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Anarchy: The Philippines

     The Philippines present an excellent example of linguistic anarchy. Nero Main writes:
     "The Philippines is made up of 7,100 islands. In the island of Luzon alone (where Manila is located) there are 34 "dialects". I put them in quotation because they are actually languages, since "dialects" denotes some words are similar. In those 34 "dialects" not one word is similar with any other dialect.
     I came from the Tagalog region and spoke only Tagalog. English has become the convenient language that tore down regionalism. The people in Central Philippines (Visayas) frown on the use of Tagalog as the "national language". They prefer to speak English with non-Visayan Filipinos.
     Perhaps this would explain why President Estrada's unpopularity in Central Philippines. He prefers to speak in Tagalog and would resist speaking in English. I am not aware whether or not he speaks other dialects than his native Tagalog.

     My comment: This is a common problem, like attempts to impose Hindi as the national language of India, which the people of India resist.

Ronald Hilton - 11/30/99