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Why You Shouldn't Be Ashamed Of Your Language

In a country so obsessed over asking their friends to "make kwento," it's saddening to know how rare people actually reply using the language that phrase came from.
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When Jessica Sanchez became a finalist for American Idol Season 11, we made Facebook posts about how #ProudToBePinoy we all were seeing her represent us out there.

When Manny Pacquiao battled it out with Flloyd Mayweather during the #FightOfTheCentury, we were all quick to tweet out the red, blue, & yellow heart emojis together with the tiny little flag. 

When Pia Wurtzbach was crowned as the 2015 Miss Universe, we trended #FilipinoPride as if we knew what that even felt like.

When Darren Criss and Vanessa Hudgens revealed their Southeast Asian heritage, we cheered them on and smirked as we proclaimed "Yeah, I'm Filipino, too" every time someone foreign brought it up, like we had the right to bathe in the glory of in their hard-earned success simply because we both knew what adobo was.

Why do we do this? Why do we scramble to glorify even the tiniest drop of Pinoy blood in an international figure, but when it's time to prove ours through speaking in the native tongue, pride is traded in for the worst kind of prejudice.

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"Only poor people speak it," you might think in disgust. But here's the thing: The language or the people who use it isn't the problem—uyou are. You look at a priceless dialogue rich in history and heritage, but choose to attach a barcode to it, anyway. You look at the hardworking and persevering members of our community, but degrade their achievements by ostracizing them because you unjustly tried to quantify their immeasurable value based on the money in their wallets.

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Prosperous or penniless, the Filipino language is for anyone who knows a wealthy dialect when they hear one.

"It's not classy." someone might say with a grimace. "It makes you sound uneducated." But how does being fluent in one of the world's most complex and unique languages associate to a lack of education? How does being able to say one English word in 15 different Filipino ways equate to illiteracy? How does being able to describe sensations that the English vocabulary cannot articulate translate to ignorance? How does having the capacity to speak the juxtaposition of native and foreign dialects equal to unenlightenment?

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The Filipino language is for the truly cultured individuals, and not the class-A knock offs.

Annihilate the mentality that our language breeds in a negative light. Our ancestors did not fight for our independence and individuality from our colonizers just so we could bury all their hardwork underneath a pile of pretentious jargon. Although there is nothing wrong with appreciating our sister language, we must not forget that first and foremost, our dedication is to the mother tongue. 

So before you hesitate to speak in Tagalog, remember: there is only one F word you should think twice about saying out loud, and it's not "Filipino."

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About the author
Frances Beltran
Candymag.com Correspondent
Frances is a 15-year-old student from Saint Pedro College. If she's not writing stories, DIY-ing crafts and accessories, styling both herself and friends, binge watching TV shows, acting or singing on a stage, then you'll probably find her obsessing over her meticulously assembled Instagram captions or attempting to achieve the perfect flat lay.
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PRIMO.

First. Pixie dust and paper cuts – these are the first things Wendy knew about Peter Pan. Aurora first met Prince Philip when she was sixteen. Learning how to ride a bike was also a first while I was growing up, but you are probably the first of too many. The first collection of dust and stars; maybe Luna will try to ask, who was your first? I might answer and tell her that it was you.

The first of too many stars in the sky. You are the first of too many fallen leaves during fall – and you will be the most anticipated snowflake as winter comes. A dark path that you can’t see without any light, hence, you were once the moon and there are the stars that shine so bright at night. Are we too early? Or we just really want to be ahead of time? Even in a glimpse, I would like to see the two of us connect as if we can reach the sky. There are other parts of the heavens you have never saw and other oceans you haven’t laid your feet onto – but the constellations will always wait for you. Close your eyes, love, close your eyes. Start counting backward: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Count backward until you see the twinkling lights that will guide you to the right path. To the right satellite; to the right person. A first.

There are many firsts – first love, first heartbreak, first sport you played, the first thing you do in the morning, the first thing you remember about the person in front of you. There are a lot. It’s actually up to us how we will consider something as a first. So, Primo, you are already a first of too many.

Bea Alamis A day ago
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