The celebration of Linggo ng Wika is not just a part of our history, it is also what keeps us united as a nation. A country’s language shows how rich and unique its culture and heritage is. More than being a means for communication, language bridges different communities and strengthens it. Using the national language is one the simplest way we can show patriotism. Filipino is what makes us Filipinos a true Pinoy.
With the advent of technology and rapid ‘globalization,’ our national language has seen a number of changes. While it’s true that change is inevitable, it isn’t always a good sign. Our national language is slowly losing its power and we should start doing something about it.
In 1997, President Fidel Ramos declared the Month of August as the national language month and listed it as one of the country’s cultural events. Along with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Department of Education also ensures that the younger generation understands the cultural importance of this event. Schools often have various events such as essay writing, poster and slogan making, debates, and poetry writing in the national language.
We don’t just want our kids to celebrate this occasion. We want them to understand what it means. We want them to see the importance of this occasion and why it needs to be commemorated each year. However, school activities might not be enough. We want them to really know why they should embrace our mother tongue and how they could take their Filipino identity to heart. Here are a few other activities we can do with our kids for Linggo ng Wika:
Go to national museums and parks. Most of these venues will have an event to celebrate Linggo ng Wika. Use these as an opportunity to immerse your kids in our culture and heritage.
Make a Philippine flag using art materials. Buy some art materials and make the national flag with your kids. Teach them the symbolism behind each element in the flag. It’s an activity that your kids will not only find fun but also educational.
Read Filipino books. Buy books that are written using the national language. These are not just entertaining but are also close to our hearts. Doing so will not only show your support for local authors but also your love for Filipino stories.
English isn’t the only language that shows a high level of education and achievement. In the legendary words of our national hero, Jose Rizal: “Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika ay higit pa sa hayop at malansang isda.”