Today is the birthday of the guy whose face is on the twenty peso bill. He is the same dude who is responsible why the female populace of this country can exercise their right to suffrage. But his most popular feat and contribution in this country is his decision and declaration of making Filipino language the official and national language of the Philippines during the time when the two official languages of the country were English and Spanish. He is Manuel L. Quezon, the father of this country’s national language.
This week, the country commemorates Linggo ng Wika (Filipino Language Week) which ends and culminates on Quezon’s birthday. My earliest memory of me commemorating Linggo Ng Wika was during my grade school days. I along with a bunch of classmates was summoned by our teacher to present a poem in an acrostic form during the Linggo Ng Wika program in our school. If my memory serves me right, I was assigned to flash and state the verse that starts with letter N which was cut out from a red colored art-paper glued on a cardboard.
There are 175 dialects in the Philippines but the official Filipino language is based from the Tagalog language. I being born and raised in the political and economic center of the country can speak, write and understand Tagalog. In spite of this, Filipino is the school subject that caused me not to be included in the honor roll during high school because I garnered a grade of 79% during the third grading period in my 3rd year in high school. I must admit, Filipino is such a tricky thorny language.
Yet still, there is one dialect that I regret to have not learned. It is the native tongue of my father – Panggalatok, the spoken dialect in the beautiful province of Pangasinan. The only phrase I know in Panggalatok is “mangan tila!” which means “let’s eat!” This is the common call I usually hear from my Panggalatok aunts and uncles every time they get to spend a day in our house in Pasay.
So today being the of peak of Linggo ng Wika, let me digress from Tagalog but instead give homage to the equally unique and exquisite Panggalatok dialect through this video which features one of the most admired classic songs in Pangasinan (which for sure my late father knows so well)…
Ang Tagalog ng “Noted By” ay “Nota Ni”