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Monday, September 06, 2010

A lot has been said about the hostage taking that happened a week ago. It is not that I do not have an opinion about the caper of one dismissed police but I think too much has already been said. Besides, I am plagued with too much work to make an entry in my blog. However, there is one news item which piqued my interest a little. This is about former Ms. Universe, Gloria Diaz, suggesting to would-be candidates in beauty contests to use translators during the Q&A portion of the show. Ms. Diaz has been receiving flak for her pronouncements and even declared as persona non grata in Cebu. I shall not comment on the intentions of Ms. Diaz for neither have I seen the original interview nor am I privy to her thoughts. She has already explained what she meant and it can be read here if you are interested.

I like to comment on is why people would be slighted by this remark. After all, we are not native speakers of English and it is not uncommon that there are some who can speak and write the language more proficiently than others. If we are to believe Ms. Diaz’ explanation, it is not entirely baseless. She said her idea was for a contestant to answer in a language she is more comfortable with, hence answering the question more adequately. And yet, I am almost certain that the anger felt by Cebuanos is not confined to them. There are more Filipinos who were angered, albeit even initially, with her observation/comment. My only guess is because our medium of instruction is English. As such, we equate being proficient with English as being highly educated. How many among us frown at people who can hardly speak the language? How many among us laugh at someone who mispronounced a word or two? How many among us raised an eyebrow when someone speaks with incorrect grammar. How many among us had a field day with that major major response of our contestant? That Ms. Diaz is the reason why your comment was found to be regarded as inadmissible. I wonder how things would have been had we not been colonized and just developed on our own?


I turn 53 tomorrow. As the cliché goes, time flies so fast. Two of my children who are now working surprised me yesterday by taking the whole family, including the maid, who is actually considered as a member of the family, to a sumptuous lunch in an Italian restaurant yesterday. Then, they took us to see the movie, Despicable Me. I am a very happy, contented man. I am so proud of my children.


Blogger commuter said...

First, Let me greet you a happy birthday! You have reavealed your age! hehe.

As for the language issue, we can only hypothesize at this point. The what-if scenarios could just lead to further debate and presumptions.

Colonization was a worldwide event; If it wasn't English, or Spanish, we will be bound the speak something else other than our own. Sad to say, our culture has been very welcoming to anything that isn't ours.

Otra vez, Feliz Cumpleaños, Señor!

4:13 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Commuter Muchos gracias.

Colonization was a worldwide event; If it wasn't English, or Spanish, we will be bound the speak something else other than our own. You think so? If we were not colonized, we would just be speaking Filipino, Visayan or any other Filipino language, wouldn't we?
But you're right. We can only hypothesize now.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous bertN said...

Happy birthday!

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Panaderos said...

Belated Happy Birthday, Rolly. I wish you many more happy and blessed birthdays to come. Take care of yourself always, my friend.


9:09 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

bertN and Panaderos thanks to you both

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand completely what Gloria Diaz’s point is and I find it a good point. I read an article years ago of a study about people who speak English (or other languages) as their second language. In the study, the brain processes the spoken English and translate it to, let say, Tagalog, then the brain translates the Tagalog response to English. The study also found that when a person is tired or in a stressful situation the brain fails to translate the information to English, hence the failure to communicate effectively. So I completely support Gloria Diaz's Idea.

It is sad that we Filipinos tend to criticize or laugh at our fellow Filipinos who do not have good command in English. I have lived here in US for 16 years and I feel proud how when Americans are amazed on our ability to speak English despite the grammar errors and mispronunciations. They always tell me that they wish they speak another language.

Belated Happy Birthday to you...Cheers to a good life.

2:23 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

anonymous I believe that process takes place,too. Now imagine a Grade 2 pupil being taught Math or any other subject except English. He has first to tranlate the language before understanding the concept. But we all get by somehow. Hirap! Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous BlogusVox said...

I've seen Ms.Diaz interview and I don't see anything wrong with her idea. In fact I consider it practical.

What amused me is how she delivered her suggestion. It is somewhat in an insulting manner, especially to the Cebuanos.

I suspect she's directing her comment to an individual of cebuano descent whom she had a cat-fight years ago. The said person is somewhat articulately deficient in English and Tagalog as well. : )

BTW, belated Happy Birthday, Ka Rolly.

4:21 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

blogusbox I did not know she was engaged in a catfight with a cebuana. That's an interesting take on the matter.

Thanks for the greeting.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous BlogusVox said...

Not a cat-fight in the physical sense but verbal abuse thrown at each other. : D

2:16 PM  

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