'Yorme' Isko dreams of showcasing Filipino language before United Nations

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 01 2019 02:37 PM

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno shares a light moment with ABS-CBN news staff.  Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Philippine capital's top official, Mayor Isko Moreno on Thursday said he will showcase the Filipino language should he be given a chance to speak before the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“Given a chance magsalita ako sa United Nations, honestly gagayahin ko yung ibang bansa na kung saan ginagamit nila ang kanilang sariling wika before the UN delegates,” Moreno said during an interview with ABS-CBN about this month’s “Buwan ng Wika.”

(Given a chance that I could speak before the United Nations, honestly, I’ll do what other nationalities do, which is to use their own language when addressing the UN delegates.)

Moreno pointed out that the delegates can easily understand him through translators.

“But gusto mo lang maging proud ka may isang dialect. Ganito ang sounds. Ganito ang diction. Ito ang tamang pagbigkas,” he said.

(You just want to be proud of your dialect. This is how it sounds like. This is the diction. This is the correct pronunciation.) 

Moreno said he is not sure if it has been done before but he has never seen anyone that “spoke in Filipino before the UN delegates in New York.”

“Sayang ano (It’s a pity),” he said, adding that other foreign nationals have been able to do this for their own country.

“If I’m going to be a candidate in Miss Universe I would speak my (language),” he said in jest. 

“That is the window of opportunity for the world to know what is a Filipino dialect,” he said. “You’re proud of your language.”

Besides his use of colorful colloquial Filipino words, Moreno has earned the admiration of Filipino language experts like national artist Virgilio Almario.

“Ako ay tuwang tuwa sa kaniya dahil gumagamit sya ng Filipino. Di tulad ng ibang pulitiko,” said Almario, who is also the chairperson of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (Commission on the Filipino Language).

(I am very delighted with him because he uses Filipino unlike other politicians.)

Almario pointed out that Filipino is the national language but most politicians still prefer to use English. He said Moreno’s use of Filipino has made it easier for the people to understand him. 

Almario said Moreno's use of colloquial terms such as “Etneb,” “Tolongges” or “Gedli” is also proof that the Filipino language is alive and continues to engage the youth in creative ways.