Ernie C. Turla

Land Without Language Is No Land At All

By Ernie C. Turla

Our languages in the Philippines, except of course for Tagalog, have been on the verge of deterioration for the past half a century or so. Not because people don’t want to use them, but because they have been relegated to the background in the country’s vision to have a united people speaking a national language based on one of the major ones. What has happened is that, instead of uniting the peoples, this phrase of the Constitution even created an estrangement among the many ethnolinguistic groups (excluding the new generation who have been, according to some experts, brainwashed and with little hope for a reversal of attitude) who suddenly realized that their indigenous languages were being grossly neglected and on their way to possible extinction.