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Saludo, Secretary of Cerelac, says "Let's Go, Grow, and Glow!"
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on June 1, 2007 139 Comments 11 min read
Mining is all hers Previous Palace: don't destabilize emotions (!) Next

In today’s news: Philippines and Australia sign security agreement.

Still-unidentified people tried to assassinate Namfrel spokesman Atty. Jose Bernas yesterday, but no one can say whether it was due to other pending cases or his Namfrel stint.

Speaking of Namfrel, they’re going to end their counting on June 2. Uh-oh.

Ricky Carandang, it turns out, wrote about his now-famous scoop, and asks four questions:

Was it because there was actually no order at the time they were removing the ERs and that it was issued after the fact in an attempt to cover their asses after the people in the treasurer’s office blew the whistle on them?

Is Sarmiento saying that the ERs were safer in the hands of the so-called Garci boys?

Was he lying or was he just so utterly out of the loop that he didn’t know?

Could it be that the story sabotaged an operation to use those ERs to rig the election for some candidates?

Carandang says he doesn’t know the answers to those questions. Inside PCIJ zeroes in on Commissioner Sarmiento in the context of another controversial election -in Maguindanao. South Cotobato recount reveals 9-1-2 says Ellen Tordesillas; Gabby Claudio: 12-0 was just a slogan. Oh?

On to other matters…

I was talking to a friend who is a manager-entrepreneur, about the economy. He pointed out something I found very interesting. Where is all the money being made, I asked. He said, in real estate. Look at the stock market, he pointed out. The property holdings companies are driving the stock market boom. But there isn’t a corresponding boom in consumption, he added. If there was growth in consumption, he clarified, the stock of Jollibee would be leading the market. And it’s not.

Which goes to show, he said, that OFW money is going into buying property, hence the boom in construction (for developments that may be on the lunatic side, as Walk This Way points out), and thus, the attractiveness of property companies. But it’s not filtering through to increased consumption (hence, only a limited trickle-down effect). And he suggested, this means that in 15 years, the OFW’s investing in property now will be coming home to retire: but the question is, what kind of country will they be retiring to?

The scrimping in health and education made possible tiding over the deficit. But it has further underscored the gulf between those who benefit from the boom and the rest who do not feel the boom in services and the property market.

If you visit the Philippine Stock Exchange website, you’ll see the biggest gainers are in Holding Firms (up 2.2568%), Property (2.2663%), and Services (3.0865%), with Services being the biggest gainer for May 31, 2007. If you look at the list of Active Stocks, you’ll see that Property is top of the heap; the list of Top Gainers (APR, PEP, CEU, etc.) is interesting when compared to the Top Losers (LFM, BKD, SFI). But most of all: these are a relatively small number of companies, all of which are significant players anyway, and the market (according to the PSE person who guested on my show) is composed of about 80,000 players (or investors, and that includes corporate investors) in a nation of 80+ million.

So the boom and success –“Let’s keep the nation surging!” Rick Saludo croons (and is echoed by the Palace propaganda machine) is happening, but it’s a boom and success relative to what? This is the perspective that news like a booming stock market requires: it’s booming for 80,000 players, most of them in the big leagues as it is, and again these are gains that are more likely to end up spent on say, new Mercedes Benzes than in economic activity that will make a serious dent on the living standards of the public. Money Smarts points to where the growth is taking place:

The gross national accounts capture benefits from remittance money as they are transferred here, as they are placed in savings and investment instruments, as they are used by your family to buy things they need to live, as they are used by your beneficiaries here to set up businesses. Your efforts not only bring in the cash, but also keep a lot of local companies afloat.

You might be curious what your money bought. Based on figures from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), your money was spent on: food, clothing and footwear, tobacco, fuel, light, and water. These are the items that showed fast increase in growth. Hmm… I wonder what ‘tobacco’ is doing in that list.

The items transportation and communication, household operations, and beverage all exhibited lower growth, so money was still being spent on these items, just not as much as before. Household furnishings however, suffered cutbacks.

Today’s Business Mirror editorial says this kind of growth isn’t enough ( gives a homespun example to say something similar, too):

An almost 7-percent growth in GDP for a country with barely a $1,000 per capita GDP is actually quite ordinary.

But let’s drink to that pretty new and higher number, if only because for years now we have been used to being thrashed by the world’s number crunchers, including those from multilateral institutions who kept on telling the international community we “lack global competitiveness,” have “poor infrastructure,” or we have less “economic freedom.”

But this new number may actually give us a hint that good things could happen if only some elements are present, like higher public spending, to compliment people’s expenditures.

On hindsight, this encouraging figure could actually be just an unusual bleep in the economic screen. We just had a midterm election and, certainly, politicians may have started throwing out money around as early as January to beef up their electoral chances. We have a construction ban on election season; the ruling party may have tried to ratchet up spending to put some spine to its hopelessly limp Senate lineup. That is clearly shown in government’s pump-priming activities that caused a 16.9-percent growth in public construction.

Looking at the rest of the numbers, however, it appears that the numbers do look real. As usual, personal consumption explained much of the growth figures. The people purchased more food, clothes, shoes, tobacco and spent more for fuels and light.

