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Political Dynasties in the Philippines: In My Opinion

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A couple of days ago, I was reading my textbook on the Philippine Constitution when my witty 6-year-old cousin, Mylene, came up to me with a long face. I was already skimming through Article I regarding Philippine National Territory and the discussions on the Exclusive Economic Zone when she chimed in: “Kuya, What should I do if someone does something bad to me?” “Huh? What happened?” I replied quizzically.

“Yesterday, my female classmate, snatched my lunchbox and ate my baon (snacks). I just stood still and remained silent”, the little girl confessed holding back her tears. “Hmm, what she did is not good”, I said. Seeing Mylene looking down, I told my coy cousin to be brave and not to tolerate her classmate’s bad demeanor.

“If she is going to do that again, you should speak out, okay?” Little Mylene nodded. “In a calm voice you tell her to leave you alone. And if she still wants to get your baon, you go and tell your teacher, okay?” I then patted her head. She then left for their morning class at a nearby preparatory school.

It really is sad to know that my cousin, who lives with us, just had her first experience of mistreatment from a classmate. It really seemed that the use of superior strength to intimidate others is somewhat prevalent in any human society.

As I scanned my textbook I can’t help but notice that this very same behavior is also conspicuous in the international political arena where countries which have superior resources andfirepower tend to step on other state’s sovereignty. The most fitting example of this is the People’s Republic of China.

The current tensions that are building in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) are nonetheless due to China’s clearly excessive claims of territorial sovereignty which covers almost all of the 1.2 million square-mile area. Having the economic strength among others, this giant has been threatening and using brutal force in its confrontation with other countries, including the Philippines.

I found out that this so-called ‘claim’ of China started in 1947 where, from out of the blue, they claimed the whole South China Sea to be ‘rightfully’ theirs. She drew a red line, the “nine-dashed line”, which covers practically the entire South China Sea, including the EEZ of various Southeast Asian countries.

I was a young kid then, about the same age as my cousin is now, when news of installations done by the Chinese in the Spratly Islands was reported in television. Initially, in defense, the Chinese Government said that those were just ‘temporary shelters’. In order to avoid trouble, the Filipino Government, in a way, simply ignored them. But what appeared to be ‘temporary shelters’ turned out to be today’s ‘permanent garrisons’.

And at present, the region where the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal are both located is regarded by many as a potential flashpoint which could trigger a regional conflict. This is so because PRC has so far resisted submitting the dispute to international courts. Due to these tensions, sporadic skirmishes further scar the state relations. A year before I was born, more than 70 people were killed during a confrontation between the Red China and Vietnam in 1988.

For a brief background, a significant part of the Spratly Islands is included in the Exclusive Economic Zone where our state has the right for exploitation and exploration. Same also holds for the Scarborough Shoal (which the locals call as “Bajo de Masinloc”), that triangle-shaped chain of islands and reefs located west of our sea banks. These are widely scattered rocks which cover about 150 square kilometers - almost the size of Quezon City!
Apparently, our country mainly bases its claims on its proximity and the principle of terra nullius (literally means "land belonging to no one"), which holds that it was previously unclaimed by a sovereign state. By virtue of the Presidential Decree No. 1599 issued by President Marcos in1978, the Philippines claims an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) up to 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the baselines from which their territorial sea is measured. The nearest landmass from the shoal is about 137 miles (219.90 km) away, which is Palauig, in Zambales. Comparatively speaking, the said shoal is 532.795 miles (or 857.45 kilometers) away from China. Their claim is so preposterous that I bet Little Mylene can easily point which country’s closer with the map of Asia laid on the table.
But just how valuable are these tiny territories which caused this protracted rift between states?

After some research, I found the answers. Experts have discovered that the oil potential of the shoal is very massive. There is also a rich gas deposit in the disputed areas and are rich havens of marine life. These “strategically-located gifts of nature” could be of great help to the welfare of the Pinoys.

Exploiting these and harnessing its rich potentials means a better life for the most of us. If properly handled, this could actually provide opportunities for the empowerment of our kababayans (fellowmen) and help close the gap between the rich and the poor.

