‘Usapang Wika’ docuseries puts the spotlight on the Philippines’ main languages

A way to celebrate August as Buwan ng ‘mga’ Wika

Since 1997, by virtue of Proclamation no. 1041, the Philippines observes the month of August as “Buwan ng Wikang Pambasa” or National Language Month. But through the years, we’ve realized that there are more languages and dialects that must be highlighted throughout the month. Not only are these dialects tools for communications, but they also play a big part in our history, honing us to be the diverse Filipinos we are today. Hence, others call August as “Buwan ng mga Wika.” 

As we celebrate another month dedicated to the Filipino language. It is just right that we also recognize the many dialects Filipinos are using. That is what the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) is doing this year with the release of a docuseries in partnership with Sen. Loren Legarda. Dubbed “Usapang Wika,” is a show that dives deep into the country’s main and native tongues—Ilokano, Cebuano, Hiligaynon and Kinaray-a, Waray, Pangasinan, Kapampangan, Tagalog, Bicolano, and Mernaw—aiming to capture the history and relevance of Philippine language through an engaging and modern approach to engage the youth and general public.

“Our languages are a vital part of our heritage and our identity as a nation, and we must preserve them as a sign of our respect for our history and culture,” the senator says. “Through ‘Usapang Wika’, we aim to convey the significance of the Filipino languages by way of engaging the general public, especially the youth.”

Each episode shall focus on the history, literary works, tradition, and the evolution of each language. For instance, the duwayya, dallot, dung-aw, and “Biag ni Lam Ang” of Ilocos; the literature, aligando, cancionan, uliran, diparan, pabitla or bonikew, gozos, and petek of Pangasinan; the pasyon, crissotan and tolentinuan, and polosa of Pampanga; awitan, forms of Tagalog poetry such as dalit, duplo, kumintang, and tagulaylay, and literature of Tagalogs; rawitdawit, osipon, tigsik, ibalong, aurora, and perdon of Bicol; the candu, haya, ambahan, canogan, bical, balac or ismayling, siday, awit, susumaton and posong, titigohon, tigo tigo, irignom, patiguon, and puplongan of Warays; hinilawod, dandansoy, hurubaton, and Manlilikha ng Bayan Federico Caballero of Panay; the garay, tigmo, harito, panultihon, balak, sugilanon, sugilambong, balitaw, and kulilising hari of Cebu; and the Tutol, Tubad Tubad, Kadaonga, Pananroon, Sowa-sowa, and Kambayoka of Maranaos.

As a fervent advocate of Philippine culture and arts, Senator Legarda will be hosting “Usapang Wika,” which is set to be aired every Saturday starting Aug. 6, coinciding with the celebration of Buwan ng Wikang Filipino spearheaded by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) and National Historical Commission of the Philippines, at 4:30 to 5 p.m over ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC).

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