The Problem with Filipino views about English Speakers

Here’s a certain reaction I heard about English-Speaking Filipinos: “Ha? Bakit tayo nag-i-Ingles? Mayaman ba tayo? (Why should we be speaking English? Are we rich?)”

When I also noticed that people always assume I was rich and moneyed, I asked my mom about it and she said, “How could they not? You look white and you’re English-speaking.”


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From these, I surmised this form of dysfunctional thinking by Filipinos: that only rich people can speak English. So if you’re poor, but you speak English, you’re violating some sacred social tenet. But if one is rich, yet doesn’t speak English, there is no problem.

But the other observation I’ve had of Filipinos reacting to English speakers, as my mom said: if you speak English, then you should have lots of money… and you should give that money. Give it to us, specifically. And so if you refuse to give… we hate you. This is the complaint of some foreigners in the country; local Filipinos see them as walking ATMs.

I believe something similar happens in some family dynamics, wherein some members of the family (and I’m talking about adults) believe that they have the right to not work, and want only one member to provide for them. For example, if one sibling is already working (sometimes, the one who knows more English, like workers in call centers, although the more fitting example is the OFW), the other siblings will not look for work. They will instead insist that this working sibling will do all the work and will feed them and give them money. Then if the working person chides the others and tells them to work, they would recoil and retort, “Tumahimik ka! Magtrabaho na nalang para mapakain mo kami (Shut up! Just work so you can feed us)!” Thus, if charity starts in the family, so does mendicancy and the abuse of charity (though I’ll get into more of that in another article).

And thus, we go back to the problem of the nation that Get Real Philippines enshrines in its logo. Some Filipinos, instead of acting to improve their own situation, still believe they should receive things without work. And they will get it from those who work, or those they perceive as rich. This is why there are Filipinos willing to join rallies for pay. Instead of working to firm up the small business sector and present need competition for existing business, they would prefer to just play sycophant to the politicos and big business and receive some dole-outs. And instead of being upholders of truth, they would rather be paid hacks. Thus, a Filipino who overcomes all these and becomes an independent person, competent in work and fluent in English, a symbol of true working achievement, is the one they want money from. Otherwise, this person earns the Filipinos’ ire.

This is also evident in the sea region being squabbled over by several countries. Instead of being resupplied by their own people, the beached Sierra Madre is awaiting aid and supplies from the Americans. It’s as if, we are waiting for rich countries to save us rather than work to claim our own piece in the island group.

Of course, there are other myths about English-speaking to consider. For example, that other myth that contempt for English is considered “nationalism” and is a manifestation of appreciation for one’s culture, which I raised in a previous article. Sadly, there are even some foreigners who say this. But, as I maintain from that article, disdain for the English language helps keep the Philippines backward.

Thus, myths needs to be shattered and attitudes need to be changed. The Filipinos must collectively learn that resistance to English is analogous to unwillingness to accept responsibility and accountability, and improve themselves and work to improve their situation. Juan Tamad mendicancy in our backward culture is protected by this resistance to English.

I write this in English because there are still some ordinary people who are able to read English. Even some poorer Filipinos are likely to know some English – because it’s really needed for survival. Some people with anti-English attitudes also come from the middle and upper classes. They are in the position to influence attitudes of people, yet sadly, the influence they put out is the self-deprecating, self-defeating, harmful kind.

There was also a recent article where President B.S. Aquino’s choice of Tagalog for his speeches was slammed as a lame attempt at maintaining popularity. Instead of maintaining it in English, making it neutral to all tribes and factions in the country, he decided to enforce one tribe’s language on others. So if he speaks to the Cebuano crowd, he alienates them. If he spoke English, then that would actually mean that he is serious about unity. Opposition to English causes division.

Thus, I reiterate, condemnation of English and pushing of Tagalog only (and not Filipino, as shoehorned by Tagalog-dominated government) to all Filipinos keeps Philippine society backward. Since local mass media and popular culture would not cooperate with us, it is up to us “last-stand” English speakers to keep the language alive and keep it as a tool that empowers our fellow Filipinos to bring themselves out of the dysfunctions that hog their country. The ones who struggle to keep English competence a part of Philippine society are the ones who keep the good faith and fight the good fight.