For years, the Philippines has exhausted almost all political and diplomatic avenues for a peaceful negotiated settlement. Apparently not being able to hold her patience anymore, our government has elevated the dispute to a United Nations arbitrator. “This step brought China before an Arbitral Tribunal of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)", Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said in an interview last January. Very laudable and simply shows how us Filipinos uphold the rule of law.

And this also necessitates every Pinoy to let their minds be heard in support of this worthy cause. Every Filipino dispersed all over the world has to rekindle the fire of “bayanihan” (concerted effort) - we need to unite and act towards a solidified public opinion against the goliath of the North. And once our kababayans far and wide are aware for a collective action, a sense of responsibility would go with it. We have to stop China from bullying us and every Pinoy have to get his or her act together.

I come from the Island of Mindanao, and being far from the city capital, my ‘weapon of choice’ is the cyberspace in order to raise awareness. I maintain a political blog and post my thoughts
on the West Philippine Sea issue. I believe that my fellow youth can follow what I do by joining forums and sharing to the world that the Pinoy youth cares deeply about Philippine sovereignty.

From traditional to social activism, from Facebook to Twitter, the youth can help protect our resources. I have always believed that youth like me can be agents of change, considering that this country is predominantly composed of young people. And in the light of the upcoming elections this May, I decided to send candidates, including the re-electionists, e-mails of inquiry and posed my queries on how legislations could help ease up and help resolve the territorial disputes.

A few ticks passed and it was just then that I realized it’s already noon. I went to the dining area to eat lunch prepped by my mom. And just as I sat, I heard Little Mylene enter the house. She already came back from school and approached me again, but this time with a smile on her face.

Kuya, my classmate confronted me once again. She demanded me to surrender my snacks to her… but I did what you told me to do. I did not give in to her”, Mylene grinned. “Oh, so how did it go? Did she try to steal your lunchbox again?”, I was eager to hear her answer.

“When he tried to grab my lunchbox, I looked at her straight to the eye, Kuya. I grabbed my lunchbox tight and told her to leave me alone", she smiled. “I then walked towards Teacher Yuna and told her about it. She was reprimanded”, she confidently told me.

“You did what’s right Mylene, you are a one brave girl”, I sighed in relief.

Little Mylene then volunteered to pray for our meal. She softly recited her prayer. In the middle of her prayer, however, the words she uttered echoed in my head: “Lord, please bless my bully classmate, too. Please make her become a good girl and not to be a bully to others”.

Little Mylene reminded me again of the rift in our western seas.

We, Pinoys, have to pray for China, too. God-willing, a change of heart from her ‘imperialistic’ policies would mean huge difference for me or my cousin’s future.

* This essay of mine was declared the Top 10 winner for Essay on the West Philippine Sea by USP4GG International Essay Contest two years ago.

Photo Credit:
Rappler website: http://www.rappler.com/nation/33790-ph-china-baseless-belgium
MACAU, China  - Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 39 KOs) pulled out a masterful unanimous decision win, flooring the American challenger Chris Algieri (20-1-0, 8 KOs) six times in successfully defending his WBO welterweight title at the Venetian Macao, minutes earlier.

On the first round, Pacquiao showing his strength early with a left straight left an early bruise to the upper right face of the New York native. On the second, the Filipino fighter launched a left straight with 1:47 remaining which looked like a slip but ruled out by the referee as a knockdown. Pacquiao’s speed is apparent as he continues to stalk the younger Algieri.

On the third, Pacquiao continues his assault with much of his right cross landing on target. Algieri occasionally was able to hit the Filipino fighter with his lead right but with minimal damage. In the fourth, Pacquiao successfully landed a left uppercut with 1:55 remaining. Algieri continued to backpedal in order to get out of harm’s way.

In the fifth, a short right jab was unleashed by the fightingcongressman in the early ticks which landed on the undefeated Algieri’s left cheek. Another snappy right landed, 55 seconds remaining in the fight.

On the sixth, Pacquiao once again asserted his dominance with quick combinations to the agile Algieri. Hitting the American upstairs and downstairs, the Filipino fighter landed a strong right which led to the literal tumbling of Algieri for the second knockdown in 1:16. With forty seconds left in the sixth, Pacquiao was once again able to floor Algieri in the corner.
 
