Saturday, 29 June 2013

Sudden change...possible confusion

Sudden change...possible confusion

It's all but strange for today's administration especially with one of its departments trying to insist change: especially in native terms like "Pilipinas" for "Filipinas."

And if you were to choose, which native term should be used: Pilipinas or Filipinas? Pilipino or Filipino? Pinoy or Finoy?

Well,  that kind of topic this writer ought to write, partially based from an article made by Prof. Danilo Arao,  was made in response to the said order given by the "Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino" (KWF), originally known as Institute of National Language last April 12 whose intention is to "return the use of 'Filipinas' while stopping the use of 'Pilipinas' as the official and modern native name that recognizes its history and progress of its nationhood..."

KWF even encouraged to "change offial names of every institutions and movements carrying the name 'Pilipinas'"; and insisting, abit slow to "change the spelling in every stamp, letterhead, notepad, and any other tool with the name 'Pilipinas' into 'Filipinas'".

However, that said encouragement, or rather say, policy had been dealt before by certain experts on the Filipino language. As according to UP Diksyunaryong Filipino 2010 edition (dictionary from the University of the Philippines) stated that "Filipinas" is the name of our country (p.362), meanwhile "Pilipinas" as its own definition as its Tagalog term for "Filipinas" (p.971). In connection, the citizens of the country be called as "Filipino", also the same term for the national language "according to the 1973 constitution."

However, in the 1987 constitution, from its title "Konstitusyon ng Republika ng Pilipinas" and its preamble "kami, ang makapangyarihang sambayanang Pilipino...." (we, the sovereign Filipino people...) it used tagalized terms "Pilipinas and Pilipino" while in article XIV section 6 declared "Filipino" as its National language.

But at first, as insisted by the institute itself, through its revised Filipino ortoraphy (2013), they simply stated that the alphabet has been modernised and hence read according to English, except the Hispanic-sounding "Ñ", so is "F" as included in the 28-lettered Filipino alphabet that was originally 20 according to Lope K. Santos.

Furthermore, KWF perhaps tends to show history as its evidence to justify Filipinas, rather than Pilipinas in a way Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista used "Acta de la proclamación de independencia del pueblo Filipino", of course, since the declaration used Spanish, therefore they use the term "Filipinas" rather than the indigenous-sounding "Pilipinas" or rather say having Ilustrados contented in speaking, writing Spanish than the language of the majority such as Tagalog.
This may sound desperate for the KWF, especially that with the ortography had been lean closer to the English language rather than accumulate certain dialects into a one, major lingua franca. According to Prof. Arao, that the first edition of UP Diksyonaryong Filipino last 2001, for example, is a good start in showing ordinary citizens the richness of Filipino tongue, especially its words coming from different regions with the possibility of unifying them; one may dare to disagree other terms in the dictionary such as "Tarantado" or any other vulgar term, but it is still a good reference in regards to the language.

Otherwise, why the insistence of KWF to change? There's nothing wrong about "Pilipinas" or "Pilipino"! Like its "F" sounding ones, these are still a part of age-old Hispanic heritage yet indigenized by its inhabitants. Yes, it may sound comfortable for these inhabitants to use "P" instead of "F" or as what Prof. Arao also stated that  the Hispanic-sounding "Filipinas" had paved way for an indigenized "Pilipinas" for the people wanted to have its own identity no matter what it came from its colonial past yet wholly accepted for the present.

Aside from Prof. Arao, Atty. Trixie Cruz even criticized replacing the name itself, as according to her:

"I believe in a national language policy. I believe in an inclusive national language that incorporates sounds and words from all the major languages in the country. I believe that the bellicose reactions to the proposal of the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino is limited to Tagalog speakers so used to their own sounds in the national language, that they are slow in accepting the fact that the Philippine alphabet has already changed and had done so years ago. That being said, I disagree with the return to "Filipinas" from "Pilipinas" and not because it sounds awkward, but because it returns us to the name given by the Spanish, "Felipinas" or "Filipinas" after then King Philip or "Felipe". Pilipinas is our indigenized version, a way of making what was a foreign name, one of our own."

Furthermore, there were other books that used much earlier term "Philipinas" aside from "Filipinas" as in "Anales Ecclesiasticos de Philipinas", a history of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines from 1574-1682.

Like Prof. Arao, would say that Atty. Cruz tends to say that Pilipinas is itself an indigenized term, while at the same time keeping  "Filipinas" as part of heritage. It may sound strange that KWF, originally created to create national identity through language, had to revert its indigenized term into its Hispanic original, then may as well replace "Araw" with "Arao", "Santol" with "Santor", and "Laktaw" with "Lactao" for KWF had insisted.

Meanwhile, Eugene Carmelo Cabanilla-Pedro had took the side of KWF in regards to the use of other letters in the Philippine alphabet, as he said:

"The Filipino language is supposed to be an amalgam of all Philippine languages, with Tagalog as its based. As an amalgam, it ought to include elements from other Philippine languages, including sounds, and some languages in the Northern Luzon, such as Ibanag and Itawis have fs and vs and zs; who are we to say then that an f is un-Filipino? The Commission merely recognized the fact that the phonology of Filipino ought not to be based on Tagalog alone."

Well, Tagalog alone? Prof. Zeus Salazar is a Bikolano that can't pronounce "F".
Mang Jun, a farmer from Visayas, would rather say "B" than "V" in the term "Visaya".
And Lean Galvez would say "Indi" than "Hindi" for most Kapampangans can't pronounce "H".
So to think that the term "Pilipinas" is simply "Filipinas," but only with a P; and people may deemed as deliberate and not through natural linguistic evolution, and yet to other communities such as Bikol, it had been natural enough especially in regards to Mang Jun and Prof. Salazar.
Tagalog may had been a foundation, yet it considered as well Waray, Sugbuhanon (Cebuano), Ilocano, Kapangpangan, and others. And Mr. Cabanilla-Pedro may also have not noticed that Tagalog had also sub-dialects such as from Bulacan to CaLaBaRZon area; that one speaks of "Undas" while another speaks "Undras" for All saints day.

Anyways, as this writer had read every debate in Facebook, there are still people who are just and simple nostalgic about Hispanidad while others care about building a modern, yet native identity that requires indigenization of things foreign. That the name "Pilipinas" has acquired general acceptance while reverting back to "Filipinas" rather creates a lot of confusion, as most people, especially the generation that struggled for a modern, native identity have identified ourselves with "Pilipinas" more than the Hispanic, Criollo, Peninsulare-centric "Filipinas" those who care about Hispanidad speaks of.

So again, if you were to choose, which native term should be used: Pilipinas or Filipinas? Pilipino or Filipino? Pinoy or Finoy?

Otherwise, this kind of question isn't limited to ortography, but in building an identity, interpreting colonial pasts, and a collective insight both today and in the future.