Tagalog Triumphalism has STUNTED Philippine development

One of the worst legacies left by the Yellowtards (Filipinos rabidly loyal to the cult of the Aquinos and who now “lead” the Philippine Opposition) is a blanket assurance that Filipinos are best off speaking Tagalog. This assurance that all will be well speaking in a language that they are comfy with came to the detriment of a once renowned mastery of the English language that Filipinos of post-Liberation yore were once proud of.

Under the Yellowtard era, which spanned much of the 1980s through to 2016 when the Second Aquino Presidency ended, Tagalog saw a Rennaissance of sorts thanks to broadcast media propagating jingoistic notions that speaking Tagalog is “cool” and “patriotic”. This was, not surprisingly, widely-embraced. Mastery of the English language was, even then, still within the domain of a tiny private-school educated elite. As such it was easy to pitch Tagalog Triumphalism using the blessed-poor-versus-evil-rich narrative that resonates strongly with the Philippines’ predominantly Roman Catholic masses.

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Indeed, in the plots of many Tagalog movies, the protagonists are often impoverished characters and the villains, English-speaking rich people. The idea that Tagalog is the language of the good but “oppressed” and English is the language of the “oppressors” resonates well with that all-too-familiar vicitm mentality that pervades Philippine society. This victim mentality characterises not just Tagalog movies but also Philippine politics itself where skillful pandering to this narrative is practically a template for winning votes.

The facts, however, are more confronting and unpopular. The English language, and any language native to societies with strong and historic traditions of scientific and technological achievement is what opens doors to prosperity. This describes everything Philippine society isn’t. Filipinos lack an inherent ability to create, accumulate, and deploy capital at scales needed to keep apace with the development and progress of the world’s most advanced and most powerful societies. Underpinning such a capability is scientific and technological prowess — things Filipinos evidently lack too.

This character is mirrored in Filipinos’ domestic lingua franca, Tagalog. Tagalog is inadequate both in breadth and depth of vocabulary to articulate science and technology. There is little such body of work documented in Tagalog because its native speakers are not known as originators and developers of such forms of knowledge. As a result, Tagalog has never been under any pressure to evolve to meet the needs of a strong scientific and technological tradition.

Seen under that light, a continued focus on a language that essentially deprives an entire people of direct access to knowledge documented and articulated in the languages of winners is an absolute atrocity at a national scale. A policy of allocating an amount of resources to the propagation of a language that does not return commensurately to that investment is an abject waste. It is time Filipinos put a stop to that ongoing waste and focus what they have on an important enabler of prosperity and advancement. The English language empowers those who master it. Filipinos need to wake up to that reality and make decisions on how to invest their finite public education resources on the basis of that reality.

The biggest disservice “thought leaders” had done to Filipinos was to convince them that Tagalog is a language worth investing time and money on. The result speaks for itself. Tagalog remains an intellectually-inadequate medium and, as such, stunts the minds of its speakers.

16 Replies to “Tagalog Triumphalism has STUNTED Philippine development”

  1. A tired, old, perennially recycled GRP issue on the Filipino language debate that achieved nothing as far as acceptance from the majority of the Filipino people is concerned.

    Even with the trick of identifying English with the progressive West, or Tagalog with the present perceived whipping boys in politics, the Yellowtards, just proved unsuccessful.

    Non-abandonment of an indigenous Filipino language will not prevent anyone from pursuing excellence in a foreign language such as English or any other languages if they would want to. And it’s proven that it can be done!

    Non-abandonment of our own language also does not spell a deprivation of any direct access to knowledge in the language of the so-called winners. Truth of the matter is there’s only educational-deprivation to many that breeds illiteracy.

    What’s more important for the English-speaking leaders of the State is to set a national condition that would make quality education accessible and available to the many! As they’ve promised, it’s what they are there for!

    1. He can’t help it. He somehow thinks its a radical and innovative notion. And he has several people who agrees with him.

      He even appeals to science and technology as to why Tagalog should be abandoned. I am also fascinated by his claim that Tagalog “essentially deprives an entire people of direct access to knowledge documented and articulated in the languages of winners”.

