Basbas ti Bayanggudaw


Sapay koma ta ti dana ti biag ket awagannaka tapno ita kasta ket maaddaanka iti regta nga agdaliasat manipud rugi ti bigat agingga iti kaltaang ti rabii. 

Sapay koma ta ti lipit ket di mangted kenka iti panagbuteng tapno iti laksid dagiti agsasamusam a karit ket agtalinaed kenka ti kappia iti pakinakem. 

Sapay koma ta ti baresbes ket danggayanna ti kada panagaskaw tapno iti kasta ket dimonto marikna ti pannakautoy, ngem ketdi sitatallugodka nga umaskaw pay agingga a matuntonmo ti naikari kenka a balligi. 

Sapay koma ta iti panagsublim iti naggapuam, madanonamto pay laeng ti isu met laeng nga espiritu a pinanawam, ket iti daytoy baro nga engkuentro, adda pakasaritaan a masangal.

Sapay koma ta iti panagkawilim ket ti mapabaro a tured tapno iti sumaruno nga awag ti kamino real ti pannakigasanggasat ket ti masindadaan a panagwen iti baro a karit. 

Sapay koma ta kasta, sapay koma ta kasta. 

(Partuat nga araraw para kadakayo amin, A Solver Agcaoili, Hon, HI, Abril 28, 2013).



Ilokano Banquet Speech April 27, 2013


Gagayyem ken kakabsat, ken aminen a mamati iti aramidmi iti Programa ti Ilokano iti Universidad iti Hawaii:


Iti nagan dagiti manursuro iti daytoy a programa, alaek daytoy a gundaway tapno padanonenkayo iti daytoy a taripnong, ken tapno koma makikammayetkayo iti panangpadayawmi kadagiti amin nga agad-adal iti daytoy a programa, agraman iti panangbigbigmi iti scholarship nga ituytuyang met laeng daytoy a programa.


Ti puso ti maysa a programa kas iti programatayo ket dagiti estudiante, ket ti kararua daytoy ket ti komunidad.


Iti panangbigbig iti kastoy, tinawen nga ang-angayenmi ti bangkete tapno iti kasta ket aglilinnangen ken agkakammayet dagiti estudiante ket ti komunidad tapno agpada a masaksianda dagiti aramid nga ilunglungalongmi.


Importante unay daytoy a panagtararipnong.


Babaen iti daytoy ket agbalintayo a saksi dagiti nagapuanan dagiti estudiantetayo iti unos ti maysa a tawen.


Babaen iti daytoy ket agbalintayo a testigo kadagiti panggep a rumbeng unay nga iringpas wenno maisayangkat iti wagas a naimballigian.


Babaen iti daytoy ket makitatayo dagiti nagapuanan met dagiti manursuro tapno iti kasta ket ikintalda kadagiti adalanda dagiti kinapudno iti kultura ken lengguahe a rumbeng unay a maiyallatiw kadagitoy nga adalan.


Ngarud ita a rabii, kaduaendakami tapno iti kasta ket bigbigenmi ti nagpaiduma a laing dagitoy nga adalan, ken tapno iti kasta ket makipagrag-otayo amin kadakuada iti panagserra manen iti maysa a tawen a panagadalda.


Adu kadagitoy dagiti agturposen iti daytoy ket ngarud kaduaendak koma tapno basbasantayo daytoy naisangsangayan a panangleppasda iti panagadalda. Sinanamakami a kaduaendakaminto manen iti sumaruno a bangkete. Naimbag a rabiiyo amin.  

*Japanese Cultural Center, April 27, 2013





(Talk at the UH Maui College Drama Festival, April 26, 2013, Maui, HI)


I come here in solidarity with you and your action of staging the best of what you can offer to our various communities of Maui.


I come here in solidarity with you even as you prove to us that learning a language and the culture that goes with that language is worth your time.


I come here in solidarity with you even as you will show to us that the language and culture of the Ilokano people in the island of Maui, in the University of Hawaii Maui College, and in the state of Hawaii is worth all our time, and that to remember what we are about to lose, and which we ought not to lose, is an ethical obligation, and thus, non-negotiable.


