We celebrate August as National Language Month or Buwan Ng Wikang Pambansa.
I’ve written about it last year in Tagalog in my post Buwan Ng Wika but I write in English this year for the benefit of readers from other countries who are interested in languages.
I’m trying to capture and document the language spoken in our town or region which is slowly being forgotten so am sharing again my book Naiibang Tagalog Ng Calauag,Quezon literally translated as The Different Tagalog of Calauag, Quezon. I lifted the following from the book.
I’ve known since I was small that the Tagalog we spoke in Calauag was different from that spoken in Manila. Not that we could not be understood, but many of our Tagalog words were different. Our relatives in Manila spoke differently and my older sisters and brothers who were studying in Manila for their tertiary degrees sometimes talked about how different our Tagalog was.
I myself experienced the difference when I studied in Manila after high school. I once asked a dorm mate “ Saan ka patungo” and she was pleasantly surprised about my usage of what she considered ‘malalim na Tagalog”. Then there was a time when I asked the cafeteria staff “Anong lahok?” referring to the ingredients of the viands. My friend with me remarked “ Akala ko may timpalak”. This started my interest in compiling the Calauag Tagalog words.
I was already working when a strong typhoon hit Calauag and our place was featured on the TV newscast. It included an interview with a resident who recounted “Napakalakas ng agos kaya ako’y yumapos sa puno ng niyog. Mariparo ko ay hindi na nabutwa ang katabi ko”. My officemate who saw the feature asked me,” Akala ko Tagalog kayo sa Quezon?”
At home, I would sometimes be amused to hear some words used by mother which I myself hardly used. Like when she instructed “Talitian mo nga ako” or changed stories with my aunt and say “Ikako’y yano….”.
But my fascination and interest strengthened into resolve when I was surfing the internet and saw a post in a discussion thread in Pinoy Exchange, an online forum, which said that we Pilipinos have no language of our own to speak of. I recalled the distinctive quality and richness of the Tagalog we used and are still using.
Thus, this book was written with the following objectives:
- Primarily to preserve the language which is slowly being replaced by the Metro Manila Tagalog because of television (I’d like to add in this post, social media) for family and friends from Calauag
- To serve as a reference to those who are students of languages
- To show how rich the Tagalog vocabulary is to fellow Pilipinos and the rest of the world.
The words in the Word List include the Tagalog which are spoken differently from the Tagalog generally understood in Metro Manila or Bulacan. Thus, this is not a complete dictionary of all Tagalog words e.g bata which is also bata in Calauag and Metro Manila is not listed.
Likewise, the idiomatic expressions listed are limited to those which are used only in Calauag, thus, it is not a complete list of all Pilipino idiomatic expressions.
The list include words which were spoken in Calauag from the time of my mother to date, some of which are not commonly spoken by the present generation of Calauag residents e.g. papandut
The book was written about by Nestor Cuartero in Panorama, Manila Bulletin Sunday magazine on August 10, 2014.
The book may be found as reference in the following :
- National Library
- University of the Philippines Main Library
- Calauag Central College Library
For inquiries you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org