Aquino’s speaking in Tagalog/Filipino, a weird affectation

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GIVEN the millions that the Palace (or Office of the President) spends annually on its communications office, the president’s spokesmen, its messaging/speechwriting staff, and its public relations consultants, to say nothing of the billions sunk in the black hole of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP),  we presume that the Administration always has enough change to spare for the hiring of able English translators of the President’s more important public speeches, like the annual state of the nation address.

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As is his wont since the beginning of his presidency in 2010, President Aquino delivers his addresses in Tagalog/Filipino, for reasons that are unclear and wrapped in mystery.

We raise this point about a translation service because with President Aquino’s sixth and final SONA, delivered last Monday, July 27, we were once again confronted by the dilemma of publishing the Tagalog/Filipino text of the address in its entirety, and doing an English translation ourselves in order to serve our readers. We posted the Tagalog/Filipino text in our website.  That we did not bother to translate it into English is something which we are confident our readers will forgive.

This problem has recurred time and again during the last five years, because of the President’s policy to use Tagalog/Filipino, for his public addresses.

This policy stands in marked contrast with nearly all of the Tagalog/Filipino presidents since the birth of our republic in 1898. While our first president, President Emilio Aguinaldo, delivered his public addresses and statements  in Spanish,  all our other presidents since 1935 gave their speeches in English, until the advent  of Mr. Aquino in 2010.

To deliver public addresses exclusively in Tagalog may seem laudable and highly patriotic. But it quickly turns into just a quirk of personality and affectation when you view it against the broad perspective of our public life and the conduct of our relations with other nations and the world.

The fact is, our public affairs are generally or wholly conducted in English. Both houses of Congress hold their sessions in English. The Supreme Court and the entire judiciary hear cases in English. No member of the Cabinet talks to the public in Tagalog/Filipino. Only Mr. Herminio Coloma of the Palace communications office has copied the weird affectation of communicating to the media and the public in Tagalog/Filipino – which results in incoherent communications.

What lies behind this policy of President Aquino?

The simplest explanation is that he adopted it because it is his prerogative as President, commander-in-chief and chief of state. With typically bizarre reasoning, he and his advisers probably believe that by his speaking entirely and often in Tagalog/Filipino, he will be able to communicate more effectively with his countrymen, most of whom are conversant in Tagalog/Filipino and in English only in a limited way.

It doesn’t seem to matter to this president that when he speaks in Tagalog/Filipino exclusively, he discriminates against English speakers in this country. He walls off whole segments of the population, while favoring only those born to and schooled in Tagalog, which in reality is what our national language is.

The policy becomes absurd when the President takes it to places where the native language is not Tagalog/Filipino. The anomaly was highlighted during the launch of the modernization project for the Mactan air terminal in Cebu province, where he decided to speak to the Cebuano audience in Tagalog/Filipino. He walled himself from his live audience, and was criticized by the Cebu media.

Audiences that are walled off and who would want to read the English translation of Aquino’s speeches  include the following:

The Filipino intelligentsia, who by definition are the educated or intellectual people in a society or community.

Foreign nationals and expatriates who live, work or do business in this country, including foreign investors who are coveted by the government, all of whom can speak and write in English

The community of scholars and researchers who carry on the work of teaching in our institutions of learning

Practically all daily newspapers in the country, which are uniformly published in English. The only ones publishing in Tagalog/Filipino are few, and they include such titles as Bulgar and Tiktik.

Radio and television networks prefer to communicate in Tagalog/Filipino to reach their target audiences for marketing reasons.  But that’s not a good reason for the President to speak exclusively in Tagalog/Filipino.

A demented adviser probably advised the president that by opting for Tagalog/Filipino in his communications he will attain and sustain high approval ratings. Yet this clearly has not happened because his ratings are now below 40 percent.

Still, the heart of our complaint as a daily newspaper is that the government does not provide and can easily approve a translation service for Aquno’s speeches. We are challenged to spend for our own translations. When the palace finally comes up with an English translation of a president’s speech, it is long after the advent when publishing the English texts would be pointless.

It may be that the main point of this administration policy is to wall off media organizations like the Times from the necessary conversation in our public life, the daily discussions of policy and politics that are so critical in a democracy.

It may be that this is all designed to contain critics  and analysts like our Times columnists, who are hard-hitting critics of the government, by rendering them unable to understand what the president is thinking or doing.

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93 Comments

  1. What a load of crap!!!!
    Every country who does a state of the Union (and almost all do) do this in their own official language. So I can only agree that he does it in Tagalog which is your official language not English!!! If any European head of state would do it in an other language then the native one being it gewman french dutch danish or whatever they would be prosecuted and their political careers would be over!!!! Just my 2 cents as a foreigner living here!

  2. By actually criticizing the Filipino language the way that the author did presupposes that it is only for the low classes and that if you are a high class, you should rather use English. Bullcrap. That is the most stupid thing I’ve ever read on a newspaper ever.

  3. Tagalog is the Nation Language of the Philippines. Cebuangnos are jealous because Spaniards left them for bad attitude and moved the capital to Manila. Manila is the center of all powers. While Cebu is just a province of poor people. Kaya sila banat nang banat sa wikang Tagalog at mga Filipino na nagsasalita ng Tagalog dahil deep inside nasasaktan ang kanilang walang kwentang pride dahil sa katangahang bumigkas at magsalita sa Tagalog.Long Live Tagalog. And to all Cebuangnos just keep on hating.

  4. Pnoy is the worst speaker the Philippines ever had. Unlike his father and even Marcos who were eloquent in their speeches, Pnoy speaks too fast and always in a rush as if to finish the speech. No public speaking skill at all.