For a language is always this: it is the home of the human soul, and in the belief system of the Ilokano people, this human soul is four and not one.


Language of any kind is never a tool.


It should not be regarded as a tool.


It is for this reason that I come to you today to become a witness to this kind of work that you are doing to make it sure that the Ilokano language will never go away, will never be swept under the rug, so to say.


Our Hawaii demographics tells you one empirical fact: that about one-fourth of the total state population now is Filipino, and of this number, about 90 percent are Ilokanos and Ilokano-descended.


We are a huge number, indeed.


But we have not been able to plumb the power of that number.


We have not been able to understand that that number could become a political force, or an energy that could be utilized to empower our people, and to equip our communities with capacity-building skills.


We have not been able to realize full well that numbers speak volumes, and those volumes could be turned into something better for our people especially needing our attention and care, our assistance and help. These are our people who are falling in the cracks, our people who are being left behind.  


Even as we praise our abilities to increase our population, we do not yet fully know that this increase in population could be something more than fertility, but fertility of the human imagination, of our creative potential.


This is what we want to achieve in the offering of alternative but mainstream course of your academic life such as these Ilokano courses you are taking up at this time.


For when you get out of this University, you will realize soon that you will need all these linguistic and cultural competency skills in your work places.


Our people are in these workplaces.


Our people are in laboring it out in the world of work, and our presence will affirm them.


We need to recognize what power we can share with each other when we recognize each other.


Through this drama festival, we are able to demonstrate that we mean business with our duty to do it right, to do what is right, for our people, and for our communities.


Good evening to all of you.



The Virtues of Diverstiy, Part 2




Aurelio Solver Agcaoili



Second of a Series


(An excerpt of a talk delivered at the 2012 Knights of Rizal Regional Conference in Honolulu)



The story of the Philippine State draws its narrative energy from so many sources.


One of these sources is the quest for statehood of at least four European kingdoms such as England, France, Germany, and Spain.


It is a classic story of kings, queens, and monarchs lording it over the public lives of people.


It is a classic story of people coming together and putting an end to the excesses of these rulers claiming ‘authority from God’ even getting mandate from the god of their own making.


Once the people realized that this kind of a life could not go on forever, the people revolted, called for a new of life, and eventually put an end to the fairy tales of queens and princesses.


This is the 19th century that gave rise to the state, away from the kingdom.


This is the same 19th century that we were drawing our initial idea of what a state is all about.


Rizal, in his education in Europe, got the last glimpse of the medieval world that produced these excesses.


But Rizal also came to see the beginnings of a new political reality—the beginning of the state.


In light of this reality, we now come to understand that the state, as the political instrument of public governance, as a political apparatus, is a new invention.


As a new invention, it must answer the questions of people, questions that are old, and questions that are new.


With the coming of the Americans, we inaugurate another energy from which we draw the conception of a Philippine state.


It is the energy of American independence, declaring a separation from Mother England, the energy of the fourth of July.


It is energy from a revolution, from the loss of lives and limbs in order to reclaim liberty for an oppressed people.


That is the classic American story that would go to the Philippines, exported by well-meaning conquerors that were once oppressed by English masters an ocean away.


The exportation of that idea of a democracy gave rise to the Philippine state.


We see here therefore that long road to the Philippine state, from the visions of a free Philippines at the Malolos Congress of 1898 to the Commonwealth of 1936, with Quezon giving what could be regarded as the State of the Nation report to the United States.


It could have been good, with the Philippine Independence finally happening in 1946.


But we need to ask for more.


The seal of the United States contains a phrase, not codified, but stands as one of the fundamental principles of a federated country: “E pluribus unum.”


The phrase is simple: “Out of the many, one.”


There is also a motto by one of the cultural advocates of diversity in the United States, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages that says about “many languages, one voice.”


For those who knew what President Ferdinand Marcos wanted done with his experiment about a New Society for all, we have his “one country, one thought, one language”—of what purports to be his Utopia for a new Philippines: “isang bansa, isang wika, isang diwa” (“one nation, one language, one thought”).


Somewhere in time, when Ricardo Nolasco was chair of the Commission on the Filipino Language, he pursued what he called “maraming wika, isang bansa”—or many languages, one country.


And here comes Jose Rizal, with his declaration, each time misused by rabid nationalists and equally rabid and narrow-minded leftists: “And taong di magmahal sa sariling wika ay higit pa sa hayop at malansang isda.” (“Those who do not love their own language are likened to a rotten fish.”)


That declaration, coming from purportedly from his poem written when he young, “Sa Aking mga Kababata” (“To My Peers”), translates freely as “The person who does not love his own language is worse than an animal, or a rotten fish.”


There are two problems here: one, a misuse of this phrase when it refers to Tagalog/Pilipino/Filipino as the national language, and two, an attribution of the same poem to Rizal as the author when internal and external evidences point another as a possible author and cannot be Rizal. In either way, we are using a wrong evidence to prop up an idea that justifies the turning into the Philippines as a single-language speaking country. 


If we look at these examples, the uncodified motto of the US clearly establishes a precedent for the American conception of diversity and pluralism.


Clearly, we see: we are many, and sure we are, but we are one too.


 FAO/April 2013

The Virtues of Diversity, Part 3




Aurelio Solver Agcaoili



Third of a Series


(An excerpt of a talk delivered at the 2012 Knights of Rizal Regional Conference in Honolulu)




Of course, our American history teaches us that somewhere along the way, between 1776 and today, we have substantially failed to pursue this motto to its end.


The inequities—and there are a lot of them—continues to haunt us in the United States of America.


But the haunting is a result of not fulfilling and pursuing an ideal, or not having one.


There is an ideal—and the ideal has remained as the force that drives the US into a continuing reassessment of itself vis-à-vis its goal to achieve diversity and pluralism.   


In the Philippines, with the inauguration of the Marcosian idea of a New Society, as if that society being flaunted was really new, with more promise than pursuit, with more rhetoric than result, the statist notion of a ‘national language’ came about, a notion carried over from a Commonwealth conception of an idealized ‘national language’.


If we read the complete proceedings of the 1934-1935 Constitutional Assembly, we see clearly the machinations of leaders, the conspiracy of those in power in order to bring about not a state marked by diversity and plurality but a state marked by hegemony.


This hegemony is plain and simple the handiwork of a cabal of impostors purporting to act in the name of a people in order to unite them.


We might as well call the puppetry of the grievous kind, with one hand swearing allegiance to everything American and English, and the other declaring Tagalog as the basis of a national language, even if the spirit of the 1935 Constitution had another thing in mind.


And the formula for that unity is not the delivery of the public goods and services, but the delivery of a false panacea of all the social ills of a country.


That panacea was simple—and meant for those with the simple mind: if we had but one and only one language, we would develop, we would go the route of progress, and we would be united.


That panacea is the concoction of a ‘national language’ from a brew of formulas that are both passé, unproductive, and ahistorically grounded.


Include here that that panacea is at best culturally callous and insensitive, as it overlooked the fact that the Philippines is a country of many nations, many peoples, many languages, and many cultures.


So here we go.


The 1935 Constitution gave birth to Tagalog as a national language.


The Marcos Constitution of 1974 gave birth to Pilipino.


And the Cory Aquino 1987 Constitution gave birth to Filipino.


We have here three layers of Constitutional deception that is codified, making us believe that indeed, the way to progress is in the speaking of single language, making us believe that Rizal was right in telling us that we need to love our own native language otherwise, otherwise…


We have constitutional guarantees that inaugurated monolingualism, monoculturalism, and homogenization.


We have constitutional guarantees that paved the way to Tagalogization under the guise of one nation, one state, and one country.


Of course, we are misquoting Rizal.


Of course, we are interpreting his intentions and his meaning out of context.


Rizal, we must remember, was speaking in Spanish.


His thought was from Spanish.


His conception of the world was from Spanish.


He was telling this thing to himself, even as he was giving the same admonition to what he called his “kababata” or his peers. Or so we think, if we continue to believe in the lie that he wrote those lines in that poem wrongly attributed to him.


