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Language: Part of the colonization process

As of this writing, unless it has changed its path, Typhoon “Pablo,” international code name “Bopha” packing winds up to 295 kph and moving at 75 kph should be raging in the Visayas (or Cebu City) as of this time. The last time Cebu got struck by a super typhoon was when Typhoon “Ruping,” international code name “Mike” hit us on Nov. 12-13, 1990. It was on the top ten lists of the most devastating typhoons to strike the country. That was 22 years ago and the president at that time was President Cory Aquino. It just makes me wonder why super typhoons strike our country when we have an Aquino in power in Malacañang?

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Last Oct. 21st, I was in Rome with my camera crew from SkyCable and MyTV channel 28 to cover the canonization of San Pedro Calungsod. Because not everyone could be in Rome for that historic day, the Cebu Archdiocese led by Arch. Jose Palma came up with the idea of holding a Thanksgiving Mass for San Pedro Calungsod, and that event happened last Friday at the South Road Properties (SRP), where a million Filipinos (mostly Visayans) and the entire Aquino leadership led by President Benigno Aquino, were in full attendance.

Unfortunately, I had to be in Manila to be a sponsor to the wedding of Chris and Anna Achacoso Graham last Thursday at the Santuario de San Antonio, where I met my new compadres, Edward Achacoso of GMA-7 and famous balladeer Jose Mari Chan. It was truly a nice experience having our groom and bride entertaining their guests because they are great singers and have their respective bands. But since my flight back to Cebu was at 2 p.m., it was a bit too late for me to be at the thanksgiving dinner.

Call it turning the tables on me because I had to watch the thanksgiving for San Pedro Calungsod on Live TV. After the Holy Mass where the top leadership of the Catholic Church was all in attendance, it was P-Noy’s time to give a speech. Surprise of surprises, the President gave a message exhorting the Catholic faithful to emulate the ideals of San Pedro Calungsod, giving a brief story about his life and death in the shores of Guam. Perhaps, best of all, P-Noy gave his speech in English.

I have no doubt that someone gave the President the good advice to have his speech in English, after all, the majority of the crowd are people from the islands surrounding Cebu and we are not Tagalog speakers. Call it a plus-factor for P-Noy, except that when he held a presscon, he told the Cebu media that by Monday (that’s yesterday) he would meet with the Congressmen to push for the Reproductive Health (RH) bill.

How I wish that he would have changed his mind — as the RH bill has only divided our people — to pro-RH and anti-RH. More so that it is a plagiarized bill from the UN. With the Department of Health (DoH) giving out vaccines that causes our children to become sterile… then we have no need for an RH bill to reduce our population. Anyway, we are still hoping and praying that there would be no quorum in Congress to approve this bill.

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Let me get back a little bit about the President’s giving a speech in English last Friday at the Thanksgiving Mass for San Pedro Calungsod as this is one of the pet peeves of many Visayans. For instance, did you know that half the questions in the entrance exams for the Ateneo University is in Pilipino, which we know is 99.9% in Tagalog? What about the University of the Philippines (UP) when my daughter took the exams there, it was entirely in the Tagalog language. Now you ask, is this fair to the Visayan people who were not born in this tongue? It is a huge advantage to Tagalog speakers!!

This is the attitude that makes Visayans hate Imperial Manila. We were colonized for 400 years under the Spaniards, 50 years by the Americans (as Sir Max Soliven would write, we were 400 years in the convent and 50 years of Hollywood) so when the Philippines was given Independence by the Americans on July 4, 1946, another ethnic group, the Tagalogs colonized the Philippine archipelago. Proof of the pudding that we have been colonized is the reality that learning the Tagalog language was made compulsory in high school. So we in Cebu always asked, “Why can’t they teach us to read and write in Cebuano?” That my friends is part of the colonization process.

On a final note, just over a month ago, as I got back from Rome, mainstream newspapers had on their front pages that report about the deaf mute holding a rally, demanding to have a Filipino sign language version instead of the international sign language that the rest of the world uses. I call this a wrong sense of Filipino pride. We’ve always said that the Cebuano language was not a dialect of Pilipino as there are many words that are totally different from the Tagalog language. More on this issue on Thursday.

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Email: vsbobita@mo-pzcom.com or vsbobita@gmail.com.


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