  5. Hi, Miles! Going by your logic that “‘Filipino’ is a foreign language imposed on us,” you should then never accept English, too, right? Also, your problem is that you couldn’t understand some of the words used by the President? Use a dictionary, or better yet Google. There’s also what we call “context clues,” which I hope your teachers taught you in school. Labas-labas ka rin ng bahay kung may time para mapulsuhan mo kung anong lenggwahe talaga ang naiiintindihan ng MAS nakararaming Pilipino.

  6. Shaun Corral Lovete on

    Ang Tagalog ay nagmula sa Pilipino na pambansang salita natin. Simulan nyongmuli aralin ang history ng Pilipinas. Una sa lahat walang masama naa gamitin ang tagalog. Bakit? Ang SONA ba ng Pangulo ay para sa mga dayuhan o sating mga nakatira at ipinanganak na Pilipino? kung gusto nyo na maunawaan ng mga dayuhan ang SONA nya, dapat magtyaga sila dahil may mga bansa din naman na gumagamit ng pambansang salita nila kung nagsoSONA sila.

    Isa pa, ikamamatay ba ng mga taong hindi nakakaunawa ng tagalog ang pagsasalita ng tagalog ng iilan o ikakahirap nila ng pamumuhay? hindi naman di ba? may mga tagalog na gustong matuto ng ilokano, waray o iba pang dayalekto natin sa Pilipinas, e bakit hindi kayang gawin yan ng mga nagsasalita ng Ingles o Espanyol? Dahil ba may class kapag nagsalita ka ng salitang banyaga o ikakaliit ng imahe mo ang pagtatagalog?

    Ano ba gusto nyo?

    o ganto na lang pag nag SONA ang pangulo dapat iba iba lengwahe gamitin nya, sa kalahating araw Tagalog. yung kalahating araw e Ingles. Kinabukasan SONA ulit Espanyol naman at Cebuano. Tapos, sa susunod na araw e ibang lenggwahe naman.

    Kaya hindi ako naniniwala na malaya ang bansang ito dahil marami pa rin ang bulag sa katotohanan at pilit na yakapin ang balatkayo ng mga dayuhan dahil sa pagiging hambog at mataas na tingin sa sarili dahil akala pag nagsalita ng banyagang lenggwahe e gaganda na ang pagkatao.

    Bago nyo batuhin ang presidente o kung sinumang nakaluklok dyan, isipin nyo kayo ang pumili sa kanila. Kung tinatawag nyong bobo sila, edi bobo din kayo kasi kayo pumili sa kanila. Kung magnanakaw sila, kayo din magnanakaw kasi kayo pumili sa kanila at hinayaan nyong manakaw ang inyong moralidad. Bago nyo sila batuhin subukan nyong batuhin ang sarili nyo.

    Magrereklamo kayo na wala pa silang nagagawa sa unang dalawangbuwan napagkaluklok nila, bakit napunta na ba kayo sa kalagayan nila? naging opisyal na kayo? akala nyo ba madali ang mamuno at may solusyon agad na kakaluklok palang sa posisyon? malamang hindi kasi dapatmuna pagaralan ang problema, pagisipan ang solusyon, at tingnan kung kaya bang gawin.

    akala nyo ba madali mamuna sa isang bansa na may iba ibang lenggwahe at kaalaman? madali ba mamuno ng iba’tibang paniniwala at relihiyon?

    madali bang mamuno sa isang bansang pulu-pulo? e kung nadadalian kayo edi paalisin nyo mga opisyal at kayo na umupo kayo mahusay kayo eh.

    simpleng pagtatapon nga lang nang basura di nyo pa magawa. balat ngalang ng kendi, upos ng yosi. sobrang sukli hindi maibalik. kupit ditokupit don. tsismis dito, tsismis dun. kabit dito, kabit don, sugal dito sugal don.

    Mahirap ang maging pinuno sa mga taong sobrang tatalino at may kanya kanyang kuru-kuro na gustong mangyari. Mahirap mamuno sa mga taong mataas ang tingin sa sarili.

    • Dick S. O'Rosary on

      Stop imposing Tagalog on us. i don’t understand you. I studied Filipino in school but I don’t understand you.

  7. For those Ignorant Diehard Filipondios who always say “Magsalita sating sariling wika” (Speak in our own language)… LOL really LOL

    There are many Sariling Wikas in Filipinas!
    Tagalog a.ka. Filipondio or the Political-Sugarcoated Filipi=ondio is NOT the “OWN LANGUAGE (Sariling Wika) of the Non-Tagalog Ethnic Filipino Citzens as follows: Zamboangueño Ethnic, Cebuano Ethnic, Ilocano Ethnic, Ylongo Ethnic, Mangyan Ethnic, Tausug Ethnic, Maranao Ethnic, Maguindanaoan Ethnic, Bicolano Ethnic, Kapampangan Ethnic, Pangasinense Ethnic, Kankaney Ethnic, Ibanag Ethnic, Kalinga Ethnic, Ivatan Ethnic, Sama Ethnic, Yakan Ethnic, Subanon Ethnic, Tiruray Ethnic, T’boli Ethnic, Manobo Ethnic, Bagobo Ethnic, Kalibogan Ethnic, Iranun Ethnic, Romblomanon Ethnic, Waray Ethnic, Agta Ethnic, Ifugao Ethnic, Capiznon Ethnic, and many more BECAUSE EACH of This Ethnolinguistic Nation (Ethnic Group/Ethnic) has their own respective ‘Own Language’ (Sariling Uica).
    Now, What we have hee is the HEGEMONIC IMPOSITION and Supremacy of Language of the Tagalog Ethnic and the Primacy of their Culture, Tradition, Music, Foods, etcetera.

