The Commission on Higher Education has just decided to retain Filipino subjects in the newly designed college curriculum, which will be implemented in 2018. “We had a meeting with the groups that are protesting and the commission has already issued a new memorandum instructing that all degree programs must retain the Filipino requirement,” Commissioner Prospero De Vera III told Inquirer.net. In 2013, CHED’s decision to remove Filipino subjects in college and integrate them in the K-12 curriculum caused a stir among the academe. The Supreme Court even had to raise a TRO against the decision. “The thinking [was] that Filipino can be downloaded to senior high so you don’t have to take it at the university level. That was the thinking then,” De Vera added that the plan was originally in line with internalization. “This was in light really of internationalization, the idea that the advantage of Filipinos in the use of English should be given priority by government and also in anticipation eventually of the K-12 program.” In the age of globalization, why is still important to learn Filipino in college? To improve grammar Filipino is a beautiful language that is quite easy to grasp. However, a quick tour on Facebook or any other social media site will reveal that there are still a lot of Filipinos who do not know the balarila or Filipino grammatical rules. While most people are quick to correct those who make English grammar mistakes, we are not as keen when it comes to Filipino grammar mistakes. Filipino is a rich language No, I am not just talking about Tagalog, which is practically the focal point of the subject. When we say Filipino, it is also about other regional dialects used across the country as well.
In college, I remember having three Filipino language classes. The first two focused on using Tagalog in writing, research, and speaking. The third is the only one that gave a brief introduction on the culture and other dialects of the country. It would probably be nice if Filipino subjects in college would incorporate the mastery of another dialect. It would probably be even better if we could all learn Baybayin. To end, let me borrow a paragraph from Michael Tan’s essay. He wrote, “If we want a national language, and respect for all our Philippine languages, our young must grow up hearing and using these languages as part of daily practice—not just for casual conversations but as the language of transaction for science, business, the arts. It must be a daily practice that becomes part of us, part of the way we think, and live.”