57 Replies to “The Problem with Filipino views about English Speakers”

  1. I wonder how other people would react if me and my friends started speaking SPANISH in public. Would we get the same “oh-look-at-those-shitty-elitists” vibe as when we speak English?

    1. Considering how they drove that along with Chavacano to the brink of obscurity here…

      ‘Tis ironic that they view English as something reserved for snobs or elitists, yet they themselves exhibit an elitist mentality with pushing for “Tagalog Uber Alles”. For one, only the Tagalog version of Lupang Hinirang is recognised, even if singing it in English, Cebuano or even Klingon wouldn’t make it any less patriotic for as long as it’s sung with sincerity.

      1. No, “they”, meaning us intelligent Filipinos who love our country, will think, “Funny. I always thought Spanish was special.. until I went to New York and saw how the Mexicans lived.” You’re the idiot.

  2. Reactions are weird to foreigners speaking the local language too. I travelled over much of Asia before the Philippines, and I’d make the minimal effort to learn the basics like “thank you” and “how much is it?” when paying at stores and restaurants. I figured it was the least I could do. My accent might not have been any good, but they didn’t seem to mind.

    Here, it’s often a hilarious surprise when the foreigner uses entry-level phrases. It’s encouraged me to be a lazy English-speaking foreigner in public now, even though I’ve been here two years. I only mix in the Bisaya at home.

    1. We laugh because of the needless effort they have to make. Filipinos, even the uneducated, can understand bits of English. English-speaking foreigners, too, who like singing in the dialects become even more funny. They think singing one song in another language is so brilliant. They don’t realize Filipinos know most, if not all, of their English songs.

  3. A good all-in English conversation should be like a woman’s skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.

  4. You know, I forgot about one thing. What I said can apply to the “matalino” as well. Filipinos also feel that intelligent people should be rich. For example, I was once told, “matalino ka diba? O, nasaan na? (you’re intelligent, right? Where is it?)” So I was expected to have lots of money. So if you’re smart, you should have money… and you should give away that money. If you don’t give away that money, you will be hated.

    1. Oh my goodness yes! I will be starting college next Monday, gonna get that BS Biology degree and then an MS in Molecular Biology (DNA and shit) and move on to either RnD in the industry or teaching.

      The most common response I get from people when I explain my career plans to them is extreme confusion. They often tell me that, since I was “matalino”, I should have taken engineering instead, or just move on to medicine. I ask them why, they answer “pera”.

      Apparently they don’t realize the high demand for geneticist/molecular biologist and that you don’t just get a diploma from university-dispensers and proceed to devote your entire adult life to getting money. (and if you do, you will fail)

      It’s just a massive dysfunction in society that you learn just to get rich. Personally I feel insulted. It feels like I just wasted my growing up years in preparing my adult life to be wasted.

      1. Hey, you’re one of those who got my point in this article.

        It could lead to others expecting you to be their walking ATM. They push a button, you’re expected to shell out money. They don’t realize that if they push your buttons too hard, you can crack and lash out.

        And another reason why they’re pushing you to be “rich”…. in case they sell insurance or are in network marketing, they’ll look at you as their customers. It’s in situations like these where you realize who your friends are, and who are your “friends of convenience.”

        1. you are so right. i totally agree with you. it is so common for most filipinos to expect help (meaning dole-outs) on a regular (meaning endless) basis from family members who has good job or good fortune. and after helping them so many times he/she finally say “enough, why don’t you try help yourself, go find a job or a way to earn more”. they will look at you with horror and say “you are so selfish. don’t you know that it is so hard to look for a job. what good is having a relative like you if you do not help us. it is your duty to help your less fortunate family members”. all of a sudden you have a duty. lol. most don’t get the idea that you one is solely responsible to provide for themselves and the family they chose to have. and life is hard, work is hard that’s why it’s called work. and the money they want given to them, it was earned, most often the hard way. the “rich” relative did not just ask for it. allow me to point out that this is just from observation, from seeing and hearing what is going on around me. my own family is not like that. i may be the santa claus to them but never the ATM. excuse my english, i know i need lessons. 🙂

