Ilocano language, culture, literature

Monday, April 09, 2007

Ilocano Cas MOI Cadagiti Escuela a Mayoria ti Ilocano

Iti daytoy a tungtungan maipapan iti pannacaaramat ti Ilocano cas medium of instruction (MOI) iti escuela primaria cadagiti lugar a mayoria dagiti Ilocano, napadayawannac iti itatabuno da Raymund Addun, Research Associate diay Institute of Popular Democracy, ken maysa met cadagiti advocates ti pannacausar ti Ilocano iti pagtutungtungan a publico, iti govierno local, iti escuela ken nadumaduma a media cadagiti amin a luglugar nga Ilocano ti pagsasao ti caadduan, ken ni Dr. Ariel Agcaoili, NAKEM Conference coordinator ken Professor iti University of Hawaii at Manoa:

Mon, 9 Apr 2007 05:15:05: Insurat ni Joe Padre:

Dear Raymund,

In an email, Ariel Agcaoili mentioned that you're presently in Spain on a scholarship. Excellent!

Well, the reason I'm writing to you really is Ariel's telling me that you are involved in the Ilocano language dialogue. In fact, I've read some of your views in that blog you have with Joel B. Manuel. This is great because, as a newbie in this, I truly think that there should be more like you to keep the dialogue alive and over the top of the national agenda. As we learned in Spanish I, "El bato rolando gathero no moso."

By way of introduction, I invite you to read where I'm coming from at Then please email me what you think.

I'm also trying to convince a few people, including Cles Rambaud, Editor, Bannawag, to archive in an Internet website all existing Ilocano literary material, including oral folklore, to preserve them for the present generation and posterity and to provide content material if we were to push for the use of Ilocano as auxilliary medium of instruction in our schools where Ilocano is spoken by the majority as mandated by the 1987 Constitution. I have suggested a basic content outline at I thought Roy V. Aragon's would be the ideal site for the archive, however, it would be up to him if he is amenable to work in the proposed Ilocano Online content. Otherwise, we'd just have to have an independent Ilocano Online website.

Would really appreciate your insight into these.

Thanks and good luck and may you enjoy your stay in Spain!

Sincerely yours,

Joe Padre

Mon, 9 Apr 2007 14:36:00: Insurat ni Raymund Addun:

Dear Joe,

Thanks for writing.

Yes, i remember writing an essay with Joel about 3 years ago on Ilocano orthography. Unfortunately (or is it fortunately?), since then I have changed my views on the subject. I have even asked Joel to delete that essay. Re orthography, for now I couldn’t care less because a greater threat or battle has to be fought. This threat is that originating from the present language policy of the government.

On "regional" languages being auxiliary languages in schools: this is not enough to resurrect and develop our regional languages. Even if the regional languages were given the status of auxilliary languages, their use as such would only be given lip-service by the powers-that-be at the DepEd and KWF. For a language to develop, it must be given priority/primacy in all aspects of social life: schools, government, media. To demand auxiliary status in schools is akin to a slave asking for rugs with which to wrap his chains so that they would not make so much noise. No, what we should demand is the breaking up of the chains that bind us. We have been enslaved by the Tagalistas for so long already. We should demand that Ilocano be the official lingua franca in Ilocandia. That is, Ilocano should not only be the medium of instruction in some subjects, but in ALL subjects. It should not only be read in Ilocano literature but in all books, be they technical, scientific or literary. It should be used by the Ilocano governments in all their communications. In short, our vision should be grand and not small. Our vision should be to have Ilocano stand with respect among the other living languages of the world such as English, Spanish, and German.

On compiling all Ilocano literary works, this is long overdue. They should be compiled electronically. In short, let us have an electronic corpus. The corpus not only is the world view of the language, literature and culture of the Ilocanos, it is also the basis from which the language will blossom. With it we can develop our lexical banks, dictionaries, common usage rules.

The state of Ilocano under the threat of being either ruined or altogether killed by the government’s short-sighted language policies is precarious. Even if we win the battle, we will have to rebuild from the ruins. We should be ready for this eventuality.

Ala ngarud wen. ditoy pay laeng.

Agyamanak. 'imbag nga aldaw.