But we must remember that he was Tagalog.


He should have spoken in Tagalog.


He should have thought from Tagalog.


But he did not—or most of the time, he did not.


Part of the proof is that when he began writing his third novel, the Makamisa, he could only start it, with a handful of pages, with a handful of chapters, but was practically left unfinished.


Part of the reason was that he realized he was incompetent in deploying his very own Tagalog language.


If his poem’s admonition is a premonition to what he would become, that failure in finishing Makamisa is a proof that indeed, we need to love our native language, the language in which we are born into.


(To be continued.)/ FAO, May 2013




  • Maysa a tungtongan maipapan iti Lengguahe nga Ilokano



    Quintin Mariano Hello kabsat Aurelio Solver Agcaoili ken amin a kakabsat nga Ilokano naimbag nga orastayo. Umuna, naitaoak a puro nga Ilokano uray no saanko a naadal iti pormal a panagsursuro. Naipatawid laeng kaniak babaen ti pannakisasao iti inaldaw-aldaw ken panag basak iti Bannawag nga isu ti nakaadalan ti kaaduan a kailiantayo. Uray no kasta adu dagiti naggigidiatan ti maysa ken maysa uray pay iti uneg ti maysa a pamilya. Ti kangrunaan ken kadakkelan ket ti panagaramat iti NGA ken A ken ti TI ken ITI. Kadagidi nabasbasak nga imprenta ken sursurat dagiti tattao nadlawko met ti panaggigidiat ti panagaramat dagiti nadumaduma a tattao kadagiti letra a mabalin kadi nga ibagatayo a kabubukodantayo wenno bulod kas koma kadagiti letra C, F ken Q malaksid iti pannakaaramatda a kas nagan wenno a sao maibaet laeng iti bayat ti panagsao wenno panagsurattayo. Kunak no puroak nga Ilokano Apo ngem nakaad-adu dagiti bokabularyo nga iburburaymo a saanko pay nasalsalaw ket no dadduma agmalangaak no sadinno a parte ti Kailukuan ti nakaar-aramatanda. Ket ita kunkunatayo nga ipaadal wenno adalentayo ti bukodtayo a dila nga isu ti Ilokano, adu dagiti mapukaw ta no surutentayo dagiti kabaruanan wenno agdama a pannakisarita wenno panagsurat maiyaw-awan dagiti immun-una a pannarita ta kas met la buriken ti pagsasaotayo. Idi panawenko Pilipino ti maar-aramat ket ita Filipino metten ta nagluposen ti pagsasaotayo ditoy ilitayo a Pilipinas. Saan kadi a rumbeng a sukatantayo met ti sombolo ti panagmaymaysa ti bukodtayo a pagsasao ditoy Kailokuan iti “Baro nga Ilokano”? Numanpay narigat para kadagiti dadduma ta agsasabali ngarud dagiti nakayanakan a dila ditoy Kailukuan, iti panagtaray dagiti tawen ket agsimbengto met laeng. Uray dagiti mannursuro ket agrigatda met aglalo kadagiti sabali ti pagsasaona.

