Restrain hypocrisy, world leaders told
P—-g (i)na” in Ilocano parlance is equivalent to “yot(i) nam” or “kin-nam” which is not a foul expression, but a response to an insult when treated inferior. This expression is common in the streets of the Cordillera, but seldom uttered in decent occasions. “Refined decency” is what the American colonizers and evangelizers taught us with their English language, for us to understand their literature.
Word symbols are used to learn and understand the meanings of principles and theories—e.g., the meaning of the evolution theory and its application, which means the rule of the mighty over the weak, resulting in subjugation.
As early as 1902, a few American evangelizers went to the Mountain Province and established the St. Mary’s School of Sagada. These evangelizers were part of the mission of educating and integrating the Igorot to the Filipino mainstream, which was not achieved during the almost 400-year-long Spanish colonization of the Philippines.
Some Igorot were brought to Madrid and Missouri “expositions” and, at the same time, taught a song with the line “people of the mountain what kind of food do you eat?” Let’s review the two separate “expositions,” reread the lines above and the translation of the word “Filipina” to “maid” by some European opinion leaders, and find out that such acts, singing and translating are insults to the Filipino people.
I admire President Duterte for his guts and expressions. Certainly, a local expression when translated to the English language could connote different meanings. Our national language and other regional dialects have variations in hermeneutics and semantics.
If Filipinos and our President are told to be civil and refine in our expressions, world opinion leaders should likewise refrain from practicing guile and hypocrisy. Equality in the image of God is what the Holy Bible teaches humanity.
CLARO Q. ESOEN, [email protected]
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