In showing resilience, Algieri was still able to stand up and continue for the next two rounds, although most of the time he refuses to engage with the 8-division world champion.

In the ninth, the Filipino boxer unleashed fierce combinations to the body and to the face of the undefeated Algieri. The American was once again floored with 1:17 remaining and :29 leaving him down and on his backside. Referee Genaro Rodriguez, however, stopped the fight momentarily, while Pacquiao was still punching. It led to a bit of confusion when after a couple of ticks, he resumed the fight . After being knocked down, the taller Algieri continues to backpedal wishing for a possible lucky punch as a last saving grace.

On the tenth, another Pacquiao left lead landed on unaware Algieri which sent him to the canvas for the sixth time. Algieri walks back to his corner with a look that says "I'm-still-in-this-but-I-don't-know-what-else-to-do". Further rounds ensued with not much sign of Algieri marching forward yet. And just before the final ticks in the twelfth, Pacquiao dominantly landing his signature combinations to the backpedalling Algieri.

"Manny is the best in the world at fighting like Manny Pacquiao", loser Chris Algieri reveals in the post-fight interview. While Bob Arum expressed optimism in the possibility of the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight next year, the Filipino boxer leaves it to the negotiations but emphasized that he remains to be ready against anyone that will be pitted against him.

Scorecards: 119-103, 119-103 and 120-102.



Photo Credits:
http://75a9.http.cdn.softlayer.net/0075A9/thesweetscience/images/Pacquiao-vs-Algieri-820-2014.jpg
http://www.twitter.com/mannypacquiao
Lahat tayo ay namamatay. Isa ito sa mga katotohanang agad nating nalalaman habang tayo'y nabubuhay sa mundong ibabaw lalung-lalo na sa buwan ng Nobyembre. Hindi ako madalas na nagsusulat sa blog na ito ng mga personal na bagay nguni't hayaan n'yo akong ibahagi ang buhay ni Mylene D. Gonzales.

Si Baby Mylene ay kinupkop at inalagaan sa aming pamamahay simula noong walong buwan pa lang siya. Siya ang anak ng aking Tito na dahil sa, sabihin na lang natin na kulang sa kakayanang mapunan ang pangangailangan ng bata, ay inampon ng aking mga magulang sa South Cotabato. Siya ay anak sa labas ng kapwang mga magulang n'ya.
Si Baby Mylene: Madaldal at makulit.
Nakakatuwa ang bibong bata na ito. Sa edad na 2 ay naturuan siya ng mama ko na magsaulo ng mga salitang Filipino at ang kaukulang translation nito sa English at vice versa. Kunwari, kapag tinanong mo siya kung ano ang Ingles ng "kamatis", sasagutin ka n'ya agad ng "tomato", at iba pa - ayon sa notebook na kung saan nailista ang kanyang mga namemoryang mga salita, aabot ito ng halos 200 na bokabularyo. Habang lumalaki siya, dahil sa pagkahilig sa panonood ng TV, ay madalas umaarte ng impromptu; ala-Ryzza Mae.

Siya ang nagsilbing bunso at naging anak-anakan ng nagkakaedad ko nang mga magulang. Dahil sa lahat kaming mga anak ay humayo na at nagkaroon na ng sari-sariling buhay sa iba't-ibang lugar; si Mylene ay itinuring na tunay na anak ng aking mga magulang. Kung kami nga ay hindi hinahatid sa eskwela; si Mylene ay hinahatid-sundo ng kanyang Papa Jessie sa school.

Siya ay pinag-aral ng kindergarten hanggang sa tumuntong siya ng First Grade sa Tupi, South Cotabato. Bibong-bigo si Mylene; hindi man siya honor student sa klase, siya ang tipong umiikot at daldal nang daldal sa klase. Lubos siyang mapagkaibigan. Ang tukso namin sa kanya ay "Big Eyes" dahil sa prominente niyang mga mata.
Mylene: Big Eyes. :)
Medyo nahihirapan din siya sa Math gaya ko; kung kaya't tuwing nakakauwi ako ng probinsya ay tinuturuan ko siya ng arithmetic. Ang huli kong naituro sa kanya ang pag-a-add ng double digits. Nagsusumikap naman siyang matuto. Ako at ang Ate Nini ko ang mga tutors n'ya sa tuwing nakakabakasyon kami sa Tupi. Siya ay sweet sa amin at paminsan-minsan ay magugulat ka na lang na nakayapos na siya sa iyo. Nasabi nga ng mama ko na ang batang ito ay hindi mahirap mahalin. Si Mylene din ang naging inspirasyon ko nang nakaranas siya ng pambu-bully mula sa kanyang kindergarten classmate dati kung saan nanalo ako sa isang international essay competition na iyon.

