Lira (Linagan sa Imahen, Retorika at Anyo), the oldest Filipino poetry group arranged the 21st Sining ng Tugma at Sukat workshop last August 27, 2012 at Philippine High School for the Art’s Cafeteria.
Sining ng Tugma at Sukat is a program done by LIRA that began since 2008. They wanted to advocate Filipino to be used widely, advocate nationalism, teach advance literature and teach articulate communication using our native language. In the workshop, they taught us how to compose poems with certain format.
I agreed to what they said. We must be proud of our mother tongue. If other countries influence us their language, why don’t we influence them our language too? Our country may be glad if other countries got interested of our mother tongue. I think we can do it simply by using our own language all the time.
In terms of nationalism, I agreed to what the researcher named Jessie Grace U. Rubrico also agreed: the observation that a national language can be used as a weapon in our fight against colonizers. There can always be another way, but if we already have no choice, we can use our national language to show our pride.
I both like the objective and message of the workshop I’ve attended. In a way, I like the fact that they convinced us to practice writing Filipino poems and persuaded us that writing Filipino poems is easy. I even get amazed on people who can speak in deep Filipino words but because of my eagerness to learn I also like to practice foreign languages to escape from being kept from knowledge. I found foreign languages interesting as well.
During the workshop, I was astonished that I really participated. I was also happy that I heard one of the facilitators wishing that they can always encounter children like us who really participate. Surprisingly, I enjoyed writing poems in deep Filipino, and imagined myself as a writer.
I appreciate groups of people who are willing to fight for something they believe or want like LIRA. They are really determined to encourage Filipinos to use their native language. I just can’t imagine them writing all day. Do they only write all day?
Some of us may be weary of our language and think of it cheap. I’ll respect their views. I think this is the reason why many Filipinos are fond of studying American English, Japanese Chinese, etc. I also feel like they just don’t want to feel kept from knowledge. Personally, I’m not yet weary of our mother tongue; possibly because I grew up in a province where Filipino is rarely used. But when I’m in our province and speak in our dialect, I feel kept from knowledge.
I think LIRA doesn’t forbid us from studying different language; but inducing us to enjoy Filipino more than other languages. We can freely study foreign languages but we mustn’t use what we’ve learned in vain, like to mix up different verbal communications. There is a term they call conyo that Filipinos are fond of. People speaking in conyo may be trying to learn speaking in English in that way. Conyo is a way of speaking known in the Philippines. I’m not really against the people who speak in conyo but I’m just bothered of the way they speak. If they want to study a certain foreign language, then why don’t they speak in that language directly? They may communicate inarticulately in that way of speaking.
Because of the different thoughts that people have done in terms of language or verbal communication, I imagined the Philippines after a century with Filipinos speaking in foreign languages and without a Filipino that had the guts to speak in Filipino; maybe to belong in the group. And I don’t like it. Since it will probably happen, the government must do an action towards this.
I wonder if their ideas run out sometimes if they write for many years. I also wonder if they got a problem in sustaining the quality of poems during the old times or in making it better because since things happen like a cycle, same ideas and concept may come out of their minds. But maybe these poets haven’t discovered everything in the world yet that’s why it is still possible for them to write more interesting poems that can open the eyes of the people. But sometimes, songs for me have the properties of poems. And as I observed, some songs nowadays lack depths of immense feelings of the author; they lack poetry.
My paper is mainly about my reaction towards the workshop that I’ve attended but came up with many topics. Through these topics, I realized that in spite of LIRA’s strong determination, there are branches that can help their objective to fail; and these branches are caused by our democratic system. It is nice to live in a democratic world where there are rules but you can do anything you want to as long as you won’t get caught. But if you can affect someone, it is a different story.