Mon, 9 Apr 2007 16:42:56: Insurat ni Joe Padre:

Dear Raymund,

It's good to know someone like you has so much passion for this kind of dialogue which is long overdue for elevation into the national agenda. My initial assessment of the problem is that we Ilocanos are incredibly too passive, especially in reacting to initiatives by the government that affect our lives, our language, our literature and culture. We take pride in being characterized as being pliant like the bamboo even if the forces of change, mostly external, are out to bring the bamboo to its breaking point. We don't seem to have the spunk of the Chavacanos--their steadfast adherence to their own language and orthography, their refusal to follow the mainstream. I do like to use John Stuart Mills admonition on a similar plane:

"A people may prefer a free government, but if, from indolence, or carelessness, or cowardice, or want of public spirit, they are unequal to the exertions necessary for preserving it; if they will not fight for it when it is directly attacked; if they can be deluded by the artifices used to cheat them out of it; if by momentary discouragement, or temporary panic, or a fit of enthusiasm for an individual, they can be induced to lay their liberties at the feet even of a great man, or trust him with powers which enable him to subvert their institutions; in all these cases they are more or less unfit for liberty: and though it may be for their good to have had it even for a short time, they are unlikely long to enjoy it."

There's an excellent article written by Elizabeth A. Calinawagan (of the UP- Baguio) which was among the papers presented at the 2006 NAKEM Conference, one of Ariel Agcaoili's more useful thingamajigs. Entitled "Empowering Ilokano as Language for Local Governance" (p. 35), the paper presents empirical data on language usage within the minutes of a local government meeting in the City of San Fernando, La Union. I believe your concerns about the primacy of the Ilocano language, or lack thereof, in public functions are addressed.

My theory about insisting on Ilocano becoming one of the major players as media of instruction at the elementary and/or secondary levels in schools where the majority speaks Ilocano is that once the young ones actually see/realize the value of their mother tongue being used as medium of instruction in school, they will be the next staunchest supporters of its use in public functions when they grow up, especially among those who are lucky to become our leaders of tomorrow.

At any rate, I suggest we continue the dialogue without letting down.

I think the first order of business ought to concentrate our energies on having GMA's Exec. Order #210 of May 17, 2003, as implemented by DepEd Memo. #189 of June 2003 and DepEd Order #36 of Aug. 22, 2006, declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL so the powers-that-be would be forced to implement the provisions of Sec. 7, Art. 14 of the 1987 Constitution which mandates, among other things, that "The regional languages are the auxiliary official languages in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein."

We are not about to let Ilocano fall victim of a determined language genocide being waged by no less than the President herself.


Joe Padre

Mon, 9 Apr 2007 17:50:36: Insurat ni Ariel Agcaoili:

Patgek a Joe,

Addaakon iti 'dumadangadang' mode. I want to fight--and now.

We are getting Dr. Nolasco to address us at the Nakem and we are putting together a resolution asking him to support the cause of declaring Ilokano as one of the country's national languages. It is high time we did this. Makapaunget ti ar-aramidenda a kastoy. You are right about this linguistic and cultural genocide and this is systemic.

Be well,


Tue, 10 Apr 2007 00:42:55: Insurat ni Raymund Addun:

Dear Ariel,

I am feeling like Simoun in the Fili. To kindle a revolution, let a thousand Ilocanos be frustrated. My take is that, the KWF and the powers-that-be will not listen. But that's how a revolution starts. So let it be. Let's dialogue and present our views to them. But let us be prepared for it to fall on deaf ears. It is for KWF's negativism vis-a-vis the regional languages and the frustration that I have that I am banking on grassroots/guerrilla tactics for Ilocano. When a critical mass of Ilocanos shall have been convinced of the righteousness of our cause, then with one great voice in unison with our other non-Tagalog comrades, let us declare to the President, the KWF, DepEd and the other instrumentalities of government involved in developing and implementing language policy: ENOUGH of this CULTURAL GENOCIDE, ADOPT A NORMALIZATION POLICY FOR OUR LANGUAGES, NATIONALIZE or OFFICIALIZE ALL MAJOR LANGUAGES. RECTIFY the ERRORS of a one-nation-one-language policy.

The reasons I can think of why the powers-that-be still cling to the conservative, reactionary and obscurantist policy of developing a national language they hypocritically call Filipino are personal and selfish in nature. However, I'll refrain from specifics here lest I strike a sensitive chord if this loop gets to travel around.

