In celebration of the country's' Buwan ng Wika or Language Month, Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF), in partnership with the Intramuros Administration, hosted a talk entitled "Umpukan sa Nayon: Wikang Nagbubuklod" which focused on the diverse lexicon throughout the regions in the Philippines.

The event was attended by Executive Director of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation Gertrudes "Gertie" Duran-Batocabe, Intramuros Administration Officer-in-Charge Edgardo Baysic, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino Senior Language Researcher Roy Rene Cagalingan, and members of the panel professor Jesus Federico "Tuting" Hernandez, professor John Carlo Santos, Christine Marie Lim Magpile and Gemma Arella-Suguitan.

During the event, the panel held an in-depth discussion regarding the details and aspects of Philippine lexicography and how it has changed over the centuries.

Baysic shared, "Dati, walang Pilipino ang isa lang ang wikang sinasalita. I think even pre-colonial Philippines, bawa't isa iba ang salita. So lahat tayo multilingual, ang problema lang ay yung teorya or framework natin sa pagaaral ng wika."

"Ngayon kasi pinagsasabong natin ang mga wika. Dati English versus Filipino, tapos naging Filipino versus ibang lenggwahe sa Pilipinas, pero ito hindi kailangan. Also, historically, lahat ay nanggaling sa iisang source. It's just that ngayon, we're focusing more of the differences instead of the similarities," he added.

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Furthermore, the difference in linguistics or the so-called linguistic diversity is recognized as a problem and becomes an obstacle to the proper communication of communities.

Magpile mentioned, "Kailangan gamitin ang iba-ibang wika sa Pilipinas dahil hindi lang naman Filipino at English yung wikang ginagamit natin. Minsan yung mga millennials at Gen Zs iniisip nila walang makakaintindi. Halimbawa, merong iba naiiba ang spelling, napapagbaliktad ang vowels dahil hindi naman niya unang wika ang Filipino, so okay lang yun pero syempre pagdating sa pangakademikong usapin, dapat maingat tayo sa pagsusulat."

Suguitan, meanwhile, added, "Hindi lang sa Maynila may diskriminasyon pagdating sa wika dahil kahit ang mga taga Maynila kapag napunta sa probinsya, minsan ay nadidiscriminate din at sinasabihang maarte."

However, there are still positive effects of having different ethnolinguistic cultures in the Philippines.

"Maganda yung marami tayong lenggwahe dahil ito ay nagbibigay sa atin ng oportunidad para lagi tayong gutom sa kaalaman. Kapag natututo tayo ng ibang salita, hindi mahihirapan sa sharing na 'ay sa amin, ganito ang tawag dito.' Dahil dito, laging enriched ang ating bokabularyo ng ating mga kababayan," Suguitan added.

While everyone knows change in the language is inevitable, the panel also discussed how it affected the different languages ​​in the Philippines, particularly the similarities and differences of slang words in different regions of the country which are now used by the younger generation.

"Every time na sinasabi natin na ang Pilipinas ay multilingual, hindi pwedeng mawala ang salitang multicultural at salitang kasaysayan kasi kung magkakaroon tayo ng tagpong pangkasaysayan, lagi at laging may uusbong na mga salitang papasok sa diskursong Filipino. Kailangan nating oberbahan yung mga pagbabago ng mga kahulugan ng mga salita," Santos said.

"Kapag pinagsasampal ang wika sa Pilipinas, dayuhan pa rin ang laging nananaig, at hindi tayo dapat pumayag doon. Kasi ang pagkakaroon ng sariling wika ay part of culture. Nilalabanan natin ang kolonyal na edukasyon, nilalabanan natin ang kolonyal na kultura. Kapag nagkaroon ng sariling wika na nakabatay sa wika ng Pilipino, magkakaroon ng kaisahan," he added.

Finally, as an agency, NPF's goal is to encourage various sectors including the youth in participating for the development of its programs and projects. Along with the Department of Tourism, they will be establishing a world-class Cultural Park and Creative Hub that freely and innovatively celebrates Filipino identity. According to its website, it will be a place for "enlivening the stories of our nation and nurturing our love of country" and will develop programs and spaces for rediscovering roots and enriching contemporary emergence.

"Tinatanyang mahigit 171 ang wika sa kapuluuan ng Pilipinas at layunin namin magtayo ng Cultural Park na maaring magbigay ng daan upang mas lalong masiyasat ang pagkakapareho at pagkakaiba ng ating mga wika at ang mga kahalagahan nito sa ating kultura. Maaari din itong maging pagkakataon upang mabigyang diin ang kinamismo ng wika at kung paano ito nagbabago sa pagandar ng panahon," NPF's Batocabe happily noted.