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Language and Nationalism

September 24, 2021 Bro. Clifford T. Sorita 1000 views

SoritaOF all the contributions that the other countries have given and shaped our very own Filipino culture, I can say that the English language is one of the most important. Albeit this has been seen as an instrument of linguistic enslavement in our fast-paced society nowadays, English nevertheless plays a vital role.

Yes, the English language is the world’s thread connecting a nation to other parts of the globe. It has emerged as the universal language for its simplicity and wide scope of influence. In fact, it is used in the international trade, aerial and maritime communications, global sports, and the sciences. The science citation index, an international record of scientific breakthroughs and discoveries, has 95% of its articles written in English. Information is power and English provides us that power which would help us and take us a long way.

But in spite of all these things that English offers, we, Filipinos must learn how to balance our usage of this language. For some tend to forget where they came from and what was their nationality and become completely polluted by the life and tradition of the United States upon learning English and that’s a bad thing. We were all raised with the good Filipino values within us. Thus, our patriotism should remain solid and should always remember that whatever we do is a reflection of our image in the global center stage. Use English as a tool for ideal modernization and not for mental-colonial pollution.

“The tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of martyrs from time to time.” The great U.S president, George Washington, has excellently put the pursuit of freedom concisely. Man was created for freedom as God has bestowed upon man, the free will in order to fulfill man’s existence as sentient being. Yet as history puts it, freedom is not always at hand. From the Babylonian captivity of Israel to the Third Reich of Hitler, freedom of men has been deprived and suppressed by their fellowmen who wanted to rise above others even if it meant stepping on the rights and individualities of others. Throughout the ages, colonizers have existed to divide the people and conquer their nation.

Our motherland is no different. We have been colonized by the Spanish, American and Japanese. And as always, a remnant of their culture and language is left in our nation. Colonizers have always used their native tongue to enslave their colonies through the persecution of their colony’s language, through the discouragement of nationalism with the usage of their conqueror’s tongue, through the overpowering of the foreigner’s language to the native vocabulary and through the proliferation of illiteracy among the colony. That was before, what about now? There may no longer be any conquerors of land but colonizers of people still exist. In the era of global communication and international relations, the idea of language colonization is not remote. In fact, it is taking place right here in our country. Where English has crept into our arts, books, films and in other forms of media.

English is now considered as the global language, with the Philippines ranking high on the list of those countries that are literate in English. We are in an era where people from across the globe can unite and consolidate their efforts for a brighter tomorrow. Yet how can we as Filipinos utilize the awesome power of the English Lexicon without losing our identity as a unique race?

We can control the scales and balance our dreams of being globally competitive people of the Pearl of the Orient and at the same time maintain our sense of patriotism and nationalism through the following: First, we can tap onto the potentials of English while keeping a Filipino goal by speaking it intellectually as an American yet using it wholeheartedly as a Filipino. Second, The English language can be used to boost and amplify the nationalism of the people through the creation of morally-uplifting media which would then promote the proliferation of Filipino culture and Ideologies in the hearts and minds of men.

Speak English through your mouth but remain Filipino in mind and heart. Being “world class” does not only pertain to how well one speaks English. It’s all about how you show your colorful range of customs and traditions and unparalleled Filipino values to the world.

Just like the beauty of a sunset, the usage of English has limitations. We ourselves know when it is all too much. It is always based on how we would play our game, how well we would balance the yin and yang of life.

The street looks amazing. I didn’t notice the time. All that was left in my mind was the beauty and importance of the English language. Now, I know how well I would balance my knowledge of the language. I would be globally competitive through my mouth and show the world the distinct individuality of my beloved race, once known to be the “little brown Americans in Asia”, the pearl of the Orient where the sun shines brightly ahead, the Philippines.

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