Landmark congress highlights Filipino language’s versatility

Presentations of experts during this week’s three-day KWF-led Pandaigdigang Kongreso sa Araling Filipinas sa Wikang Filipino highlighted use of Filipino in intellectual discourse, increasingly demonstrating versatility of this language.

“Filipino isn’t just for daily conversation but can be used in research and various disciplines,” said KWF education and networking chief John Enrico Torralba on Thursday at the sideline of the congress on Philippine studies.

He noted KWF considers the congress a landmark event, being the first to use Filipino in discussing such studies presented then.

Pandaigdigang Kongreso sa Araling Filipinas sa Wikang Filipino kicked off this year’s nationwide celebration of Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa.

Proclamation 1041 series of 1997 proclaimed August of every year as Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa or National Language Month.

KWF saw no problem in conducting the congress in Filipino despite having participants from abroad, Torralba noted.

Those participants conducted Philippine studies and understand Filipino, he said.

Among presentations KWF earlier lined up for the congress are those covering Philippine culture, food, disasters and music.

At the congress, National Artist Dr. Ramon Santos shared information on using Philippine languages in various local musical forms.

Such forms include the “kundiman” and “awit”, as well as indigenous peoples’ musical expressions like “ba’diw” of the Ibalois.

All those comprise Philippine music, he said.

University of the Philippines professor emeritus Dr. Nicanor Tiongson also discussed Thursday both life and work of the renowned late Filipino playwright Aurelio V. Tolentino.

Tolentino believed the national theater is the people’s theater and vice-versa, noted Tiongson.

Torralba’s optimistic the congress will help inspire its participants to increasingly use Filipino at work, in the academe and their homes.

Such activity also aims generating inputs for developing a long-term strategy that’ll promote conduct of Philippine studies using Filipino, he continued.

“The congress is part of our campaign to promote Filipino,” he said.

Using Filipino will help facilitate learning and communication — this is essential in further moving the country forward, Torralba noted.

It’s also essential in bolstering Filipinos’ identity as a people, he said.

“As Filipinos, we must be proud of our language,” he added.

Last year, KWF conducted seminars featuring experts who use Filipino in teaching technical subjects like medicine and engineering.

KWF’s partners in undertaking this year’s Pandaigdigang Kongreso sa Araling Filipinas sa Wikang Filipino are Philippine Studies Association, Pambansang Komisyon para sa Kultura at mga Sining, Pambansang Museo, Filipinas Institute of Translation, Wika ng Kultura at Agham Ink and Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas.

Earlier, KWF reported receiving multiple local and foreign responses to its call for papers to be presented during this year’s congress.

Scholars, professors, researchers, students proposed various papers for the congress, noted KWF.-Catherine Teves/ PNA

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