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Category: English Composition

Date Submitted: 09/30/2012 01:31 AM

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" Rotten Beef and Stinking Fish" by Ambeth Ocampo

English is the language of learning. I’ve known this since before I could go to school. As a toddler, my first study materials were a set of flash cards that my mother used to teach me the English alphabet.My mother made home conducive to learning English: all my storybooks and coloring books were in English, and so were the cartoons (bakit may Tagalog bang cartoon noon?) I watched and the music I listened to. She required me to speak English at home. She even hired tutors to help me learn to read and write in English.In school I learned to think in English. We used English to learn about numbers, equations and variables.(Well, because our textbooks were written in English, especially noong kapanahunan niya) With it we learned about observation and inference, the moon and the stars, monsoons and photosynthesis. With it we learned about shapes and colors, about meter and rhythm. I learned about God in English, and I prayed to Him in English.(paano kaya kung sinagot siya in Hebrew or Latin).Filipino, on the other hand, was always the ‘other’ subject — almost a special subject like PE or Home Economics, except that it was graded the same way as Science, Math, Religion, and English. My classmates and I used to complain about Filipino all the time. Filipino was a chore, like washing the dishes; it was not the language of learning. It was the language we used to speak to the people who washed our dishes.(I should speak to my dishwashing machine in Filipino pala if it malfunctions).We used to think learning Filipino was important because it was practical: Filipino was the language of the world outside the classroom. It was the language of the streets: it was how you spoke to the tindera when you went to the tindahan, (may katulong sila, bakit siya pumupunta sa tindahan. May tindahan ba sa village nila) what you used to tell your katulong that you had an utos, and how you texted manong when you needed...