And where did they get the money? As usual, the rising personal spending came from the dollars sent in by overseas Filipinos. The number of deployed workers actually went down, but the money coming in is rising since we are increasingly responding to jobs that require greater skills and brainpower (like engineers and medical professionals).

Exports also maintained their double-digit growth, apparently because of the continuing robust demand for electronics and semiconductors.

Also, despite the super typhoons, the farm sector did look stable, and the increased productivity from the fishery sector may also have helped a lot. Manufacturing also remained stable, while mining recovered.

All these factors translated to more money being transacted through banks, money being spent in malls and sari-sari stores, more cash being burned in cellular phones and Internet games, and more money being used to buy vehicles.

No wonder the services sector grew by more than 9 percent, contributing 4.4 percentage points to the 6.9-percent growth rate. Industry contributed 1.9 percent and the farm sector 0.8 percentage points.

Now that we have praised ourselves with this new growth figure, we need to ask whether or not the service-driven economy is the most desirable growth path for us. Growth per se is good; an expanding pie somehow means that more and more people got the crumbs. But crumbs are crumbs and they are not going to create adequate nourishment for the broader sectors of the economy.

Consider these facts: interest rates are low (read: capital is cheap) and the peso has been “strong” (read: imported machines, technology, packaging products and equipment are cheap). And yet, durable equipment has not been rising. That could be interpreted to mean that business organizations are not investing in new machines and are not refurbishing their offices. Isn’t that a sign of a wait-and-see attitude? If it is, investor confidence, therefore, is not yet fully restored.

The real reason probably lies in the structure of the economy, i.e. its being a service-driven one. Service companies, business-process outsourcing (BPOs) for instance, usually don’t import huge machines, nor do they build factories. That means they are not likely to hire workers en masse the way a factory, requiring thousands of skilled and unskilled workers, would. Do we ever wonder why despite all the decent growth we achieved in the last three years, we can’t seem to address joblessness? That’s the reason.

The counterpoint seems to be that the services economy actually creates jobs fast, since setting up a service company like a BPO doesn’t require so much capital infusion. All that is required is a nice building with reliable broadband Internet connection and voilà! hundreds of call-center agents or software programmers are hired.

That’s true in the case of the country’s cyberservices industry. But the one thing that is ignored in this debate is the fact that the services sector has the tendency to hire call-center agents, accountants, medical transcribers, lawyers and software engineers first before they get janitors, street sweepers and errand boys. The ideal thing to do is to provide jobs for both accountants and the like, as well as janitors, street sweepers, farmers and factory workers.

And again, keeping Saludo’s purring in context, read yesterday’s editorial of The Business Mirror:

Citing constrained growth in the region and around the world, the DBCC recently adjusted its revenue assumptions for this year after the Asian Development Bank released its growth projection of only 5.4 percent for 2007.

The revised revenue target of the Bureau of Internal Revenue is P718.67 billion, down from the original target of P765.9 billion; and the Bureau of Customs target to P165.12 billion from the original P228.2 billion.

This means the tax collections of the two agencies will be lowered by more than P100 billion from the original target of P994.1 billion. The new tax revenue is expected to hit P890.209 billion, which includes income from other government agencies.

The DBCC had earlier explained that the committee changed its assumptions as a result of the softening prices of oil in the world market, which will translate into lower collectible taxes by the agencies.

Yet, in the view of some independent fiscal experts, there’s more than meets the eye in the downscaling. It signals, they said, that the government’s technical people are not really sure where the money can still be sourced if the original, high assumptions are rammed through.

This only means that people will be squeezed further in the next few months, and instead of payback, we may see more calls for “sacrifice” from the same people who gave us the expanded value-added tax.

Therefore, when Romulo Neri starts muttering darkly about political risks intruding on long-term prospects, and Saludo starts flogging the don’t worry just surge and be happy line, there’s probably a setup somewhere. And the setup is as old as politics itself: passing the buck, away from the President, and towards everyone else. Quickly, just in case things go wrong, with news like this: Gulf states threaten to ban Filipino workers. Now suppose the government mishandles this? Where will the stock market and the Peso go?

On a related note (remittances and the Peso) read, too, John Mangun’s thoughts on a new paradigm for the Peso.

Anyway, compare the performance in past and recent months of Ayala Land, Filinvest Land, Robinson’s Land, Megaworld, to San Miguel Corporation, and Jollibee Corporation, and perhaps do some comparisons of your own, depending on the types of companies you think are interesting/relevant.

Gladstone Cuarteros of the IPD examines how showbiz candidates did in this election.

Inquirer editorial calls Defensor’s concession a “class act.” Marichu Lambino on why she isn’t giving Mike Defensor a medal just yet. Patsada Karajaw and nina bumanglag on why the Comelec ordering a Maguindanao recount is the wrong move.

Blackshama reflects on closer Philippine-Australian defense ties.

Torn & Frayed on women in politics and society. And these two entries are of a piece: Mongster’s Nest on campaigning and Kataspulong with a particularly fine entry on what candidates can do when they win.

Philippine Commentary continues the language debate; A Nagueno in the Blogosphere weighs in.

