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So that’s what all the fuss is about… James Soriano wrote an article a “rich kid” would definitely write. He’s someone who’s priviledged enough to be raised rich and educated in the best schools but turned out to be another Christopher Lao.  But of course not everyone who’s educated and rich turns out to be like that; there are those you call elite and those you call elitist.

Found out what the fuss in Facebook about James Soriano and Bekimon language was all about because of a friend’s FB link (Carla Montemayor’s article).  Indeed we are still Filipinos but we are too immersed in American culture that some tend to think we’re better off being like them.  It’s not like this thinking is new but i guess it’s getting worse? Don’t you think we are now losing our culture and are being turned into so-called Brown Americans (like American imitations?) without even realizing it? How? Why through everyday media of course. From the songs, TV shows, movies, books to newspapers and everything else, which are mostly from America, we learn about the American culture. We probably know more about their culture than our own.

Even if we do know much about our culture if we are not properly educated, there will always be people who won’t really know or are aware of some vernacular words’ proper usage even if it is/was taught in high school or college. Many get confused over kung/kong, ng/nang, raw/daw and all that (which really annoys me to no end), and when someone makes a mistake in Filipino grammar, no one really calls them out and corrects them. When you do, it’s not like they’d care right? They’ll either shrug it off and ignore you or think you’re being such a know-it-all.

What makes me sad is the fact that not everyone knows or even realizes we are under neocolonialism. I don’t know if anyone would have the guts to do anything about it and face the ire of the entire country, but hey maybe that’s the Philippines for you.

Aside from neocolonialism, we are divided into the educated and the non-educated (or shall we add the “maledukado”?), the rich and the poor, the Catholics and the Muslims. Each have their own set of subculture and mode of thinking and each brings their own uniqueness to the country. I guess this is really what makes us who we are now.

So, why use English? Because it is what professionals use. They make it so like when you use Filipino in business communication it’s like unprofessional because we’re not used to it at all, and no one would probably understand you that well. The fact that our major newspapers are in English should make you wonder if you’re in the Philippines or not. They make it appear like tabloids are for the masses because it is in Filipino.

But what of Libre, the MRT freebie tabloid? Well it is in Tagalog but it’s really good, it’s very Filipino and not done in bad taste at all. Why can’t we make major newspapers like that? Because we are so used to English that we’d probably be weirded out by the sudden change. Just reading Google (and everything else related to it) in Tagalog makes our heads spin because we are not used to it (or maybe because sometimes it’s not really translated that well).

And let me just add to the fact something that’s beginning to crop up in our consciousness: there are people (surprisingly even those aged 35+) who think calling other people older than them as Kuya or Ate means they are trying to make the person related to them or something when they just don’t want to “respected” because of their age. C’mon. We all know that when you call someone Ate or Kuya it is a form of respect for your age, you are being polite, much like the Japanese have “-san” or something, much like po and opo/ho and oho. If you don’t like to be called Ate or Kuya because it makes you feel old then just say so, don’t ridicule the person who’s being polite in calling you ate or kuya by asking them if you’re related. Would you rather be called ale or mama? Tsk.

Flickr image - jamie3529gq

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