Issue of May 13, 2018

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Ifugao’s Tuwali dialect gets Filipino language monument
by PNA

BANAUE, Ifugao – The Tuwali dialect spoken in seven of the 12 towns of Ifugao has been given a Bantayog ng Wika marker in recognition of its relevance to Philippine culture.

Tuwali is spoken in Kiangan, Hingyon, Hungduan, Asipulo, Lagawe, Banaue, and parts of Lamut.

Dr. Leudane Lonez, director of the Sentro ng Wika at Kultura at Ifugao State University (IFSU) said the dialect is widely used in the province, aside from Kalanguya, Kankanaey, Ilocano, English, and Filipino. It is also spoken by some residents of Nueva Vizcaya, La Union, Isabela, and Quirino, who migrated from Ifugao as farmers or traders.

Tuwali is the second dialect in the country that has been given a Bantayog ng Wika (language monument) on March 26, next to Antique’s Kinaray-a also in March this year. The two are among the 131 dialects spoken in different areas of the Philippines.

Lonez said that IFSU President Serafin Ngohayon, spelled out the importance of the dialect to the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino, which had the markers installed to promote Philippine languages.

He said the Tuwali language marker is a physical structure that symbolizes the repository of a place’s treasures and cultural heritage, traditions, norms, and history of the people of Ifugao.

“This symbolizes the culture and tradition that play a vital role in strengthening national identity,” Lonez said.

The professor said the poem “Hudhud,” which was written in Tuwali, has been placed in the list of Unesco’s masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage in 2011.

Hudhud is a narrative chant traditionally done by the Ifugao community, usually, during the rice sowing season, at harvest time, or in weddings.

Lonez said in 2014, foreign researchers created a dictionary of the Tuwali dialect, which the IFSU hopes to update.

“The office hopes to come up with an updated research for the dictionary that will include an orthography and also to continue the researches on the Hudhud and other oral literature in Ifugao,” he said.

An orthography is a set of conventions for writing a language. It includes norms of spelling, hyphenation, capitalization, word breaks, emphasis, and punctuation.

Lonez added there is even a bible in the dialect entitled “Tuwali Amganad,” which has an English translation.

Retired General Ramon Yogyog, presidential adviser on Indigenous Peoples, said he will suggest to the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, where he has oversight powers, to come up with a dictionary or a documentation of the Tuwali dialect.Yogyog is a native of Ifugao and speaks the dialect.

He said there had been initiatives in the past by Ifugao writers to come up with a dictionary of the dialect, which now has variants.

“There might be some modifications, which could be one way of trying to adapt to the changing times, but if have to have a dictionary because we can go back to the old terms that they used.”

“However, we expect that as we march with civilization, there are terms used by younger generation, which could already be recorded,” he said.

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