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  1. djb,

    as i often harp here: what’s so surprising if gamalinda won for writing his story in english? it only proves that bilingualism works and is effective!

    why should there be a heavy demarcation between mother tongue and english? copiuous academic studies (mostly done in canada and hongkong) have shown that in fact multi/bilingualism has cognitive advantage over monolingualism because concepts are being reinforced in two or more languages.

  2. “MLQ3: What problem with the Constitution? The EO is well within the declared BILINGUAL official language policy in the Constitution, which by the way applies not only to Deped but to the entire govt.”

    the bilingual policy suggested by the constitution is aptly termed diglossia. english for official transaction, filipino for the daily grind.

    the more sensible bilingualism program in education should be the integration of two languages in the same subject, i.e., one language supporting the other.

  3. Inidoro:

    Don’t you think the teachers and educators know such simple truisms as you espouse? Give them some credit naman! No one is talking about a strict English only or Tagalog only medium of instruction. Of course teachers are allowed to COMMUNICATE with the children. But perhaps you’ve missed the point about Medium of Instruction needing to be a formal, written language as well, so that it isn’t so easy to just use any one. Languages, unlike men, are NOT created equal. Sorry.

    And when National Artists and English novelists start telling them to teach Math and Science in Filipino or vernacular without understanding the logistical and practical considerations, not to speak of pedagogy, that’s when the ironies like that involving Eric Gamalinda above, get pointed out by bloggers. I mean c’mon, is he ASHAMED of his accepting a million pesos for writing a novel in English? Of course the lil ditty quoted above and attributed to him with the most famous of Filipino expletives, is what a lot of people here in this thread will remember of him.

    No one is talking about an English only or Pilipino only policy. A mix of 70%-30% has been decided upon by Deped and the President. That is their job to do that. It is humorous, but painfully humorous to me, that it is people who make their living using English (whether as novelists or pundits or professors) who are urging a thing they clearly are not qualified to pass upon.

    Read the Petition! The Teachers know it’s BUNKO and I know the Supreme Court will dismiss it as another “ANGST case”.

  4. Section 7. For the purpose of communication and instruction, the official languages of the Philippines are Filipino and, until otherwise provided by law, English.

    (Art.IV 1987 Charter)

    This is the bilingual policy of the Constitution, which applies to “communication and instruction”–not only in the schools but in all official govt transactions and records. As far as I can see, there is no distinction between the two as official languages. They are co-equal. And it seems to be permanent, for how can the Law ever “provide otherwise,” when every decision of the Supreme Court is rendered in English, and every law passed by Congress also?

    Thus if the Supreme Court were to force the Deped to some language policy dictated by the Court, the Court should also comply and at least render its official communications in Tagalog.

    Petition will surely be rejected for sheer oblivion to reality.

  5. ang madalas na pagkakamali sa mga debate kung ano ang nararapat na lengguwahe ang gagamitin sa pag-aaral ng matematika at siyensya; sa paraan ba ng inglis o sariling wika, ay ang PAGKILALA na ang 2 aralin na ito ay isang uri din ng LENGGUWAHE.

    sa mga napalimbag na science journals ng pamantasan ng Kyoto, halimbawa, kapansin-pansin na ang mga tinatanggap na mga teorya at thesis ay hindi lamang sa wikang Inglis, kundi na rin sa wikang Aleman, Pranses at Ruso !

    ang mga produkto ng pamantasan ng Vienna, bilang dagdag na halimbawa, na isa sa may pinakamaraming nobel prize na nakamit nuong nakaraang siglo, hindi ba’t kinilala ng komunidad ng mga dalubhasa ang kanilang obra, bagama’t hindi naman ito sa wikang Inglis ?!

    sa pagkalusaw ng USSR, ang mga matitinik na siyentipiko’t dalubhasa nito na naging paboritong piratahin ng bansang Aleman at ‘Merika; dahilan ba sa galing nila sa wikang banyaga, o sa husay nila sa LENGGUWAHE ng agham at matematika ??

  6. dean,

    “Give them some credit naman! No one is talking about a strict English only or Tagalog only medium of instruction.”

    hay, dean, i wish. but did you experience going to philippine schools where some teachers (however baluktot their english is) will demand that their students “speak english only”, hampering thus the enlightenment of an inquiring mind who fears that speaking in his/her native crooked tongue will only cause him/her embarrassment in front of the whole class? or that during the linggo ng wika students are penalized for every non-filipino utterance they make? trust me, there are schools who go blindly by the language policies without consideration to their pedagogical impact. and all because they we’ve demarcated the notion of bilingualism as “english for this and filipino for that.” and with an e.o. pushing for english as the primary medium of instruction, this is becoming o.a. (in light of the recent post you’ve made that in fact our constitution has already laid it the co-equality of english and filipino).

