August remains to be one of the most celebrated months in Philippine schools, after then President Manuel L. Quezon declared it as the month to celebrate the Filipino language and proud origin.

Filipino- National Language?

As a person who grew up in the middle of the mountains, I never spoke Filipino when I was younger. I was forced to study it because the school curriculum says so.

In Sagada, we speak Kankanaey and English. We mix the two languages in our day-to-day living.

Filipino is a stranger man’s language to us in the mountains. It is being spoken by tourists and government officials from Manila and other parts of the country.

Now that I am working and dealing with a lot of people from different parts of the country, I need to speak Filipino because it is the national medium. I also speak Ilocano since it is the regional medium in the Cordilleras.

Philippines, indeed, is an archipelago with diverse people and varied languages. And I think this is one of the main factors why economic growth is a bigger challenge than what we expect it to be.

Filipinos- World-class?

Only a few Filipinos were able to make it to international stardom for reasons. I think and I believe that Tony-winner Lea Salonga is the prominent Filipino artist up to date.



Wanna know the reason why Filipino talents do not end up under Hollywood-like spotlight?

First, talented Filpino singers sing in Filipino so most people of the world cannot, do not and will connect to them. When they sing English tunes, critics say they are not proud of their Filipino blood. This is actually a major form of crab mentality, isn't it Charice Pempengco?

Second, talented actors invest in scandals, family quarrels and bad publicity. They do not go to acting schools and improve their craft as professionals.

Third, talented artists end up in call centers, fast-food chains and network marketing companies. More often, their resources are not maximized. They are underemployed.

Fourth, skilled people are misguided. Foresters become illegal loggers. Information technologists become hackers. Race car drivers become gang drivers. 

Fifth, many of us are Juan Tamad. No explanations needed.

Please do not misinterpret me with this list. The truth hurts, isn't it?

Filipino First?



A lot of people have reacted negatively when the government decided not to grant FedEx with further permit to operate in the country. 

Reasons for this decision include the protection of Filipino brands. This is one of the most irritating things that I have encountered.

There are brands in the country that produce very poor quality products and services. And yet we pathetically avail of their offerings because these are made by fellow Filipinos.

Enough of this hypocrisy! If we want Filipino brands to improve then we buy them according to their quality merits not according to their origin.

As long as we have this very shallow Filipino First concept, we will remain substandard.

The major reason why most smart Filipino shoppers go to American or Western brands is because these are of good quality.



This August, let’s celebrate with liberal minds. Let’s not forget that speaking English does not make us less of a Filipino. Buying foreign brands does not make us anti-Filipinos.