        2. i would like to add too, i belong in the single, childless and earning good category. like most of my friends. definitely not rich. but another thing about most (not all) filipinos think that people like us should just use their earnings to help family. they can not seem to grasp the idea that single people want to save for our own house, for our old age, travels, more education etc. and that the reason we are unmarried and childless, (yes, CHOSE) is because we do not want the responsibility and hard work. please do not judge me if I only wanted to enjoy life to the fullest in my happy single state back then. because now i have a life partner and yes we do speak english (him better than i do) but that does not make us any better or worse than anybody. we are just like everybody else, flawed but loved

        3. YOU PEOPLE HAVE MOST CERTAINLY MET THE WRONG KIND OF PEOPLE IN THE WORST KIND OF PLACES. WHERE EVER DID YOU GET THESE IDEAS? GIVE ME NAMES OR EVEN FAMILY NAMES OF THESE PEOPLE YOU GO AROUND WITH. Your friends who push you to be rich hoping to ask you for money, family members who voluntarily do not work because another is already working, etc.. Those such generalized statements and hypes you’ve read about and have not truly confirmed first hand. That’s foul!! Apparently, the career/business you’ve chosen for yourself is TO ATTACK FILIPINOS. It is so easy to be in the comfort of your own home and criticize yet be anonymous. You people would want to be regarded as intelligent and sosyal. Magaling mag Ingles. Learn our History first before you put us down. We have been so abused already in our past that we don’t need these anymore. So you think you can help by pointing out our mistakes and missteps? You need so much more of what little gray matter you have to do that. You have no idea.

        4. >> Those such generalized statements and hypes you’ve read about and have not truly confirmed first hand.

          Oh come on, maria. Most of the posters here live in the Philippines. Several of them are Filipinos (including most of the article writers). Are you seriously telling them they don’t know their own country, and that their experiences are all invalid?

          The phenomenon of the “designated earner” happens all over. I’ve met dozens of able-bodied families who make no effort to better themselves – or even to find jobs – because they have an aunt or a brother working abroad and sending them foreign money. This isn’t bullshit we read on the internet. We see it. All the time.

          Now I agree that the human psyche does tend to notice the bad and ignore the good. There are many decent, hard-working Filipinos. Nobody disputes that. The point is that the things people are writing about here are TOO COMMON and need to be reduced to HARMLESSLY RARE.

        5. @mariamorena
          Nasa Pinas ka ba? In fairness, hindi lahat ng Pinoy ay ganito ang ugali subali’t 100% meron isang kamag anak ang bawat Filipino na ganito ang pag iisip. Porke nasa ibang bansa ang kamag anak ay ina akala ng mayaman at dapat ay namimigay at nag papa-party pag dumating. Pag walang binigay ang balik-bayan ay mayabang na ang tingin sa kanya ng konting nabibilang na tao. Kadalasan ay ekspektado ng karamihan na mamimigay yun balik-bayan. Madalas ko itong “madama” sa mga matatanda na may pag iisip na sila ang biktima. Victim mentality. Madalas pa nga, eh sila pa yun mapili an akala mo kung sino ang mga putanginang hinayupak na nag hirap sa pera na inipun mo. At pag na laman na may “savings” ka, eh ibig sabihin marami kang pera na pang gastos! Kadalasan ng pang karaniwan tao na hindi na mulat sa tamang paghawak ng pera dito sa Maynila ay hindi nag iisip ng pammatagalan na kinabukasan. Pag may baka na nakilala, ay kakatayin ka agad imbes na gatas lang ang kukunin.