    “And when National Artists and English novelists start telling them to teach Math and Science in Filipino or vernacular without understanding the logistical and practical considerations, not to speak of pedagogy, that’s when the ironies like that involving Eric Gamalinda above, get pointed out by bloggers.”

    ironic, indeed, dean that these fluent and eloquent english users have to make such a call, no? but, really, why are they the ones beating the drums for the teaching of math and science in filipino (but i protest: why filipino, a.k.a tagalog, only?!? ). in fact, dean, i think the irony is not altogether disjunctive. for if indeed they–as we agree–are fluent and eloquent in english, wouldn’t these the very people who would have benefitted fully in the learning of math and science that have all through their schooling years been taught to them in english? [let’s not confound the issue just yet by including the right vs left brain dichotomy.]

    but these people are saying no. and i suspect they are speaking from experience. and i say, justifiably so. and all because the englishes you find in math and science are actually mostly technical english. which means the english words that pepper these subjects are in fact words that only appear in english! these are precise english technical jargons that, alas!, take on different meanings in the plain english language. technical english that will even befuddle native english language speakers! imagine then how it would be for learners whose english comes only as second or third language.

    “Languages, unlike men, are NOT created equal. Sorry.”

    science we’ve been taught is not science without the methodology. what one observes in the surrounding is not language bound. and so it is in peeling off the abstractions in math. hence i think the 70%-30% bilingual allocation is actually misplaced. in fact, i think it would be better–if we are to put for english proficiency–to teach all literature and social science-related subjects (including makabayan) in english (at least beginning in the upper years of schooling) as these subjects provide wider venues for the art of articulating and expressing argumentative ideas, rather than in math and science in english, where the BUILDING of ideas should be the prime consideration. [there is no need for elocutory explanations in math and science. a simple written proof will do to make the grade.]

    which brings me to your hesitation on the practical and logistical consideration:

    i am one in advocating for the use of english loan words in math and science, but we should however make wider room for scientific explanations to be done in the language most comprehensible, which logically points to the use of the mother tongue. and if we are all for the retention of math and science textbooks written in english, this will resolve the logistical problem you have been talking about.

  7. “better–if we are to put for english proficiency–to teach all”


  8. DJB,

    “Languages, unlike men, are NOT created equal. Sorry.”

    Languages do not materialize out of thin air.

    Think your statement through DJB; it’s culturally biased if not downright racist.

  9. ManuB: That’s a good point : that language – be it Latin, Niponggo, Castillian Spanish or Mexican Spanish, Brooklyn English or Aussie English or the Arrrneow English — is culturally biased. Now racist is a loaded word —- are you suggesting inferiority? Between one Filipino who knows both Tagalog and Mandarin and another who knows Tagalog and French, who is the inferior?

  10. Allow me to post something I posted previously in another forum.

    Is English The Key To Being Globally Competitive?

    To be “personally” “globally competitive” the answer is, yes, we need english. Those trying or are going to work abroad would definitely need english to be competitive with other nationals looking for the same work. But for our nation to be “globally competitive?” I don’t think learning english alone can give us that. How long have we had a large percentage of our population able to speak or at least converse in english outranking other country’s percentage of their population? And have we any to show for it?
    Meanwhile the Japanese did it without even a hint of Ingrish in them. The Chinese and Koreans? Only now have they desired to learn the language, not to be globally competitive (coz they already have been globally competitive way before they decided to learn it) but bec. they don’t want to be fooled/swindled when they deal in business transactions (that require English to be the medium of transaction) The Chinese even going further to impose their “ignorance” of English to others as to force the Americans to learn Mandarin.
    Just look at that! If you can command that respect, you don’t have to learn their language, they learn yours! Or they hire an interpreter. Either way, if you are in demand, language deficiency is not a problem but jz a bump in the road.
    As some Chinoys say: if you want to be an employee anywhere in the world, go learn english. But if you want to go into international business and be the boss, go learn fookien and mandarin.

    What we need is to learn to love ourselves first before we can even think of going global. It reeks of hypocrisy, wanting to learn a foreign language when you can barely speak fluently in your own tounge. (and yes, I am guilty. More erudite in english than in tagalog. sheesh!)

    I’m not saying we erase English in our lives. I’m just saying, maybe it isn’t all the hype we all thought it was.

  11. pagtutuwid:

    ang poste sa itaas; unang talata, huling pangungusap ay may baybay dapat na: “… HINDI PAGKILALA na ang 2 aralin na ito, ay isa ding uri ng LENGGUWAHE…”


    kinikilala ko ang ilang matitingkad na puntos na inihahain ni DJB; bunga ng praktikal na konsiderasyon ang karamihan, at bagama’t malabnaw ang relasyon nito sa usapin malinaw na nangangailangan ito ng tuwirang solusyon.

    sa negosyo at industriyang kinapapalooban ko, na kailangan ang sandaang paghahati ng isang milimetro na wastong sukat (hundredth of a millimeter accuracy), hindi matatawaran ang kahalagahan ng komunikasyong ganap ang pagkakaintindihan at walang pag-aalinlangan sa hanay ng mga kumikilos.

    ang ‘Pinas bagama’t pumirma sa sanggunian ng mga bansang nagkakaisa sa paggamit ng sistemang metrika; halos lahat simula sa eskwela, media, at kahit karamihan ng negosyo, patuloy na gumagamit ng sistemang panukat na hindi angkop.

    dito pa lamang, sa mga banyagang kalakaran ng negosyo’t industriya ang produktong inilalabas ng bansa ay kwestiyonable na kaagad. ang tanong: meron bang kinalaman ang debateng pagpili ng lengguwaheng instruksyon sa matematika at agham sa problemang ito ?

