June 2008

The PDI’s Second Front Page today has got me excited. It reads: “RP Corruption Worst in East Asia”. Of course the news was upsetting but it was no news at all to millions of Filipinos, it’s common knowledge. What got me excited was upon reading the line that says the Philippines is at the “bottom of East Asia’s ten largest economies”. I say that is news. Yes, this labor exporting country is among the region’s ten largest economies. It is a monumental triumph of the Filipino and one achieved in spite of the burden posed by a chronically corrupt and inept government.
Just imagine what economic dreams may come when the Filipino people finally rid their government of crocodiles masquerading as politicians. I still look forward to a day when the people shall drive all the crocodiles off from Malacanang Palace and down back to Pasig River where they belong. It has been their home anyway prior to the sacking of Manila by the conquistadores.

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I’ve just got wind from the blog mills of this truly unprecedented development: New Zealand is set to prescribe Filipino as a required study in its schools, making it the country’s second language after English. Being a Filipino I couldn’t help but say Great! They couldn’t have made a better choice! Then, quickly, the question, arises: why?? But then my even quicker answer would be why not poknat?
Anong mapapala nila dun? (What benefit would they get from it?) Oh, so much, actually. New Zealand is home to a highly valued crowd of professional Filipinos (13,000 at least while some estimates place them at more than 16,000). Bridging the language barrier between locals and the Filipino foreigners would certainly make their working relationship more friendly, efficient and productive. Indeed it would make New Zealand a little bit more like home for Filipinos, making them a less foreign to their employers. By mastering their language we derived so much from New Zealanders aside from financial rewards; they must figure it’s high time they derive as much from us.
The same, however, can be said of studying any language be it as prestigious as English or French or as obscure as any of the world’s minority languages. For as they say, the biggest gap between peoples is not distance but culture: and language is the bridge that connects that gap. In this light, maybe it’s high time too that Philippine educators begin teaching studes in Metro Manila some of the regional languages. That way they’ll derive as much cultural learning as their peers from the countryside who just moved in. Additionally it would enrich the national language further and faster, making it more facilitative of nation building in these globalized times.
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For the last several months I was busy battling my writing fatigue, which has grown to fester me like the plague. In my unrelenting resolve to kill the inner beast I’ve fortuitously discovered a
“cure” that, well, seems to work for me. I’ve realized that my “writing fatigue” was really “language fatigue” in thin disguise, I was literally sick with the English language! I was so sick of it I couldn’t get myself to write any English prose except at work, and even then it always leaves me feeling exhausted.
I’ve made this discovery this after chancing upon an old copy of Balagtas’ Florante at Laura in my in-laws’ bookshelves, and upon reading it sporadically realizing how truly beautiful language could be. This inspired me to read on and read more Tagalog classics condensed in old textbooks, which heretofore serve nothing more than crude dust holders.
With my appetite whetted, I’ve come to a momentous decision, why not revive my study of the Spanish language? I was among the last few students who took 9 units of Spanish in college after the government decided to scrap it as a required subject. Of course I have nothing to show for it apart from the “tres” in my school records. I’ve decided that if I can learn English, I can learn any language I choose. I’m prone to making wrong decisions of course.
As for new language study as cure for my writing fatigue, well I theorized that perhaps, the part of my brain responsible for processing language has become too hardwired to English that it starts to “short-circuit” or “overheat”. By thinking in Tagalog and by learning to think in a totally different language maybe, just maybe, my language processor gets to relax, cool down and regains strength.
tags: writing, blogging, publishing, money, earning, part-time, telecommuting, money, online job,
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