On Joe's views about children learning in Ilocano: an approach short of a general normalization policy on account of which it would not be sustainable. Even if children were exposed to Ilocano, such exposure would be neutralized by their exposure to Tagalog and English. And because of the favored use of Tagalog and English in the social milieu, the students' exposure to their native Ilocano would come to naught. There is no substitute for a general or systemic approach to language learning and development.

Proponents of the evolution of a national language such as Filipino based primarily on Tagalog want us to believe that "we need a common (national) language to understand each other". Truth is even before all the government initiatives to install Tagalog (now Filipino) as the national language, we--multi-cultural and multi-lingual that we are--already had English or Spanish to communicate with each other. Our forebears and leaders found nothing wrong with using a colonial language to liberate themselves. Jose Rizal wrote the Noli and Fili in Spanish. Besides, the one-nation-one-language proponents have grossly underestimated the power of regional language loyalty. Hence, even now that it appears Tagalog or the new "Filipino" has taken roots across the nation, even now that it has been swallowed hook and sinker in the form regurgitated by KWF plus all the permutations perpetuated by a bilingual language policy, the desired "one-nation-one-language" unity as a nation has continued to elude us.

The selection of Tagalog as the basis for the national language was necessarily a product of the biases of those in power at the time the choice was made. We understand that. However, we take issue on such pronouncements: "Filipino is envisioned to be based on Tagalog. It is not Tagalog. It is a language adopting other words from Ilocano and other languages." There's nothing magical or surprising about that. It's the very essence of the evolution of language. However, Filipino is still Tagalog because it follows the grammatical, morphological, syntactical and even phonemical rules of Tagalog. To use this to rationalize the government's aggressive initiatives to foist it upon the entire populace--especially our young children--at the exclusion of their mother tongue, their regional language, is language genocide. And since language mirrors the culture of a people, it's ultimately cultural genocide.

So, please spare us the hocus-pocus. Call a spade a spade and stop fooling us.

Ala wen ditoy pay laeng, ta kas ken ariel, makapa-highblood.



Tue, 10 Apr 2007 16:01:44: Insurat ni Joe Padre:

Dear Ariel and Raymund,

Under KWF Commissioner Ricardo Nolasco’s leadership, it appears there’s a shift away from the “isang bansa, isang wika” slogan of the Komisyong Sa Wikang Filipino. In an address at the opening of the “Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa 2006”, Nolasco tackled the issue: “Kung Bakit Isang Malaking Pakinabang Sa Pilipinas Ang Pagkakaroon Nito Ng Maraming Wika.” He declared that the 1970s slogan, “isang bansa, isang wika”, although it had a nice ring to it, actually was a dangerous concept. I hope that Nolasco was not simply playing to the crowd when he announced:

“...nangyayari lamang ang quality na edukasyon kapag ang learner ay nagsisimula sa pagsusulat at pagbabasa sa pamamagitan ng kanilang unang wika—ang wika ng kanilang tahanan at komunidad. Pinadadali ng unang wika ang kasanayan sa pagsulat at pagbasa at pinatatatag and pundasyon sa patuloy na pagkakatuto. Sa pamamagitan ng paggamit ng mga halimbawa na malapit sa kanilang karanasan at kultura ay nakakabuo ang estudyante ng mga konsepto at nagagamit nila ito para magbuo ng bagong mga konsepto. Ang pag-aaral ni Bernardo (1998) ay nagpapatunay na ang cognitive maturity at ang nagreresultang kritical na pag-iisip ay naisusulong sa pamamagitan ng paggamit ng lokal na wika sa elementarya. Nagsisilbing tulay ang lokal na wika upang bumulas ang kanilang kognitibong kakayahan at upang sistematikong matuto sila ng wikang Filipino at Ingles at ng bagong mga kaalaman sa naturang mga wika… Hindi ko na po kailangang sabihin sa inyo na kapag hindi po natin ginamit ang ating mga wika ay mamamatay po ito. Kapag nangyari ito ay napakaraming mahahalagang katawagan na pangkultura at pang-katutubong agham ang tuluyang maglalaho. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit kailangan natin itong patuloy na pag-aralan, saliksikin, panatiliin at ituro sa paaralan… Gusto ko pong imungkahi—kung inyong mamarapatin—na may higit na tumpak at angkop na islogan para sa Pilipinas, at ito ay: “isang bansa, maraming wika.”

Amen to that. Let’s hope Mr. Nolasco will work hard on the implementation of this beautiful concept, much of it having been validated by various UNESCO studies around the world. The sooner, the better.