  12. Devilsadvoc8: I think what you are saying is that one’s level of English-proficiency is for that person to ultimately decide. One person who will agree with you is the father of my brother’s wife. He is in Bangkok; he is Thai of Chinese descent (in fact, he was Chinese until he moved to Thailand at age 11). He is now a millionaire a few times over (in US dollars), and all his business dealings were/are in either Chinese or in Thai. He is a practical illiterate in English — can not even ask in English where the bathroom is. He has never needed English for the major goals that he had wanted out of life.
    However, his grandson (my nephew) wants a PhD in Electrical Engineering. He does not wants a French- nor a Russian-PhD but a USA PhD, so he has strengthened his English in order to accomplish his goal. No different from the American who learns French so they can better enjoy their vacation in Paris, or one of my friends who is learning Mandarin to have an edge over the competition as she looks for a job in New York City.
    To each his own. Every one needs to take responsibility for his own future. If you don’t need English for the goals you’ve set for yourself, then makes sense not to bother, right? If you believe that English provides no advantage for your children for the future that you think they would want, then “hindi na kailangan…okay na kami dito” is okay na rin, di ba?

  13. “I think what you are saying is that one’s level of English-proficiency is for that person to ultimately decide.”

    That’s part of it, but more. All I’m saying is, yes English is important, but it’s not the end-all, be-all of SUCCESS. Learning english doesn’t translate into instant success. It is merely a portal into the global world. The means, and tools we need to succeed still rely on our brains.

    I read here a back and forth argument about english being the mother tounge, the base language of science, math, and computer, etc, etc. What utter rubbish. If we follow that argument as true, then that would mean the birth of these sciences (except computer) started the same time the english language was born. Care to explain how the greeks, egyptians, and other ancient civilizations did their math and science? Same with computer. The commands may have been coded in english, but the computer still recognizes it through binary numbers. Meaning, it doesn’t compute language. That’s why it’s irrelevant to argue computer has a language other than numbers.

    As to insisting to teach the basic sciences in english, I have only this to ask: which kid would learn math faster when it is taught in tagalog? an american or a filipino?

  14. “As a people we have been deprived for centuries of responsibility for our destiny. Under the Spaniards, this deprivation was open. Under the Americans, while we were ostensibly being prepared for self-government, for self-reliance, we were actually being manuevered by means of political and economic pressures to defer to American decisions at the same time that we were being conditioned by our American education to prefer American ways. The result is a people habituated to abdicating control over basic areas of their national life, unaccustomed to coming to grips with reality, prone to escape into fantasies; and a leadership which voluntarily chooses Western solutions for Philippine problems — partly because it is intellectually conditioned to believe in such solutions and partly for personal expediency xxxxx” -Renato Constantino

  15. UPn,

    “Now racist is a loaded word —- are you suggesting inferiority? Between one Filipino who knows both Tagalog and Mandarin and another who knows Tagalog and French, who is the inferior?”

    I don’t think you understood my comment. Let me try to make it clearer.

    I said “languages do not materialize out of thin air”.

    So when someone sez, “Languages, unlike men, are NOT created equal. Sorry.”, he is actually saying that men are not created equal.

    He is saying there are superior and inferior language; hence superior and inferior men because languages do not materialize out of thin air, they come from man’s brain.

    I wish DJB would explain his statement or better yet, take it back.

  16. Take it back?

    How can I when the idea comes from Jose Rizal!

    The idea that is, that all other conditions of antecedent and history may be unequal, but MEN are created equal in their rights and duties and potentials.

    But they do not always START with the same advantages. Some are born rich, some poor. Some smart, some not. Some are born into societies with a wealth of art, and history and language. Without these things, these starting conditions, the equality of men at their creation becomes quickly meaningless in real life.

    That is why Rizal wanted SPANISH taught to the Filipinos. Because, contrary to the theories of certain Padres, which ideas and prejudices seem to be alive and well today in this very thread, he believed Filipinos were capable and deserving of that gift of language and therefore knowledge.

    Look at the plot of the Noli Me Tangere. Crisostomo Ibarra wants to have a Spanish Language Institute for Filipinos established in the town of San Diego (his and Maria Clara’s hometown)!

    Back then it was the frailes and the guardia civil AGAINST Filipinos learning Spanish. Today it is the National Artists and so-called patriots who are against giving the indios the KEYS to freedom and prosperity thru English!

    It is you guys who are being racist in believing that Filipinos cannot handle English, cannot understand it, cannot learn it effectively. ALL or MOST of them. Not just the special ones like us and Bien Lumbera and Rio Almario and Eric Gamalinda!

    It is a deeply rooted and personally unrecognized ELITISM that drives National Artists and English Prize Winners to adopt this pose, this artifice of seeming patriotism, this insane insistence that most everybody else take a different path than them to success! They are saying, most Filipinos really should just stick to the vernacular. “Don’t do as we do, do as we say.”

