Parley

Aug 28, 2011

I'm pretty sure you've read James Soriano's infamous article "Language, Learning, Identity, Privilege" which garnered him mostly criticism from people who live in front of their keyboards netizens.  I know some of you are probably making or joining hate pages on Facebook, seriously, grow up.

I have edited this post for the nth time because there are still thoughts and ideas that need to sink in.  Also, I made a decision not to post or react when I am angry or pissed.  Sure, I was pissed when I first read the article.  Who wouldn't be?  But I just officially turned 28 and I need to act, you know - civilized.  You've got filter the facts and try to address the issue on how personally you can change for the better as a person.  I only found two response articles via Twitter:  "Editing James Soriano" and "Coming Home to the Filipino Language".  If you have any article or known any worth-reading article you can message me here or via Twitter and I'll update this post.

Now, my two cents after the jump.

Social Idiots
For one, I have to admit that Soriano and I probably share the same set of flashcards growing up.  He probably stole mine when I was sleeping.  I think also most Cebuanos or people who living in the Visayas share the same sentiments on growing up taught mostly in English.  We were taught mostly in English, our instructions were mostly addressed in English.  Of course, we're fluent in Cebuano - well that's because we're Cebuanos - duh!  Why would we fluently learn Tagalog when it is the language in our region.  Tagalog or should I say Filipino was a subject.  A subject that I have to brave every day until the day ends.  A subject (and Sibika at Kultura) that is my all time low since I elementary.  But just to make it clear, lest ye stone me, I didn't view Tagalog as the language of the streets because, well, we don't speak Tagalog in the streets.  Why?  Again, because we're not Tagalogs - duh again!  And our tinderas and manongs don't speak Tagalog either, they speak Cebuano.

It is only recently that I come to appreciate Filipino, when I stayed in Makati for almost 3 years.  Yes, it was hard at first.   So hard to the point that I need to adjust from the hard tongue Cebuano to the malumanay na Tagalog.  That was the easy part of being hard.  The hardest part of the hard part (oh whatever!) was being ridiculed just because our Tagalog was not perfect and because most of the time we mix up similar words but with different meanings from our own Cebuano tongue with Filipino.  So it's like halo-halo with a bad taste.  And then we lived happily ever after.  With the help of my Tagalog girlfriend (yes, she's from Nueva Ecija) and Ilocano friends my Filipino (and several others) improved in grammar and in pronunciation.  This was evidenced by an incident when we went up in Apayao with my Cebuano friend.  The tindera asked me if I am Tagalog because she noticed the way my friend's Tagalog accent was still apparently tainted with Bisaya.  I made a firm conclusion that if I'm going to have kids they should speak fluently in Filipino, Cebuano and English and other language that they might be interested in.

There's only one thing I realized from the article - hypocrisy.  No, not Soriano.  Sure, he was sort of an idiot with statements like:

"It was the language we used to speak to the people who washed our dishes."

"These skills were required to survive in the outside world, because we are forced to relate with the tinderas and the manongs and the katulongs of this world. If we wanted to communicate to these people — or otherwise avoid being mugged on the jeepney — we needed to learn Filipino."

I do not believe these statements are satirical in any way.  But wait a minute, I have heard similar statements like these.

"Ang barok niya, bisaya kasi!"

Now, tell me - with the fervor against the article of James Soriano, does this mean that looking down also on Bisdaks coming Manila will stop?  Do you know why there's some sort of tension between Cebuanos and Tagalogs?  Read here.  Because most of the time we go to Manila or any part of Luzon we're being ridiculed because we are Bisaya.  I know some good people who came to love Cebuano but there's still a huge population that are like:

"May internet pala jan sa Bohol?"

"Ay, taga Cebu ka?  May electricity jan?"

You think I must be kidding right?  But ask any Cebuano or any Bisdak, I'm quite sure they have encountered similar incidents.  So what's this got to do with the article?  It is of the same principle.  Soriano may have an attitude problem regarding tinderas, manongs and the like by looking down on them but this kind of attitude is one and same when you look down on other Filipinos who can't speak Tagalog well and label them as taga-bukid.  With all honesty, I am also guilty with this kind of attitude.

How?

You see I'm from Bohol and a proud Boholano.  We live in the city of Tagbilaran.  Boholanos speak Cebuano but with some differences in tone and additional letters in between words.  For example:  "kabayo" in real hardcore Boholano style should be "kabajo".  In the city, we seldom use that style anymore.  People living in the city speak more or less like people in Cebu City.  It's probably the influence when we travel to Cebu often.  So when people living in the outskirts of City and in the provinces flock in to study or to work, they have still have this original Boholano tone that we don't practice anymore.  I'm going to be honest with you, there were several instances that I labeled (not out loud of course) these people taga-bukid.  I wish I didn't but I already did and I need to correct that way of thinking.  I do believe each and everyone of us are not exempted in this hypocrisy.

So read the article again then instead of lambasting Soriano for his misconception knowing that you too have the same mistake breathe deeply a couple of times or a dozen times if you really need that and say - "woosah".  The difference between him and us is that #JamesSoriano is trending on Twitter and we're not.

Skadoosh!

[UPDATE]

Apparently the #JamesSoriano brouhaha is far from over with comments like - "pugutan ng ulo tong taong to!"  Seriously dude, grow up you stupid incompetent fool.  On the brighter side of things, at least the people who live in front of their keyboards Filipino online community is finally talking.  Anyway, more related articles and blog posts below.



9 comments

intelligent pinoys are speaking up too (this by my friend inez)...
http://inez.abcruz.com/Diary/2011Aug27Sat060531

by kitiwiti on August 30, 2011 at 3:19 AM. #

Wow thanks for the link.  Will update this post then.

by Earl on August 30, 2011 at 6:52 AM. #

Fiewh...

We use the same theme with the same commenting system, also blogger...

by 16 September on August 30, 2011 at 10:21 AM. #

Ah, yes.  But you're using LiteThemes' conversion.  I had problems with their template so I chose Splashy Templates' instead. 

by Earl on August 30, 2011 at 12:38 PM. #

What's the diffrent...??

by 16 September on August 30, 2011 at 6:08 PM. #

Paragraphs after blockquotes and bullets are smaller than normal.  That shouldn't be the case.

by Earl on August 30, 2011 at 6:18 PM. #

I see... 

redownloading now... 

Tkanks for the "aufklarung" :-)

by 16 September on August 30, 2011 at 7:15 PM. #

Enlightenment, right? ha! Googled it.  No problem!

by Earl on August 30, 2011 at 8:06 PM. #

I read his articles... got upset... shared... then laughed... and moved on.

I think some people over react too many times with things like these.

by Robx Bautista on September 1, 2011 at 7:01 AM. #

Leave your comment