Teachers, students call: ‘Wikang Filipino, ipaglaban!’

“We are angry because this is an attack on our culture, our history, and our community as a unified nation.”

By BETTINA CATLI and CHRISTINE CABANATAN
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – A mix of students from different universities joined teachers, linguists and other progressives in a ‘pistang protesta’ at the Mendiola Peace Arch here, August 25, against the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) Memorandum Order 20 (CMO 20), which removes Filipino and other Philippine studies as subjects in college.

“We are here to demand that Filipino, Philippine Literature, Philippine Government and Constitution , and Philippine History subjects be returned to the college curriculum, which were ironically removed from the K12 curriculum,” said David San Juan of Tanggol Wika.

The protest, led by the Alyansa ng mga Tagapagtanggol ng Wikang Filipino (Tanggol Wika), Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and Pilipinong Nagkakaisa Para sa Soberanya (PINAS), was held in celebration of Buwan ng Wika (national language month). The protesters also slammed the K12 program, and called it “a hindrance to the Filipino people.”

“This K12 program and CMO 20 are anti-Filipino, and anti-development of our country,” said Aries Gupit, secretary general of LFS. “We believe that under this program the future of our youth will be bleaker.”
“They are destroying the national identity of our youth, and our whole country which affects our development as a nation, and endangering the future that the youth will inherit,” he said.

Students from the Philippine Normal University join the protest action against the elimination of Filipino subject, Aug. 25. (Photo by Kathy Yamzon)
Students from the Philippine Normal University join the protest action against the elimination of Filipino subject, Aug. 25. (Photo by Kathy Yamzon)

“This is a complete betrayal of our heroes who fought hard for freedom,” said Charisse Ban? nez of the League of Filipino Students (LFS), in a press release.

Last April, the Supreme Court issued an indefinite temporary restraining order against the removal of Filipino as a subject, but the fight is far from over.

“We are angry because this is an attack on our culture, our history, and our community as a unified nation,” said Raymond Palatino, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-National Capital Region chairperson.

Forcing CMO 20

Various groups gave cultural performance in honor of the national language. The song “Speak in English Zone,” which was written and performed by Joel Malabanan, a professor of Philippine Normal University, portrayed the shift of the country towards a ‘Western mindset’.

Ang bayan ko ay Speak in English Zone
Paghahandang yakapin ang globalisasyon
Nag-eeksport kami ng manggagawa’t caregiver
Mga graduates namin ay nasa call center

Another song performed was ‘Bayan, Bayan, Bayan ko’ which encourages the people to continue the fight of Filipino heroes.

Bayan, bayan, bayan ko, hindi pa tapos ang laban mo.
Bumangon ka, kumilos ka, ipagtanggol ang laya mo.
Bayan, bayan, bayan ko, hindi pa tapos ang laban mo.
Rebolusyon ni Bonifacio, isulong mo, isulong mo

Mon Palaganas of the Silangan Artists Alliance at the Pistang Protesta 2015 (Photo by B.Catli/Bulatlat.com)
Mon Palaganas of the Silangan Artists Alliance at the Pistang Protesta 2015 (Photo by B.Catli/Bulatlat.com)

In his performance, Mon Palaganas of the Silangan Artists Alliance tore pieces of paper from a notebook, and stuffed it in his mouth. “The notebook symbolizes the CHED memo 20 and K12 which is being forced on us, and you can see the suffering of the people who have no choice but to bear it,�� he said.

A cultural dance from Mindanao was performed by Tulos Baybay PUP, depicting a dance of the different uses of a malong. ()

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