SABBATICAL NOTES. 5 JULY 2014. SATURDAY. N6.
Confessions of a Tagalog writer too!
LIKE SOME OTHER Ilokano writers brainwashed to believe that to write in Tagalog is to write nationalism, I wrote--and still do--write in Tagalog.
This is to honor a part of me, my Tagalog relatives, and my Tagalog-exposed children who come from so many 'races': Chinese, Visayan (Waray, Akianon), Cordilleran, Ilokano, Pangasinense, Sepoy) and to take part in another form of conversation, the one that comes from the center.
Okey, call that center hegemonic.
But I had taught at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, and I had always insisted on our diversity, our plural lives, our multiplicity.
I had believed in the capacity of people at that university to see things differently, looking at things outside the confines of the Tagalogistic discourse that imprisoned the likes of Jose Abueva who instituted the Sentro ng Wikang Filipino during his watch of that university as president.
Now, we have put in place all the instruments through which we are about to kill our languages (and the cultures behind them) courtesy of those who do not see the wisdom of sustaining and perpetuating this natural condition of the Philippines.
This natural condition is its being multiple.
This natural condition is its being diverse.
This natural condition is its being rich because it multiple. Because it is diverse.
Somewhere, I wrote in Tagalog too, and a long work, Dangadang, articulates these principles of multiiplicity and diversity I am talking about.
I have written essays in Tagalog articulating the same thing.
I am not the only Ilokano-speaking writer who has done so. We are many, even as many of us wrote and continue to write in other languages, languages that we have taken residence in, and have allowed our heads to grow and appreciate others.
I challenge any Tagalog writer who has done this thing that we have done: a Tagalog writer who can show us that she has written a serious work in any of our native languages.
We have done a lot service in the promotion of Tagalog. Now, it is the turn of the Tagalog writers to return the favor to us.