THE City of Bacolod is hosting the three-day “Pambansang Kongreso sa Katutubong Wika” from August 19 to 21, 2019.
Spearheaded by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), the event was launched at the Bacolod City Public Plaza on Aug 19 and hosted by the Bacolod city government.
Councilor Ana Marie Palermo, Executive Assistant Imogene Kanaan, KWF officials, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) officials, school officials and students of La Consolacion College (LCC)- Bacolod and Bacolod City College, and representatives of various government agencies graced the opening ceremony.
The KWF has partnered with LCC for the hosting of the said congress. After the opening ceremony, the congress continues at the SMX Convention Center Bacolod until Aug. 21.
As part of the program, the KWF paid homage to former president Manuel L. Quezon on his 141st birth anniversary.
KWF chairman Virgilio Almario said this year marks the first time the commemoration was held outside Quezon City.
Palermo said the KWF chose Bacolod to host the commemoration of Quezon’s 141st birth anniversary because the late president had a significant contribution to the city’s history.
“We are very proud that we are also part of the history of President Manuel L. Quezon. The Tindalo tree should be a pride of Bacolod, and it is. It’s been there for the past 81 years. It’s a mute witness to the history of Bacolod,” she added.
Quezon, the first president of the Philippine Commonwealth, was an important part of Bacolod’s history. He signed the Charter of Bacolod City on June 18, 1938. On October 19 of the same year, he came to Bacolod for its inauguration as a chartered city, led by then Mayor Alfredo Montelibano Sr.
On the same occasion, Quezon planted a seedling of Tindalo tree at the plaza, where it proudly stands until this day.
Almario, who is also the chairman of the NCCA, was joined by Palermo in the unveiling of the marker of the native tree, which symbolizes the faith, hope, and dreams of the forefathers, who wholeheartedly gave their time, service and honor for the development and prosperity of the City of Bacolod.
Born on August 19, 1878, Quezon is also acknowledged as the “Father of the National Language”.
“Mahalagang isipin natin na ang ating pinagpupugayan ngayong umaga ay isang punongkahoy na tumutubo din sa Pilipinas. Hindi siya banyaga…Katulad na lang ng ating wikang pambansa na isang wikang katutubo,” Almario said.
BUWAN NG WIKA
The country celebrates the Buwan ng Wika this August with the theme, “Wikang Katutubo: Tungo sa Isang Bansang Filipino.”
The national congress is part of the nationwide celebration of the annual Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa. Proclamation 1041 series of 1997 proclaimed August of every year as Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa.
Buwan ng Wika highlights the importance of Philippine languages in promoting communication, understanding, unity and progress in the country.
Other activities for this year’s Buwan ng Wika celebration is the Aug. 5-7 Pambansang Kumperensiya sa Pagsasalin in Manila
According to KWF, the country has about 130 languages with some nearing extinction due to decreasing number of people who speak them.
KWF has been installing and unveiling its Bantayog-Wika monuments around the country since 2018 to help raise public awareness and promote use of indigenous Philippine languages, averting extinction of these communication modes.
The agency targets unveiling a Bantayog-Wika monument for each Philippine language.
The monuments that KWF unveiled this year so far are for the Tiboli, Blaan and Ivatan languages. (Story and photos from CITY PIO with a report from PNA)