    Read again the lengthy conversations between C.I. and his newfound friend Pilosopong Tacio. Read again, MB, the beauteous rebuttal Rizal makes of this very point you make!

    Who is a racist now MB? You or Me?

  17. “Now racist is a loaded word —- are you suggesting inferiority? Between one Filipino who knows both Tagalog and Mandarin and another who knows Tagalog and French, who is the inferior?”

    but oh, upn, it’s not about tagalog and mandarin or french. to english language advocates who proclaim that we are shut out from the intellectual exclusivity of science and math, it’s about filipino or english. the implication being, filipino will lead us back to the jurassic era. [e.g. “As such, people who have superior command over English will always be at an advantage over those who find childish comfort in withdrawing to their “native” language. People who are comfortable with English not only have access to an immense wealth of knowledge, they are able to confidently go head-to-head with others of equal calibre.”]

    which is rather a lame claim. because, come to think of it, for years we’ve always been boastful of our level of english proficiency [WE ARE THE THIRD LANGUANGE ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!–a mantra we were taught to proclaim back in my grade school current events quiz; won’t tell you when that was though, hehe]. be that as it may, where did this position bring us all these years in our ranking of mathematical and scientific knowledge? third at the bottom of 40 countries tested in the 1999 and 2003 timss [trend for international math and science studies]. but we’re not exactly inferior; we’ve topped south africa, another of the largest english-speaking country of the world.

    our superiority in english will not necessarily propel us to become masters in math and science [i doubt. considering that math and science remain among the most unpopular college courses.] far from it. our english proficiency is just being taken advantaged by other countries in need of skilled laborers. skilled laborers who–let’s be blunt of this–are not even into the promotion of math and science, but primarily into padding their pockets, which they could not do so at home. and home is the third largest english speaking country in the world, just to remind you.

    ’nuff of this english or filipino only baloney. time to focus on a genuine bilingual program, which the deped is not looking at seriously.

  18. The Bystander,

    It is indeed with Renato Constantino that the intellectual struggle must be fought, because I have not yet found in all my years, anyone with quite so original and powerful a poison for other minds. Everywhere, one finds the echoes of his polemic, so imbued with a self-righteous resentment.

    Yet, even Constantino’s anti-Americanism is so … American! (It takes one to know one.)

    For he learned it from the US Anti-Imperialist League and the American Communist Party. It was a shock for me to discover that Constantino is not so original after all.

    Even his Leftist thinking is a form of colonial mentality!

  19. “Languages, unlike men, are NOT created equal. Sorry.”

    i do tend to agree with you on this, djb. especially when it comes to mathematics.

    which means, chances are, english is the inferior language in mathematics.

    read this abstract:

    Mathematical Thinking and Learning
    2001, Vol. 3, No. 2&3, Pages 201-220

    Chinese and English Mathematics Language: The Relation Between Linguistic Clarity and Mathematics Performance

    Chinese and English Mathematics Language: The Relation Between Linguistic Clarity and Mathematics Performance
    In Study 1, 48 judges rated the clarity of Chinese, English, and “Chinglish” (Chinese words translated into English) mathematical words-for example, the Chinglish version of the Chinese word for quadrilateral is “four-side-shape.” Native Chinese-speaking judges achieve greater agreement on the relative clarity of Chinese words than do native English-speaking judges on the relative clarity of English words. More Chinese words are rated clear than are English. Chinglish mathematical words tend to be rated more clear than English. The inherent compound word structure of the Chinese language seems well suited to portray mathematical ideas.

    In Study 2, we examined the relations among the clarity of Chinese mathematical terms, U.S. urban junior high school students’ Chinese reading ability, and their mathematics performance. There is a strong correlation between Chinese reading ability and performance on test items with mathematics words rated clear by Chinese judges. The relative clarity of mathematical terms in the Chinese language may contribute to Chinese-speaking students’ understanding of mathematics and to superior mathematics performance.

    it may also be worth reviewing the language of the countries who topped timss.

  20. devilsadvc8, You said: “As to insisting to teach the basic sciences in english, I have only this to ask: which kid would learn math faster when it is taught in tagalog? an american or a filipino?”

    It depends on the kind of Filipino. For example, for the 20 million native Cebuanos, the Filipino language aka Tagalog is just as foreign as to the American. To hear some of them, it is even more foreign than English, with which they have had a long an illustrious history, as proud Filipinos!) Tagalogs practice a hideous form of prejudice when they insist that it should be easy for Cebuano natives and other non-Tagalog speakers to pick up Tagalog because they are “related” languages, and we are all “Filipinos.” Now THAT’s racism.

  21. inidoro,

    Charming of you to suggest Chinese vs English as medium of instruction in mathematics for the Public Schools in the Philippines on the grounds that “Chinglish” is inherently “clearer”!

    Even if such a proposal is non sequitur and unconstitutional, it shows just how much we miss the comfortable old Cold War, when we could pit the superpowers against one another and achieve the moral cop-out of “A pox on all their houses!”

  22. my point, djb: borrow english loan words, give the meaning in local tongue. be that ceblish or tag-lish.

