By: Katrina C. Escobanas
“Love your own language,” Everybody knows this. Whenever you’re asked if you love your language, you’d automatically say yes. But what have you noticed? Nowadays, a lot of people do not like speaking their mother tongue. But when they do, they’d mix it with English. It is a fact that English is an international language, but international or not, our language, the language we must love, is not English. We are only obligated to speak English for when we need to speak to foreigners. Foreigners do not understand our language since it isn’t theirs, so why is it that when we’re conversing, English seems to be treated more “special”. Why is that?
Jena is a Filipina. When she was yet to be born, her parents migrated to the US and stayed there for 12 years. One year later, her mother gave birth to her, and she spent 11 years in the US. For the 11 years she spent there, she never once spoke Filipino. Although she understands Filipino because her parents speak that when they’re at home, Jena was influenced by her peers, who spoke English all the time. Thus, when they immigrated back to the Philippines, people around Jena had a hard time adjusting to the language she spoke.
On her first day of school, everyone called her an Englishera, and she knew it was because of her accent. Whenever they had Filipino classes, the teacher would call her and her classmates would burst out laughing because of her pronunciation of the Filipino words. She wasn’t ignorant enough to not know that the accents between a true Filipino and “Englishera” were very different.
She realized she had to learn how to speak it correctly and not how Americans do it, but by how a true Filipino does it; but not just by knowing, but also loving it. Though it was hard to adapt, she strived hard and constantly listened to each and every pronunciation of words. She always listened to her parents’ intently and tried to remember how they were said. She tried not ot complain with the lifestyle she has now. Before the end of fifth grade, Jena succeeded to speak like a true Filipino. Everybody was amazed at how she improved. At that time, she felt the most fulfilled.
Jena’s story is only one out of billions of stories Filipino’s can give when their mother tongue is spoken. They may have their own plots and experiences, but the good thing is that, in the end, Filipinos still love their language.