03 July 2013

Sowing Confusion where None Exist

Some bright minds with nothing important do to in their free time just decided to make matters more confusing when none exist before.

I'm referring to the recent resolution made by the language commission to change back our country's name to "Filipinas" instead of the more popular version "Pilipinas" and its international counterpart "Philippines."

"Ipinapasiya, gaya ng ginagawang pagpapasiya ngayon, na ibalik ang gamit ng 'Filipinas' habang pinipigil ang paggamit ng 'Pilipinas' (We resolve, as it is hereby resolved, to revive the use of 'Filipinas' while stopping the use of ‘Pilipinas’)," the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) said in an April 12 resolution.

This is supposed to "promote the country's official and modern name which reflects its history and development as a nation," added the document, which is making rounds in social media nearly a month before Buwan ng Wika in August.

The document is really confusing. Can anybody tell me when did the name Philippines not ‘reflect our history and development as a nation?” So what do you want to call ourselves now? Do you think Finoys sounds better than Pinoys?

Sometimes you are just amazed at what people can think of these days to justify their government wages. I mean, really? With the rising cost, threat of calamity and possible Chinese incursions, people still have time to think that changing the country's name can save the day and make our lives better?

"Hindi tayo magkaisa kahit sa pagtawag himang sa ating sarili (We fail to unite even in what to call ourselves)," added national artist Virgilio Almario, who is also a former dean of the University of the Philippines College of Arts and letters.

Almario has long been pushing for the use of "Filipinas" which he said was the original name given by the Spanish colonizers to honor King Felipe II. He further urged that the name “Philippines” be scrapped first, saying this shows how American rule is retained in the Filipino mindset.

The last argument by Almario is where I think logic becomes too thin that it will make you gasp for air. He doesn't want us to call the country Philippines because it "shows how American rule is retained in the Filipino mindset," but did he really think the name "Filipinas" will not show how Spanish rule is retained instead?

The KWF site also linked the new policy to a piece by Almario in 1992. The article entitled Patayin ang 'Pilipinas' (Kill 'Pilipinas') said the used of three names—Philippines, Pilipinas and Filipinas—leads to “national confusion.”

The problem is that, I don't see any confusion anywhere and my office colleagues will agree with me. Is it possible that it was only Almario, the 'national artist', and his fellow commissioners who are confused? Is it possible that our tax-payers money will be better serve by abolishing KWF and instead use that amount to fortify our borders to preserve our national identity?