          Anyways, MariaMorena, I totally agree with this article 100%. However, I do my best to understand the Filipino mindset of thinking.
          First of, these CERTAIN fellow Filipinos that fit the criteria of the article have never been outside the country or EXPOSED to different cultures. So, they cannot be blamed.
          Second of all, most are stereotypical. I am mostly mistaken for “holdaper” since I’m dark skin and I don’t dress like the norm with fitted jean-shorts and shirts and mushroom hair-do. When I do speak English in public, someone will always make a smart/insulting remark (remember I’m a dark skin), without knowing that the person I am with does not speak Filipino but do look very much Filipino or Fil-Ams. Not Fil-American half breeds, but Filipinos who are born and raised in America who can’t speak Filipino.
          Third of all, once people have figured out that I am an American citizen I am all of sudden a ‘superstahhh’. From just being a brown skin squatter looking guy with tattoos who is always being followed by the civilian clothed security guard in my local grocery store for 3 years to the guy now being smiled at, offered to daughters, nieces, friends; and asked to borrow money from.
          Lastly, most of these negative traits can be found in all countries of the world. The only difference is the degree of prevalence and the environment it’s created in.
          Most of the articles on this website, not just this specific one, are on point because I have experienced it. What’s lacking some of the time is the reason as to WHY it became to be in order to understand OBJECTIVELY and WHAT is/are needed to COUNTER or IMPROVE such problem.

          I will admit, I sometimes come to this website to vent frustrations or to feel better knowing that there are others who sees things for what it is.

          You can hate me as you want MariaMorena but, I’m not fucking proud that Pinas is the number one selfie of the world. to ME, it shows how Filipinos (because MAJORITY of the population) base everything on looks. I say this straight from experience, so dont fucking ask me to give u a fucking name and address. When I go to SM I am followed by shoplifting security, but my half German-Filipino girlfriend are followed by 5 or more sales -ladies. Little do they know I’m the one who is footing all the bills, and when the security realizes that I’m with the “foreigner” and the one who breaks out the cash, they disappear. Remember, I look like a ‘squatting’ which can be an advantage and a disadvantage.

  5. Even when talking about a language it is not fair to compare 2 countries.
    In my country every pupil attended secondary school is taught in multiple foreign languages (German, English & Spanish). But no one will talk nor speak any of those foreign languages in public nor in private. The main and only langauge spoken is Dutch (unless of course someone is presnt who has a different tongue). And I can assure you that most Dutch politicians speak lousy English. However there is one exception and that is Frans Timmermans.

    Timmermans, a polyglot, speaks fluent English, German, French, Italian, and Russian, in addition to his mother tongue (Dutch) and Limburgish.

    Here is his famous speech held in front of United Nations regarding the MH17 crash:

      1. One,
        I should have included French as well.

        Although I know nothing about what other European languages other European schools teach their pupils but I guess its for us very evident why we are taught foreign languages.
        We almost solely exist on our export so we need to speak foreign languages for trade reasons.

        1. Oh, I see, I’ve assumed the three language you’ve mentioned are the *only* language taught in Netherland.

          Yeah, English, Spanish, German, and French are will get one far when working in a global set up, though I think English, German, and French are more useful in Europe (specifically in EU) while English and Spanish (French and Portuguese if I may add further) in North and South America.

        2. One,
          There is one other important reason (or at least a benefit) why pupils and students are taught foreign languages in school. We like to travel and most of us can afford to travel abroad. Among teenagers/youngsters, Spain is a very popular destination. Yes, teenagers go on vacation with friends and without their parents. Germany, France and England are also popular destinations.
          And when those youngsters find their first full time job (after graduating from university or college) their destination will be further away from home. Mind you, we have about 25 or more vacation days (that is 5 weeks or more and do not include the standard holidays, like Xmas, New Year and Easter) that are fully paid. I mean that the salary during those vacation days are fully paid.

    1. Well, Robert,

      You said first what I wanted to say: that multilingualism is, more often than not, driven by necessity. I guess, in your country’s case, the Netherlands is not only surrounded by other European nations, but it may not be big enough for some Dutch.

      This kind of layout brings the sort of common sense that:

      1) your neighbors will most likely not speak your language;
      2) they might not be bothered to learn yours;
      3) you need to learn a tongue which you both will be both comfortable in;
      4) but if you’re the one going to them for business or trade, then it it is you who will need to adjust.

      Societies, however, that are relatively isolated by means of protectionist policies, enlarged sense of self-nationalism, or due to bodies of water, however, will have a different outlook as to the necessity of multilingualism.

      1. Amir,
        The Netherlands is a small country and quite insignificant on global scale (when talking about the Dutch language). In overseas territories (like Curacao and Aruba) they speak Dutch and in the northern part of Belgium.
        My personal experiences is that when working in an international environment (especially in the banking trade) English is the predominantly spoken language.

