Search and You Shall Find in My World

06 September 2010

Repost: A Bisaya in Manila

[In view of the current issue with Gloria Diaz declaring that Cebuanos (I think she referred to the Visayans in general) needs an interpreter because we are not keen on the English language, I am reposting my article last July 2008 on being a Bisaya in Manila.

In fairness to all Bisaya, we know how to read and write and comprehend English the way Gloria Diaz do. This seemingly brutal way of saying that the Bisaya could not answer (in English) questions, hence we need interpreters, is brutally degrading. This comment of Diaz has been a frequent issue (she did it more than once as far as I can remember) and even bloated the idea in one of her films like Sakal Sakali Saklolo.

The issue stemmed from Venus Raj's (she's not Bisaya) not answering the question during the recent Miss Universe pageant. On the issue of the need of interpreters for our pageant contestants, Diaz said: "Kasi when you think about it, a Cebuana can hardly speak English and of course Tagalog. So maybe she should answer in Bisaya." That was caught on tape. But when people reacted on this racy slur she explained:  "This is what I said, 'People should have the right to say or to answer, not people, beauty contestants, to answer in whatever language they want to say it in. If they're Cebuanos, they can say it in Cebuano.' I did not say that they (Cebuanos) can't speak English."

Anyways, that Gloria Diaz has been considered persona non grata in Cebu.]

Being a Bisaya in Manila is one of the most embarrassing situations most Visayans would agree. Especially when the Tagalogs would make fun of our strong accent. Don’t mind Cesar Montano even if he insists he is a Boholano. He was raised in Manila.

I don’t know why most Tagalogs would make fun of our accent if the case is only to communicate.

Language sometimes is not just a barrier but a case of double jeopardy. Take the Tagalog being taught in the classrooms in our elementary years as an example. Our books taught us to use paaralankwadernodatapwatpalikuran, etc., actually nonexistent terms in conversational Tagalog used only by some people in the remotest of places if not only in books. The Tagalogs do not use those terms anymore. That makes us Bisaya a laughingstock.

I could not remember my teacher correcting me when I said, Mahal na guro, pwede po bang gumamit ng papel sa aking kwaderno kasi po ako po ay pupunta sa ating palikuran? She gave me an excellent grade for that.

Not to mention of course the way the Bisaya pronounced the e as i or vice versa! Listen to a Bisaya say the word Manila. Most would say Pupunta pu ako sa Manela. I just don’t know why. Ask Annabelle Rama. She’s adept to that. Jusko day!

And the Tagalogs laughed.

No comments: