The Filipino Language and its Conversational and Scholarly Characteristics

The Filipino Language and its Conversational

and Scholarly Characteristics

By Apolinario Villalobos


The Filipino as a language is injected with many influences from the different traders who frequented the archipelago during the pre-colonial days. The Spanish and American colonizers who stayed for a long time, practically, impregnated the Filipino culture with their own, that made the latter richer, especially, the language. The result is what today, are being spoken and used in writing by the Filipinos – the language that underwent several stages of transformations.


The unique Filipino language is originally what the Tagalogs of southern Luzon exclusively spoke as their dialect. Aside from Tagalog, other major dialects in the country are Hiligaynon and Karay-a in the provinces of Panay island, the Cebuano in the island of Cebu and other islands of the region as far down south in Davao, Bikol in the Bicol Peninsula,  Ilocano and Pangasinense in the north. The Moroland in Mindanao has its Maguindanaoan, Iranon, Tausug, and Maranao.


To unite the Filipinos, Manuel L. Quezon declared Tagalog as the “common” language, but to give it a bonding character and to remove the exclusive reference to the Tagalogs, it was called “Pilipino”, and still later, “Filipino” which is what it is called until today.


There are Filipino words that are better written than spoken, and vice versa. As a scholarly language, there are also words that are better read in “tula” (poetry), and heard in songs, as well as, part of a formal dissertation. Still, there are words that have better use in speeches, as well as, in swearing. That is what confronts the current generation of Filipinos. Most find difficulty in comprehending some Filipino words that is why, the sympathizing writer has to enclose the English equivalent in parenthesis right after them. Some words that are immoral are translated into English before they can be spoken, too.


The Filipino language further evolved into what is called “Taglish” (Tagalog/English) and is proved to have manifold benefits. The natives of the Cordillera Region who are more exposed to the English language of the missionaries use it, as well as those of the Visayas , who sound awkward when speaking in straight Tagalog, due to their regional accent.


The fast metamorphosis of the Filipino as a language is a manifestation of its steady growth. An outgrowth that many Filipinos did not notice, however, is the “gay lingo” that has become acceptable among the youth. Even the international Aldub TV series employ the “gay lingo” to the delight of its followers. One word worth mentioning is “bey” which is the corrupted form of “baby” and which means “dear”, “love”, “friend”, “sweetheart”, or just anything that connotes closeness. The “pambansang bey” is dearly tagged to Alden Richard, and it means “national love, heartthrob, heart, sweetheart, etc.”


Bloggers are doing their best in spreading the appreciation for the highly- alive Filipino language by using regional words or gay words, at times. The blogs that come in different forms such as free-versed “tula” and free-style essays are in the forms which are not found in any corrupted textbooks used in school. The viewers are then, incited to freely ask for verifications as to what they stand for or what they mean.

Who Takes the Blame for the Emboldened ISIS and Uncontrolled Chinese Expansion towards the West Phil. Sea?

Who Takes the Blame for the Emboldened ISIS

and Uncontrolled Chinese Expansion towards the West Phil. Sea?

By Apolinario Villalobos


When ISIS broke away from Al Q’aida, no nation ever got worried, thinking perhaps, that it is just another struggling terrorist group trying to get noticed by the world, every time it claimed responsibility for certain bombings. Not even the African nations that are located, a stone’s throw away from the lair of this fledgling terror group. Not even when the fledgling group started to conduct kidnapping of foreign correspondents. But when beheadings that they made were posted on facebook and began to invade surrounding villages, the directly-affected nations began to take notice. When cities after cities, and provinces after provinces were overran and European recruits began to trek to the ISIS camps, more nations became apprehensive. When historic and biblical shrines were flattened to the ground the group, and finally, indiscriminate bombings in Paris were made, the whole world took notice….but, too late.


ISIS terrorists practically walked their way into unsuspecting European nations with the so-called evacuees who escaped unrests in their countries. No high-tech device can ever set a low-profile terrorist or a freshly-trained terrorist with no international record yet, apart from an ordinary displaced businessman say, from Turkey, Syria, or wherever within the beleaguered region. All of them practically look alike with their piercing eyes, beards, high aquiline nose, etc.


Pinching attacks were made by an affected nation or two, and there was even a time when the cry for help of Syria was not heeded. But since the attacks were nothing but just pinches, it was not felt by ISIS that has successfully controlled vital cities of Syria. When the uncontrolled mass emigration of Syrians, both civilian and covert terrorists began to cross borders, the whole world got worried, because even the far Southeast Asian nations were asked by the United Nations to accommodate them.


The United Nations made noise when it realized that ISIS is serious in its threats in eroding the global peace. The condemnation of some Islamic nations that do not recognize ISIS as a legitimate jihadist group cannot repair the damage that has been it. Where’s the United Nations organization while all these transpired?


On the West Philippine Sea meanwhile, when only a single atoll was “developed” by China by constructing a military stronghold on its scant topsoil, the Philippines did not mind as it has her own Kalayaan island with huts and a motley number of settlers, as well as, a dirt-topped runway. The presence of Chinese patrol boats did not alarm the Filipino fishermen as the latter were reportedly, swapping foods with the crew. That was about ten or more years ago.


When the Chinese navy crew-Filipino fishermen relationship began to get sour, reports were considered petty so they were not given much attention. Even until the time that the Chinese Navy started acting harshly by driving Filipino fishermen away from Ayungin Shoal, the Philippine government was still not alarmed. Only when bigger Chinese Navy boats began arriving and discreetly reclaimed the Ayungin shoal, did the Philippine government file a protest in the international tribunal of the United Nations, in charge with the law of the sea. America did not lift a finger, because, accordingly, she is on the other side of the world, far from the disputed body of water. It instead, concentrated on the joint-military exercises with the Filipino military. Or, could it be that it was the time when she was in the process of obtaining loans from China?


Of late, however, America seems to be “noisy” as regard the West Philippine issue. Is she really serious, or just displaying a nauseating travesty? Several months back then, while Filipino fishermen were being drenched by the Chinese Navy with water cannons, the president of America is having a grand time meeting with his Chinese counterpart.


In the meantime, what has the United Nations done, since the very start of the controversy? Nothing! It waited until the issue has grown enormously out of proportion in view of the high-tech military facilities that the Chinese have installed on the artificial island that they have boldly built out of an insignificant atoll. Worst, the double-talking Chinese are heaping blames on the Philippines for the transformation of simple bickering on boundary, into an inveterate magnitude today.


The big question now is on the relevance of the United Nations in the face of all the fiascos from Africa to Asia, not to mention, the somewhat contained turmoil in Europe. How can it be called an arbitrational organization of nations when it cannot even prevent tensions among member- nations, much more, control violent eruption of pockets of unrests around the world? Is the United Nations chartered for the expedient and systematic exploitation of the poor member-nations by the powerful ones?

The Intriguing Tourmaline Gemstone

The Intriguing Tourmaline Gemstone

By Apolinario Villalobos

Although I believe in the healing power of crystals and gemstones, I consider my experience with “tourmaline” as something special, because I could not believe until now, that it happened to me.

More than two months ago, I helped an elderly Chinese find his way to the condo of his son in Chinatown. I found him wandering in Luneta park and I got curious when I observed him approaching Chinese- looking sightseers. I took pity on him when except for seemingly directions pointed to him by those he approached, nothing more was given to him, such as a written note. He was about eighty years old.  When I could no longer contain myself, I approached him to offer my help, but spoke to him in English. As I was wearing a pair of “ukay” shorts and faded t-shirt that time, he hesitated to talk to me, until finally I asked him in Tagalog, “nawawala po ba kayo?” Surprisingly he answered me in the same, but broken language. I found too, that he did not have a cellphone with him, a very important gadget for a stranger to carry.

It took me some time to know what he really wanted…the information on how to get back to where he came from, the condo of his son in Chinatown which he left at dawn, to walk his way to Luneta. It’s a good thing that he mentioned the name of a small mall that sells gold jewelries in the vicinity of Chinatown which I used as reference point. From there, we retraced, what he recalled as the way he took in going to Luneta without seeking the permission of his son who, according to him was still asleep during the time he left the condo. When we finally located the condo, the whole family was already in a quandary and was about to report the incident to the police.

The above-mentioned effort made me the owner of a bracelet of gemstones with varying shades, but dominated by green. It was given to me by the Chinese elderly, actually, straight from his wrist. I hesitated to accept it, but due to his insistence I gave in and wore it on my right wrist. As the set stones were just of the size that I like, I did not remove the bracelet even when I go to sleep. What I noticed was that more than two months later, today, the nocturnal numbness of fingers in my right wrist with the bracelet was gone! However, I still suffer the numbness of fingers on my left hand. The numbness is caused by the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), a job-related disease due to my constant use of the typewriter before and the computer today.

When a school mate, Dr. Boni Valdez and I had a meeting, after more than twenty years, in passing he mentioned about a certain healing gemstone called “tourmaline” which is popular today in Taipei and just been recently introduced in Manila. That was all that I knew about the stones, but my curiosity was triggered when I saw the photo of the rough gemstone in the brochure that he gave. They looked like the stones in my bracelet! My mistake was I did not ask the Chinese, what the stones were called when he gave me the bracelet, thinking that they were just like the rest of the gemstones that I see in the Chinese jewelry stores.

From inquiries that I made, I found out that although, the gemstone is being introduced in the Philippines, the company does not allow its sale in just any jewelry outlet, without the retailer or local dealer undergoing a seminar where its qualities are explained to prevent misconception and misunderstanding. That could be the reason why, I am finding it hard to locate an outlet of such medicinal gemstone. Based on my further research, the gem stone can help in reducing stress, perhaps, due to its effect in the nerves. It can also help in reducing toxin elements in the body and improve blood circulation. Generally, it is a nerve-strengthening stone. Aside from the stones that can be set in jewelries, there are other products imbued with powdered tourmaline that can be worn to facilitate its healing effect.

I just do not know if Dr. Boni Valdez, who is based in Tacurong City, thought of sharing what he knows about the gemstone. During our meeting, I recalled his mentioning about his sojourn to Taipei for some kind of a traditional physical treatment which included the use of the gemstone that I mentioned. Even after the treatment, he mentioned that his Chinese “mentor” is regularly keeping tab of his health. If indeed his going to Taipei was to undergo such traditional treatment, I could surmise that he succeed, because he is today, an image of vigor and health without the unwanted pounds, unlike years before, when he was practically bloating beyond the seams!

Hindi Kailangang Magbasa ng mga Mamahaling Libro Upang Malaman ng Isang Tao ang mga Layunin niya sa Mundo

Hindi Kailangang Magbasa ng mga Mamahaling Libro

Upang Malaman ng Isang Tao ang mga Layunin niya sa Mundo

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Nagtataka ako kung bakit kailangan pang bumili ng mga mamahaling na libro ang isang tao upang mabasa niya sa mga ito kung ano ang mga layunin niya sa mundo. Para lang masabi ng ibang nagbabasa sila ng mga librong isinulat ng mga dayuhan, ipinagyayabang pa ang mga titulo. Ang kayabangang ito ng tao ang isa sa mga hindi matanggal na mantsang nakabahid sa kanyang pagkatao.

Para sa mga naniniwala sa Diyos, ang isang simpleng tanong lang tungkol dito ay, “bakit ginawa ng Diyos ang tao?”. At, sa mga hindi naman naniniwala sa Diyos, “ano ang layunin niya o bakit siya nabubuhay sa mundo?” Sa mga naniniwala sa Diyos, bibliya dapat ang basahin dahil doon ay malinaw na sinasabing kaya ginawa ng Diyos ang tao ay upang may magsamba sa Kanya. Sa mga hindi naman naniniwala sa Diyos, ang pinakamagandang sagot, ay “malay ko, basta ako ay nabubuhay”.


Kaakibat ng paniwala sa Diyos at pagsamba ang dapat ay pagmamahal sa kapwa…na kung hindi gawin ay nagpapawala ng silbi sa pagsamba sa Diyos, dahil lumalabas na ang ginagawang pagsamba ay ka-ipokrituhan lang pala. Ang isa sa mga nakikitang kawalan ng pagmamahal sa kapwa ay ang pagpuna sa kanilang ginagawa upang palabasin ng pumupuna na siya lang ang tama. Dapat manalamin din paminsan-minsan ang mahilig mangpuna ng ibang tao.

Sa mga hindi naniniwala sa Diyos, kailangan nilang makisama sa kapwa man lamang upang mabuhay o maging ligtas. Kung hindi nila ito gagawin, baka isang araw na lang ay makita silang nakahandusay at duguan sa isang sulok. Dapat isipin ng mga taong ito na hindi man sila naniniwala sa bibliya ay mayroon pa ring kasabihang dapat gumabay sa kanilang buhay, ang: “huwag mong gawin sa iba, ang ayaw mong gawin ng iba sa ‘yo” na babala tungkol sa masamang gawin…o ang positibong “gawin mo sa iba ang gusto mong gawin nila sa ‘yo” na may kinalaman sa pagtulong at pagmamahal sa kapwa.

Ang nakatikim ng “masarap” na buhay sa mundo ay lalo pang naghahangad ng matagal na pamumuhay. Mangyayari lamang ito kung kabutihan ang dapat umiral sa mga kilos at pananalita…ibig sabihin, mamuhay ng marangal at may pagmamahal sa kapwa, lalo na sa Diyos! ‘Yan ang mga layunin ng tao…iilang kataga, na hindi kailangang basahin mula sa kung ilang daang pahina ng mga mamahaling libro na isinulat ng mga dayuhan!