  8. I am from Western Visayas. We use Ilonggo and English in communicating. Tagalog is a foreign language to us. May I remind our countrymen form Metro Manila and the Tagalog provinces, that Tagalog is not the national language! The government was supposed to develop a National Language (Pilipino) but since most of the government functionaries are Tagalog speaking, they want to force Tagalog to be adopted by the whole country! We have to be multi-lingual. We have noticed that when Tagalog officials are assigned to our provinces, they refuse to learn the local dialect and force those under them to talk in Tagalog. Let me ask people from the Tagalog speaking parts of the country, what if someone from the Visayas or Mindanao became your boss and required you to speak in their dialect whether it be Ilonggo, Cebuano, Waray, how would you feel? By forcing people from other regions to speak in your native dialect, you put them at a disadvantage because they cannot communicate effectively. So people from the Tagalog speaking areas of the Philippines, I advise you to learn to speak English and learn to speak the other major dialects of this country!

  9. miles i hear you, i can speak cebuano, english, and filipino. understand some local dialects, ilonggo, waray,etc… bec of my desire to learn and relate to my friends and relatives in cebu. i grew up in manila studied college in cebu, and to my experience there, cebuanos, specially in the mid to upper class belonged families, would prefer to communicate to me in english rather in tagalog, maybe bec of convenience, language barrier, and sometimes pride- they dont want “tagalog”- (people from manila) be dominant in their territory, maybe its a light form and mix of discrimination and language inferiority complex in terms of geographic heritage, e.g. “tagalog, ilokano, ilonggo, batangeno.” This is what the spaniards inculcated in the minds of local simple minded tribesmen, which until now our political system is adopting, -“no solidarity and sense of nationalism, in short colonial and crab mentality” as some of you had already mentioned.>>> a brief psychological analysis of this postcolonial behavior ;-)!!! But to address this futile issue because you find it difficult to translate some of the deep tagalog words, i guess you can ask those who are knowledgeable, well educated in tagalog, open minded filipino friends about those and stop making a fool of yourself by babbling what language is worthy of your time….
    by the way, you maybe genius but not that smart, kowledge does not equates wisdom.

  10. miles i hear you, i can speak cebuano, english, and filipino. understand some local dialects, ilonggo, waray,etc… bec of my desire to learn and relate to my friends and relatives in cebu. i grew up in manila studied college in cebu, and to my experience there, cebuanos, specially in the mid to upper class belonged families, would prefer to communicate to me in english rather in tagalog, maybe bec of convenience, language barrier, and sometimes pride- they dont want “tagalog”- (people from manila) be dominant in their territory, maybe its a light form and mix of discrimination and language inferiority complex in terms of geographic heritage, e.g. “tagalog, ilokano, ilonggo, batangeno.” This is what the spaniards inculcated in the minds of local simple minded tribesmen, which until now our political system is adopting, -“no solidarity and sense of nationalism, in short colonial and crab mentality” as some of you had already mentioned. But to address this futile issue because you find it difficult to translate some of the deep tagalog words, i guess you can ask those who are knowledgeable, well educated in tagalog, open minded filipino friends about those and stop making a fool of yourself by babbling what language is worthy of your time….
    by the way, you maybe genius but not that smart, kowledge does not equates wisdom.

  11. primer pagunuran on

    Only now does it dawn on me that PNoy’s use of Tagalog or Pilipino by design or purpose.

    This is only the best, most convenient, and easiest way he can give vent to his typical tendency or behavior to attack his critic or detractor ad hominem.

    It would have been totally awkward even obscene for PNoy to be saying all those ‘hate words’ if these were in the English language, hence he has to do it in Tagalog. Besides, it will make it difficult to derive much sense from him if his State of the Nation, at least one SONA, were all in the English language.

    Poor president – lousy speaker, amateurish speech content, and a tendency to bring us all to her parent’s past in a way only them can understand and validate.

  12. Den Concepcion on

    Una, ang Filipino ay hindi tagalog lamang. Bagamat nakabatay sa Tagalog ang pambansang wikang Filipino, ito ay patuloy na pinayayabong ng maraming salitang nagmumula sa ibat-ibang dayalekto sa bansa katulad ng Cebuano, Ilokano, Bicolano, Kapangpangan at iba pa. Mayroon ding mga salitang Ingles, Hapon, Tsina at iba pa na lalong nagpapakulay at nagpapasigla ng ating wikang pambansa. Ito ay buhay na wika na patuloy na yumayabong at nakikiayon sa pangangailangan ng panahon.

    Pangalawa. Mas nakararami sa mamamayan ng Pilipinas ang nakakaunawa ng Pilipino kaysa Ingles. At kahit na marami ang nakakaunawa ng Ingles, bakit naman isasantabi ng Pangulo ng Pilipinas ang pambansang wika upang gamitin ang isang banyagang wika para sa isa sa pinakamahalagang pahayag na laan para sa mamamayan? Ang SONA ay hindi para sa peryodiko, o sa mga istasyon ng TV o radio, o para sa mga dayuhang naninirahan sa ating bansa. Ang SONA ay para sa mga Pilipino, kaya nararapat lamang na ang gamitin ay Filipino.

    Ikatlo. Nagtatrabaho ang may-akda sa isang peryodiko. Hindi nya alam na ang bawat talumpati ng Pangulo ay isinasalin sa wikang Ingles kung ito ay nasa Filipino? Minsan nga di pa tapos ang talumpati ay nasa internet na ang sipi na naisalin na sa wikang Ingles. Baka naman ang gusto ng may-akda ay may espesyal na kopya pa ang kanilang peryodiko?

