Monday, April 2, 2007


Ay, marunong palang mag-Tagalog. People would almost always exclaim in surprise when they first meet Rama. Walang audio-video lock, say ng advertising friends. She looks so tisay, but look out, Tagalista.

One of the commitments that I made raising Rama was that she would learn and speak Filipino. I figured English would be easy enough to learn, considering that our usual edutainment fare today is American. I had no doubt she would somehow get exposed to English soon enough. But Tagalog? It had to be a conscious decision to expose her to the language; it's so easy to miss out on learning Filipino. Friends would just realize that their kids needed tutoring in Balarila! Ironic and absurd, yes?

So at home we would speak Filipino, even when we were living abroad. And this is Rama's first language.

But she's learning, as kids do. In nursery school here in Manila, it's English. It happens to be English-with-an-Assumptionista-kaka-girl twang. Not annoying at all: it's kinda cute. She really tries to speak English well, and fortunately, she has met with moderate success.

Marunong na naman siyang mag-English. Carry na. Pero minsan talaga, dumadapa. Like so:

Playing an impromptu game of hide-and-seek, she sing-songs: Where I Am....

Saying goodbye: Love you! Miss you! See you so much!!!

Calling her playmates: HEY GUY! (note, singular. She sort of felt something was wrong there) Uhmmm, halina nga kayo!

Anticipating our next game: Yey! Wow! I'm so exciting!


katrina said...

Ano naman ang mali 'dun? Rama really IS exciting! :-)

I admire you for your commitment to teach her Tagalog. My parents did the same thing -- start us off on Tagalog, since we'd surely pick up English later on. It was much easier then, though. Now everyone speaks English (or Taglish), so the kid does too. But I agree with you that it's absurd there are all these Filipinos who can't speak their native tongue. If you manage to keep Rama speaking it even once you've moved abroad, it would really be impressive. I have many friends who live abroad, and NOT ONE of their kids learned to speak Tagalog.

shred-jitsu said...

i agree with you ate poch. all of ate suzi's kids still cant speak well because their parents talk to them in english but their yaya's talk to them in "yayanglish". you know stuff like: "no, dats bad" "drink water" thats why all my niece's talk in phrases.

we will keep this in mind when we have a kid of our own...which is 8 months from now :)

kurokuroko said...

ay panalo ka ate. :)

I really admire your love for our language. tama iyan, unahin ang sariling wika bago pa ang dayuhang salita. (naks, nagpaka-tagalog ba?)

Anonymous said...

hi. i always read ur blog because im really fond of reading "rayaisms". her "hirits" are very funny. i hope u also posts pictures of her coz she's cute.

joey said...

I wish I had learned to be more fluent in Tagalog at an early it is, I am nowhere near as fluent as I would like to be in Tagalog. You are doing fantastic with Rama...a wise mom :) She is a great kid!

geeky planner said...

I'm so exciting...and I just can't hiding...I'm about to losed control and I think I liked it!

wysgal said...

That's wonderful! My siblings and I (who have all lived and studied in the Philippines) cannot converse competently in Filipino to save our lives! =)

P said...

Hi Katrina. That really is my goal, to keep her speaking unadulterated tagalog!

Hey shred-jitsu! Yayanglish! I know what you mean. It can get scary! Best of luck in this next chapter of your life! I'm sure you'll totally rock as a dad.

Hey KK! Oo nga. 'Kakaaliw kaya mag-basa ng Filipino, tulad ng mga post mo. Haha!

Hey Anonymous. Thanks. Raya is a beautiful name ha. But this kid is Rama. Yes, she is a funny little one. Pix coming!

Hey, Joey. Never too late to learn ha. But your mangled Tagalog can be cute, too.

Geeky P! Winner ka!