Pagkakakilanlan. Identity. May ganito ba ang ating bansa?
Recently, the Supreme Court ruled over the decision to remove Filipino and Panitikan as core subjects in the college curriculum. If I’m not mistaken, kasama na rin dito ata ang Consitution. Pero yung Filipino at Panitikan talaga ang nasa headlines ng news ngayon. Bakit nga ba ito isang big deal?
In this post-colonial era for the Philippines, mahirap tanggihin that we’re just the remains of what used to be a colonial nation. Tatak na tatak pa rin ang Spanish and American identities. Sa Hapon, ibang usapan na yun sapagkat naging resistant at stubborn ang mga Pilipino. Pero yung American influeces talaga. Wow. Basahin mo ang “The Miseducation of the Filipino” ni Renato Constantino. He says that we are miseducated because of the American educational system, many of which include the impractical application of English for students (di naman nila ito ginagamit sa labas ng iskwelahan) at ang incompetency natin sa pag-master ng English, Filipino, at mga dialects natin.
Until now, our identity in language has still been covered in heavy fog. The English remains elitist and Filipino and other dialects remain to the masses. Dahil dito, nagkakaroon ng “dambuhalang pagkakahating pangkalinangan” (basahin si Zeus Salazar). And this affects me dearly, as I aspire to become a writer who wants to write for the Filipino people. Ngunit, paano ito makakamit kung ang likas sa aking pagsusulat ay nasa Ingles? And although I do admire notable Filipino writers who write in English, such as Sionil and Joaquin, it is just ignorant to ignore the fact that the Filipino people do not read these so-called national artists. The literate read them, yes. The academicians read them, yes. The English readers read them, yes. But the masses? The locals? The commoners? Do they read these people and acquire their philosophies that are supposedly for the Filipino people? Kung hanggang sa mga elit at iskolar lang pala ang mga obra nila, para ba talaga sa bayan ang mga ito??? Tanginang yan. And I’m so infuriated because circumstances have led me to be comfortable in a language that is foreign to me. And although I do agree that you can mark the Filipino identity in a language foreign to you (therefore localizing it), iba pa rin ang sariling atin! Hanggang localization nalang ba tayo? Hanggang adaptation nalang ba tayo? Lahat nalang ba ng aspeto ng kultura at lipunan natin ay nagmumula sa kolonyal na pag-iisip? Punyeta!
I’ve thought about this for a long time. And once or twice I came to the conclusion that, as a soon-to-be writer, I would just master one language—the language that I am comfortable in: English. Hindi nga ba maganda kung nagpokus ako sa isang wika lamang? But I was not satisfied. I have never been satisfied. It just felt…wrong. Bilingual tayong mga Pilipino! Multilingual din! Tingnan si Bienvenido Lumbera. Ayon sa isa kong mga guro, siya raw ay dating nagsulat sa Ingles ngunit lumipat sa pagsulat sa Pilipino after his “enlightenment”. Ano kaya ang enlightenment na ito?
Kung nakaabot ka sa bahaging ito, I applaud you. Masakit ba sa mata ang article na ito? Panget bang basahin? Kung oo, sana na-realize mo that this article is a reflection of how many of us speak or write in ordinary situations. Yes, I intended the article to be written this say, because this is what’s happening. Taglish. Code-switing. Philippine English. I used to be defensive for Philippine English. I used to argue against Constantino and Salazar. I used to want to prove that English does not disturb our identity. Pero tatanongin kita, worth it ba maging pagkakakilanlan ang ganitong klaseng wika? Hindi mo ba napansin na ang babaw din ng language proficiency ko because I’m trying to juggle both languages? Babasahin mo ba ulet ito for pleasure? Perhaps. Kasi naging kasanayan na ang ganitong pagsalita at pagsulat. Pero hanggang dito na lang ba ang pagkakakilanlan natin?
Ewan ko nalang. Tangina. And no, this is one of the reasons why I’m not proud of my country and why I keep comparing my country to other countries. Tingnan ang ibang mga bansa. May problema ba silang ganito, kung saan na-dedefine ng wika ang social status?
Fuck the Supreme Court. Post-colonial era nga raw.
UPDATE AS OF 10:35 PM (a little around an hour after I posted this): I’m annoyed at this blog entry already. It does not suffice the multitude of things that have to be considered! Hindi pa sapat ang malay ko!