You see, Raymund, we do have to start educating our children in Ilocano starting in grade school as pointed above by Dr. Nolasco. Else, if your theory that the exposure of the young to Ilocano as early as in the first grade is not sustainable and will just go to naught because of their exposure to Filipino and English at about the same time and because of the socio-economic pressures that would make them gravitate toward Filipino and English, if your theory proves to be right, then all the effort in the world to cajole them back to learn and/or use Ilocano at a later age such as at the university or tertiary level, in public or private functions will simply go to naught as well. What makes you think that further in the future, the people who are not exposed to Ilocano at a young age would have retained the skills to speak Ilocano in public or private because their parents were neither exposed to Ilocano when they were young? The traditional Ilocano family who speak Ilocano at home now will eventually disappear. Remember the Incas of South America? After their conquest by the Spaniards, the Incas and their traditions were brutally repressed by the Spanish rulers. The rest is history.

In Linguistic Legislation and Normalization Process: The Catalan Case in Spain,certain parameters, legal and otherwise, were set in the “normalization” of Catalan as the “official language” of Catalonia alongside Castillian as the official language of Spain. I agree that the entire process, especially the effort to erect safeguards to achieve equal “officiality” of Catalan and Castillian in the region makes for a good model that Dr. Ariel Agcaoili would find helpful in preparing the proposed resolution NAKEM plans to present to KWF Commissioner Ricardo Nolasco at the forthcoming NAKEM Conference in Batac, Ilocos Norte, a move to urge the commissioner to declare Ilocano as one of the country’s official languages.

Talk to you later, dudes.


Tue, 10 Apr 2007 16:57:48: Insurat ni Ariel Agcaoili:

Dear Joe,

Of the many uninformed commissioners--and chairs--of KWF, Ricky Nolasco has a solid scholarship on languages, cultures, and language engineering. He may yet be on our side. If he sees that we mean business with this RESISTANCE AND THAT WE ARE READY FOR THIS LINGUISTIC AND CULTURAL DANGADANG, SOMETHING GOOD MIGHT COME OUT/UP.

This has to stop and now. And this ignorance from among the ranks of Ilokanos has to be also exposed. Imagine the Inglisero Ilokanos who are no better than the dude next door? Good God! Awagantay dagiti amin nga anito!

Be well,


Tue, 10 Apr 2007 17:09:55: Insurat ni Joe Padre:

Dear Ariel,

To tell you the truth, I was really impressed that Dr. Nolasco took the time to respond to my critique on his piece on ergativity. He was man enough to own up his errors. I wish I could tell him face to face that I admire his guts and intellectual honesty.

Hope he means what he says and says what he means in that speech at the Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa 2006. And that you and NAKEM would be able to ride him on our issues with the Ilocano language.


Tue, 10 Apr 2007 17:25:22: Insurat ni Ariel Agcaoili:

Aloha Joe,

Siinanamaak a kasta ti kalidad ti kararua ken kananakem ni Ricky.

Nabaknang met ti padasna iti kultural a dangadang iti pagilian ket ammok a no datayo a mismo ti mangirukit manen ken manen kenkuana kadagitoy moral ken nainnakeman nga obligasion, di bumurong a makitana met dagiti sukog ken maris ken langa dagiti an-anek-ekentayo amin ita. Ania a basol ti panagliwat ket kinaang-ang no ditay aggaraw!

Ita, masapul nga atong ken beggang ken alipatotayo amin ita iti maysa ken maysa tapno nabunga ti pagbanagan daytoy a Tignay.

Be well,


Tue, 10 Apr 2007 23:27:48: Insurat ni Raymund Addun:

Joe a patgen,

You see, Raymund, we do have to start educating our children in Ilocano starting in grade school as pointed above by Dr. Nolasco.

Yes indeed, as I was saying. But more than that, the children should also use Ilocano to learn all subjects in all grade levels as well as in college.

Else, if your theory that the exposure of the young to Ilocano as early as in the first grade is not sustainable and will just go to naught because of their exposure to Filipino and English at about the same time and because of the socio-economic pressures that would make them gravitate toward Filipino and English, if your theory proves to be right, then all the effort in the world to cajole them back to learn and/or use Ilocano at a later age such as at the university or tertiary level, in public or private functions will simply go to naught as well.