    Mayroon nakapagsabi sa akin na ang may akda ay isang banyaga. Kung gayon, lalo siyang walang karapatan na alipustahin ang paggamit ng Pangulo ng Pilipanas ng pambansang wika ng Pilipinas. Nakahihiya ang kawalang modo ng banyagang bisita na ito sa ating bansa. At lalong nakahihiya ang Manila Times na pinayagang mailathala ang pahayag ng may-akda may maipintas lamang sa Pangulo. Pareho silang malala pa ang amoy sa nabubulok na isda.

    REPLY:
    Ang sumulat ng editorial na ito ay Filipinong kilala sa larangan ng pagkamanunulat at patnugot ng ilang dyaryong tanyag dito sa ating Inang Bayan. Marami ang niniwalang isas soiyang tunay na bayani. Ipinanganak, lumaki at nakatira siya sa Visayas, bagamnat may tahanan din siya rito sa Metro Manila.
    Napakakaunti po ang mga salitang galing sa Cebuano, Waray, Ilokano, Illongo, at iba pa sa Wilkang Pambansa. Hindi po totoong ang karamihan ng mamamayan Filipino ay naiintindihan ang mga talumpating bigkas sa Tagalog ni PNoy. Kaya nga siya binatikos ng mga mamahayag na Cebuano dahil Tagalog/Filipino ang ginamit niyang wika sa Mactan.
    Hindi po namin kinakalaban ang pagkaroon ng Wikang Pambansa maski po ito base sa Tagalog. Ang inireklamo ng among editorial ay ang pagpapasya ni PNoy na laging Tagalog ang ginagamit kahit hindi namin nauunawaan ng mga hindi Tagalog.

    • Ano gusto nyo? mag-aral ng bisaya yung tao? Weak ang argument. Instead of making excuses could you just admit that there is really something wrong with this article. Magaling man na manunulat o hindi, bayani o ordinaryong tao, nagkakamali parin. The challenge is being able to determine where you got things wrong and to build the courage to admit it.

    • Cris Oliva cypress on

      Oo tagalog tayo at para sa madlang bayan ang kanyang mensahe . But then why we studied english wala naman pa lang silbi. In fact he can used the English and tagalog. Di ba nya naiisip na may mga international observers sa venue. How about yong mga filipino mismo na hindi nakaka-intindi ng tagalog they are born english speaker’s, mga cebuanos at mga maranaw. Ganun bahala na sila. Tama din ang may akda however if are yellow tards this is something else for you.

  13. I seriously don’t understand what the writer is trying to convey in this article. Is he trying to impress his Western readers and colonialist masters? Does he not realize that he is in the Philippines and that the national language is not English? It truly saddens me as a Filipino-American to read this type of trash talk coming from a supposed Pilipino newspaper. I grew up in America and my parent spoke Ilocano, I didn’t understand nor spoke Tagalog but when I had the opportunity to learn from other kind hearted Pinoys who were proud of their language, I learned. I’m proud of my Pilipino heritage and the language, perhaps the writer needs to do the same. Americans and other foreign countries expect their non-speaking immigrants to assimilate into their adopted land if they want to succeed; the same should go for the Philippines. For far too long Pilipinos have kowtowed to foreigners coming in our country, adopting foreign cultures and not their own. It has to stop. If we want foreigners to respect the Pilipino culture and heritage, we must first learn as a people to be proud of it. If Pilipinos want to retain their heritage, they must protect it. *Written in English for the benefit of the tanga writer who may not understand Pilipino. He ought to be ashamed!

    REPLY:
    Ang sumulat ng editorial na ito ay Filipinong kilala sa larangan ng pagkamanunulat at patnugot ng ilang dyaryong tanyag dito sa ating Inang Bayan. Marami ang niniwalang isas soiyang tunay na bayani. Ipinanganak, lumaki at nakatira siya sa Visayas, bagamnat may tahanan din siya rito sa Metro Manila.
    Napakakaunti po ang mga salitang galing sa Cebuano, Waray, Ilokano, Illongo, at iba pa sa Wilkang Pambansa. Hindi po totoong ang karamihan ng mamamayan Filipino ay naiintindihan ang mga talumpating bigkas sa Tagalog ni PNoy. Kaya nga siya binatikos ng mga mamahayag na Cebuano dahil Tagalog/Filipino ang ginamit niyang wika sa Mactan.
    Hindi po namin kinakalaban ang pagkaroon ng Wikang Pambansa maski po ito base sa Tagalog. Ang inireklamo ng among editorial ay ang pagpapasya ni PNoy na laging Tagalog ang ginagamit kahit hindi namin nauunawaan ng mga hindi Tagalog.

  14. Wow ha. The Prez has made an Impressive precedent by speaking in Tagalog-and yet he is negatively criticize. Rizal must be turning in his grave. By speaking in Tagalog-Filipinos somehow reclaimed their lost identity and made us proud. We also somehoy lost our Colonal mentality. Definitely this writer is a Traitor

    REPLY:
    Ang sumulat ng editorial na ito ay Filipinong kilala sa larangan ng pagkamanunulat at patnugot ng ilang dyaryong tanyag dito sa ating Inang Bayan. Marami ang niniwalang isas soiyang tunay na bayani. Ipinanganak, lumaki at nakatira siya sa Visayas, bagamnat may tahanan din siya rito sa Metro Manila.
    Napakakaunti po ang mga salitang galing sa Cebuano, Waray, Ilokano, Illongo, at iba pa sa Wilkang Pambansa. Hindi po totoong ang karamihan ng mamamayan Filipino ay naiintindihan ang mga talumpating bigkas sa Tagalog ni PNoy. Kaya nga siya binatikos ng mga mamahayag na Cebuano dahil Tagalog/Filipino ang ginamit niyang wika sa Mactan.
    Hindi po namin kinakalaban ang pagkaroon ng Wikang Pambansa maski po ito base sa Tagalog. Ang inireklamo ng among editorial ay ang pagpapasya ni PNoy na laging Tagalog ang ginagamit kahit hindi namin nauunawaan ng mga hindi Tagalog.

