Why English Should be the Philippines Sole Official and Unifying Language

Presently, the Philippines have two official languages, English and Tagalog. English is commonly used in the Business and Academic institutions all over the archipelago, while Tagalog can be heard practically in the entertainment and news on national television. Tagalog is widely spoken in the northern part (Luzon) of the country.

The following are the basis I gathered on why I personally push for English to be the lone official language of the Philippines.

1. Envy and Strife. The Cebuano speaking Filipinos once clamored for replacing Tagalog with Cebuano as the official language since the Cebuano dialect (Visayan) is predominantly spoken in the Philippines particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao (middle and southern part). The tagalogs raised their eyebrows, they didn’t like the idea.

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In my opinion, this would only create more divisiveness in this already divisive country.

Tagalog is spoken by a distinct ethnic group, one should accept the possibility that another ethnic group would become envious and in one way or another could create strife. There are about 150 languages or dialects in the Philippines.

To be fair, no local dialect should be installed as the official language.

2. Discrimination. The Tagalog dialect under the then Pres. Manuel L. Quezon became the Philippines’ official language in December 31, 1937 . As Manila, the capital of the Philippines progressed and so is the discrimination against the people from the provinces who can’t mimic the accent of the Manila Tagalog. Discriminatory jokes can be heard on TV, radio, movies, in the schools, inside the office and just around the corner. Unconsciously, one is regarded as a second class citizen if she or he cannot speak like a Manilan does.

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3. Globalization. Globalization is inevitable. No sweat and tears, no bombs and guns can prevent it from taking off. A global community needs a unifying language and English has been the accepted unifying language for many years and rightly so in the coming years.

4. Economic Development. The proliferation of call centers and consequentially the need for English speaking agents also increases. Being hired would be a walk in the park if English becomes the common language for the Filipinos. This is good for the economy without a doubt. A country to fast track its development should embrace English. Business transactions can come in handy.

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In the end, this is just an opinion posted by a cute guy who maintains Gwapito.com (cute for spanish)

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23 comments

  1. I agree on your points. I am from Cebu and I for one am sick of hearing those mock “bisdak” accents on TV/Radio insinuated by B-rate comedians. Personally, I don’t think it’s funny, it’s lame. It’s blatant display of arrogance. Lastly, on a recent survey conducted by SWS, it shows that Luzon/GMA is actually more poverty-stricken compared to the Visayas region.

    So look who’s laughing now?

  2. I’m not exactly sure if you’re being serious or sarcastic with your reply. But anyhow, I believe that sometimes you have to be assertive and “sound angry” to let your message sink in to people’s brains. Remember Malcolm X, Reverend Martin Luther King, Adolf Hitler? Errr…scratch out the last one.

  3. @Erik
    We can retaliate the racism, but not the racist himself. There’s a thin line between them though. What i’m trying to say is we can show them their faults, but watchful with our own faults too. We are not perfect. We also do the make fun with other races and ethnics.

  4. @Jeffrey: I see what you mean(though the imaginary “thin-line” may appear quaint). It all goes back to that “golden rule”. I apologize though if i sounded arrogant.

    PS: I added you to my blogroll. Keep writing interesting & informative posts. 😉

  5. Thanks for adding my site on your roll Eric!

    You have a good site in Eksena, one of the ways to keep me up to date with Cebu music scene.

  6. It’s amazing how we go and generalized things for all of the people living in this country. Have you travelled around the Philippines to broadcast your opinions? People I have encountered in my travels from the north to the south of the country understand Filipino except for those who live in Cebu who always turn deaf ears to visitors who speak in Tagalog eh and titigas naman ng dila mag English. [edited]

  7. Discrimination and prejudice painfully exist in the universe. But these qualities or traits that make others ridicule about us at our alleged insufficiences or incapabilities are what make us unique and the similarities make us unite. Those who ridicule us based on our accent and the way we speak are plain DUMB, STUPID AND MORON. They think that by discriminating others make them appear “more” and better. They just don’t realize that the more they besieged us with scorn and ridicule the more they look “stupid-ier” and ‘nastier”.

    Accents are inevitable. Even in the US, people from different parts of the states have distinct accents in their own “sole” language (English) . So why try TOO HARD to speak English with an American accent when you’re in the Philippines? Does the Philippines look like America to these people ?

    It’s really funny…sigh.

  8. @ next stop wonderland: “People I have encountered in my travels from the north to the south of the country understand Filipino except for those who live in Cebu who always turn deaf ears to visitors who speak in Tagalog eh and titigas naman ng dila mag English.” Cebuanos are very hospitable people. We’re are even better compared to people like you! I don’t see your point of saying that we have deaf ears to visitors who speak in Tagalog. When they come here in Cebu, they speak in their own language and of course we speak their own language in order for them to understand us. When we go out of the country for instance the USA, we speak English which is their own language in order for them to understand us. Not the other way around. Now why can’t those people who speaks tagalog speak Cebuano when they come here? Why are we the ones adjusting to them in order to have a better communication and understanding?!

  9. the main idea: On the other hand, if we use the English language everytime, our America (and possibly, other English-speaking nations, the FBI, CIA, Military, etc) is watching and listening to us.

    the slightly off-topic comment: Bawal ho ba magsalita ng Tagalog o Filipino dito ?_? >_

  10. 1. There’s a difference between “language” and “dialect”.

    2. Tagalog is not the official language of the Philippines. Filipino is. Filipino is not Tagalog.

    3. Learn from your kasaysayan.

    1. Yes, you accept all the lies your governmeny told you.

      So American is the language. Not English. Putting it in your perspective

      Filipino: Ano ang pangalan mo?
      Tagalog: Ano ang pangalan mo?

      What is the difference? Filipino is a DIALECT of Tagalog. In fact, Filipino only started to “exist” in the post-war years, while Tagalog, has been there for if not hundreds, thousands of years.

      The only thing I agree with you is tha there is a difference between language and dialect.

  11. TAGALOG dominates the entire Philippines
    IMPERIAL MANILA is the center of Philippine Power
    NON-Tagalogs are considered Provincianos who cannot pronounce Filipino and English properly…

  12. I disagree with the item on “economic development” by embracing the English language. Can you give me examples of countries who are economically developed using
    English as their official language instead of their own?

  13. “Singapore has four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil.[109] English is the first language of the nation and is the language of business, government and medium of instruction in schools.[110][111] The Singapore constitution and all laws are written in English.[112] 80% of Singaporeans are literate in English as either their first or second language. Chinese Mandarin is the next commonly spoken, followed by Malay and Tamil.” (wikipedia)

    English in the Philippines is an official language if you base it on most written books, constitutions, laws, minutes of meeting, business/ government communications, medium of instruction in schools, in meetings, in programs, etc. Most children of rich families speak English in their homes. They only learn Bisaya/Tagalog through their yayas. Almost all traffic signs and establishments and advertisements are in English. If I am not mistaken, the only non-English subject in school is the Filipino subject.

    In terms of using the English language in our everyday lives, I think we are not much different from Singapore.

    But where are we now?

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