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Patnubay Advocates Language Preservation

Language preservation is very important because when a language dies, the next generation will find it difficult to understand their past culture and tradition.

When patnubay.com was launched in year 2005, the Preservation of the Philippine Native Languages was our secondary objective. However, due to our limited number of volunteers, we focused mainly on the OFW Empowerment and on assisting OFWs in labor, police and welfare cases

We have achieved impressive success on these primary objectives but the Language Preservation did not materialize until OFW Christopher Gozum joined Patnubay in the late 2008. Direk Chris, as we fondly call him, is an independent Filipino film director who uses filmmaking as a way to preserve and save the Pangasinan language, literature and culture. His award-winning film Anacbanua (Child of the sun) was shot entirely in the province of Pangasinan and is the only full-length movie in Pangasinan language.

His experimental film called Lawas Kan Pinabli (Forever Loved) was a finalist at 2011 Cinemanila Film Festival. The film features stories of OFWs in distress. The narration is in Pangasinan language while the languages used for interviews of OFWs are in Cebuano, Tagalog and Pangasinan.

Nowadays, the internet is one of the best ways to raise awareness about language preservation and encourage the younger generations to speak their native language. The internet servers can also serve as repository of words of each native language.

Mga Bisaya Group

In 2011, Mr. Dionesio Grava invited me to join Mga Bisaya, an on-line group composed of ”old timers” who are more fluent in Cebuano language. It was in this group that I realized there were so many Cebuano words that I had not spoken before. Please read the topic discussion below for you to understand more why I believe that  there is a need for Language Preservation even for a popular language like Cebuano.

Leandro D. Quintana: Diony , could someone translate this into Cebuano?

My Cebu
By Leandro D. Quintana

It is an odyssey, many roads travelled
Paths hiked, lands visited, explored,
Enjoyed.

The wandering sailor, the dutiful healers
Of men, the servers of families, the root
Seeking emigrant.

We have immersed in many cultures, I have
wooed and loved, and lost, in many a port.
Onward to our journeys, eyes on the prize.

Survive, succeed, excel. Luxuriate in the
Triumphs,
In our rewards, relish the joyous moments.

Yet it is my Cebu that I ever return to.
Here the sounds jingle, the aromas linger,
the sweetness of the corn
The soft, warm caress of
Seaborne breezes, pungent

My Cebu people are lovers of life.
Singers of songs they are, and dancers to all rhythms
Here is a garden of many beauties.

Kind and lovely, demure and inviting.
A welcome smile, a tight embrace and
And my heart is anchored in the Cebu
I can never leave.

I tried to translate the above poem and here it is:
(if you can’t understand Cebuano language, you may skip the poem translations and proceed with our Call to Action)

Ang akong sugbo
By Tasio Espiritu

Sa usa ka paglangyaw, daghan’g dalan ang gi-agian
Agianang gibaktas, mga yutang giduaw, nakaplagan;
Makalingaw…

Ang suroyan nga manlalayag, ang tambal
sa mga kalakihan, ang mga gwapang katabang sa panimalay;
ang hinungdan; nga milayas sa yutang natawhan..

Hapit malumos sa lain-laing kultura; usahay ikasubo,
usahay magustuhan ug usahay masa-ag sa lain-laing pantalan.
Padayon sa imong paglangyaw, pangitaa ang ganti.

Paningkamot nga mabuhi, molampus, molabaw kaysa uban
Ang walay samang kalipay sa kadaugan
Tagam-tama ang malipayong takna sa imong kalampusan.

Pero mas lami gyud kadtong katabang namo sa Sugbo.
Biga-on kaayo ug tingog, humot kaayo ug sampot
mura ug tam-is nga mais.

Kaming mga sugbuanon; sa kinabuhi mahigugmaon
Mang-aawit sa nagkadaiyang huni; mosayaw bisan walay tukar
Ninining nataran sa mga maanyag ug matahum.

Boutan ug gwapa, ma-ulawaon ug maka-lumay
Ang pahiyum sa paghinangup, ang kumpayot nga gakos
sa kasingkasing minggamot..Dili na gyud ko mobiya pa…..

sa among katabang nga karon tiguwang na.

I thought I did well until Atty Lope Lindio posted his own translation.

Akong Subgo
By: Lope Lindio

Taas ang panaw nga nagsubay sa daghang dalan
Nagbaklay, nag-usisa, nagtan-aw-tan-aw
Sa dakung kalipay

Ang mga sakayanong nagla-ag-laag, ug
ang mananambal’ng matinud-anong
Sa katawhan, ug sa kanilang mga banay;
nangita’g dapit diin sila mogamot

Sa gugma mingdaug, naparot, sa mga dunggo-anan
Nagpadayon sa panaw, sa tinguha walay paglipat
Malampuson, madaugon, nanghawod.
Nagpauraray sa kadaugan.

Apan sa sugbu pa gihapon ako mobalik
Sa naandang tingog ug mga alimyon
Sa lami sa maize nga kinaon
Sa huyohuy nga muhapo sa
lawas ug imong matimahuan

Ang akong mga kaigsuonang sugbuanon
nagsaulog sa kinabuhi.
Mangangawit, mananayaw
ania dinhi ang halaman sa mga maanyag

Maluloy-on ug makabibihag,
Pahiyum nga maabiabihon
Gakus nga lambigit
Naugsok ang akong kasingkasing
Sa sugbu nga dili nako
mabiyaan.

Call to Action

Atty. Lindio’s translation showcases a soulful poem of passion and love; even more than that of the original English version.

I was so ashamed of my translation that I wanted to delete it from the thread but I changed my mind; I retained my lousy stuff and even saved the discussion in my hard drive with a hope that someday I could make use such embarrassment for a good purpose.

There are thirty (30) languages in the Philippines today facing language death (linguicide). The Cebuano Language, although spoken by around 15 million people, is not spared… (you can see the difference between my translation and that of Atty. Lindio’s).

Who’s to blame?

Put the blame on our government and on our educational system for imposing different tongue as medium of instruction in schools. Put the blame on our failing economy that causes people to migrate. Put the blame on telenovelas, social networking sites, text messaging and all these new technologies. And put the blame on us for doing nothing.

But wait, we still have enough time! Why don’t we start today and do something to protect these native languages from extinction?

If you love your native language (Cebuano, Hiligayon, Waray2x, Surigawnon, Ilokano, Pangasinan, Maranaw, Tausog, Maguindanao, Kapangpangan, Bicolano, etc), please let us join hands for this cause: The Preservation of Philippine Native Languages.

You may submit your short stories, essays and poetries in your native language and we will post it here in Patnubay Online.

One of Patnubay Online’s objectives is to serve as a repository of words from various Philippine Native Languages.

We must do this for the next generation.