  15. Though I admire the thought given in to this article, I just can’t contain myself – it just reeks of elitism. The Palace, yes, should give translated transcripts of the SONA for more reach (this is what it has failed to do, in this aspect the writer of this entry has a strong point to justly critize)

    But the patriotic dimension of the decision to use Filipino far outweighs all the other “logical” reasons that the writer emphasized. Oo nga, hindi na nga ginagamit yung Filipino masyado sa official proceedings ng gobyerno, tulad ng sinabi ng writer. MINSAN na nga lang gumamit, ito na nga lang yung opportunity na gamitin… sa SONA, ipagkakait mo pa?

    Mabuhay ang wikang pambansa! Congratulations on PNoy for using Filipino in his SONA!

  16. Sa lahat-lahat ng pwedeng pag-usapan sa SONA ni Pnoy, ang pagtatagalog pa talaga niya ang pipiliin niyo? Bakit hindi niyo icriticize ang mga data na ibinigay niya? Nag-aksaya lang kayo ng oras at ng papel. Nasayang lang ang pera ng mga pilipino na bumibili ng dyaryo niyo. Sakaling di po maintindihan ng writer ang aking “weird affectation”, eto, ita-translate ko para sayo. Ayoko kasing pagpawisan ka sa pag research.

    Resign. Philippines already has more than enough of its share of pseudo-intellectuals. With the state that the country is in, please, we don’t need people like you writing for the paper.

    P.S.
    If you don’t like hearing Filipino (but first learn to distinguish that with Tagalog), then please feel free to leave the country. Bumalik ka nalang sakaling nagkalaman na ang puso mo.

    P.P.S.
    We expected more tact and wit from a national broadsheet. So disappointed.

  17. Tingin ko lang bayad to. Wala nmn international requirement or mandate para gawing English ang SONA ng bawat bansa. Gumagawa lang ng issue mga to. Journalism used to be the most honorable job on my list, well not anymore. Wrong move Manila Times markado na kayo.

  18. Albert Garrido on

    Nagka-cancer ako sa lathala na ito. Napaka-anglocentric at hayok sa wikang Ingles ang mga manunulat sa The Manila Times.

    “It doesn’t seem to matter to this president that when he speaks in Tagalog/Filipino exclusively, he discriminates against English speakers in this country. He walls off whole segments of the population, while favoring only those born to and schooled in Tagalog, which in reality is what our national language is.”

    FOR YOUR INFORMATION, if you speak in the English language, which contains words too scholarly for the laypeople, you are walling yourself off from the majority of the country which are not very well educated in the English language. Admit it or not, Filipino is actually understood by the majority of the population because of its linguistic properties that are similar to the other regional and provincial languages and their variants. Unfortunately, the Philippine educational system, since the coming of the US, has been obsessed with the English language that it hampered the development of the local languages which are understood more by the people. Look at your local language: there has been so much English words which have been instilled to it.

    Furthermore, your criticism of speeches made in the Filipino languages are the very same reasons why the establishment of a unifying national language, the so-called Filipino, has not been ingrained to the national culture and identity and there are still misunderstanding between linguistic identities (ex. Visayans v. Tagalogs). We shoud all accept that in the initiation of a national, official language, there would be always one language which will be favored in expense of others, but we MUST choose what is native to us rather than what is introduced by a foreign land.

    Yes, I value the English language (in fact, I am using it right now) because it is the one of the language I know well, being well-educated in the Metropolis. But if somebody unjustly favors it in expense of use of the local languages, there is where we’ll agree to disagree.
    Your criticism is crappy, English-lustful journalists.

  19. If the president speaks in English then he would be alienating a bigger chunk of the population. Ugh. Seriously, does this writer have an abnormal desire to redefine stupidity?

  20. anong kalokohan to? filipino ang ginamit dahil pilipino tyo, busset, mag turo k ng mga kaibigan mong elitista n di nakakaintindi n filipino. Nakapag aral k dba? 12 taon mong pinag aralan di mo pa rin naiintindihan? mas gusto mo pang mag ingles? at sa kolumnista nito, medyo tanga lang talaga. Ikaw ang hindi namin maintindihan. Mag filipino ka nga…

  21. Tagalog is not the only language in this country. This president is using tagalog to manipulate the people like those stupid ones who blindly defend him. Those who comment on this article with expletives clearly dont understand english. But noynoy’s followers are well known for narrow mindedness and sensitivity.

  22. sa lahat na nag re reklamo na hindi sila makaintindi ng tagalog ni Pinoy. google na lang baka makatulong sa inyo. Lalo na si Miles Brusset. mag aral ka ng tagalog hindi naman mahirap yon. Dito sa Toronto kailangan ko mag aral ng english para maintindiha ko ang salita ng bansa. A ko taga Negros pero marunong ako mag tagalog. Ang mga anak ko marunong sila lahat mag tagalog dahil tinuruan namin sila. Presedenting Obama english ang SONA eh bakit walang latino. espanyol na nag reklamo. HANIP NA KUMAG KA PEKE KA NA PINOY.

    • Miles Brusset on

      No. I’m fine with the languages I already know well: Cebuano and English. I speak a little Surigonon, Spanish, and yes a bit of Tagalog. But I can’t understand the deep and nuanced Tagalog that Pnoy used for the SONA. Not even my Manila friends speak that.
      Tagalog was only legislated as a national language during the time of Quezon. I don;’t have anything against it and I try to speak it a little when I’m in Manila. But it’s a waste of time to master it when it is of little use to me. If I have time to learn a foreign language I’ll direct my efforts to a useful one like one of the major European languages or maybe Japanese. Tagalog, as a foreign language to me, has little reward for me as I’m understood when I try to communicate in English better. Besides I don’t watch those crappy telenovelas on TV.