  23. leave the cold war reminiscing out of this. the article is a well-refereed scientific paper that reveals how language can enhance or hamper learning. throw in this added context: english is our nth language, where n=1, 2,..,x, where x

  24. x is the identified capacity of a polyglot. but am sure the scientific persona in you fully understands what the study implies.

  25. inidoro: I don’t think that study is as definitive and as conclusive as you make it sound. Do you know of any school district (be it French or Canadian or American) that have made changes to their curriculum based on the study?

  26. up n,

    i was trying to be cautious, and tried not to sound definitive; hence, the caveat: “chances are”.

    but you can verify what the paper is illustrating by asking any of your chinese friends how efficient their mathematical language is, which inherently captures the very meaning of math concepts in the very words they use.

    “Do you know of any school district (be it French or Canadian or American) that have made changes to their curriculum based on the study?”


    “Interdependence Revisited: Mathematics Achievement in an Intensified French Immersion Program

    This study examines the effect of teaching mathematics in French on mathematics achievement evaluated in English. In this context it analyzes the effect of increased intensity of bilingual education on mathematics achievement. It also analyzes the effects of language of testing in the context of French immersion at the intermediate level. The participants in the study are two cohorts of French immersion pupils followed from Grades 4-7. The treatment group received 80% of the core academic curriculum, including mathematics, in French and 20% in English. The comparison group received 50% of the core academic curriculum in French and 50%, including mathematics, in English. Achievement in mathematics was measured for both groups at the end of Grade 6. Analyses of covariance showed an advantage in mathematics for the 80% French group compared to the 50% French group. These results provide further evidence for Cummins’ threshold hypothesis and interdependence hypothesis.”

    cummins, btw, is based ain the university of toronto, where in canada bilingual education is strongly promoted.

    my point up n: better to rely on psycholinguistic studies than seeing only red on one’s eyes.

  27. of course, the french study i’ve indicated does not mean schools have adopted them. the “here” was just a lead to provided further support. as to whether such finding was later implemented in schools, i can only surmise.

  28. DJB,

    hinggil sa komento ninyo, 8:02 am, June 4:

    naalala ko ang pananakot ng mga taong tulad nina hilario davide (lider ng Pusyong Bisaya nuong 70’s, at SC), ernesto herrera, ang mga tulad nila; na magtatayo ng sariling republika, bilang tanda ng pagtutol sa proyektong pagbubuo ng sariling wika, at ako man ay sang-ayon sa kanila bilang isang estudyante ng elementarya sa Lahug, Cebu.

    dala-dala ko ang ganitong pananaw hanggang sa kolehiyo’t magtapos; pero nitong 10 taon na ang nakalipas, at magpasa hanggang ngayon, ay siyang lubos kong pinagsisihan at tinatalikuran bagamat nakakapagsulat ako sa 3 bersyon ng Bisaya: ang Sugbuaunon, Hiligaynon at Dabawenyo.

    ano ang nangyari? sa pag-iikot sa loob at labas ng bansa ang nagpukaw sa akin ng kahalagahan ng isang sariling wikang tatagos sa kahit na anong rehiyunal na grupo, isang gamit komunikasyon na magbibigay linaw sa mga usapin tungo sa pagkamit ng unawaan sa minimum, at pagkakaisa sa maksimum.

    halimbawa, ang karamihan ng morong Maguindanaon sa Cotabato ay hindi lubusang nakakaintindi ng Bisaya (kahit na anong bersyon),pero nagiging posible ang pagbubuo ng komunikasyon kung sisimulan ito sa Tagalog.

    totoo ang ganitong kalakaran maging sa Jolo, Zamboanga o kahit na sa Marawi !!

    ang imahe na sobra ang kiling sa Tagalog ng kasalukuyang sariling wika, ay marapat bigyan ng pansin ng mga iskolar at dalubhasa para ito ay wakasan at i-angkop ang mga mahahalagang bokabularyo na natatagpuan sa iba’t-ibang bernakular ng mga rehiyon.

    kaalinsabay sa rekomendasyon ng mga iskolar at dalubhasa na ituturo ang matematika at agham sa wikang angkop para sa kabataan, bingual man o hindi, magiging may saysay LAMANG ito kung ipagpatuloy ang pagbalangkas ng isang komprehensibong programa para sa pagbubuo ng sariling wika, na tutugun sa pangangailangan na may kinalaman sa batas, kultura at kasaysayan.

    kung ang Inglis na sa kasalukuyan ay natural na lingua franca ng negosyo’t kalakalan, ipagpapatuloy, wala naman sigurong tutol dito.

  29. Are there people who get paid to defend the government in blogs like this? I have noticed that the responses such suspicious people make would take so much of their time that they couldn’t just spend if they have other occupation.
    Anyway, iniisip kong mabuti kung ano ang kahulugan ng economic growth sa mga pangkaraniwang empleyado na hindi makaafford na kumain sa labas kasama ng pamilya, bumili ng lahat ng kailangan sa eskuwela, bayaran ang matrikula, bumili ng matinong pagkain, manirahan sa disenteng bahay, magbayad ng kuryente at tubig. Umaayos raw ang ekonomiya pero hindi ko nararamdaman. Kailan kaya kami makakasali sa improvement na ito? Ang pamahalaan ay bayad ng bayad ng air time para sabihin sa mga tao na sila’y nagtatrabaho. ‘Di ba sayang ang pera.

