The country has eight major dialects. More than 170 languages are spoken across the archipelago. Out of these only one language sets us united – Tagalog.
This month of August is Buwan ng Wika and we are all aware that being Filipino, it is but prudent and essential that we value our own language that unites us all together, in spite of the several regional languages or dialects that we have. From Luzon to Visayas down to Mindanao, just speak Tagalog and we would understand each other.
Government agencies, especially the Department of Education, have been tasked to disseminate the implementation of this month-long celebration among offices, departments, in schools, colleges, and universities where every week, there will be specific topic to discuss and highlight.
Our country has been colonized, several times, and that, for sure, greatly impacted the way we value of our very own official language. We might agree that Tagalog has not been fully taught among us, even if we have Filipino subjects back in elementary and high school years. We still seemed to fall behind understanding its complexities, even the simplest forms of Tagalog, its spelling and proper grammar use.
When we hear kids speaking in other language, we applaud and praise them, but we do not encourage them to speak our own. Let us set the example and live what is expected of us by Jose Rizal, our national hero.
The foundation of understanding our language must be fully groomed and implemented in the four walls of every classroom. Parents must rather prefer to teach their kids Tagalog rather than speaking English. It is not about limiting access or exposure to English movies, literatures, or even books or articles, but it is all about adding more time to learn and re-learn our own language.
We, Filipinos, prefer the foreign language, perhaps to speak and get away from poverty, as others might say, but then again, going back to the study table, to read and understand the proper use of Tagalog must be done so as not to be foreigners to our own land.
Speaking and writing in English make us more competitive globally, but then again, what unites us one is Tagalog. Let us love and prioritize our very own language.