  2. Tell me, is there any countries out there where English language is banned? Even the anti-US countries like North Korea & Iran didn’t banned it & they use that language for a diplomatic purpose.

    Take that anti-US imperialist CPP/NPA/NDF. ????

  3. Them Tagalists still don’t have a good counterpoint against why South Koreans are flocking to the Philippines to learn English. Even saying they’re already rich by speaking only Korean is plain wrong. They had products and services to sell to the rest of the world, and so had to market them in the language of their customer – mostly English, although other languages of their market are included. OK, you have a product or service, try selling it to a British, Taiwanese or German guy using Tagalog. Good luck.

  4. Tagalog was promoted as a ” language of nationalists” , during the Japanese Imperial Army collaboration days of Benigno Aquino, Sr. It was encouraged by the Japanese Militarists, to promote their Asia Co-prosperity Program.

    During the Aquino era, the Aquino Asia Co-prosperity Program was continued by Cory Aquino and her son, Benigno Aquino III.

    It is good to be multi-lingual. Our OFWs are preferred in the Middle East job market, because they are mostly English speakers. In most English speaking foreign universities. Filipinos can enter these universities, for further education, because of their proficiency in the English language.

  5. bababa ba ang mga mayayamang mamamayan mamaya? (are the rich citizens coming down later?) – credits to a FB comment post I encountered lately.

    I must admit, at face value, Tagalog does sound like infantile blabber (mama mama!).

    In some very rare cases, it does trump English though. Try translating “pang-ilang presidente…?” “nakasalubong”, and “nakakakilig”.

    And while we’re on this topic, get your popcorn out and enjoy this “State of Filipino language ability” (SOFA) video….
    Can Filipinos Speak Their Own Language?

    I guess a new maxim applies: If you can’t excel at either A or B, try to be the best at mixing them.

    1. “I guess a new maxim applies: If you can’t excel at either A or B, try to be the best at mixing them.”

      You guessed it right!

      Chabacano is one fine example of what you are talking about. It’s a Spanish-based creole language (and the name of six Spanish dialects) that became a creole language spoken in the Philippines. It really can’t be considered new though.

      DR. José Rizal’s 1891 work El Filibusterismo contained Chabacano dialogues in chapters 18 (Supercherías) and 28 (Tatakut):

      “¿Porque ba no di podí nisós entrá? preguntaba una voz de mujer.”

      “Abá, ñora, porque ‘tallá el maná prailes y el maná empleau, contestó un hombre; ‘ta jasí solo para ilós el cabesa de espinge.”

      “¡Curioso también el maná prailes! dijo la voz de mujer alejándose; ¡no quiere pa que di sabé nisos cuando ilos ta sali ingañau! ¡Cosa! ¡Querida be de praile el cabesa!”


  6. Maybe a strange question – but still within the context of the article – is there a foreign company having its (South East) Asian headquarters located somewhere in the Philippines?

      1. mrericx,
        I have heard about the 60/40 rule/law. Operating and running a business doesnt require ownership of any kind. When I have a plant/factory manufacturing VW cars, I can lease the land and I can lease the premisses (factory building). Same applies for operating a business in a law firm or marketing firm. Dont need to own the building.

  7. Realistically, it will take more than providing access to knowledge to improve living conditions (quality of life). The actual desire to access and pursue knowledge is another thing. There’s definitely an advantage in using the English language, although the original forms and roots are more thoroughly developed.
    If language forms from experience, then perhaps abandoning our languages completely isn’t a good idea if it contains our history as a people.

  8. I am a promiscuous bobotante Tangalogista Peenoise pridist. I migrated here so I could linguicide your language.

  9. Well done Benigno, Yen Makabenta noticed your article http://www.manilatimes.net/why-english-has-deteriorated-in-the-country/424116/ And it’s suffice to say, Tagalog as our National Language isn’t good considering it’s the language that’s gotten resistance from all over the country from ethnic tribes and provinces, back then it felt like a bunch of elites imposing their language on their fellow Filipinos after they replaced their Foreign Masters. And the current education system caters to it instead of the various dialects and languages that are called “Backward” and “Gutter Speech”

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