KWF to launch 6 language monuments in June

By Catherine Teves

January 26, 2021, 4:30 pm

MANILA – The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) is set to launch in different areas of the country, through its Bantayog-Wika project, six monuments representing indigenous languages.

"Our goal is to launch those monuments before June this year," KWF translator and acting Bantayog-Wika project coordinator John Lerry Dungca said on Tuesday.

He said KWF will launch a Bantayog-Wika monument in each of Camarines Sur province's Buhi municipality, Quirino province's Quirino State University, Nueva Vizcaya province's capitol, and Agusan del Norte province's Butuan City.

The monuments will represent Buhinon, Bugkalot, Gaddang and Butuanon languages, he said.

Dungca said also due for launch are a Bantayog-Wika monument in each of Bulacan province's Bulakan municipality and Metro Manila's Pasig City to represent variations of the Tagalog language.

He noted both monuments will also honor Filipino writers Lope K. Santos and Pedro Serrano Laktaw who created the first intensive Filipino dictionary, respectively.

KWF came up with its Bantayog-Wika project to further raise knowledge and awareness as well as promote the continued use of indigenous languages in the country.

Languages become extinct if no longer used, KWF said.

The agency targets installing and unveiling Bantayog-Wika monuments for each of the country's estimated 130 languages.

About 39 of such languages are already endangered, KWF said.

KWF has installed and unveiled 19 language monuments nationwide since the agency began its Bantayog-Wika project in 2017.

Dungca noted National Commission for Culture and the Arts provided grants for fabricating and installing the six Bantayog-Wika monuments.

The monuments in Bulacan and Quirino have been installed, he said.

He said KWF is preparing to deliver and install the monument for Camarines Sur.

"We're awaiting construction of pedestals upon which the other monuments will rest," he said.

KWF earlier targeted the launch of the six monuments last year.

However, travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic affected the Bantayog-Wika project, Dungca said.

"That's why we re-scheduled the monuments' launching this year," he said.

According to KWF, installation artist Luis 'Junyee' Yee, Jr. prepared the Bantayog-Wika monument design.

KWF said Baybayin letters carved into the monument’s stainless steel body form several lines from Philippine hero Andres Bonifacio's poem "Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Bayan".

Bantayog-Wika monuments are lighted from within so people can read those lines at night, KWF also said.

The monuments are installed atop concrete pedestals with markers bearing information about languages these structures represent, it added. (PNA