Tumagal si Mylene ng ilang taon sa amin nguni't noong kalagitnaan ng taong ito ay doon siya ipinatira sa isa pang kamag-anak namin dahil sa pagiging sobrang kulit at pasaway ni Mylene. Pagkaraan ng ilang buwan, 'di yata matiis at sa pag-aalala ng kalagayan n'ya, siya ay kinuhang muli at ipinatira sa amin. Medyo mahina kasi ang resistensya ng bata at medyo masakitin.

Malamang nag-ugat ito noong maliit pa siya, mga nasa 3 o 4 na taon siya noong naitulak siya ng kapwa bata sa loob ng simbahan. Tumama ang kanyang noo sa semento at pagkaraan ng ilang minuto ay sumuka siya. Simula noon, dahil din sa pagiging lampa niya ay hindi n'ya naaalalayan ang kanyang mga pagbagsak kung kaya't madalas ay nagkakabukol siya.
Mga munting ligaya ni Mylene: mga class fieldtrip... at ice cream.
Ika-tatlo ng Nobyembre, dumating ang araw na kinatatakutan ng pamilya; habang naglalaro ang mga Grade 1 students noong lunchbreak, bigla niyang niyakap ang isang dating classmate at halos ayaw n'yang pakawalan. Dahil sa ayaw sa kanyang ginawa ay naitulak siya ng kanyang dating kaklase. Aksidenteng tumama ang kanyang ulo sa shoulder ng fishpond - at siya ay nagsuka.

Dahil sa aksidente, sumama ang ina ng classmate ni Mylene sa ospital upang matingnan ang bata. Hindi kailanman pwedeng sisihin ang pagtulak sa kay Mylene dahil rin nga sa instinctive reaction ng isang bata kapag biglang itong nayapos at ayaw pakawalan.
Si Mylene; malalim yata ang iniisip.
Nagkaroon ng matinding lagnat ang bata hanggang sa siya ay isinugod sa provincial hospital upang mas lalong masuri. Masyadong malawak ang nagpagkabagok o ng traumatic brain injury sa kanya kung kaya't pagkatapos ng anim na araw - bumigay na ang kanyang mahinang katawan. Pumanaw siya eksaktong isang linggo ang nakakaraan sa ganap na alas-8 ng umaga.

Nalaman ko ang balita nang tinawagan ako ni Mama. Ako man ay 'di halos makapaniwala sa sobrang bilis ng mga pangyayari. Masyado pang bata si Mylene at mayroon pa siyang kaabang-abang na kinabukasan. Naluha ako sa nangyari nang ang lahat ay nag-sink-in na.

Subali't ito ang katotohanan sa mundo; kung pwede lang sana ay mapahaba natin ang buhay ng ating mga minamahal. Pero hindi ito posible.

Ang kamatayan ng ating minamahal ang nagbibigay sa atin ng pagkakataong magnilay-nilay sa limitasyon ng ating mortalidad. Kamatayan ang palaging nagpapaalala sa atin ng isa pang buhay maliban sa kung ano ang mayron sa mundong ibabaw.
Mylene D. Gonzales (May 7, 2007 - November 9, 2014)
Paalam, Mylene. Miss ka na namin. Salamat sa maikli mong buhay at napasaya mo kami sa maraming paraan. Hindi ka na tatanda pa upang maranasan ang marami pang paghihirap dito.

Enjoy ka lang dyan ha. maglaro ka na lang sa mga ulap.
Mahal na mahal ka namin.


Days after the bar, I would like to share this throwback article published in MSU Law Gazette, as written by law student Najieva S. Ibrahim.

Sukran, MSU Law Gazette!

