Inscription?

    • Sorry for replying to an old comment, I just wanted to add in my two-cents.
      While Malay is not associated with a dominant ethnic group and therefore suitable to be use as a national language in Indonesia, it makes much more sense for the Philippines to have Spanish as a national language(again).
      Majority of the history and the Golden Age of Literature of the Philippines has all been written in Spanish. It’s quite a shame really. Most Filipinos would have to have to relay on translations. The meaning of the texts could have been lost in translation, or could have possibly been distorted by the translator themselves; depending on their political leanings or their general view of Filipino history. This would just give more power to the people in charge, since they can change history much more easily, if it suited their interests.
      Not only that, Spanish is more widely spoken throughout the world and is one of the official languages of the United Nations. While Malay, from what I heard, is closely related to the indigenous languages, it would be very much a foreign language. Spanish on the other hand, is a Filipino language, and has been spoken by many of the most important figures in Filipino history, including none other than the national hero himself, Dr. José Rizal.

      • sir Jerry, Castillan/Spanish as the official language of the Philippines is not actually bad in my opinion, but imagine a Spanish-language Filipino telenovela, set in a rural area (not in Manila, where Spanish is spoken as a mother tongue)…

Comments are closed.