The Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino (KWF) is holding a monthlong series of activities this August in connection with National Language Month or Buwan ng Wika.
Theme this year is “Filipino: Wika ng Pambansang Kaunlaran (Filipino: Language of National Development).”
KWF Chair Virgilio S. Almario notes “the growing use of Filipino in various fields of knowledge and domains of power such as science, technology and government.”
Almario, who is also National Artist for Literature, says the KWF is promoting Filipino “while standardization in the national orthography continues to be promoted.”
“This expansion of Filipino into science, technology and government can only be matched by the continuing entry of new words from the native languages carrying with them their own cultural qualities, new modes of articulation, creation of meaning, thus continuing the enrichment of the national language,” Almario adds.
Many of the activities in celebration of Buwan ng Wika will be held outside Manila, to be opened by the historic Pambansang Kongreso sa Pagpaplanong Wika, or the first National Congress for Language Planning , Aug. 5-7, at Sison Auditorium, Lingayen, Pangasinan.
The congress took up the largely unknown history of the Filipino language, its qualities and capabilities as a national language, and its directions of development especially as its use expands and as it is enriched by entries from the other Philippine languages.
KWF continues conducting its seminars on Korespondensiya Opisyal, training government workers in the composition of official correspondences in Filipino.
On Aug. 3, the seminar was held for the Office of the President; Aug. 11 for Pasig City; Aug. 27, Parañaque City; Aug. 28 at the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
The main text used is Korespondensiya Opisyal, published by KWF.
Part of the seminar series is Uswag: Dangal ng Filipino (Onward Filipino Pride), composed of lectures on Ortograpiyang Pambansa and Manual sa Masinop sa Pagsulat, the two main texts for language standardization and other language reforms being implemented by KWF.
The Uswag seminars were held on Aug. 11 at Lyceum of the Philippines University and on Aug. 12-14 in Samal City.
On Aug. 14, marking the 24th anniversary of the founding of KWF, an Ilonggo play was staged at Western Visayas State University, while a Conference on Language and Literature, was held at Bulacan State University.
One of KWF’s most important programs is Aklat ng Bayan, which publishes new researches, studies, books using the Filipino language or about the Filipino language, in literature, social sciences, the sciences and other disciplines. Part of the program is the translation of world classics into Filipino.
On Aug. 24, 26 new titles will be launched at the National Museum, bringing the total of KWF’s Aklat ng Bayan books to 42 since the Library of Knowledge publishing program started in 2013.
Other activities for Buwan ng Wika were the slogan and poster-making contests at Western Mindanao State University held during the first week of the month.
On Aug. 19, storytelling and extemporaneous speaking competitions will take place at West Visayas State University. On Aug. 21, a contest for the best Tausug costume and a balagtasan poetic joust will be held at Mindanao State University.
On Aug. 26-27, two forums on Ortograpiyang Pambansa will be conducted at Sulu State University. It will be simultaneous with the Asean Literary Forum organized by Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (Umpil) at Ateneo de Manila.
The Asean Literary Forum will gather leading Asian regional writers to discuss the reading, writing, and sharing of our Asean literatures.
Umpil will once again closes the Buwan ng Wika fest with its annual National Writers Congress on the last week of August at Ateneo de Manila University. It will also hold the awarding of the Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas to lifetime achievers in Filipino literature (in various languages).
With the theme “E-Karapatan: Writers’ Rights Online,” the Umpil congress will also hold a forum on writers and their works in the changing context of the World Wide Web and digital technology.
For more information on Buwan ng Wika activities, please call the KWF, 7362519.