His OSG Experience: A Wonderful Legacy*
by: Najieva S. Ibrahim

For some reason, experience is viewed in different ways. But for someone I know, knowledge is gained from experience. He is JR Lopez Gonzales. He is just like any other typical and dedicated law student who happens to be a good speaker, blogger, writer and above all a role model.
The 2013 OSG Interns with Associate Solicitor Karl Miranda and  SC Justice Roberto Abad at the Supreme Court of the Philippines
He was the first Mindanaoan law student who got accepted in the summer internship program in one of the prestigious offices in the country, the Office of the Solicitor General.

The OSG Summer Internship Program which took place last year is a structured seven (7) week program designed primarily to provide unparalleled legal training to qualified third and fourth year law students. This is a brainchild program of Justice Karl Miranda, an Associate Solicitor General, which started in 2008. The OSG is located in Makati City, and is composed of various justices divided in different divisions.

As an intern, he had to wake up early in the morning for office work which starts at 8 AM and ends at five. Every intern is assigned to different divisions and number of interns depends upon the number of solicitor-lawyers. He, in particular, was designated in the division of Sedfrey A. Ordoñez, the largest OSG division. In SAO, there were 8 interns from various law schools, assigned for over 13 state solicitors. His fellow SAO interns are from UP, Ateneo, San Beda, San Carlos, UST, and San Jose Recolletos. Despite the diversity of backgrounds, the interns got to learn from each other’s distinct legal experiences.
With the SAO Interns.
JR considers his experience as life-changing. He also encourages other Mindanaoan law students to participate and apply for the internship which takes place every summer time, annually. The interns’ activities include the review of cases, drafting of pleadings, attending court hearings, participation to lectures, as well as visits to various legal institutions.


With the then-Solgen Francis Jardeleza.

Regarding pressures, he considers it as normal. In order to survive, he said that one has to have a good outlook. Having in mind that he represents MSU, he has to do well despite the standards included with the job – which meant even having to revise a submitted pleading five times!

But above all, as he related, was his deeper appreciation of what “public service” meant. He concludes that his experience has been one-of-a-kind, having the great privilege of interacting with solicitors and what it meant to work for the betterment of the Filipino people.

*Ibrahim, Najieva S. (20014, April 4) His OSG Experience: A Wonderful Legacy. MSU Law Gazette, p. 8.
Mula sa Ingles na titulo ng serye ng blog na ito, napag-desisyunan kong bawtismuhan ito sa titulong Filipino. At kung nagtataka kayo kung bakit ang wikang pambansa ang aking gamit, isa lang ang sagot ko: para INTENSE.

Ang mga sumusunod ang aking mga kasabihan at kuru-kurong naibahagi ko sa aking Facebook profile... Enjoy! :D


Hindi kumpleto ang TAWA kung hindi ito binubuo ng TATLONG PANTIG (3 syllables). Ha Ha Ha. - JLG.

Ngayong 2013, sigurado akong maraming politiko ang gagamit ng kantang 'Gangnam Style' bilang political jingle. Haynaku. - JLG


Mayroong katapangan sa karuwagan. - JLG.

Natawa ako sa narinig ko sa Eat Bulaga:

Vic: Gaano na po kayo katagal na nagse-security guard?
Manong: Twelve years old po. - JLG

Walang mangyayari sa sibilisasyon kung hindi kayang limutin ang mga pagkakasala ng ating mga ninuno. - JLG


Marahil natatawa na lang ang mga ALIENS tuwing may mga babaeng TAO na nakokoronahang Miss UNIVERSE. - JLG.

Natawa ako nang narinig ko ang headline: Ang bahay ni Gus Abelgas (host ng SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives)... ay nilooban ng mga Akyat Bahay. - JLG

Hindi na ako nagtaka kung bakit hinihikayat ng isang TV news program ang mga taong magpadala ng mga krimeng nakukunan sa CCTV CAMERAs. Nagiging mas madali ang trabaho nila. Voice over lang at voila! Balita na agad. - JLG.

Mabilis ka raw'ng makakatulog kapag uminom ka ng GATAS.
Hindi ka naman daw dadalawin ng antok kapag uminom ka ng KAPE.
Napaisip tuloy ako: Ang KAPE ko kasi, hinaluan ko ng GATAS. Maaga kaya akong makakatulog? O hindi ako dadalawin ng antok? - JLG.