    3 hours ago · Unlike · 1


    Aurelio Solver Agcaoili Patgen nga Apo Quintin Mariano: agpayso ti kunayo. No kitaentayo ti diakroniko a panagdur-as, daytay evolusion ti pagsasao nga Ilokano, adda makitatayo a makunkuna a historikal a muhon: umuna, pre-Kastila (a masaripatpatan kadagiti dokumento a Kastila a mangibagbaga iti no asinnotayo, ken ti napasamak a pannakaperdi daytoy a kinaasinno); maikadua, ti kinkastila/mara-Castila a pannakaisurat, a simmurot iti alfabeto Romano/Romanisado a pagsasao nga Español (a naggapu met iti Latino); maikatlo, ti Tagalogisado a panawen, a panawen ti panangsurot ti Bannawag iti gramatika/ortografia ti Tagalog (a nagbalin a ‘kasla’ wadan ti nakasurat nga Ilokano); ken ti maisingsingasing a kontemporaneo a wadan/padron nga ar-aramatenmi iti Universidad iti Hawaii a kas wagas ti panangisuromi iti digri nga Ilokano (dakami laeng, iti entiro a lubong, ti mangisaysayangkat iti kastoy, ket awanen ti pakaalaan pay iti digri no di laeng iti Universidadmi). Gapu kadagiti padastayo, ken kasta metten iti rekisito ti pannakapadur-as ti disiplina iti panagadal nga akademiko iti Ilokano, ken gapu kadagiti rekisito ti profesion a pakaibilangan ti kasanayan iti Ilokano, masapul ditoy ti nainsirmataan a panangsirig iti direksion ti panagadal iti Ilokano, a banag nga ar-aramidenmi. Ditoy lugarmi, dakami dagiti binigbig ti federal a gobierno, kasta metten ti estado/lokal a gobierno tapno isayangkatmi dagiti nagduduma a servisio a pakasapulan iti profesionalisado a kasanayan iti Ilokano. Adu dagitoy: nagkaadu, nga iti pattapattami ket saan a mapaspasamak iti Filipinas. Saankon a binsabinsaen dagitoy: umayen ti panangibagami a saanen a masnop ti panangiyalikakatayo iti Ilokano iti romantisado a wagas no di ket importante a kitaentayo a ti pagsasao nga Ilokano ket mabaelanna ti akemna nga agbalin a mangibabaet (nga instrumento) iti pannakaipeksa iti padas a pangtao, ken iti sirmata a masapul a mamagkammayet kadatayo. Ngarud, masapul a makita nga agkamtud ti wagas/padron/modelo a dati. Ngarud, masapul ditoy ti kontemporaneo a panangsirmata no sadinno ti pagturongan daytoy a pagsasao–panagsirmata a nakakugnal iti padas ken arapaap, ken iti rekisito ti profesionalisado a diskurso. Saan a barengbareng daytoy nga aramid, isu a masapul ditoy ti umno ken umisu a pannakatinong, ken ti panangbigbig kadagiti aramid dagiti agsuksukimat, saan laeng a no ania ti kayat ti kaaduan. Naimbag nga orasyo, apo.


    HON, HI, Abril 26, 2013





Sapay koma ta babaen iti daytoy a basingkawel ket agbunga iti adu a bannawag a dumteng iti biagtayo. 

Sapay koma ta babaen iti daytoy a basingkawel ket makapaginam-ammotayo a nasayaat ket babaen iti daytoy a panaginam-ammo ket makastrektayo iti sangrado a biag ti maysa ken maysa. 

Sapay koma ta babaen iti daytoy a basingkawel ket madiskubretayo ti kabaelan ti maysa ken maysa ket babaen iti dayta a pannakadiskubre ket lallalo nga ipaayantayo ti maysa ken maysa iti panagrespetar ken pammateg.

Sapay koma ta babaen iti daytoy a basingkawel ket makatulongtayo iti maysa ken maysa tapno iti kasta ket aglaplapusanan dagiti kararuatayo iti panangilala iti sabali. 

Sapay koma ta kasta. 

(Partuat nga araraw ni A Solver Agcaoili, Hon, HI, Abril 24, 2013)
Sapay koma ta babaen iti daytoy a basingkawel ket makapaginam-ammotayo a nasayaat ket babaen iti daytoy a panaginam-ammo ket makastrektayo iti sangrado a biag ti maysa ken maysa. 

Sapay koma ta babaen iti daytoy a basingkawel ket madiskubretayo ti kabaelan ti maysa ken maysa ket babaen iti dayta a pannakadiskubre ket lallalo nga ipaayantayo ti maysa ken maysa iti panagrespetar ken pammateg.

Sapay koma ta babaen iti daytoy a basingkawel ket makatulongtayo iti maysa ken maysa tapno iti kasta ket aglaplapusanan dagiti kararuatayo iti panangilala iti sabali. 

Sapay koma ta kasta. 

(Partuat nga araraw ni A Solver Agcaoili, Hon, HI, Abril 24, 2013)