SABBATICAL NOTES. 23 JAN 2014 N1
THE CHALLENGE OF OUR LIVES is how the road rises up to meet us while we take that first step to the journey of a journey.
Even as I prepare for that journey and start to pack up my bag, the road is there knocking on my door.
The last lights of the yellow-orange Makakilo sun are bidding goodbye and here I am thinking and thinking hard about the more than 10 M Ilokanos in the Philippines who have forgotten how to think for themselves.
A good number of them, I should say.
The 10 M are the first language speakers, and no one knows how to count the second language speakers and the third language speakers.
Whether 10 M or more, what we have got is a number that does not represent any longer an army with the 'utob-nakem' that includes as its obligation to fight for its language.
There is one reason I know, among many other reasons: the Philippine educational system that is so skewed it favors only a kind of an education that makes everyone parrot that same official line about 'isang bansa, isang diwa' as if this phrase is innocent, neutral, or naive.
It is not: it favors and entitles the center, the hegemon, the empire from within.
This is as clear as day breaking.
And now, on my sabbatical, I am involved in this struggle to protect our language--and I am thousands of miles away.
WPH, HI/23 Jan 2014