I’ve been wanting to post this for awhile, but waited till I finished my course to make a more sincere assessment.
I just finished taking 20 hours of Chinese at the Center for East Asian Languages in Makati, and I’m very happy with results. Halfway through the course I felt I was pretty conversant already in Chinese. I’m going to start the reading and writing part next.
The reason why I’m writing this is, is because the Center also teaches how to speak Tagalog/Filipino. Many people come here thinking that they don’t have to learn the language because most, if not all of us, speak English, which is true. But there is something magical and more visceral if you learn our actual language. Filipinos are already very accomodating as it is, but imagine how much deeper they will even take you, if you learn our language 🙂
The reason I came out with this epiphany is because I am currently reading Rafe Bartholomew’s Pacific Rims, a book about basketball in the Philippines. And Rafe had the audacity to learn the language which makes Rafe even “more Filipino”. I’ve also been following this other person on the Lonely Planet Thorntree forum, and you can see his learning of the language (plus supposedly other dialects, those I hate that term, because I think they are languages unto themselves), has made him be able to understand our true nature, which many tourists don’t see.
In our search for Filipino indentity, there has been a treasure trove of books released this past year in the Philippines. I’m not sure if this is the Pacquiao effect, or it’s just simply our coming into it’s own. I’ve already mention some of these books in an earlier post. But besides Rafe’s valiant effort I’d also like to mention Luis Francia’s A History of the Philippines (from Indios Bravos to Filipinos). I’m in the process of reading Chuck’s book, Rafe’s book, James Hamilton Paterson’s book, and Luis Francia’s book all simultaneously. What I’m gettin is conio (socialite) perspective, basketball perspective, probinsiya (province) perspective, and historical perspective of the Philippines. Like I said, this is a resurgence of the Filipino identity, and by reading these four books plus Karnow’s In Our (American) Image, you’ll kinda get who we are.
So wear that Collezione t-shirt and get more immersed in Filipino culture.
Center for East Asian Languages
Unit 307 Gateway Centre, Paseo de Magallanes
South Superhighway cor. EDSA
Magallanes, Makati, Metro Manila
(Basically it’s above Starbucks Magallanes.)
8519279 5479179 9285242388