Ang nararapat na kaakibat ng SARILING PURÌ... ay SARILING PALÒ. - JLG

Sa maraming pagkakataon, HINDI kayang kontrolin ng pinakaKUMPLIKADONG batas ang pinakaSIMPLENG katangahan ng tao. - JLG

Hindi pwedeng tawaging 'pinunò' ang taong palaging nakatingin sa kanyang repleksyon sa salamin... at sa kanyang bulsa. - JLG

Kaya siguro ang daming paraan ng tao para malibang... kasi ang buhay sa kabuuan ay nakakaumay rin. - JLG.

Ang buhay ng tao ay hindi lamang nagtatapos sa kanyang kamatayan. Ito ay nagpapatuloy kung 'di man sa kabilang buhay ay sa mga sumusunod na henerasyon. Kung ano ang mga desisyon natin at mga gawain ay lubos na nakakaapekto sa ebolusyon ng sangkatauhan. - JLG


Tuwing nakakakita ako ng mga EPAL na POLITIKO sa mga tarpaulin posters parang SINASABI nila sa akin na "TANDAAN N'YO ANG MGA PANGALAN AT PAGMUMUKHA NAMIN. HUWAG N'YO KAMING BOTOHIN". - JLG

NOON
Tanong: Ano'ng gusto mo maging paglaki mo?
Sagot ng Kabataan: Maging duktor. Titser. Nars (at iba pang uri ng propesyon).

NGAYON
Tanong: Ano'ng gusto mo maging paglaki mo?
Sagot ng Kabataan: Maging ARTISTA. - JLG


Photo Credits:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-DEBWJsS4X4I/UYXVswKBbVI/AAAAAAAAAEE/9s_7lSk-lzQ/s1600/576040_423931904319385_167412932_n.jpg
http://missosology.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=148669
http://www.copyblogger.com/cowardly-entrepreneur/
The following are the richest Filipinos according to Forbes Billionaire’s list 2014. The corresponding amount is their net worth.


10. Andrew Gotianum - $ 1 billion


9. Robert Coyiuto, Jr. - $ 1.5 billion


8. Tony Tan Caktiong - $ 1.7 billion


7. George Ty - $ 2.3 billion


6. David Consunji - $ 3.3 billion


5. John Gokongwei, Jr. - $ 3.9 billion


4. Enrique Razon, Jr. - $ 4.2 billion


3. Andrew Tan - $ 4.7 billion



2. Lucio Tan - $ 6.1 billion



1. Henry Sy - $ 11.4 billion



Photo Credits:

http://www.filinvestgroup.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Andrew-Gotianun1.jpg
http://images.forbes.com/media/lists/86/2009/robert-coyiuto-jr.jpg
http://www.people.nfo.ph/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/George-Ty.jpg
http://images.forbes.com/media/lists/86/2011/tony-tan-caktiong.jpg
http://gandaeversomuch.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/r-john-gokongwei.jpg
http://www.bloomberg.com/image/i.ZLDHL3doys.jpg
http://www.millionaireacts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/lucio-tan.jpg
http://www.people.nfo.ph/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Andrew-Tan-02.jpg
http://cdn.cnwimg.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/henry-sy.jpg
Agosto na naman, ang buwan kung kailan ipinagdiriwang natin ang Buwan ng Wika. Ang ating taunang selebrasyon na naglalayong mabigyan ng pagpupugay at pagkilala ang Pambansang Wika sa araw-araw nating pamumuhay, maging sa eskwela man o sa trabaho.

Panahon pa ng Commonwealth nang nilagdaan ng dating Pangulong Quezon ang pagtatalaga sa estandardisadong wikang Tagalog bilang Wikang Pambansa matapos ang isang malawakang linggwistikong pagsusuri. Sinasabing maraming rason ang ikinonsidera sa pagpili sa wika ng mga taga-Central at Timog Luzon: na ang wikang Tagalog ay madaling maintindihan, na ito ang lingua franca ng Maynila, na mayaman ang panitikan at balarila nito; at marami pang iba. Hindi ako eksperto sa wikang Filipino pero naniniwala akong rasonable ito - kailangan ng ating bagitong demokrasya ang isang unipikadong wika na magbubuklod sa 100 milyong Pilipinong nakakalat sa 7,107 na mga isla ng ating arkipelago.
The author inside President Quezon's executive office in the Malacañang Palace.