I believe that without a general policy for the normalization of Ilocano, without a formal declaration that Ilocano is the official language in the Ilocano regions, without its use in the media, in the streets (as in street signs and billboards), in local government communication, the children will always gravitate towards Tagalog and English outside the Ilocano classroom. As it is now, although children are exposed to their native tongue 24 hours a day, Ilocano remains "unintellectualized" in the sense that no technical books are written in Ilocano. And that's because there is no market demand for such. That demand will come from officialization of the language. If you ask me, the day I see a book on microbiology or astrophysics written in Ilocano in print and used in schools will be my happiest day.

In Carmen, Rosales (Pangasinan) or even in Union, there are signs saying "Bawal ang umihi dito" instead of "Maiparit ti umisbo ditoy". When children are asked to read Ilocano text, they not only find themselves puzzled by the exact meaning of their "own" words, but worst, AGBIDDABIDDALDA nga agbasa. The reason is their insufficient exposure to the language in the literary and scientific milieu. If you ask them to read in English or Tagalog, AY, NAGALISTODA. Nakaskasdaang daytoy nga epekto ti language policy ti gobierno.

I once asked an Ilocano UP graduate why it was that in the Jollibee or McDonalds restaurants at Plaza Salcedo in Vigan the food crew spoke in Tagalog. She said, and I could sense she was insincere with her answer, that, well there was a government promotion for Vigan as a tourist destination and for that they should speak Tagalog there. Well, I said, in all the non-English or non-Spanish European countries I've been to, I've never found any establishment in which the help catered to me by speaking in either one of the languages I speak (English, Spanish). Let's bow to the ignorance of many Ilocanos Ariel is lamenting about.

Anyway, my point is by all means let's start using Ilocano as the medium of instruction in the classroom, but let's not stop there. Simultaneously, let's make Ilocano the language of general use in all aspects of Ilocano life: government, arts, sciences, media.

Ala, ditoy pay laeng.


Wed, 11 Apr 2007 16:27:24: Insurat ni Joe Padre:

Patgec a Raymund ken Ariel,

Kinapudnona, umannamongac cadagiti amin a pamanunotan ni Raymund maipapan iti panagdur-as ti Ilocano.

Isuna laeng nga adda giddiat ti mabalin nga aramidentayo iti uneg dagiti agdama a paglintegan a maidasig iti masapul tayo nga aramiden ngem masapul ti baro a paglintegan.

Ayanna a pagdacsan ket uray man pay casano ti kinasayaat ti arapaapentay nga aramiden no awan met paglintegan a mangipalubos iti calicagumantay nga aramiden.

Agsipud ta napadasan idin (1999/2000) ti panangusar iti Tagalog, Ilocano ken Cebuano a pangisuro iti Grades I ken II babaen ti macuna a Regional Lingua Franca experimental program, nalabit dacdackel ti gundaway tayo a macagun-od iti panangirusat/panangbiag manen iti daytoy babaen ti liderato ni Apo Ricardo Nolasco. Ti dackel a biddut daydi immuna nga experimento ti Regional Lingua Franca program ket isu ti panangipalubos iti tallo laeng a pagsasao (Tagalog, Ilocano ken Cebuano) nga aramaten a medium of instruction (MOI). Adda dagiti regions (Western Visayas, Central and Southern Mindanao and Caraga) a saan a Tagalog, Ilocano wenno Cebuano ti pagsasao da ket capilitan a Tagalog ti pinili da numan pay saan a Tagalog ti pagsasao da (duh!).

Adda ken Ariel ken ti NAKEM ti naisangsangayan a gundaway a makiuman ken ni Apo Nolasco tapno iti casta, mairaman dagiti dadduma a major regional languages ken no ania a grado dagiti ubbing ti rumbeng a sursuruan babaen ti bucod da a regional language. No siac a maysa, uray irugi iti entero nga elementaria ngem ketdi ilaem a sursuruen ti Ingles ken Filipino cas pagsasao laeng imbes nga MOI. Nagsayaat coman no aglaylayon nga aramaten dagiti regional languages cas MOI iti high school. Ngem no di ipalubos dayta, rebbengna a cadagiti Ilocano regions maituloy a sursuruen ti Ilocano cas pagsasao ken tapno mausig ti Literatura Ilocana iti high school manipud primeraño agingga iti cuartoaño.

