Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I love the English language. Heck I worship it. I get shivers down my spine everytime I come across a beautifully written article or hear a perfectly delivered pun (in English of course.) I can't help but admire a witty and substantial exchange of ideas during a harmless, random conversation and I can't help but feel a complete and deliberate elation everytime I unearth an alien vocab. I don't know if other english enthusiasts also feel this way but you know most of the time, the truths we discover are not true to ourselves alone. 

Okay, I may be boring you with my humble preamble but I barely can think of anything else stirring to write as an intro so please bear with me (besides I technically authored this blog so that basically leaves you with no room for a decent choice ;p). Mkay, going back to the subject, the english lang! Yes! It's amazing how 74% of the Philippine population can understand spoken english without really having to speak it eloquently as the natives do (by natives I meant the Americans). And no this is no miracle since we were once colonized by the Americans after they oh so heroically freed us from the clutches of Spain in 1898. And with every arrival of white settlers, we get a light sprinkle of their culture as well just as how Raja Humabon embraced what Spain offered the natives back then which eventually infected the entire nation, with Catholicism, as by far its greatest and most pervasive influence up until this time. 

Contrary to the trend set by the Spaniards on Philippine colonization, the Americans barely meddled with the strongly engraved imprint left by their amigos on religion. Yeah Protestantism wasn't so much of a big hit on the native balut-eating Pinoys but the english language was. Yep! The amiable big Joe brought freedom and at the same time education to the Philippine islands. Something most Filipinos barely even have access on back in the Spanish regime since quality education was confined only to the elite otherwise known as mestizos. Those whose family names leaked wealth, power and influence became immediate candidates for unparalleled and unlimited access to "habla espanyol", education and knowledge. I am not in any way saying that I am pro-American colonization nor do I completely abhor the Spanish regime because both eras left positive and at the same time, crippling effects over the Philippines as a nation. I could go on and enumerate them one by one but alas, to write such would defeat the purpose of this article since I have irrevocably constructed and decided in my puny head that this write-up will be about the unforeseen negative consequence of embracing the english language.

Language is essential to every race. It is the lifeblood of a nation. Absence of a common spoken language in a tribe, minority or an entire race could sprout miscommunication, misunderstanding, tension, angst and ultimately mayhem. I need not further prove my point on that since its obvious. But what is not obvious to most of us is how the english language has created a semi-permeable barrier to the youngsters nowadays, *how the continuous use of english as a medium of instruction inside the classroom created a invisible wall for deeper learning for the students most especially in the study of the sciences and math! where most words are unfamiliar to them and how english got in the way on fully expressing ones opinions, ideas and notions. Most Filipinos have difficulty expressing themselves fully because somewhere along the line during the formative years of learning,  our brains were too busy decoding written and spoken information both in english and in our native tongue. Thus, learning wasn't deeply engraved. Thus, the enitre learning process becomes haphazard resulting in mediocre individuals with a cognitive capacity that of a 3rd grade pupil. Don't get me wrong, I know what you're thinking. I know it's an edge on our part as Filipinos that most of us are fluent in the universal language, an undeniable upperhand that attracted Korean and Japanese foreign nationals to learn english the cheapest way possible. And yeah it's a big help for our tourism blah blah blah.. just shush it for a while will ya and let me say my piece.

As always, we put the blame to the government, to the shitty way educational programs are being developed with the budget spending swerved down the road to corruption and yes partly, the government is liable. The government is liable for implementing the dual language of instruction with english confined to the sciences, math and of course english subject and Filipino to Araling Panlipunan and the rest of the subjects. This obtuse move resulted in the difficulty as well for some teachers to teach and express themselves comfortably and fully. The worst part is, some words in which they find difficulty in translating into Tagalog becomes horrendously "tagalized." NEOLOGISM AT ITS WORST! Contrary to popular belief, coinage is no longer exclusive to psychiatric patients. The sad part is, it's the students who suffer in the end.Quality learning gets flushed down the drain time and time again. Good for those who have access to substantial books and other reading materials and the  internet but how about those who belong to class E? The poorest of the poor? Those whose english speaking skills weren't introduced yet at a younger age unlike the haughty gradeschoolers we usually witness now with parents who strictly implement an english speaking zone in their respective homes? 

The human mind is probably the greatest tool given by God especially if accessed and used to it's full potential... beyond the 21% of that beautiful, pinkish, meaty, soft and wrinkled tissue of a brain. Everyday, we are confronted by stimuli that are subjected to our five senses. These senses in turn send signals to our brain for interpretation. An interpretation that involves thought processing and analysis. Thought processing in itself forms ideas. These ideas are then converted to words. And for these words to be converted to an action, language is needed for the coherent expression of these words. But if an individual is caught in between two, full and coherent expression of an idea is in peril and comprehension is jeopardized in the long run. Most of us cant even speak in our mother tongue fluently and I admit, sometimes, I even don't know the equivalent term in Cebuano for a certain simple english word. It's irritating, frustrating and sad. It's sad that kids and teenagers now think of themselves cool if they speak the universal lang. Some even laugh boisterously at mispronunciations and grammatical errors forgetting the fact that we're warranted to commit such errors since we are not native speakers of the said lang in the first place. 

This is a free country and since Paulo Coelho said freedom of expression meant freedom to riot, then I guess I'm in for a brawl. 

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