MLE and the Promise of the Ilokano Nation

In another light: An Email from Mark Vertido

I was one of the students who joined in the MLE forum in MMSU-CTE, Laoag last July. We were given an assignment to make a reaction on the MLE. I am lucky because I was there myself and I have listened well to your talk. I was really moved by what I heard and so I myself am now in support of the MLE because of its points for a better education system in our country. Maybe the Tagalogs have their harsh opinions to the MLE but this is what we need and I do not see any danger at all.

And I am very proud of my school for preparing the orientation program on MLE this September 17-18.

Thank you sir! God bless!

Mark Vertido, by email, September 4, 2009

The above is an email I received today.

It is one of those emails you least expect and when the cold of Fall comes to sneak into your chill heart, with a letter like this one invariably bringing--and giving--warmth.

And it is warmer because you do not know that there are people who were there but who listened with a full heart to the message that we brought at the first-ever Mother Language Education Forum we held at the Mariano Marcos State University in Laoag in July.

One thing that strikes me is this: Here is a young man, still trying to get his degree in education, and yet is now ever-ready to look into the challenges of Philippine education.

Here is a young man prepared to face squarely as well with the demands of these challenges--and a young man with the guts and the gumption to deal with these challenges.

We see here a contrast with the 'reporter' of Ilocos Times who, unable to write something relevant, focused on something that is not even part of the conversation: my having said that "Quezon is stupid" because the president--one of the greatest, that 'reporter' cited the teachers who came to listen--launched Mother Language Education.

By golly, Quezon was Quezon: he was mentally afflicted with monolingualism, the cause of all our troubles, and he launched MLE?

So this letter, and some other letters I have received, testifies to the truth of our struggle: that it is high time we fought for our linguistic and cultural rights.

That it is high time for us to call it quits with the inutile 'bilingual education' in the Philippines.

That it is high time we named some of the teachers of our classrooms as the very agents of our linguistic and cultural incompetence--the agents of our miseducation.

Hope, indeed, springs eternal.

We have hopes for a better education: Mark Vertido, who I do not know personally, will be in our classrooms to preach the good news of our cultural and educational justice.

A Solver Agcaoili

Hon, HI/Sept 4, 2009

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