No diac mariro, tumulong sa met ti Mariano Marcos State University cadagiti pacasecnan ti NAKEM. Bareng ti panagtinnulong dagitoy ti agbunga iti casapulan a curriculum/course content, teacher training, assessment tools ken dadduma pay a casapulan ti panangpatanor iti Ilocano cas MOI iti elementaria, ken casta pay ti aglaylayon coma a pannacaisuro ti Ilocano cas pagsasao ken Ilocano literature iti high school. Dagitoy ti nangpapigsa iti pakinakemco a nangisingasing iti maysa a website a sangalen nga electronic archive ti amin a mabalin nga ilaem a Literatura Ilocana (sarita, novela, daniw, comics, salaysay, oral/folklore, folksongs, children's literature) a naimaldit cadagiti amin a pagiwarnac/periodico iti Ilocano (cangrunaan ti Bannawag) ken dadduma pay a resources (dictionary, grammar, course content, how-to/self-help materials, etc.) cas maimatangan iti temporario nga Ilocano Online ( tapno iti casta adda sisasagana a referencia wenno pakidinnamagan 24/7 dagiti estudiante nga Ilocano.

Tangay ipalubos met ti Sec. 7, Art. 14 ti 1987 Constitution ti panangaramat iti regional languages cas official language, mabalin masapul nga ipalagip daytoy cadagiti agturay.

Nanumo laeng a pamanunotan, cacabsat.


Thu, 12 Apr 2007 01:11:16: Insurat ni Raymond Addun:

"Ti saanna ammo ti agayat ti bukodna a pagsasao, nabangbangsit pay ngem ti nalaes nga ican." -- Jose Rizal

Ne, mayat sa dayta a tema para ti marugian a language revolution inton NAKEM.

Wen, Joe, ti kaagpaysuanna, political ken policy struggle daytoy tignay tayo. Pudno a kasapulan ti constitutional amendments to give a level playing field for all the languages to develop.

For this struggle, we need all tactics, strategies and resources as we could muster.

For the grassroots approach, we need a Media Campaign in regions, for example. For this we need an organization, which I hope the Nakem NGO will spearhead.

Under serious threat of Tagalization is Baguio. According to recent census results, the number of Ilocanos there has declined. Ilocanos comprise 44 percent, Tagalog migrants swelled to 20 percent and the Pangasinenses and our Cordilleran brothers account for the rest. What's more worrisome is that the Tagalog migrants no longer have to learn Ilocano as they did in the past. Instead their language is fast spreading as the lingua franca of the city. A minority and imported language becomes a lingua franca. This could only be possible in a situation where the "outside" support from the media, schools and government is overwhelming.

It is for this phenomenon in many Ilocano cities that the revolution should start now. Enap is Enap.



Thu, 12 Apr 2007 11:48:32: Insurat ni Joe Padre:

Patgec a Raymund ken Ariel,

"Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika ay daig pa ang isang mabaho at malansang isda." Ti dina ammo nga ayaten ti bucodna a pagsasao ket nacarcaro pay ngem ti maysa a nabangsit ken nalaes nga ican. Napintas ti awengna. Isuna laeng a pagdacsan ket ipagarup sa met dagiti Tagalog a ti Tagalog mismo, awan sabali, ti cayat a sawen ti "sariling wika"...

Napintas ti insingasingmo a Media Campaign, Raymund. Ngem ladingitec nga iparicna kenca ti panagduaduac iti dayta a gacat. Ta iti pammaliiwco a bunga dagiti padpadas ken napaspasamac iti napalabas, dackel ti probabilidad dayta nga agbalin a Media Circus--cas iti mapaspasamac iti GUMIL ken TMI--ti panagduyosda cadagiti photo-ops, dagiti socials cas ti induction of officers, ken dagiti maipabpablaac a panagsisinnupiatda (siripen ti Dap-ayan ti a caadduanna ket personality-oriented, imbes a substantive issues maipapan iti Ilocano.

We urgently need a Political Action Committee (PAC) to work in the background like the PACs effectively do here in the United States. No flash bulbs, just plain hard, dedicated work and the skills--plenty of it--to influence/manipulate people, mostly politicians. The PACs in the US are effective because they do their grassroots research to gauge the mood of constituents, and they operate mostly in the corridors of power such as in the White House, in Congress, in the state legislatures, etc. By all conceivable means, they learn each politician's hot buttons, and they know just when to push those buttons. They get results--good or bad--most of the time.

