‘Language of peace’ focus of national language summit in Bukidnon

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 6 Feb) – The 2014 National Summit and training workshops of the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino (KWF) will be held in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon on February 13 to 15 with focus on the “language of peace.”

The commission cited about 100 representatives from indigenous peoples (IPs) and cultural communities from tribes around the country invited to attend the summit.

Dr. Lourdes G. dela Torre, summit coordinator, told MindaNews the different tribes embody the different languages and dialects that serve as bases for Filipino as a national language. She stressed in the radio program Piniyalan 2014 that airs on DXDB-Malaybalay that Filipino is not and should not be dominantly Tagalog.

She said that among the reasons why Bukidnon was chosen as venue for the summit was the fact that the province is among the first in the country to install mandatory indigenous people representatives in the local legislative councils from the barangay, towns, cities, and provincial levels.

Those representatives from the provinces, she said, were among those invited.

Among those expected to speak in the summit include Undersecretary Jose Lorena of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) – Bangsamoro Peace and Development, who will give updates on the status of the peace talks.

Gregg G. Villanueva, head of Pasagi ta Tankulan, will also present the peace pact holders of the IPs.

Commissioners from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao will present the state of the indigenous peoples in their areas.

Commissioner Datu Cosme Lambayon, of the Northern and Western Mindanao NCIP areas, will present the state of IPs in Mindanao.

Dr. Ofelia Durante of the Davao City-based Mindanao Peace Institute is expected to present on “Peace education: Content and Pedagogy”. Dr. Raymundo Rovillos, chancellor of the Baguio campus of the University of the Philippines, will talk about language and peace.

KWF Commissioner Jimmy Fong and Dr. Geraldine Villaluz of University of San Carlos in Cebu City will share about “Experiences of Indigenous Peoples on Language and Peace.” Dr. Rolando Tolentino, dean of the College of Public Communication of UP-Diliman will deal with “Language and Culture.”

The opening program features a panel discussion on the vision for language and peace in the country. The panelists are National Artist Virgilio Almario, KWF chair; National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) chair Felipe de Leon Jr; Undersecretary Francisco Fernandez of the Department of Interior and Local Government; NCIP chair Leonor Oralde-Quintayo; and Dr. Sukarno Tanggol, chancellor of the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology.

During the summit, organizers will launch the KWF’s Kandungan ng mga Wika at Kultura, a center for language and culture located inside the ancestral domain of the Higaonons in Iligan City.

Senators Loren Legarda and Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino III are scheduled to open and close the summit, respectively. It will be held at the Kaamulan Open Theatre in this city. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)