    May kakilala ako na may ari ng hospital, accredited ng Phil Health. Ang utang ng PhilHealth sa maliit na pagamutan na ito ay 5 million pesos. Nagbayad lamang ng P700000.00 nitong nakaraang 2 buwan. Pero sabi sa telebisyon ay may pera ang PhiulHealth. Kung may pera bakit may utang?

  30. “The idea that is, that all other conditions of antecedent and history may be unequal, but MEN are created equal in their rights and duties and potentials.
    But they do not always START with the same advantages. Some are born rich, some poor. Some smart, some not. Some are born into societies with a wealth of art, and history and language. Without these things, these starting conditions, the equality of men at their creation becomes quickly meaningless in real life.”

    So the art of aboriginal australians, their history and their language are inferior to that of the west or chna or india or arabia or any of your so-called civilized cultures?

    I thik you conflate dominance with superiority. You need not cite Rizal. Imelda would have been more concise – “Some are marter than others.”

    No DJB, art, history and language are all equal. One is not superior to another. And when an outsider judges, it shows his prejudice.

    Use another line of argument lest we fall into the White or Yellow or Arab Man’s Burden bullshit again.

    The only good argument for you is to say- we have to do it because that’s where the money is. Someday, if some other language dominates and that’s where the money else, then we abandon eglish for that language.
    That’s what we did with Spanish, that’s what we need to do with english.

    Just cut the crap about superiority. Once upon a time, during Rizal’s heydey, Spain ruled and Spanish was the superior language. When the Romans ruled, Latin was superior.

    Empires come and go so do the dominance and “superiority” of languages.

  31. Reading this thread is both entertaining and an eye-opener. I hope some of the good stuff in here get to be implemented.

    We all have our own thoughts I guess on what is best, but it is those who are in position to implement changes that can actually effect changes. Even those who petitioned the courts against the use of English as medium of instruction remains as mere petitioners. At least they did something out of and because of their stand. Those who strongly feels for something else need to act on them too.

  32. INE,

    That mantra that you were taught with didn’t exactly say that we were proficient.

    But did that study say what kind of Chinese was being referred to? Fookien, Mandarin, etc.?


    Your claim of 20 million native Cebuanos is interesting. Are you using ethnologue’s numbers or another source that unfortunately is using ethnologue as a basis?


    Your argument of how much time a blogger spends on any response can be hurled back to any one on any side of the fence.

  33. DJB,

    I read RC’s views at face-value, regardless of whether it was original or not or whether he got it from some anti-American / pro-communist group in the United States.

    As long as we live in a society with a basically colonial mentality, there will always be activists, leftists and similar-minded individuals ready to challenge the status quo.

  34. bystander : I don’t know anymore how to explain to my nephew how Filipino demonstrate their colonial mentality. Can you help me?
    Obviously, “colonial mentality” is not determined by my street address. So is it language or training? Are you (who is more-skilled-with-English than the average-Pinoy because English is the language in Philippine courts) a practitioner of “colonial mentality”? Is Trillanes (more training on an M16 than an AK47) a practitioner of “colonial mentality”?
    Do I point to the magtataho who can only speak Tagalog as one who has been freed from “colonial mentality”?
    Is Ana-de-France with worries more about Sarkozy the better than Abe Margallo who worries more about Bush?
    I suspect one would say Col/Mental is exhibited by how one thinks. Now thinking can be affected by the textbooks i’ve used, so if the textbooks I have read are from Prentice Hall versus Penguin or Elsevier, do I have “colonial mentality”?
    Does torn-and-frayed have colonial mentality from the oppressor-side while cvj has the colonial mentality from the oppressed-side?

  35. “That mantra that you were taught with didn’t exactly say that we were proficient.”

    may tama ka! proficiency is not equal to head count. if it were so, that would put us ahead of u.k.!

    “But did that study say what kind of Chinese was being referred to? Fookien, Mandarin, etc.?”


  36. “We all have our own thoughts I guess on what is best, but it is those who are in position to implement changes that can actually effect changes. Even those who petitioned the courts against the use of English as medium of instruction remains as mere petitioners. At least they did something out of and because of their stand. Those who strongly feels for something else need to act on them too.”

    which in a way, jon, is rather unfortunate, because the issue of medium of instruction in school has become a sociopolitical more than a pedagogical issue. and those in the position to implement them are not even in education! worse, the deped is not thinking of a scientific way to resolve the issue!

    even more unfortunate, the scientist in this blog is overwhelmed by the burden of his cultural/political orientation by not taking steps off to assess the issue from a more objective standpoint.

  37. It’s a big mess and it will take some time to resolve. Whatever the solution our administrators will go by with will not please everybody, that’s for sure.

  38. even more unfortunate, the scientist in this blog is overwhelmed by the burden of his cultural / political orientation by not taking steps off to assess the issue from a more objective standpoint. – inodoro ni emilie

    Which i suppose also explains his tendency to argue things that are not at even at issue as if they were revealed truth (aka ignoratio elenchi).