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Opinion

You just can't put a good idea down!

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila -
I was in Manila last Monday for a meeting and on the plane beside me was Tourism Undersecretary Phineas Alburo who apparently gave me some bit of important news, that my original idea of training taxi drivers to be better taxi drivers have come into fruition as he apparently learned about this project we had during my time when I was chairman of Cebu City Traffic Operations and Management (CITOM). That scheme would have brought together CITOM, TESDA and the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (CCCI) to work with the Metro Cebu Taxi Operators Association (MCTOA) under my classmate Richard "Dick" Cabucos. Unfortunately back then, this program was no longer pursued after I left CITOM.

However, with the coming of the 12th ASEAN Leader's Summit, Usec. Alburo whom I gave the idea decided that this was a perfect opportunity to bring about discipline to our taxi drivers. He has already started this program with TESDA and more importantly, his boss, Tourism Secretary Ace Durano has instructed him to use the Cebu experience as a template so that this would become a nationwide program under the Arroyo Government. At this point, let me just say that you just can't put a good idea down!
* * *
Here's a letter in response to our articles on the use of English. "Hi Bobit, May God's peace be with you and your family. I continuously follow your articles for two reasons. First, because you tell these as they are, the truth. Secondly, it brightens my day to read news about our beloved Cebu, especially when your columns mention friends I have not seen or heard from for some time. We have met a couple of times before through our mutual good friend, Jimmy Escano.

I grew up and studied in Cebu from grade school until I finished college (1967 to 1981). I consider it a privilege to have been exposed to English as the medium of instruction then during those years. I worked in Cebu for about 12 years, mainly in the finance field, until an opportunity opened in 1993 for my wife and I to migrate and work here in the US.

In almost all the jobs I have had here in the US, I have been commended for my good command of English. This I found to have worked very well to my advantage. After all, what good are our ideas if we are unable to express these and bring our message across for others to understand, and subsequently accept. A lot of people I have worked with here ask me where I learned to speak and write English. They found it hard to believe that I am a Filipino and learned English in the Philippines.

Once, at an international bank that I worked for in Chicago, our VP came down to our department and showed everyone an inter-office memo I wrote. He said that from then on, that was how an inter-office memo or any business letter should be composed and written. Believe me, American colleagues approached me before finalizing their memos / letters and have me check these. Wow, a Bisdak reviewing the correctness of English written by Americans. Furthermore, my foreign customers and contacts from Europe, Asia and the Middle East tell me that I speak very good English and that they can understand me better than Americans. They said that this is because I speak English without any twang or slang.

I grew up speaking Cebuano at home. My command of English now is a result of years of practice, coupled with the diligent and painstaking patience, which my teachers gave me and my classmates to learn correct English. Years of using English in classrooms and speech classes. English does not come easy for us Filipinos. It takes years of study and practice. We should all make it easier for the present and subsequent generations to be more well equipped in life and be competitive in the world market. We should start by restoring English in our schools. God bless. Erwin V. Padriga Renton, WA USA".

Thanks Erwin that you grew up in a school environment when the Philippines was considered the 4th largest English-speaking nation. Sadly, 20 years ago, Tita Cory removed English, nudged by ultra nationalists who promote Tagalog nationalism. This is why the Philippines deteriorated even after removing Martial Law. Hopefully we shall return to the grandeur of our wonderful past where all Filipinos spoke English as its first language.
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I attended the early morning Tuesday Club of Sir Max Soliven at the EDSA Shangri-la. It was great to see Neil Rhumbaa of EDSA Shang, Marichu Villanueva and Tess Santos of the Philippine Star, Cito Beltran of Straight Talk who was beside me exchanging topics, Managing Editor of the Philippine Star Tony Katigbak, Tony Lopez of BizAsia and our old friend Harry Gasser.
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For email responses to this article, write to [email protected]. Bobit's columns can also be accessed at www.shootinginsidecebu.blogspot.com

vuukle comment

ARROYO GOVERNMENT

ASIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST

CEBU

CEBU CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

CEBU CITY TRAFFIC OPERATIONS AND MANAGEMENT

CITO BELTRAN OF STRAIGHT TALK

ENGLISH

ERWIN V

HARRY GASSER

HI BOBIT

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