Rare book at the Lopez Library: Pedro Andres de Castro, Ortografia y reglas de la lengua Tagalog… (1776.) This is an important early work in Tagalog orthography, but credit for its new development restoring the use of “k” and “w” in the syllabic alphabet of early Filipinos goes to the eminent linguist scholar Dr. Trinidad Pardo de Tavera in his classic works, Contribucion para el Estudio de los Antiguos Alfabetos Filipinos and El Sanscrito en la Lengua Tagalo (1884; 1887). The Sanskrit loan words in Tagalog came indirectly via the Indonesian powerhouse.
For Library Research, please call 02-6312425.
Insights from the column of Prof. Ambeth Ocampo on Inquirer: ‘Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala’
When Legazpi arrived in the islands with six Augustinian missionary friars on Feb. 13, 1565, he encountered a land and people with their own culture and language. We may not have been a great civilization like India or China, but we were not barbarians when the Spaniards took over. In Luzon alone they counted six important languages and even more dialects. Their early statistics from Luzon show that Tagalog was the most spoken, with 124,000 speakers, compared with: 96,000 Ibanag speakers, 77,000 Bicol, 75,000 Kapampangan, 75,000 Ilocano, and 24,000 Pangasinense. At the time of the Spanish contact, Visayan was spoken in the center of the archipelago and had greater numbers. This explains why, until today, long after Quezon (a Tagalog) accepted the recommendation of the Institute of the National Language headed by a Visayan and made Tagalog (now known as Filipino) our national language, Visayans still insist on a numbers game and condemn Filipino as yet another imposition by what they derisively call “Imperial Manila.”
Tagalog was the logical choice for what would later become the national language because it was the language in and around Intramuros or Spanish Manila. It was perhaps the first language learned by the missionary friars before they learned a second language to use in their place of assignment outside the Walled City.
Penultimate day to view our exhibit Complicated! Your last chance would be tomorrow Saturday, 2 August. The exhibit focuses on the complicated relationship of the Philippines with its colonial pasts. Complicated problematize the notion that identity is both a product of our post-colonial circumstance and the discourse of nationhood. Call Tina at 6312417 to plan ahead.
LopezLink on Facebook is promoting the National Language Week through a contest juxtaposing works from the ongoing exhibit Complicated. Please click on the images.