        Regarding your 4th statement pls be aware that the other party also wants to do business (sell someting or buy something) so its also in his interest everything goes smoothly. So he also would like to speak a language that both understand.

        It becomes more difficult when certain countries have a different view about how to do business. I understand that Japan likes to do business completely different than we like to do it. It cost much more time and effort with/in Japan. Its not only about the product or service, they want to establish almost a kind of friendship before doing real business. And I am still talking about business-to-business (B2B) situations.

      2. Amir,
        just to add:

        We have 12 provinces and in each of them they speak a deviated form of Dutch: Dutch with a dialect.

        However there is one (1) real Dutch language and that is called ABN (Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands) = standard Dutch (Dutch without any dialect or without any accent).

        Those who speak this standard Dutch are mostly from a good background. So maybe this can be compared to what ChinoF is relating to in his article.
        I think in England you have almost the same with Posh English (Posh is an informal adjective for “upper class”) and Cockney English (Linguistically, Cockney English refers to the accent or dialect of English traditionally spoken by working-class Londoners. In recent years, many aspects of Cockney English have become part of general South East English speech, producing a variant known as Estuary English)

        1. Dutch is also spoken in Suriname and the Dutch East Indies. I believe South Africa also has their own form of Dutch. The language itself isn’t as insular as most people think.

  6. Unfortunately true. There’s a saying back in Pampanga. “Spoken in Dollar” Which basically means if you speak English, you’re bound to get paid. Not far off considering alot of jobs outside the country require English.

    However, what they fail to realize that language alone isn’t going to get them everywhere. You still need the proper qualifications. And considering how other countries are LESS LIKELY to hire a Filipino who graduated from a university, the language is no longer the key to success alone.

  7. Pinoys kasi they see English speaking as status symbol instead of seeing it as a tool for communication, doing business and learning. If they use it for the latter three, one can be comfortable in speaking English as he is in speaking Filipino.

    About the Pinoy bread winners (a sibling, daughter/son, and parent) whether working locally or as an OFW, some of them kinakawawa sarili. They will speak to other people about their tiring situation but keep it from their family. Even if they are fed up of supporting the whole family, stressed and burdened with it and feel like cursing them with their endless demands, they still show a serene facade and give and give and give… They willingly get themselves into a trap. They should get real and tell their lazy and exploitative family, “GET YOUR ASS TO WORK!” and go their own way. But of course, it’s better if they can agree on something more productive for each of them.

    1. There, you got it, too. Bread winners are an abused lot in the Philippines. The ones with skills and intelligence should be the leaders of the country. But no, ordinary people see them as the ones who should be used as flesh-and-blood ATMs. I suppose that’s the Freudian attitude of the Filipino, to consider the greatest achievement to have something for nothing, and to be rich and comfortable without moving a finger.

      1. In Australian culture to be called a useless bludger is pretty high on the list of insults. It basically means you are capable of working but choose not to and milk off others instead. Society in general doesn’t tolerate this behaviour.

        I hear alot of Filipinos say that westerners don’t love their families like Filipinos do. I really don’t believe that for one minute. We do, we just don’t tolerate leaches in our families. You’d be told quick smart to get a job and support yourself. This doesn’t mean we don’t love them, you just have to be cruel to be kind sometimes. By teaching people to be independent and stand on their own two feet you show your love for them alot more than by making them dependent and unable to support themselves.

        1. Well I guess that history may say you are correct. But they would be a small percentage of the general populace.

        2. From what I’ve seen, Filipino parents like to have one child in the litter who’s unsuccessful in their career and relationships, so they’ll have a designated live-in carer for their old age. All the kids are investments in their own way.

        3. Dave, that’s one observation that seems to hit the nail on the head again. I think that’s not good. Parents should not demand their children to be carers, since there are caregivers to hire for that purpose. The children can pay for that if needed. That’s a job-generating thing.