  23. “Manila Times crappy criticism of the PNoy admin, a weird affectation”. There, I fixed the title for you.

  24. Coocoo Trinidad on

    Question po, are you guys so dumb that we have to explain why the SONA is in Filipino?

    • Miles Brusset on

      It was in Spanish and English before. And for people like me not from Manila we would prefer it to be in English. And I am filipino, born and raised.

  25. Puro puna, pintas at reklamo. Sa tingin nyo ba kung ang SONA was delivered in English eh walang makakapansin? Kung hindi naintindihan at talagang interesado, maghanap ng paraan! Ano, lahat na lang issusubo sa inyo? Accept what you cannot control and move on! However PNoy delivered the SONA Is nobody’s business.

  26. … ‘a demented adviser probably advised the president’… ok, why do you need to resort to this troll like writing… it’s so unnecessary, you know..

  27. Ang Pilipino dapat matutunan at gamitin ang Wikang Pilipino.
    If you are a Filipino you MUST learn and speak the National Language.

    • Miles Brusset on

      Tagalog as a “National Language” was a recent invention. Forcing it down the throats of the other ethnic groups is tantamount to cultural oppression. At least english is a choice for us not in Manila.

    • miles i hear you, i can speak cebuano, english, and filipino. understand some local dialects, ilonggo, waray,etc… bec of my desire to learn and relate to my friends and relatives in cebu. i grew up in manila studied college in cebu, and to my experience there, cebuanos, specially in the mid to upper class belonged families, would prefer to communicate to me in english rather in tagalog, maybe bec of convenience, language barrier, and sometimes pride- they dont want “tagalog”- (people from manila) be dominant in their territory, maybe its a light form and mix of discrimination and language inferiority complex in terms of geographic heritage, e.g. “tagalog, ilokano, ilonggo, batangeno.” This is what the spaniards inculcated in the minds of local simple minded tribesmen, which until now our political system is adopting, -“no solidarity and sense of nationalism, in short colonial and crab mentality” as some of you had already mentioned. But to address this futile issue because you find it difficult to translate some of the deep tagalog words, i guess you can ask those who are knowledgeable, well educated in tagalog, open minded filipino friends about those and stop making a fool of yourself by babbling what language is worthy of your time….
      by the way, you maybe genius but not that smart, kowledge does not equates wisdom.

  28. MicVindelmer on

    “Radio and television networks prefer to communicate in Tagalog/Filipino to reach their target audiences for marketing reasons. But that’s not a good reason for the President to speak exclusively in Tagalog/Filipino.”

    I’m deeply ashamed that writers with a brain as big as a pea have now infiltrated the newspapers. Dumb musings with zero regard for logic and practicality are amplified. All of these coming from someone who does not even know the difference of Filipino and Tagalog should just zip it. Take your issues and rants to your Facebook Page. They’re worthless.

  29. Virgilio Perdigon on

    I got 95 in English in Aquinas University Science-Oriented High School and 1.5 in UP Diliman. Panahon na para gamitin ang sarili nating mga wika sa LAHAT ng mga gawaing may kaugnayan sa buhay ng masang Pilipino!

    • ILVING TABIOS ZAMORA on

      Tama. Tangna, pag may sakuna ay panay puna sa mga nagbrobroadcast sa radyo at telebisyon dahil hindi raw maintindihan ang sinasabi nila sa mga tao gaya ng “sea surge” at marami pang ibang salita na di pamilyar sa mga tao.. Ngayong wikang pambansa ang gagamitin, pareho din ang puna: “Hhindi raw nauunawaan ng marami.” Panay ang sigaw kontra sa mga mandarambong ngunit kung may nahuhuli o hinuhuli, ano ang sabi nitong mga bugok: “Bakit sila lang ang hinuhuli, bakiy himdi lahat ng mga mandarambong.” Kasi itong mga nagsasabing alam nila ang mga nangyayari ay takot namang magsilabasan at tumestigo….. Hanep talaga ang mga nangyayari sa PInas. Panay bunganga, kulang sa gawa!

  30. Ang SONA ni pinoy ay para sa mga pinoy na ang pambansang wika eh tagalog. Mag isip isip ka nga o baka di ka naman filipino eh wag ka na lang mag comment, kung gusto mo ng english eh di sa english country ka tumira.

  31. Cha Evangelista on

    Then just request the english translation from his office. Why should there be an insinuation of discrimination?

    • And when a bisaya try to speak in tagalog they get mocked or laughed at,so why the discrimination?

  32. What the fuck was that?! SONA is meant for the filipino nationals. That was a totally one of the most fucktard writing yet. He was like saying it is unacceptable to use filipino?

  33. joseph fellazar on

    Tagalog or Pilipino not Filipino because Filipino language as stated in the Philippine Constitution is a combination or mixture of major dialects in the Philippines. Our feeling is that there is a systematic elimination of our native tongue, from tagalog dialect now named “Filipino instead of Pilipino as it used to be”, to all national TV networks using tagalog dialect in their broadcasts as if we are all tagalog speaking people and added insult to injury are the SONA’s of the Philippine President done in Tagalog.

  34. Filipino Intelligentsia on

    Ano kamo? Kailangan ng mga “Filipino Intelligentsia” ng English translation para lang maintindihan ang SONA ng pangulo? Akala ko ba edukado itong mga “Filipino Intelligentsia”? Bakit di sila nakapag-aral ng Filipino gayong elementarya pa lang ay itinuturo na ito sa mga paaralan?

