Thursday, November 10, 2005


(Photo by

Mom just arrived from an educators' congress yesterday. During the course of our conversation, she mentioned that while a delegate from Samar was speaking, Tagalog-speaking delegates were guffawing over the way she/he said certain English words.

You know, like "poet" can sound rather, uhm, unusual when a Visayan-speaker says it. Ditto for "oil" as "owel". As a Visayan speaker myself, I really do not find fault when fellow Visayan speakers replace "i" with "e". Blame the Visayan alphabet for that or something. A significant part of my life was spent in Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Cebu and I have gotten used to hearing English spoken in the Visayan manner.

Not to start a fight here but it was in bad taste for Tagalog speaking delegates to laugh loudly while the speaker was on the podium. They perhaps need to be reminded that across all subjects but more so in English, Science, and Math, that Samar is currently the No. 1 province in the entire country in terms of profiency?

And poverty has nothing to do with it. Just pure, plain hard work and the occassional tongue twister.


Jher said...

Was there an overwhelming proof that the laughter came from Taga-ilogs? Baka naman capampangan? Or Ilokano? Or visayans themselves? Sweeping statements...


I am prone to sweeping statements, I admit. Do you take offense, Jher? :)

Here are some points we need to remember when dealing with a cultural issue like this:
1.) Visayans are rabid regionalists. They wouldn't laugh at their own when it comes to mundane things as pronounciation. Besides, most Cebuano speakers, especially the older locals, speak in the exact same manner. You have to live there long enough to actually HEAR that.

In Manila, where most of our advertisements are created, don't you notice how these ads make fun of the way Visayans talk? Take the example of Nympha (pronounced NEMPHA) in that silly Petron Gasul ad.

In fact, the reason why call centers choose not to open offices in Cebu is because of this particular issue with pronouncation. Matigas daw ang dila ng mga Bisaya. Although I personally take offense and would do anything to defend my own lot, I will still admit to our tongue's shortcomings.

2.) I speak Capampangan, as well. My parents are both from there. If anything, we also get our own share of bad jokes from Tagalogs. Oh yes, especially the bastos ones.

3.) No comment on the Ilokanos. Suffice to say that those my Mom heard laugh were Tagalog speaking. DavaoeƱos speak Tagalog too but if you were born in Davao like I was, you would notice that our Tagalog is different. In fact, while you were making this comment, nagakain pa ako sa cafeteria thinking of what to blog next.

Cheers! BTW, love the photo that came with your comment.

Redjeulle said...

Ay ambot. I spent 7 years in Bacolod, and while I grew up in Manila I absorbed every expression in Ilonggo. My Ilonggo classmates laughed at me when I pronounced article as article and not as artikol. When I went to Cebu, I found out in an embarrassing way that the Ilonggo word for tadpoles means umm, dongle, in Cebu. Same thing for the word "understand" in Cebuano would mean pubic hair in Ilonggo. Every region would find something to laugh at other regions.


Ha ha ha! Most of us who've lived in many places would know how funny - or embarrassing - it can become when you don't sound right. But then again, as long as you mean the same thing, who cares if you don't pronounce it right?

At least sa blogs, hindi obvious that I sometimes sound like i'm cebuano when I speak. Sigh.

Jher said...

Take offense? The hell I am. Kidding. But yes I'm as guilty as the next guy, snickering abou when I hear mispronounced words. Fact is, as redjeulle has stated in his comment, every region would find something to laugh at other regions. I am not tagalog myself, being half bikolano and a mix of some other region. But I do know of visayans who would laugh at their own people or joke about pronunciations. I don't know if they're more of the exceptions than the rule but I'm leaving it at that.

Radioactive Adobo said...

redjeulle is female. And she's madly in love the last time I checked her blog :-)

Let's allow the matter to rest then. THANK YOU for the comments.