#WikakoMahalko: Importansya ng Wikang Filipino sa Paghubog ng ating Kabataan

Andres Bonifacio Quote

My kids are Filipino yet they can barely speak and understand Filipino.   They cannot follow a conversation if it is in pure Filipino, can barely speak Filipino and Filipino is their hardest subject in school.   Admittedly, they are products of parents who regard Filipino as a secondary language as opposed to the more universal English language.  (See my blog post on Teaching Filipino to our English Speaking Filipino Kids)

On hindsight though, I realized how speaking your native tongue helps in building your character as a Filipino. If you speak Filipino, your jokes would bear the Filipino wit. If you speak Filipino, your demeanor would be humble and self-effacing ending with "po and opo" at the end of sentences. If you speak Filipino, you would speak to elders in a different, more respectful tone. If you speak Filipino, nanay, tatay, kuya, ate and the rest of the family will remain important till eternity.

I also realized how closely intertwined affinity and love for one's own country is rooted on its language.   What is the most basic and primary gift a country can offer its people? Language. When the baby opens its eyes and hears a mother's singsong voice, "anak si nanay ito." You are establishing who he is in this world, a Filipino.

If you speak Filipino, your sense of pride for the Philippines is greater because you are one nation, speaking one language. If you speak Filipino, your heart goes out to the country and its people when it is hurt, ridiculed or threatened. If you speak Filipino, you will have that heart of service to make the country grow proud and strong.

I have made mistakes in the past and it is painstakingly hard to correct it. My children are more American than Filipino. Not that I hate America, I like America. But it would be good to anchor their identity on truly what they are, a Filipino.

Sa araw ng mga Bayani ating isulong sa ating mga anak ang pagmamahal sa ating sariling bansa at ito ay nagsisimula sa pagtangkilik ng ating sariling wika. Wika ko, mahal ko.

Mabuhay ang bansang Filipino!

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