  35. Timothy Francisco on

    I wonder who wrote this. He is logo-centric. Think that English is NOT the only language used in the Philippines. Filipino is the language of the masses. So, you want the administration to speak only English and be understood only by the elite but baffle the masses?

  36. the truth is naging BOBO na ang ating mamayan sa dahilan na ang ating antas ng ating education ay nadeteriorate..Bakit hindi magiging bobo, kasama ang taglish sa school. kung Pilipino subject Pilipino din dapat ang salita, pero kung ang subject ay mostly english, dapat english din ang salita sa loob ng school at hindi taglish. Nagiging Idiot at stupid na ang ating magaaral dahil sa inuso ang taglish sa loob ng paaralan.. students will not pursue to learn their english language in all their subjects. what about math and science… ?? I dont think the private schools were allowed their students to spoke in taglish inside their classroom????
    Iba ang Japan, ang Japan ay may pagmamahal sa kanilang bansa at sila ay disiplinado…
    inuso iyan ni Kris aquino ang taglish…kaya naging stupid at idiot ang mga magaaral.

  37. Why does he use tagalog in addressing the people ofnthe Philippines?

    Are you that stupid? I mean you work for a nationally published paper seriously? You get paid to spew this garbage?

    To whoever wrote that dumbass article, go fuck your elitist self.

  38. Miles Brusset on

    Thank you for this article. As a Cebuano I prefer the SONA in english as it is a neutral language. Whenever I travel to different parts of the Philippines for business, I try to talk to people in their local language if I can (I’ve learned a smattering of Ilonggo, Surigaonon, Tagalog, and Chavacano), otherwise I speak in English. I don’t want to offend some of the people I’m talking to by speaking to them in Cebuano.

    • Miles, take your english to hell and comeback here when you know how to speak the national language.shame on you.

    • Miles Brusset on

      I know I’m making sense when the insults come. I don’t care for a national language which just one of the regional languages dressed up to be the national language. You call it Filipino all you want, but it’s essentially Tagalog. I have nothing against Tagalog but why ram it down the throat on non-Tagalog speakers? If you consider non-Tagalog speakers as less Filipino then we have a problem.

  39. Karimarimarim. Kung ang paggamit lang ng Tagalog o Filipino ay hindi natin mapagkaisahan, ano pa kaya ang ibang bagay? Wag hamakin ang pagkakaroon ng wikang pambansa (Tagalog, Filipino o iba pa man kung sakali) dahil ito ang isa sa mga pagkakakilanlan natin bilang Pilipino. Mas maraming isyu nasyunal ang dapat pagtuunan ng pansin. Tulad ng nasabi, parehong nasa Ingles at Tagalog ang talumpati. Ginawa ang Google para gamitin hindi para palamuti.

  40. Danny Agoncillo on

    Sabi nga ni Gat Jose Rizal: Ang di maruning magmahal sa sariling wika ay higit pa sa hayop at malansang isda. Ano na kaya ang amoy ng nagsulat nito? :)

  41. I don’t agree with the writer’s standpoint. This is obviously part of an effort to demean and discount the good intent of the President na kasaupin ang mga Pilipino sa ating WIKANG PAMBANSA upang mas maintindihan ng nakararami. Nakakalungkot na marinig ang komento na ang pag gamit ng salitang Pilipino ay para sa masa at ginagamit lamang sa mga newspapers na vulgar? Hindi ba dapat ay kaya tayo gumagamit ng wikang pilipino dahil tayo ay pilipino? Ang tingin ko na gustong sabihin ng writer ay may kasalanan na naman si Pnoy!!

    • Miles Brusset on

      I’m Filipino. Very proud of it. But I don’t speak it because I don’t live in Manila. I speak Cebuano, English, and a bit of Surigaonon and Ilonggo because I go to those areas. And I know a few words of Tagalog which I use on my trips to Manila. Why am I considered less Filipino?

  42. pera-pera lang yan…at nagtagumpay naman ang author ng article na ito upang kilitiin ang ating mga isipan…para lang may mapag-usapan kung anu-ano na lang nilalathala…

  43. This President only addresses to the Tagalog Ethnic Filipino Citizens and NOT to the more than 175 Ethnolinguistic Nations…

    • Miles Brusset on

      Amen. A lot of people equate speaking Tagalog as being Filipino. I say bullshit. It is in being Ilocano, Bicolano, Pampangeño, Tagalog, Warang, Cebuano,…etc. that you are Filipino. Even my friends who have Spanish roots and speak castillian at home are very bit as Filipino as every brown skinned one. Same for my Chinese-Filipino friends. We’re all Filipino.

  44. May puntos ang blog. Kung ingles ang delivery ng speech, natural lang na dapat merong kasabay na translation para sa media, diplomatic corps at iba pang may gusto ng speech sa ingles. Hindi naman sobra ang hinihingi niya. Sa dami ng pera ng administrasyon, sa dami ng kanyang matatalinong galamay, di ba kayang-kayang gawin ni Presidente ang kanilang hinihingi. Meron tayong mga diplomats sa UN, normal ng practice na kung ang speech ng isang Italian diplomat ay Italian, gumagawa rin siya ng speech sa english version para sa english speakers para yung translation ay EKSAKTO sa gustong sabihin ng italian speaker. Naman, naman, naman. Hindi lang ito kwestyon ng patriotism. Question din ito ng pagiging effective sa international relations. Amen?

    • merong translator during SONA para sa mga foreigners. nakita niyo ung mga headsets? habang nagsasalita c PNoy may kasabay na nagta-translate in English. para sa Filipino ang SONA marapat lng na Filipino ang wikang gamitin dahil ito ang wikang pambansa. at para doon sa mga “Filipino” na di marunong magtagalog, bakit di kau marunong magtagalog? saan kau galing?

