Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A Testimonial To Alienation By Sir Butch Dalisay

Sir Butch Dalisay deals with that essay written by a certain James Soriano with his own, A Testimonial To Alienation. An excerpt:

The real tragedy of the James Soriano episode for me is that despite both the academic and anecdotal evidence, many Filipinos keep clinging to the illusion that only English will save us, and that any proposal to promote Filipino and other Philippine languages in the classroom alongside English is a step back into the jungle.

I’m a professor of English and a former chairman of our English department, but like many Filipino educators, I believe in a bilingual — indeed, a multilingual — policy, not only because it’s nationalistic, but because it works, and is kinder to the child in the long term. I’ve seen how raising children solely in English in the hope of turning them into “globalized” Filipinos can result in producing alienated, socially maimed individuals who can’t relate to their own people and who don’t feel a stake in their own country’s future. When I teach English or such subjects as American Literature, I remind my students that we’re taking up the subject not to try and become Americans, but to become better Filipinos.

I have no problem valuing and promoting English as the language of global business, as something we need to master if we want to make it out there (in this century, we might even be better off studying Chinese); indeed we should master English so it doesn’t master us.

As a creative writer in English, I love the language as a craftsman values his materials. In my own twist on the aesthetic value of writing in another language, I find working with English both challenging and interesting precisely because it can’t possibly fully capture the realities I’m representing — and in that breach lie possibilities for artmaking. When I write in Filipino, I relax, feeling no need to pretend to be anything but myself. (Yes, after half a century of using it, I’m still aware that I’m creating a persona, a social mask, every time I write and speak English.)

James was right when he called himself a “split-level Filipino.” Many of us are, and the sooner we acknowledge it the sooner we can deal with it and even turn it to our advantage. Unfortunately, some of us don’t know it, don’t know what to do about it, or just plain don’t care. That’s far sorrier than an essay gone astray.


Blogger Hannah said...

Hi ummm this is really random but i was hoping you could help me! I just saw your post "Going Old School {sometimes}" from back in 2008! I think i have the same typwrite as you {the olympia} and i was wondering if you could give me any information on it? like what type of ribbion it uses and maybe how to change the ribbion? anything you have on the typwrite, i would be greatful! My neighbor just died and left me her typewriter, me being only 15 does not have a clue how to use it but i would love to find out! do you know maybe its make and model number? well like i said anything would be helpful! thanks!

9:01 AM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

Hi, Hannah!

Well, I only know basic typewriter repair skills. I usually bring it to a specialist in my country when I need to do more than just change the ribbon or adjust the keys.

Check first if paper can still be inserted into the machine, and if you can press the keys and they "snap" or "clack" onto the paper and print properly.

Check too if the roller can still roll properly, if there's no rust, and that it can roll smoothly and move back and forth properly. Check too if by moving the lever the roller moves correctly, whether single, 1.5, or double-spaced.

If all this works well, then you're lucky! You may only need to change the ribbon (measure the spool for the proper size), clean the dust, and you're good to go. But, if anything doesn't work well, this may need spare parts, and this might mean you will need to consult a typewriter repair professional. Google to see if there are any in your area.

Hope this helps!

10:00 PM  

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