  8. “There was also a recent article where President B.S. Aquino’s choice of Tagalog for his speeches was slammed as a lame attempt at maintaining popularity. Instead of maintaining it in English, making it neutral to all tribes and factions in the country, he decided to enforce one tribe’s language on others. So if he speaks to the Cebuano crowd, he alienates them. If he spoke English, then that would actually mean that he is serious about unity. Opposition to English causes division.”

    i agree with this one. let me borrow a quote from a forbes article on Mr. Yew’s view on this:


    Lee is widely credited for mandating in 1966 that all students learn a “mother tongue” – a language associated with their ethnicity.

    “If we were monolingual in our mother tongues, we would not make a living. Becoming monolingual in English would have been a setback,” he wrote in his memoirs. “We would have lost our cultural identity, that quiet confidence about ourselves and our place in the world.”


    hence, we need to become bilingual. we use our mother tongue of our ethnicity at home or in our region/state, then use english at work IF it requires us to use the english language. otherwise, don’t use it.

    Hence, we need to amend the constitution to give equality to all citizens/tribes of this archipelago. If we federalize then progress will be much faster culturally and economically.

  9. This is why dad advised me this: “Speak English if a person (foreigner or not) spoke English.” A language is a part of expression on wisdom and smart. I really pissed and forsake those bias people and that is due to the “poor vs. rich” situation, where assumed that rich guys are the bad guys. Some where also assholes (level-headed but sensitive or not, mostly trashtalkers and trollers.) I wanna confront them…but my courage isn’t enough yet to fight back because of my shame. Now, I even question if I deserve that shame or that shame I have is wrong. I wanna stand out against stupidity for insulting my expression.

  10. I feel your article, while valid, is just promoting one side of the argument. What I find more troubling is that if it’s a national mindset to use Tagalog as a national language, why it’s not developed to a
    point that it can be used in various industries globally– ie. English, Spanish, German, Japanese, even Korean has developed to the point of including banking, science, maths, arts, etc.

    My problem with Tagalog is just that it doesn’t suit my industry— technical architecture and planning. If someone asked me to do the complicated items I’m doing in Filipino, I’m sure to get it wrong because there simply are no words for these; and if I’m looked down on for using my first language (English) well, que se muera los feos.

    The point of language, as I tell my office kids, is to be understood. I don’t care if you have to mime it— architecture is a global language; aside from the profession, what matters are that the sheets are spelled/drawn right and the idea is understood.

    Sorry for digressing. Going back, if you do ask me for money just because I speak English, I’d probably laugh in your face. I guess it’s a deeper matter than language, that… I do give periodically to the marginalized but habitual mendicancy is something I can’t stand. It all boils down to what you are willing to tolerate, and that goes well beyond language and its uses.

    1. There, I agree, in architecture and planning, Tagalog and other local languages are limited, there are just no words for many scientific concepts. You will have to use English. And about being asked for money because you use English, you might be surprised the further out you go in our society. The habitual mendicancy, perhaps it’s a function of Filipinos believing that the colonizer is the one to blame for the faults of their country, and that the colonizer should give hand-outs.

  11. “ENVY” is the first and foremost reason. Some kabayan uses this (English is to rich) mentality because either naiingit o ignorance na may ibang paraan para mag kausap o magkaunawaan sa Munro.

  12. vbac2u,

    Here’s a little insight into human pyschology. “Envy” is the same emotion as ‘Admire.’ The latter is just more socially acceptable because it doesn’t arouse any suspicion.


  13. You highlighted several points there, bro. Personally, I haven’t had much experience with leaching relatives (my hubby grew up poor and he’s tightfisted with the money so he doesn’t tolerate leaches). What gets me is that people think you’re trying to be high and mighty when you speak in English. I’ve had so many experiences when people finally told me to “just say it in English” when I attempted not to appear high and mighty. Also, I’ve had experiences when I’ve been laughed at for speaking in Filipino because I couldn’t express myself well. At least, di pa naman ako naloloko but that’s because I can put on a Batangas accent when I need to!

  14. …one thing I noticed while in the Philippines, was the practice of politicians explaining their shortcomings, always seemed to switch to English when they got to the damning parts of their confessions.

  15. …one thing I noticed while in the Philippines, was the practice of politicians explaining their shortcomings, always seemed to switch to English when they got to the damning parts of their confessions.

    1. Atila,

      I’ve noticed the same thing among politicians when they’re trying to sound apologetic. I guess they figure that if they use English, the masses wouldn’t be able to tell if they’re lying.