Isinilang ako sa Isla ng Mindanao sa mga migranteng ninuno: ang aking maternal grandfather ay nagmula sa La Union (sa Luzon), samantalang ang aking paternal grandfather naman ay mula saIloilo (sa Visayas). At dahil sa ang malaking bahagi ng "Lupang Pangako" ay tahanan ng libu-libong mamamayang hindi laking-Mindanao, isang dayalekto ng Tagalog na likas sa Cotabato provinces at mga karatig na probinsya ang naging mother tongue ko. Ang kinamulatan kong lenggwahe ay hybrid; 'yung tipong Tagalog na may syntax at grammar ng Bisaya and vice-versa.

Malamang dahil dito, naging madali para sa aking matuto at humanga sa kagandahan ng sari-saring punto at salita sa probinsya ko ng South Cotabato. Halimbawa, ang salitang "husay" na ang ibig sabihin ay"galing (skill)" sa Tagalog, ay isang pandiwa naman sa wikang Cebuano na nangangahulugang "ayusin (to settle)". 'Pag naging mabilis naman ang pagkakabigkas, ang "husáy"ay "suklay" (comb) naman sa wikang Hiligaynon.

Ang Baybaying Bisaya.
Ang parehong diversity na ito ay na-obserbahan ko rin nang ako na'y umpisang tumira sa Maynila simula noong nakaraang taon. Iba't-ibang saltik ng dila at sari-saring Pinoy mula sa iba't-ibang panig ng bansa ang nandito sa lungsod na itinuturing na sentro ng kalakalan at oportunidad. Ngunit sa isang banda, nakita ko rin ang disparidad at diskriminasyon laban sa mga probinsyano - lalung-lalo na tungo sa mga Bisaya.

Ano ang ibig ko'ng sabihin? Dito sa lungsod ako nakakarinig ng mga panunukso sa mga taong may punto kapag nagsalita. At dahil sa malamang ang pinakaprominenteng punto ay ang sa mga Bisaya, madalas silang nagiging tampulan ng tukso. Dahil kadalasan, puro "i" at "u" lang ang nabibigkas na patinig, madalas na napapasabi ang mga taga-lungsod ng: "Ay, Bisaya!". Hindi pa nga ako nakakarinig ng pangangantyaw na: "Ay, Tagalog!". Bihirang-bihira rin kung mapagdiskitahan ang ibang punto katulad ng sa Kapampangan o Ilokano.

Ayon sa kasaysayan ng Kabisayaan, sinasabing ang terminolohiyang "Bisaya"ay nanggaling sa "Sri Vijaya", na ang literal na kahulugan ay "kumikinang na tagumpay" sa wikang Sanskrit. Ito ang pangalan ng isang malawak na imperyo ng mga Indones ilang daang taon ang nakaraan bago pa man dumating si Magellan sa Cebu. Ayon kay H. Otley Beyer na isang antropologo, ang terminolohiyang ito ay unang ginamit sa mga taong nakatira sa Isla ng Panay. Kalaunan ay ginamit na rin ito sa pagtukoy sa lahat ng mga tao sa Island group ng Visayas at sa ilang parte ng Mindanao.Kabilang sa mga kilalang Bisaya ay ang ating “Pambansang Kamao” na si Manny Pacquiao at ang tatlong naging pangulo ng bansa: sina Pangulong Manuel Roxas, Sergio Osmeña, at Carlos Garcia.
Ram Mallari's "Heart of Steel" displayed at Resorts World Manila. [JLG]

Isang miskonsepsyon na iisang wika lang ang Wikang Bisaya - malamang ang tinutukoy nila ay "Cebuano". Ang mga Bisaya ay nagsasalita ng magkakaibang lenggwahe na nagsisilbing daan ng pakikipagtalastasan sa walong rehiyon sa bansa - higit na malawak ang sakop ng wikang ito kumpara sa iba.

