President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday called on Filipinos to continue elevating the use of the Filipino language, noting that it is crucial to cultivating the country’s culture.

Marcos said the Philippines’ national language is not only limited to Tagalog, but various native tongues aimed to unite Filipinos towards the advancement of a more prosperous and united nation.

Napapanahong paalalahanan natin ang ating mga sarili na ang Filipino ay hindi limitado sa mga salitang likas lamang sa Tagalog, bagkus ay isang kalipunan ng iba’t ibang mga wika sa buong kapuluan, na naglalayong magbuklod sa ating lahat tungo sa pagsulong ng mas maunlad at nagkakaisang Republika (It is high time that we remind ourselves that Filipino is is not limited only to Tagalog, but is a group of different languages throughout the archipelago, which aims to unite all of us towards the advancement of more prosperous and united Republic),” he said in his Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa message.

He underscored the importance of strengthening the use of the Filipino language as it shapes people's culture and identity.

Ngayon, higit kailanman, panatilihin nating matatag ang ating lingwistikong pundasyon sa Filipino, dahil ang sarili nating wika ang ating magiging batayang lakas sa paglinang sa ating kultura habang nakikiayon sa agos ng makabagong panahon. Isaisip at isapuso natin na tayo lamang ang makapagpapatibay ng wikang taal sa ating Pagkakakilanlan (Now, more than ever, let's keep our strong linguistic foundation in Filipino, because our own language will be our basic strength in developing our culture while adapting to the current of modern times. Let's be mindful and take to our heart that only us can strengthen the language of our genuine identity,” he added.

Marcos also enjoined the public to uphold the intellectualization of the Filipino language, reminding them that speaking a foreign language is not a measure of intelligence or success.

Inaasahan ang bawat isa na makilahok sa intelektuwalisasyon ng Filipino, nang sa gayon ay mabago na sa ating kamalayan na ang pagsasalita ng banyagang wika ay hindi ang natatanging pamantayan ng karunungan (“Everyone is expected to participate in the intellectualization of Filipino, so that it would change in our consciousness that one’s ability to speak a foreign language is not the only measure of intelligence),” he said.

He expressed confidence that the country’s future will be “enriched, encouraged, and enlightened” if Filipinos promote their national language with “honor and love.”

Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa or National Language Month is celebrated every August pursuant to Proclamation 1041 signed by the late former president Fidel V. Ramos on July 15, 1997.

The celebration coincides with the birth month of the late former president Manuel Quezon, the father of the Philippine national language. He was born on Aug. 19, 1878.

This year's observance carries the theme "Filipino at mga Katutubong Wika: Kasangkapan sa Pagtuklas at Paglikha". (PNA)