I think I have been overfed by Rizal’s quote-turned-Filipino-teachers’-battle cry-into-forcing –students- to-speak- the- national- language “Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika ay higit pa sa mabaho at malansang isda.” (those who do not know how to love their native tongue is worse than a rancid fish). I am so full of it and disgusted I am about to puke mounds of words in their faces- none of which is Filipino.
“You cannot speak Filipino therefore you are a reeking rotten fish.” “How dare you say ‘Apples in New York are sweet in autumn’ in perfect American accented English whereas you do not even know the word bahaghari (rainbow)?” “Why, you cannot possibly be Pinoy until you cease uttering Fuhl-uh-pee-nowh.”
The zealots would then continue their torturing good ol’ dark-ages style using their perfected art of guilt-tripping— treating you as if you belong to the lowest of the caste for being so eloquent in another language (primarily English) and shall be stuck as such until ‘you-know-what-to-do’. So you force yourself to harden your tongue, constrict those jaws, memorize a couple of phrases from Balagtas’ book, and finally get a nod from your amused teacher— and your Filipinism rating moves up a notch. Congratulations. You are now a step up from being a true-blue patriot.
And now is the Buwan ng Wika. The period of the year where these dementors shall once again rise, sucking whatever self-respect left in you until you die of shame from their “Rizal told you’s” and “You will continue to be a disgrace to the race until’s”.
Their campaign to shroud the realm with darkness using their narrow, twisted, and wicked convictions does not end there. You are forced not only to abandon your faculty which has long since enabled you to efficiently communicate others who speak the same tongue, but you also are forced to loathe those who are not yet “Filipinized”, particularly those who see the shallowness of your “newfound” cause and thus refuse to give in.
“Feeling banyaga ka? Magsalita ng Filipino!”
“Trying hard Amerikano. Magtagalog ka na lang.”
“Huwag dayuhan sa sariling wika. Huwag maging maalingasaw na isda.”
Real mature. Really.