Ayon sa website na Ethnologue, ang mga wikang Bisaya o Binisaya ay binubuo ng mahigit-kumulang 25 na lenggwahe na pinangungunahan ng wikang Cebuano (kasali na ang mga dayalekto nito, ay may 20 milyong tagapagsalita), ang wikang Hiligaynon (na may pitong milyong tagapagsalita), at ang wikang Waray (na may tatlong milyong tagapagsalita). Ayon sa nasabing website, kinse porsyento (15%) ng mga Manileño ang nagsasalita ng mga wikang Bisaya. At kung papaano na ang isang pangngalang tumutukoy sa isang lipon ng mga taga-Visayas ay napalitan ng isang derogatory na pang-uri; 'yan ang hindi ko alam.

Ngunit isa na malamang sa pwedeng sisihin sa uri ng panglalapastangan na ito ay ang lunduyan ng impormasyon - ating media. Mula sa takilya o sa iba pang popular na media, 'pag may puntong Bisaya ang nagsasalita; parang itong joke on itself. Ang mga eksenang ganito ang napapanood natin sa mga sitcom, sa mga pelikula, sa mga comedy bar, at maging sa mga meme sa Internet. Paano kasi, ina-a-associate natin ito sa partikular na trabahoo antas sa sosyodad; na 'pag Bisaya ayautomatiko nang "barok" o "bakya" na agad. Napapatanong tuloy ako: Dahil ba ang tinuturing na lingua franca ay standardisadong Tagalog ng Maynila kung kaya't naitanim na sa ating kamalayan na tanging ito lamang ang wikang superyor sa lahat?

Hindi ba't nagkakaisa tayong mga Pinoy sa pagbabatikos tuwing ang lahing Pilipino ay niyuyurak ng mga dayuhan? Tulad ng mga racist na kumento sa Internet, mga discriminatory remarks sa mga international TV shows, o sa mga slur na ipinukol ng mga taga-Hongkong nang dumayo ang Azkals doon noong isang taon? Hindi ba't ayaw din nating minamaliit ng mga dayuhan ang salitang "Pilipino"? At ang ating pagka-Pilipino?

Sinasabing ang wika ay parte ng pagkakakilanlan ng isang tao. Kabuhol nito ang kultura at tradisyon ng isang pangkat. Sa isang bansang binubuo ng sari-saring lenggwahe, artikulasyon, at tribo, hindi ba't mas mainam na tingnan natin ang mga bagay na nagbubuklod sa atin bilang isang bansa - at hindi ang ating pagkakaiba? Marapat nating ipagbunyi at huwag ikahiya ang ating mga identidad dahil tayo ay nasasailalim sa iisang bandera.


Ang pagtuligsa sa wika at pagkatao ng ating kapwa ay hindi lamang sakop ng isang masalimuot na isyu ng political correctness, ito ay simpleng isyu ng paggalang, pagtanggap, at pagrespeto. Karapatan ng bawa't isa na maging tanggap; at hindi na kailangan pang ibaluktot ang dila upangmapabilang sa lipunan. Kung hindi natin magawang respetuhin ang bawa't isa, paano natin maaabot ang tunay na diwa ng pagkakabigkis bilang isang nasyon?

Wala ni isang tribo o wika ang nakakalamang; lahat tayo ay may punto. Lahat ng wika ay magkapantay sa pagdiriwang natin ngayong buwan ng Agosto. At kapag lubos na nating nakilala ang tunay na pagkatao ng ating kapwa; doon lamang tayo maaaring makapanghusga. Mapa-puntong Ilonggo, puntong Maranao, o puntong Kapampangan man - mga punto lang 'yan. Kailanman hindi ito batayan ng kahusayan, pag-uugali, o kabutihan.


Photo Credits:
http://zoel-al-maas.blogspot.com/2011/10/tongue-twister.html
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ug6cNunyBIY/UFCVIRjLl8I/AAAAAAAAADY/CZUt_O5T_IU/s1600/philippine-flag-pride.jpg
http://37.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3fzauJ0Yk1qjl89ko1_500.jpg

http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2011/187/6/7/suwat_bisaya___visayan_script_by_plus24seven-d3l81kn.jpg