SABBATICAL NOTES. 27 JULY 2014. SUNDAY. N3.
Gracio and his illusory position.
JERRY GRACIO is reported to be a Waray commissioner of the Commission on the Filipino Language, the same commission that has morphed from an institute to a surian and now this present form.
First off the bat, Gracio is a crybaby. A crybaby is a person who sheds tears profusely as if almost voluntarily. At will, he can flood a river.
A look into what Gracio represents by checking into available information on the Internet tells you of a man who represents the Waray people but there is no indication that he has produced a body of work in that language that merits his representing the Waray.
He has had a body of work in Tagalog, and an account said he spent some of his growing up years in a town in Samar where his mother is from, and there picked up the Waray language of his mother, but not the Masbateño language of his father.
The vortex of his student and writing life revolved around UP Diliman where the likes of the many who believe in an uncritical view of a national language that has been the direct cause of the state's negligence of its obligation to mother tongue education, to multiplicity, and to diversity. He produced works in the Tagalog language and even reaping awards in the name of Tagalog literature.
But there is no indication that he did that in the Waray language he represents. In substance, he is a writer of Tagalog.
In that FB account he wrote in his 'flawless' Tagalog, he is decrying the loss of tertiary education of Tagalog courses. He does not come up with a valid argument for his decrying, but laments that if we do not offer Tagalog in college:
1. There will be no chance for the other languages to be offered in college and
2. Only English will have a public space in the college education of the young peoples of the Philippines.
He did not say that these young peoples in the Philippines have had so many years of learning Florante at Laura and Ibong Adarna, and that offering the same in the same shallow discourse, will not push these young people to think better or to gain employable skills. We ask him: what can our young people learn in Gracio's Tagalog when the educational apparatus of the state is already slanted to brainstorm them in his Tagalog and leaving out any healthy chance to make them learn things about themselves?
With 10% of the population employed abroad--one of the key reasons why the Philippine economy has remained afloat--there is no econmic value of Gracio's Tagalog and he does not even tell that, preferring to stick by his gainful employment as full-time commissioner representing Waray.
Gracio must admit that he is in the same league as the Tagalistas.
These are people who had rammed into our throat their naive notion of nation, state, nation state, and national language, and believing that the country becomes great if it speaks only one and only one language, and that language is Gracio's Tagalog.
Some of the Waray academics have defied Gracio, and I know some of them, and he must come to admit with humility that he does not have the academic qualification and literary experience to back up his claim that he can represent the Waray people.
Somewhere, an academic said that no one among the commissioners of Waray professionally know what the Waray language is.
I believe in these academics, and I do not believe in the self-claim of Gracio towards the end of his FB post that 'Waray ako.'
He should have said that piece in Waray--that whole post, in an academically acceptable written form and we will see if the Waray people can even admit his version of Waray.
It is easy to write on one's wall a self-claim and say, 'Waray ako.' Any Tomas, Diko, and Hari can do that: post a self-claim. And then become a crybaby.
To prove that you have the expertise to represent that people is a different story.
Oh, I wish that our Waray academics and cultural workers will come out into the open and say something about this oppressing position of their Waray commissioner. Paging Janis Claire Salvacion, Michael Carlo Villas, and Volts.