MANILA -- With the rise of technological advancements in the country, more and more students today have a hard time using Filipino language in oral and written communication because the vernacular seems impractical to use in discussions pertaining to modern education and lifestyle.
“Mas madali sa akin ang pag-unawa ng English dahil mas madalas itong nagagamit kahit saan kumpara sa ibang Filipino words, hindi ko po maunawaan ang malalim na salitang Filipino. Halimbawa po ang conference room sa Filipino tagop na hindi naman po gaano nagagamit (It is easier for me to understand English because it is used everywhere compared to some Filipino words, I cannot understand deep Filipino words. For example, conference room. The Filipino translation tagop is not usually used),” Jogie Mae Tiago told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview.
Tiago, a grade 12 student at President Corazon C. Aquino High School, prefers to use English when communicating and learning most of the subjects in school because English words are shorter making them easier to pronounce and spell.
Citing her observation about the Filipino language being unpopular among students, Bagong Pag-asa Senior High School teacher Joreza Sayon said this could be attributed to the lack of application of most Filipino words.
“Ang wika po ay dynamic, nagbabago ito kasabay ng panahon. Ang mga salitang Filipino ay namamatay dahil walang application. Hindi nagagamit dahil sa colonial mentality at globalization. Maraming wika ang nagkukumpitensya pagdating sa halaga ng kanilang gamit kaya naiiwan ang wikang Filipino natin dahil walang application. Paano ito lalaban kung makikita mo sa (Language is dynamic, it changes with the times. Filipino words die because they lack application. It’s not used due to colonial mentality and globalization. Many languages are competing in terms of value and usage that’s why our Filipino language is left behind and unable to compete because in the) media there’s English, Mandarin or Korean language,” she added.
Sentro ng Wikang Filipino director Rommel Rodriguez said Filipino language is a lot easier to learn, understand and use because it is the language rooted in history and identity as Filipinos.
“Akala lang ng mga kabataan ngayon mahirap ang wikang Filipino dahil nakatuon ang pansin nila sa mga malalalim na salita lamang. Dapat nilang maunawaan mas madali ang pagsasalita at pagsusulat sa Filipino dahil araw-araw natin itong ginagamit, nasa diwa natin ito (The youth simply assumes that the Filipino language is difficult because they’re focused on the deep words. They must understand that speaking and writing in Filipino is easier since we use it daily, it is in our consciousness),” he said.
Rodriguez stressed that Filipino is a very useful language in modern times because of its wide scope – covering different types of communication in society.
“Umuunlad ang wika natin ngayon bilang pagtalima na rin sa ating Konstitusyon at ang akademiya ay tumutulong sa pag-unlad nito sa produksyon, pananaliksik at malikhaing tala. Kahit ang paglaganap ng Tag-lish ay sinyales ng pag-unlad nito dahil conceptual ito at bukas ito sa ibang wika (Our language is developing today in observance of our Constitution’s mandates and the academe helping in its development in production, research and creative data. Even the spread of Tag-lish is a sign of its development because it is conceptual and it is open to other languages),” he said.
Rodriguez said the development of the Filipino language is unrecognized especially by the young people who lack proper awareness.
“Iyan ang pop-culture, usaping kultural na malaki ang tungkulin ng media sa paghubog ng kamalayan ng kabataan at dapat maliwangan ang mass media kung paano ang wastong paggamit ng wikang Filipino (That is pop-culture, a cultural issue where media has a big responsibility in shaping the awareness of the youth and the mass media must be enlightened about the correct use of Filipino language),” he said.
Rodriguez added that the rampant use of social media also affects the youth’s perception of the Filipino language.
Nonetheless, he does not condemn social media use as it will continue to be part of the society.
“Maganda pa rin na magamit ang social media sa kapaki-pakinabang na paraan. May ibang manunulat na naglalagay ng kanilang mga tula at maikling kwento, short essay sa Facebook at nagiging mas madali ang (It is better that social media used in a worthwhile manner. There are writers who post their poems and short stories, short essay on Facebook and it is easier for) dissemination,” he said.
As the Filipino language continues to develop and evolve, Rodriguez noted that flip top, rap and spoken words are recognized as valid forms of the language.
Labeled as the modern Balagatasan, these forms showcase the youth’s creativity in expressing their emotions, opinions and thoughts in the vernacular.
“Ang usapin na lang marahil ay kung gaano kalalim ang kanilang usapin. Puro murahan at laitan lang ba sila? Dapat kung mababaw ang usapin, dapat lumalim din ito. Mayroon dapat social relevance ang kanilang flip top o spoken words gaya ni BLKD at Juan Miguel Severo (The issue here would be the depth of their discussions. Are they all about cursing and criticizing? If they're shallow discussions, they should deepen. Their flip top or spoken words must have social relevance like BLKD at Juan Miguel Severo)," he said.
All these are pieces of evidence that the vernacular is useful in the learning and communication - be it in a creative or practical manner - between Filipino youths of today, Rodriguez added.
"Ang hamon ngayon sa mga guro ay kung paano ma-integrate ang rap and spoken words, pati ang social media, sa pedagogy o paraan ng pagtuturo ng panitikan, pananaliksik at komunikasyon ng wikang Filipino (The challenge to the teachers now is how they'll integrate rap and spoken words also social media in the pedagogy or style of teaching grammar, research and communication of Filipino language)," he said. (PNA)