  16. you’re write ups and contents are really good, the site just needs a make over to make it more appealing like rappler or

  17. LOL! If I am not mistaken, every commercial passenger jet airline pilot must speak or learn English. Whatever one thinks about English, while flying into a Russian, Iranian, or Philippine airport – the pilot to tower communication is English. My wife speaks Cebuano, Tagalog, Wari Wari (excuse if spelling is off), and she is just a High School graduate. Resistance to second languages is not unique around the globe. In the USA they have fought to keep Spanish from becoming a second language – what a pity. As a lazy senior citizen, it is the way words (vowels and such) are pronounced that stops me from learning and that is beyond age considerations. When I did venture into speaking Cebuano words, the reaction of the listeners, wife included was a turn off. Fortunately I speak the official second language of the Philippines. As a unifying tool, it is a good choice. To bad your President doesn’t see the forest for the trees in this issue.

  18. Well its nice to speak taglish like the words of Eraption English speaking mentality, as what our former President Erap said: there are lots of allegation this days, I like to know who are the alligators…

  19. Question, what is the official language of the USA? If you said English you are wrong. What are the two languages that you need to know in the USA to most jobs. The answer is English and Spanish. Next time someone speaks about the USA, ask them how long did they live there. If the answer is less than 10 years, do not listen to them.

    1. To be precise, USA doesn’t have an official language at the national level but its states may have none, one or two state-level official language/s. However, English is the language used in the US national government.

      Nonetheless, Spanish speakers are significant enough to be left unnoticed, especial for businesses who want to expand their market.

  20. I’m from North America born and raised. I can only speak in English, so when I traveled to the Philippines for studies and work my Tagalog skills are zero from a level of a elementary student. My dad never taught me the language so it was difficult. Most of the time I speak in English among my Filipino friends and they were OK with it.
    Recently though, my friend and I were having coffee at this cafe. And I am oblivious to the fact of my surroundings because I cannot understand their native tongue except my friend who could told me after we were gone out of the cafe. That two Filipino ladies (mother and child) were talking rude towards us especially the younger female, according to my friend the girl said with anger and such venom of hate ”I want to slap that girl’s mouth, she keeps speaking in English! ITS SO FUCKING ANNOYING” and ”They think their rich I hate them”.
    I felt slightly offended and sad that the same people also hated us speaking.
    I kinda wanted to talk to that girl and even ask her if she can speak English well, and lets see if she can and make fun of her too. But I didn’t want to stoop that level of stupidity.

  21. I’m a Pinoy and I’m always interested in discussing our social cancers with fellow Pinoys and sympathetic foreigners–we need to continue the unfinished work that Jose Rizal began! What you wrote is interesting, but I have to disagree with your idea that “disdain” for English keeps the Philippines backward. Look at Japan. During the Meiji period, they sent students to study in Europe or America and bring back Western learning with them which they then used in the country’s modernization. At first they debated whether they should use some foreign language as the medium of instruction in their schools, or localize this foreign learning i.e. translate it into Japanese and use Japanese as the medium of instruction. They opted for the latter and the result is that the new learning was propagated to all members of society, rich or poor, instead of being limited to a few elite who could understand foreign languages. So, instruction in the people’s native tongue is key to making knowledge as widespread as possible, which is prerequisite to a country becoming developed. I actually think English is keeping the Philippines backward since, for various complex reasons which you also hint at in your article above, it actually ends up being the prerogative of a privileged few, while the rest are kept in a state of relative ignorance. Another important thing to consider is that economic development requires that domestic industries for the domestic market must be developed first. All this time the Philippines has been pinning its hopes on “export-led” growth, but this is just an extension of the economic dependence to foreign markets during the days of colonialism and actually keeps the country backward, as it remains a mere supplier of cheap labor, materials and products for foreign enterprises, made easier by the fact that much of the labor force can understand enough English. By all means let Filipinos learn English–it’s always a good thing to learn a second language. However, English is not the key to the country becoming developed, though it does open up opportunities for individuals to find greener pastures abroad…

  22. The spanish language should be the united language again, i Say for the culture and tradicional lifestyle

    Greetings from Chile

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