by Anthony Capirayan, SSP
I love tees with typographic designs. So when I stumbled upon this shirt online, I never had second thoughts about availing of it. It’s a cash-on-delivery transaction anyway—a real dealmaker for a non-credit card holder like me.
The design suited my creative taste in every respect: clean and simple yet possessing an inherent elegance. But aside from its beautifully arranged typefaces, I was also drawn to its edifying message. I’ve been singing our national anthem since I was in kindergarten, but only now did I become fully aware of the meaning behind its first line (I know, right? It’s a little embarrassing): “Bayang Magiliw—The Nation that Loves Us.” Oh, ain’t that sweet of our motherland? With this t-shirt design, I have come to appreciate even more the richness of our national language. And oftentimes translations just fall short in capturing the profundity of our poetic expressions.
August ushers us to the celebration of “Buwan ng Wika.” Strangely enough, we are the only nation in the world that observes this month-long celebration. It was first decreed to foster unity among us countrymen. But maybe we now need such occasion more than ever. In a country pervaded by the English language, Filipino is in need of promoting, if not altogether desperate saving.
It is my hope that our campaign for sustaining and even immortalizing our national language doesn’t stop in the series of programs that we initiate in school. More than the sabayang pagbigkas, poster-making contest, declamation, and songwriting competition, it is in using our language, be it in an ordinary conversation or intellectual discourse, that we preserve our Filipino identity.
There’s nothing wrong with learning other languages, especially if you have the knack for it. Our national hero Jose Rizal was a polyglot himself, but he never turned his back to our country, much less abandoned our national language.
Ang paggamit ng sariling wika ay simbolo ng ating pagkakaisa—sa puso’t diwa. Ipakita natin na tayo’y isang bayang magiliw, isang bayang nagkakabuklod, isang bayang naglalakad patungo sa kaunlaran. Pahalagahan natin at lalong pagyamanin pa ang ating wikang pambasa. “Suotin” natin ito nang may pagmamalaki at karangalan!