Luv Ko, Wika Ko (Inclusive Tayo!)
(I love my language. We are Inclusive!)

by Daryl Elize Bañez
4th April 2019

The participants in the symposium doing the sign for clapping for the deaf.


February 21 is the annual observance of International Mother Language Day (IMLD). This was announced by UNESCO and was recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in a resolution last 2008 as the International Year of Languages. This was an initiative of Bangladesh because every February 21, they commemorate how the Bangladeshis fought for the Bangal Language to be recognized.
Whenever two languages are naturally incomprehensible, they are considered separate language. While dialect is the different variations of a language.
The Philippines has a total of 187 languages, but four are already extinct.

Kamusta? Que tal? Hola! , Kas – ano Kayo? All of these means “Hello” or “How are you?” in different Filipino languages. How many of you are Ilocano, Bicolano, and Cebuano but does not know how to speak your language? How many of you are multilingual? Do you know the difference between Language and Dialect? Last February 21, 2019, we answered all these questions. In partnership with Talaytayan (medium or conductor) 170+, we held a symposium in celebration of the International Mother Language Day (IMLD) at the CFA Lagerwey Hall. Students from Adamson University, Don Antonio de Zuzuarregui, Senior Memorial Academy (DAZSMA) – Antipolo, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, St. Joseph’s College – Quezon City, and The University of the Philippines – Diliman flocked in our vicinity for a day of learning about languages. The International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL) was also launched on the said day worldwide.

“Hindi ko akalain na pati pala wika, namamatay na rin. Huwag nating kalimutan ang wikang pinagmulan.” (I never thought that a language could die. Let’s not forget the etymology of our language.) – Ms. Carina Cena, Filipino Teacher, DAZSMA Antipolo

So, why are we celebrating these? Prof. Ricardo Maria D. Nolasco from the Department of Linguistics of the University of the Philippines said that we are doing this to commemorate the people who have died for their language and in honor of those who are fighting for their own language. Ms. Rynj Gonzalez from the Summer Institute of Linguistics talked about the various reasons why a language dies and the status of Philippine languages. Moreover, we also had an inborn deaf speaker, Mr. Raymond Manding who is a Deaf Advocacy Program Coordinator from De La Salle, College of St. Benilde. Together with his interpreter Ms. Joy Villareal, they discussed about the Filipino Sign Language (FSL) and its difference with the American Sign Language (ASL). They also debunked the misconceptions that we have with the deaf people. They also taught the participants several words and phrases using sign language. Meanwhile, Ms. Rufaida Raulfh Daipar, a Maranao from the University of the Philippines, also shared the Maranao’s culture and language. The event ended with the participants having a deeper understanding of their culture and language, that our language is indeed a vital part of our identity as Filipinos. They all went home proudly saying “Luv ko, Wika ko, Inclusive tayo!”