Masapul tayo nga Ilocano ti bucod tay a PAC--ket idawdawatco a saan coma a malipatan ni Ariel ken ti NAKEM daytoy--casapulan ti PAC a familiar cadagiti issues nga Ilocano, ti panangparang-ay ken panangsalacnib iti pagsasao tayo. Casta met nga ipasingked nga ammo daytoy Ilocano PAC dagiti pasicutsicut ti Malacañang, ti Congress, dagiti provincial legislatures, ti Department of Education (DepEd), ti Commission on Higher Education (CHED), ti Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), kdpy. Ti DepEd, CHED, ken TESDA ti nadutocan nga implementing agencies ti Exec. Order #210 ni Presidente Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Maawatac, Ariel, no apay a saan a nairaman ti Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) cadagitoy implementing agencies ti Exec. Order #210. Ngem diac cayat a sawen a saan tay nga ipatuloy ti dialogue tayo iti KWF, nangruna iti babaen ti liderato ni Dr. Ricardo Nolasco agsipud ta patiec nga isu ti macaawat cadagiti pacasecnan dagiti regional languages, cas maaninag iti insingasingna nga slogan: "Isang bansa, maraming wika."

Bottomline is we need a patron or patrons (like the prestigious and influential literary contest sponsors such as the Carlos Palanca Awards, RFAAFL, etc., and, well, the "other" emerging/proliferating literary contest sponsors) with deep pockets and unconditional support from GUMIL, TMI and NAKEM to breathe life into the Ilocano PAC. To take care of the "what's-in-it-for-me" thing, we'll have to assure those potential supporters that they are the direct beneficiaries of the envisioned Ilocano PAC without which there will be no Ilocano writers in the future to write literature from which to choose those worth awarding prizes to unless something is done NOW.

And we need a PAC that demands integrity among its ranks, a cohesive group that understands the concepts of organization (dissent on the substantive issues is great--but no personal intramurals in public, please!), work flow, funding, brainstorming, analysis, prioritizing, stragetizing, policy formulation and implementation, assessment and follow-through. This PAC has to have a thorough understanding of the legislative process, the courts, the exercise of executive power, etc. In short, an understanding of human nature to get the job done. Anything less is bound to fail.


  • At Monday, April 16, 2007 3:21:00 PM, Anonymous Tom B. said…

    I have been reading your email correspondence with your highly esteemed colleagues in academe - Ariel and Raymund more specifically and the rest of the other respondents regarding the topic of "Language and Cultural Genocide". I'll be honest with you: I understood nothing of what Mr. Nolasco had said in his speech in Tagalog. And another thing that sticks out up front - we can't even get together on how to spell "Ilocano". I noticed Ariel, Raymund, and Roy spelled it with a "k" - what's up with that?

    You are absolutely correct about the need for an informed PAC to help burnish Ilocano as a major regional language. Because Filipinos easily get caught up in the pomp, circumstance, photo ops, hob knobbing, the prestige thing and socializing - this inherent weakness and damning trait needs to be identified, dealt with and addressed up front even before the first-round bell rings. When I say "an informed PAC," I mean informed with the inner workings of the Philippine body politic and as you had alluded to - much like the lobbyists and PACs here in the US who are comfortabe and at ease cruising the halls of Congress, the Justice Department and/or the White House. Anything short of such an informed PAC would not even be worth venturing into, much less throwing our support to.

    I agree that something needs to be done to preserve Ilocano even only as a regional language--but a major language nevertheless. I also believe that since the Philippines wants to be a player in a global economy - through its exported talent and expertise, or its products and raw materials - we must, out of necessity learn to speak and to do business in English fluently. BUT NOT TAGALOG!

    The last time I went home (2005) I cringed as I was served by people at a Laoag fast food restaurant speaking to me in TAGALOG. "What in the hell is going on?" I asked with my patience visibly wearing thin. They were apologetic but insisted that TAGALOG, after all, was the national language of the Philippines. I replied, "That may very well be true but this is Ilocandia and you should speak Ilocano!" Needless to say, that incident greatly diminished the good taste of the young coconut that I had ordered. Fact was it left a bad taste in my mouth. I thought to myself this was the northernmost part of Ilocandia and this insiduous Tagalog plague thrived, how much more in La Union, in the southern fringes of the region? On the trip back to Tagudin, I thought and deeply reflected on this onslaught on and deep erosion to my culture and how it is effectively getting marginalized, killed. I am still to this day upset about it.


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