Iloco, literatura, cultura, kdpy.

Ibainmo ti ag-Ilocano?

“Ang hindi marunong magmahal ng sariling wika ay mas masahol pa sa malansang isda.”–Jose Rizal

Agsipud ta naangotmi ti nabangbangsit pay ngem nalaes a lames a cayarigan dagiti dadduma a pada nga Ilocano gapu iti panangibainda nga agsao iti nacayanacanda a pagsasao segun ti pammaliiw  ni Firth McEachern [maysa a Canadian a nagturpos sadiay Harvard University ken agdama nga empleado ti  ciudad ti San Fernando, La Union, cas representative ti Sustainable Cities (Canada)] a naipablaac iti Sun Star (Baguio), napanunotmi nga uliten nga imaldit  ida ditoy:


McEachern: Diversity shock

Firth McEachern

WHEN I first arrived in the Philippines and journeyed north to my new home, La Union, the first thing I noticed was how many people inhabited this country. The road north from Manila exhibited a near continuous line of sari-sari stores, food stalls, local government halls, churches, and many other buildings, all overlooking a road teeming with children, animals, trucks, buses, farmers, and people sitting wayside to observe the activity. In Canada, journeys between cities are much more desolate, and the transition between wilderness and settlement is abrupt. Here, the activity and people lent a sensation of being perpetually on the outskirts of Manila, and just as I thought to be leaving civilization, another town plaza would appear. Given that my country has a third the population of the Philippines in 30 times the area, the difference in density is expected. But there was something even more shocking that I was not prepared for. In just 6 hours, my new office friends had noted passing four realms of languages. As we crossed into Pampanga from Bulacan, my escort and soon-to-be officemate mentioned, “Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is from here. They speak Kapampangan.”

“Kampan…Kampandunkin?” I repeated woefully inaccurately, the word having gone by too fast. “Do they actually use it or do you mean historically?”

“No, they actually use it,” he said.

How cool! My eyes drifted to the window, amazed by the fact that the endless line of seemingly identical sari-sari stores and general humanity did in fact harbor great variety. It soon became a game in which, whenever we crossed into a new province, I would ask, “What language do they speak here?” To which my officemates would reply something new. In Pampanga, it was Kapampangan; in Tarlac, mostly Tagalog; in Pangasinan, the Pangasinan language, and finally in La Union, Ilokano. My initial judgement of everything being the same was based—rather naively—on appearance. The Philippines has in fact much greater diversity than the cosmetic differences I was looking for, a fact I have gradually come to appreciate more and more. In Canada, one can travel 1000 km and not even detect a difference in accent. While the scenery is many-hued, people are for the most part talking the same way, eating the same things, and interacting with each other in similarly predictable ways. Of course there are immigrant communities, class differences, and some regional variations, but the country’s young age ensures these differences are small, and further dulled by the overriding imprint of American culture from the south. Continue reading


September 16, 2010 Posted by | mother tongue | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments


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