Ilokano as a National Language, 8

I argue in this essay that Tagalog language being presently passed off as Filipino is a double lie, the first lie on the very nature of all languages itself, and the second lie is based on this systemic and triumphal misrepresentation of the Tagalog supremacists and imperialists of what P/Filipino is supposed to be. I insist that this misrepresentatiion takes its historical root from a presidentail blunder in Manuel Quezon's act of declaring Tagalog as the national language.

Some Philippine culture scholars argue today that the esteemed body of intelligent people that voted and approved the naming Tagalog as the national language were people from other ethnolinguistic groups including one representing the Ilokanos.

But these scholars do not know the nuances of getting politically appointed to such an august body of non-sense, with 'pull' and 'push' the prime qualificatiion to get to these honorable posts as it is still now. The sad fact is that those who get the chance to dictate upon us the best of what culture and language can offer are the very people who do not understand what cultura and language are. This, therefore, cannot serve as an argument--this representation of various groups in those commissions, institutes, or 'surian', as the case maybe. One can even belong to a religious group with a solid political backing and you get yourself appointed to any of these august bodies that waste the taxes of the people.

For one, this notion of representation is a joke in the country. The Congress--the House and the Senate--is supposed to be the bastion of representation. But the only representation we can think of is when many of the Congress' members ask for representation allowances. Let us not kid each other now: we know that the enemy in this myth of representation is us because we refuse to see that in this idea is representation is misrepresentation.

It is sad, but it is a fact of Philippine political life, whether one is going through the mockery in the electoral process that capitalizes on 'winnability' than on 'political program and platform.' No, there has never been genuine representation insofar as the 'national language' issue is concerned since 1937. The representation is a bogus--and it was a bonus for those who got the chance to be 'representatives' in the decision making process and in policy making.

Now, where does the double lie come from?

One, on the reality of language: language itself is a lie as it represents--makes 'present', makes 'present again'--that which is not there, that which is absent.



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