Celebrate Buwan ng Wika with a Wagas Ukulele!
Photo from Philippine Tatler (Breaking Colonial Ties II by Aileen Lanuza-de Pio)
August is celebrated yearly nationwide as Buwan ng Wika.
Recently, The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) crafted the theme for this year’s Buwan ng Wika celebration, which is “Filipino at mga Katutubong Wika sa Dekolonisasyon ng Pag-iisip ng mga Pilipino.”
This theme is quintessential to our identity as Filipinos. When we talk about “Wika”, we must never boil it down to just one language. It is unbearable to think that Filipinos could ever be one dimensional. The very fibre that binds our souls together squeezes out the ink used to write our very colorful, complicated, and collective history.
After having been colonized for more than 400 years by the Spanish, Americans, and the Japanese, and the decades of civilization that has existed way before any foreigner stepped foot and claimed our lands, we’ve always had and cultivated a rich culture.
The curricula in schools and the media we consume have taught us that Tagalog is synonymous to Filipino, but we should be conscious that this is in disfavor to the various languages and dialects spoken all throughout the Philippines.
Who’s to say the dialects spoken in the languages are less Filipino than the one spoken in the city?
Along with the Philippines’ rich culture, it also boasts over 100 different languages and dialects spoken in over 7,000 islands, and yet, we can barely name any on one finger.
Decolonizing our thinking as Filipinos means that we should equally love and respect all our native languages and dialects, even the ones we aren’t fluent in. It also means that we should continually advocate for a nationalist education that integrates other cultures in our country into the curriculum and a mass oriented one that recognizes the plight of all of our countrymen, especially the indigenous people who need us to amplify their voices.
How would we ever know their suffering if we don’t understand their pain? How would their pain end if we aren’t considering them as part of us just because we don’t speak their language?
With that being said, the best way to celebrate Buwan ng (mga) Wika is to support local crafters, artists, and businesses like Wagas Ukuleles.
A decade’s worth of ukuleles handmade by Filipinos, Wagas Ukuleles also successfully integrates the Filipino spirit in each of their crafts as seen on their themed designs for their travel ukuleles featuring the Philippine map, the Sun and Stars, and of course, the Philippine flag. Aside from being able to customize your name on the ukuleles, you may also opt to customize any of the ukuleles in their catalog to feature a Philippine flag design.
Our love for our country should always be concentrated on our compassion and dedication to our people. No matter which part of the Philippines you may reside in, or what language or dialect you’re most fluent in, you are one of us, and you deserve to be here. Maligayang Buwan ng Wika!
As what our national hero Jose Rizal once said, “Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika, ay hindi pa nakakahawak ng ukulele galing sa Wagas Ukuleles.”
(Just kidding. He didn’t actually say that. But if it makes you smile, you should spoil yourself with a Wagas Ukulele.)