  45. paris ba ng Tsina hindi mo mabilang ang lenguwahe nila pero bale ang national language nila Mandarin..nagkakaisa sila dito..pag sila nalang magkakaprobinsiya gamit nila katutubong dila..fukien, taiwanese, canton etc etc parang tayo rin..kapampangan..bisaya, ilokano etc etc
    walang pangmasa dito pangedukado..kapag narinig mo salitang tagalog hindi dayuhan ang dating sayo..Ang english hindi katutubo maski pinagaralan mo plipinas katutubong merkano alam dito ka galing pag nagsalita ka..meron ding reservations…iba ang katutubong salita mo..tagalog , bisaya..maigi ng managalog kaysa dayuhang salita maski na pinagaralan iba yung katutubo mong salita…………

  46. bobong idea. bobong nagsulat neto. ikaw na magaling mag-english. hindi ko gusto ang ibang desisyon ng pangulo pero mas lalong hindi ko gusto ang katulad netong manunulat na to. buset!!

  47. Merly Pareja on

    his message is not intended for the “elites” it’s for the “masses”, Masang Pilipino kung saan ang mga katulad ninyong may-akda ng mga publikasyon ay umaasa ng kita (monetary) at opinyon, kaya wag kang magreklamo sa wikang Filipino na ginagamit sa anumang malawakang pagpapahayag ng gobyerno

    • Leonardo Cervantes on

      But what about the rest, where they are not conversant with Pilipino/Filipino either? You in effect are walling them off.

  48. Teddy Sevilla on

    Hindi ba kaya gusto ni Pinoy na wikang Filipino ang gamitin ay para maintindihan siya ng mas nakararaming Filipino?

  49. Ang Sona ay Para Sa mga Pilipino. Di Para Sa mga kagaya mo. Isa Kang dayuhan Sa sarili mong bansa. Your article speaks of how narrow minded and demented you are. Obviously you have not lived outside the country. Go to Europe and they conduct their political meetings in their language. Eg. France. Pero pag tayong pinoy, it’s not ok to speak in our language…

  50. SONA is for all not for the few. mas marami ang nkakaintindi ng TAGALOG kaysa sa english dito sa ating bansa. Its your work in the media to translate the message for some english speaking listeners/readers!

  51. Shares this with Filipino teachers. With Filipino commoners. Even with the many people even in social media who are sometimes unable to differentiate the need to use “your” from “you’re”.

    Hindi naman isang malaking kasalanan na pinipili ng ating Pangulo o sinuman na magsalita sa Filipino sa kanyang sariling bayan, lalo na kung ang tunay na pinapatunguhan ng mensahe ay hindi naman ang dayuhan, kundi ang taumbayan.

    Pero hindi iyan ang punto, kung tutuusin.

    Kung ang SONA kaya ni PNoy ay nasa Ingles, hindi kaya titirahin rin naman ng tulad ng mga pahayagan tulad ng sa inyo ang kayang “pagsasantabi” sa mga hindi gaanong nakaka-intindi ng Ingles? Hindi kaya sabihin naman ninyo na mas napaboran ang mga mayayaman at may kapasidad na makapagtalastasan sa Ingles, ang mga dayuhang mangangakal, investor at trabahador.. ngunit hindi ang mahihirap na tagpi-tagping Ingles lang ang maiiintindihan?

    Demokrasya nga naman, minsan maganda, minsan naaabuso.

    Kung tutuusin, marami namang kaming mahahanapan ng agarang English translation sa ibang dako ng Internet, at hindi kami makakakita ng mga reklamong tulad ng artikulong nabasa ko.

  52. I understand the point, but I guess Aquino would like the “masa” to understand his speeches. In reality, the so called “masa” dominates the country.

  53. speaking in tagalog which is our national language is nothing but patriotism on his part. I say all officials of the government should start speaking in tagalog. it instill nationalism and easy to understand. and steering away from our colonial past. I commen Pnoy for doing this.

    • Miles Brusset on

      But what about non-tagalog speakers like me? Am I less a filipino if I refuse to speak it outside of Manila?

    • Miles Brusset on

      Yes Jong. The best you can do is insult proud Pinoys who chose to speak in their native toungue. So “patriotic” of you

  54. This is sad especially coming from an outsider who finds a lot of the English-speaking Filipinos more affectatious than conversationally effective. Made me feel like walking straight into the Middle Ages. If your supposedly hard hitting commentators cannot understand Filipino, should they at all make comments on the nation’s affairs?

  55. ang labo ng issue ito. First of all it’s the president’s prerogative to do so. Second taglish is acceptable now. Just dial the help centers of telcoms and you are given the choice. Wala ba kayong maayos-ayos na issue na maisulat. Kahaba-haba ng critique ninyo tinamad na tuloy akong basahin. your article is not worth reading.

  56. Dominador D. Canastra on

    Excellent editorial! His use of Tagalog/Filipino in Cebu where up to now the imposition of Tagalog as our natonal language, which has not developed into the NEW Filipino language that truly incorporates Cebuano, Ilocano, etc., ius a sign of the WILL of BS AQUINO to sow disunity and conflict. Buang gayod kanang tawhana!

    • Miles Brusset on

      I truly believe you can’t have a multi-ethnic country where the definition of what it is to be filipino is defined by one ethnic group only. I’m a Cebuano. And it is in my being a Cebuano that I am truly Filipino.

  57. I think the Filipino/English policy is a great idea. In doing so, the President is able to make the masses relste even more (after all, it is for them, for us). The way I see it, you’re just a bunch of elitists who want to impose the use of English just to show off your supposed learnedness.

  58. 100 pecent agree. If the president prefers to use Tagalog/Filipino in his speeches and public engagement, then official translation (in English, being the international language) should be provided by his office .