Pinoy Inglisero

I read this phrase on an e-mail that my boss sent me last week. I was writing a piece on Lamberto V. Avellana, National Artist and pioneer of realism in Philippine Cinema, and she was telling me that she is considering that we write the article in Taglish instead, to attract more readers who feel alienated by 'Pinoy Ingliseros'. This actually gave me chuckle, because I know I belong to that certain breed of off-putting Pinoys who voraciously feast on the English language. I love English, and yes I am a Pinoy Inglisero.

It's not hard to notice that all the entries on this blog are written in English. I think I have never done a Filipino article/piece in my life; well maybe except the first poem I wrote for our paper when I was in third grade. But other than that, I could not remember particular instances that I willingly, or perhaps confidently used Tagalog in my pieces.

I do not have an aversion with Filipino, heck, 70 percent of my conversations are in this language. Although expressing my thoughts on the written media, I prefer, and am more comfortable with English.

Pundits might dismiss as another one of those people who has been heavily ingrained with colonial inclinations. Well we all know that growing up in the Philippines means having to learn Filipino, marred with all sorts of influence from different languages. The Philippines has long known to be biligual, and have even once been labeled as the largest English speaking nation in Asia. Our language has evolved from adapting words from other tongues, so there is no such thing as pure Tagalog, as there is no such thing as pure English. Filipino is a mish mash of Spanish, English and Chinese, plus a huge part originating from our Asian neighbors.

If one considers it, school maybe the single place where you could learn to use Tagalog appropriately. And even there, Taglish seems to be the prime standard, as adopting a 'purely' Tagalog medium would seem too contrived, and not to say tongue contorting. Imagine your teaching saying, "Itago na ang inyong mga talapindutan ng numero" when life could have been easier if she just said, "Itago na ang inyong mga calculator."

When I was younger, I used to think highly of people who spoke in English. I easily concluded that they must be really smart that they have such a command of a foreign language. But as I got older, I realized that no amount of English or American accent could conceal stupidity and logically empty arguments. We Filipinos have a habit of attributing English speaking to intelligence, when in reality it may only be a product of a person's circumstances that he is used to speaking in such a way. Either intelligent, or a person is labeled as sosyal, maarte, or Amerikanong hilaw, which generally, equates to being an elitist.

I do not use English to distinguish myself as a cut above the rest. I don't think the plain use of the language warrants me such privilege. For the things I want to express or describe, I have not grasped enough Filipino to adequately depict what I want say. As English have been much developed, it gives me the springboard to illustrate my thoughts as they run through my head. I appreciate Tagalog, but it is just too limited for me. Taglish might be a workable solution, but it would seem bastardizing for the two languages.

For now, I think I'll remain to be a Pinoy Inglisero.


E said...

Nicely put.

Steve said...

When you can write English better than most college students, I don't know why your teacher would ask any different of you. This is a really good site; I'm surprised you're not up on the first page of EC.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

What a great article and beautiful blog! I found you through Blog Catalog. :D

Cheers! JJ

Kevin in Manila said...

Nice article.

Here's some random trivia: I've never enjoyed reading Tagalog. I think it is a beautifully complex language and I'm glad I can speak/understand it. But I've never gotten really good at reading/writing in Tagalog. And like you, most of my friends just write in English.

plethoraldork said...

i enjoyed reading your blog!