Modern-Day Champions of the Filipino Language
By Luanne Arevalo
One of the traits we Filipinos take pride in is our ability to master other languages easily. For instance, kababayans residing abroad could comfortably converse in their adoptive country’s mother tongue. Meanwhile, because of our fluency in English, the Philippines has become the top choice for companies looking to set up a call center.
But as we embrace other languages, it seems many are starting to forget how beautiful our own is. These days, some Pinoy kids residing right here in the country actually need to take Filipino lessons to understand their native language.
And so we thought we’d pay a little tribute to some personalities who, in their own simple way, keep the language alive and showcase its beauty in their craft.
Carlo, the brains behind the hit comic book Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah, proved that comic books written in Filipino – and some sprinkling of beki speak for added impact – can make it big. His work has become such a hit that it’s been made into a musical and a movie, and now has a sequel that’s topping bestsellers’ lists. We often cheer on Filipino writers and artists who make it big internationally, but Carlo is a testament that we have every reason to be proud of those based right here and whose works are in the mother tongue.
A prolific songwriter, Yeng comes up with the tunes that are both relatable and catchy. She sings about situations familiar to us – like spotting a cutie in the jeepney or, you know, finding “the one” – then she ties it up with pop melodies which result to one fun song we’d love to sing at the next videoke session. Yeng is definitely one of the reasons why OPM continues to be alive, despite what other people would say.
We definitely miss Atom being a reporter on news programs. We all know how theatrical local news reporters can be in delivering the news, so it was quite refreshing to have someone deliver it in a straightforward manner. Veering away from the usual intonation that make news programs seem more like radio dramas, Atom would deliver his reports in a manner that’s easier on the ears, albeit still credible. Good thing he’s still on board his network as a radio and TV host.
The Soshal Network Girls
Majority of Filipino blogs are in English, so it’s refreshing to find one that’s not only written mostly in Filipino, but is funny as hell. The ladies behind The Soshal Network, Faye, Vivian, and Camille are all lawyers, but they let out their wacky side on their blog, where they tackle their “soshal-climbing” in terms of food, fashion, and parenting, among others. It’s refreshing how unpretentious they are, and with their conversational use the vernacular, you’d easily feel like you’re simply chatting with friends – very entertaining ones.