Every year, Filipinos celebrate their national language and dialects in the whole month of August, which they refer to as “Buwan ng Wika” or “National Language Month.”
This year, the Commission on the Filipino Language, or Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, is going with the theme “Filipino at mga Katutubong Wika: Wika ng Kapayapaan, Seguridad, at Ingklusibong Pagpapatupad ng Katarungang Panlipunan.”
To celebrate this year’s Buwan ng Wika, here are six exciting things that you can do that you can keep doing annually.
1. Speak your own language for a day
Are you born in Cebu, Pampanga, or another place in the Philippines outside the Metro? This is your chance to speak Cebuano, Kapampangan, or your own language and embrace the place where you were born.
You can learn your own language if you haven’t yet, or you can improve by speaking in your own language every day.
You can even add a little fun to it by playing a word game with your family members or by doing it as a one-day or weekly challenge where you prevent yourself from speaking any languages aside from it.
2. Learn a new Filipino language or dialect
How about those people who were born in the Metro? The only language they probably know is Tagalog. With this year’s Buwan ng Wika, they could try learning a new Filipino language or dialect.
There are over 150 more languages in the Philippines than we thought, and one way of recognizing them is by dedicating time to study and learning them the way we study a foreign language.
We are always interested in learning a new international language, but maybe we can also give the same attention and interest to our own languages simply because they are part of who we are. And there’s no better time to learn it than during this year’s Buwan ng Wika.
3. Read books that are only written by Filipino authors
Filipino authors have penned more than just books by Jose Rizal, Nick Joaquin, Lualhati Bautista, and Bob Ong, which we can explore.
Numerous other Filipino writers have contributed to our reading list this year, including Miguel Syjuco’s “Ilustrado,” F.H. Bacatan’s “Smaller and Smaller Circles,” and Edgar Calabia Samar’s “Janus Silang.”
If you really look for it, you will find many books written by your fellow Filipinos, showcasing their creativity and brilliant minds. You can then read a book daily, if you’re a fast reader, or weekly if you like to take your time.
4. Write a poem in Filipino medium
Poems written in your national language has more impact than those written in other languages because you feel their depth and weight. You can clearly express yourself using the language you grew up with.
This Buwan ng Wika, why not try writing a poem in the Filipino medium or your own language? Unleash your creativity and challenge yourself by trying a Philippine poetry form like Tanaga.
While writing, you might realize that it’s better to write in your own language, as you will not have a hard time conveying what you really want to tell your readers.
5. Watch this year’s Cinemalaya films
Philippine films are worthy of watching; you just have to watch the suitable film. With this year’s Cinemalaya Film Festival, you might find the Filipino independent film that will satisfy you.
Some of the featured films for this year are Dustin Celestino’s “Ang Duyan ng Magiting,” Kenneth De La Cruz’s “Bulawan Nga Usa (Golden Deer),” Kevin Mayuga’s “When This Is All Over,” and Ryan Machado’s “Huling Palabas.”
By watching, you’ll be able to support Filipino indie films and immerse yourself in our national language as well.
Cinemalaya 2023 will take place from August 4 to 13 at the Philippine International Convention Center. If you can’t go to the actual venue, you can still watch its films at selected local cinemas.
6. Study Baybayin, Philippines’ ancient writing system
Baybayin is the system of writing that was used by our ancestors, the early Filipinos. In English, it means “spell it out.”
What’s better than learning your country’s ancient writing system to celebrate Buwan ng Wika? Learning our country’s history, roots, and culture will undoubtedly strengthen our sense of nationalism.
Studying Baybayin will also give us delight because everybody knows it’s fun and creative to incorporate the system into our modern writing.
Buwan ng Wika might be boring to some, but celebrating it in small ways will benefit our country by preserving our culture and heritage and embracing the beauty that the Philippines holds.