By Hanah Tabios
Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) Chairman and National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario formally opened on Monday the celebration of “Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa” (National Language Month) this coming August.
This, as he joined the flag-raising ceremony of Manila City Hall officials at the Bonifacio Monument in Ermita, Manila on Monday morning.
In a speech, he noted that this was the first time the country will be adopting a theme for the upcoming celebration highlighting the importance of indigenous languages used in different parts of the country.
“Bakit natin ito ginagawa? Dahil nais nating pagpugayan at patunayan na mahalagang bahagi ng pagkabansa ang mahigit isang daan at tatlumpong katutubong wika ng Pilipinas,” he said.
Almario said these languages should be taken care of so as to maintain and preserve the country’s national identity. He said they gave articulation to both the triumphs and failures of our past.
“Kung hindi natin ito aalagaan, nanganganib ito. At kung ating pababayaan, maaari pang maglaho nang tuluyan,” he added.
Right in front of Andres Bonifacio’s monument, Almario quoted a line in one of Bonifacio’s poems saying, “Ang pag-ibig sa sariling wika ay tulad din ng pag-ibig sa sariling bayan.”