|Manuel L. Quezon, picture from Wikipedia|
Thursday, August 18, 2011
The Quezon Legacy
This week is 'Linggo ng Wika' which usually coincides with the birthday of Manuel L. Quezon. Quezon is the commonwealth president and considered the father of Filipino language. It was in his term as president when they adapted the Tagalog dialect as national language. But do you know the real story why Manuel Quezon suddenly decided that the Filipinos should have a national language? It goes a little something like this.
It was said that when Pres. Quezon was in office, he had a lady secretary, hailing from the south, who did his daily schedule. One day, after finishing a meeting early, he asked the secretary if he had any other appointments lined up. She answered him and what the president understood from her was 'the PRESS is here already waiting'. Quezon tried to recall if he had recollection of any meeting with the PRESS, but since he had free time, he decided to oblige with an impromptu meeting. He told his secretary, 'okay, let the PRESS come in'.
The secretary went out of the room. After a few moments she came back ushering the visitor in. President Quezon took a glance at the 'PRESS'. What he saw was a thin lanky man garbed in holy robes carrying a small bible. He realized that what his secretary meant was 'PRIEST'. But because she had a crisp Visayan accent, what he understood was press. He could only chuckle in his mind regarding the wrong pronunciation but swore that Filipinos should have a more definitive language to consider ours. I do not know the details why they chose Tagalog as dialect to adopt. But the rest of course is already history, contributing to us having a language which we could call our own.