Nayong Pilipino spotlights linguistic diversity as the essence of Filipino culture

The Nayong Pilipino Foundation underscored the need to preserve local languages, emphasizing the importance of diversity to our sense of nation through a roundtable discussion entitled “Umpukan sa Nayon: Wikang Nagbubuklod” held on 12 August, at the IVC Teatro in Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila.

During her opening remarks, NPF executive director Gertie Duran-Batocabe reiterated that the history of every language reflects not only the history of the people, but the most important stages of its cultural development as well as its importance in shaping national identity.

Among the resource speakers during the roundtable discussion were University of the Philippines professors Jesus Federico “Tuting” Hernandez and John Carlo Santos, UP researcher and editor Christine Marie Lim Magpile, and Gemma Arella-Suguitan of the Southern Luzon Association of Museums. The discussion was moderated by Roy Rene Cagalingan, senior language researcher of the Komisyon ng Wikang Pilipino.

Attendees of ‘Umpukan sa Nayon: Wikang Nagbubuklod.’

During the discussions, Magpile encouraged Gen Z and young writers to use the Filipino language that fits the audience and matches the purpose.

Arella-Suguitan saw the diversity of languages as an opportunity to learn more things from other cultures.

Professor Hernandez supported the call for the government to provide the Filipino translation of records.

“Dapat matagal na nating ginawa ito, yung mga batas, lalo na sa mga major institution ng pamahalaan. Ang mga public document must be translated to Filipino, para mas nauunawan (This should have been started long ago; the laws, especially the major institutions of government. Public documents should be translated to Filipino so they are better understood),” he said.

Meanwhile, John Carlo Santos stressed that the public should use the Filipino languages in their day-to-day lives. He also reminded the youth that English is not a measure of intelligence or success.

The NPF Umpukan sa Nayon Project is under the Heritage Space Program. It was designed as a series of multi-sectoral consultations for the development of programs for the future NPF Cultural Park and Creative Hub. Through the Umpukan sa Nayon Project, the Nayong Pilipino Foundation was able to foster multi-sectoral partnerships and expand its network.

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