Issue of January 7, 2018

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The fast–rising languages now in–use?

IN BAGUIO-60 years or more, the most ‘widely-used’ (note, I did not use ‘dominant’, ‘popular’, nor ‘numerous’ – for reasons obvious) languages was: Iluko

[“WHICH ‘VARIETY’?” You may at-once ask and the answer: that one scholars now call ‘Baguio Iluko’ (or, is the term ‘Cordi Iluko’?)  – often defined as: “still basically Iluko, but ‘not as deep, poetic, or complicated’, as the ‘Lowland’ Iluko.”]. Next to Iluko,

IN THOSE TIMES, you heard the following: Tagalog, English, Nabaloi, Kankana-ey, Pangasinan, etcetera.

THREE DECADES LATER, or, 30 years ago, Iluko was still leading – with Tagalog and English fast trailing up to compete for ‘first’ –or ‘leading’..

NOW – OR ‘THESE times’, Iluko is being challenged for the ‘leading-language’ in Baguio-La Trinidad (maybe not yet ‘Baguio-Benguet’, please).. by the national language, or Tagalog. Your checking this will be enhanced.

IF YOU GO spend ‘some 30 minutes.. or more’.. in the following areas: the (fast-)food centres, the universities, in the market, in the parks, etc. – in eight hours or more (8am to 5pm) of your ‘waking period’, you will agree that: Tagalog is fast-rising.. side-by-side, or even now a ‘bit beyond’ Iluko. And, next to Tagalog and Iluko? Note well:

KANKANA-EY, THEN IBALOI (10 to 15 years ago, Statistics pronounced its speakers to be still ’10 percent’ of the Baguio population); then English, Pangasinan, ‘etcetera’.

[THIS ‘ETCETERA’ INCLUDES the other language-populations e.g. Ifugao, Kalinga, Kapampangan, Kalanguya and so forth. Some reasons why their language-users remain ‘status-quo’ in the ‘leading’ notches are: 1) they can easily shift to a ‘dominant’ alternative.. when ‘the need arises, ego gratia exempli: the Kalinga, Ifugao, other Cordis can easily shift to Iluko; or the Kapampangan to Tagalog; or the Pangasinan to Iluko – but often: to Tagalog; and so on; 2) some of Today’s generation are indeed proud and ‘strong’ to identify themselves with their ethnic groupings respective.. but they do not speak fluently the language(s) of their group(s);

3) ACTUAL, EVERYDAY HEARING a language spoken: over the radio, television.. or by individuals – largely contribute to the rise in popularity – or in the ‘leading category’ of any language.

ENGLISH, TAGALOG, AND ILUKO are heard over the electronic media; so, ‘that’s why?’ But Kankana-ey isn’t heard there, how come it is now one of the ‘leading’ – in use?

“WHEN SOMEONE INTRODUCES himself: ‘I am a Kankana-ey’, it’s like given: he speaks the language!”, offers Informant Reynold Rhoda of Tusshing, Itogon.

“IT IS EASIER – to learn for native Iluko speakers.. because of the great similarities; ergo, the presently ‘leading’ Iluko speakers have little difficulties listening and understanding it – than for instance to: Ibaloi, Pangasinan, or Kalinga”, says apo Romano Bulatao of SLU.

“NON-KANKANA-EYS WHO truly speak the Kankana-ey language, are not criticized for the clumsiness-of-rendition; rather, they are thanked or appreciated for the effort.. maybe that’s why – as you say, Kankana-ey is a fast-rising language in the city and in its immediate environs”. Suggests Elder Paul Totto of Amlimay, Buguias. So, finally

KANKANA-EY – NOW A “fast-rising language in the ‘leading’ category? Ain’t that good news? French was not-so-known as Latin or Greek.. during Julius Caesar’s time.. now, it is an International language!

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