(Photo by Arianne Maye D.G. Viri/ The Varsitarian)

EXPERTS urged students to bolster the presence of native Philippine languages in schools through storytelling, during the second “Wikang Yaman: Kuwento at Kuwenta 2020” last Jan. 21.

Baybayin expert and advocate Rusell Lagunsad said people must recognize the value of symbols in Filipino culture. Otherwise, there would be a decline in the cultural and national identity of Filipinos, he said.

UST Senior High School Filipino instructor Jonathan Geronimo said the preservation of native languages and cultures in the Philippines is on the rise, but political and economic problems have yet to be addressed.

“Magandang hakbang ang ganitong taunang gawain ng English Language Studies para magbukas kamulatan sa mga Tomasino ukol sa ganda at yaman ng ating mga katutubong wika,” he said in an interview with the Varsitarian.

(An annual activity like this organized by English Language Studies is a good step toward opening the minds of Thomasians regarding the beauty and richness of our native language.)

He emphasized that the Philippines has undergone changes in its collective culture alongside its history of being colonized by foreign powers.

“Bakit tayo kapag haharap na sa banyaga, bakit parang wala tayong identidad? Dahil nagkakaroon ng pagkukulang sa pagpapahalaga sa ating kultura,” said Lagunsad, who founded “Ladaw Antangan,” a group that promotes the public use of Baybayin.

(Why is it that when we face foreigners, we seem to lose our sense of identity? It is because we lack the proper appreciation of our culture.)

“Wikang Yaman: Kuwento at Kuwenta 2020” was a storytelling event organized by the UST English Language Studies Society. This year’s theme was “Embracing Languages through Enchanting Stories.” S.B. Navarro


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