In celebration of the National Language Month this August, the Cultural Affairs and Tourism Development Office (CATDO) and the Museo Valenzuela Foundation have organized a nationalistic symposium for Valenzuelano educators and students dubbed as, “Filipino Ako. Filipino ang Wika Ko. Filipinas ang Bansa Ko," facilitated by the Head Commissioner of the Institute of National Language Virgilio S. Almario.
Better known by his pen name, RIO ALMA,Virgilio S. Almario is a Filipino National Artist, who is one of the proponents on the use of the new Ortograpiyang Pambansa, which explains not only the functions of the 28 letters of the new alphabet but also recognizes other peculiarities of our native languages.
Orthography is a standardized system for using a particular writing system to write a particular language, which also includes rules of spelling. Under the bases of general rules of Ortograpiyang Pambansa, the eight new letters in the Filipino alphabet (c, f, j, ñ, q, v, x, z) are used in (1) proper nouns (e.g. Vladimir), (2) scientific terms (e.g. carbon dioxide), and (3) hard to spell words (e.g. flores de mayo). In view of the proper noun element, Almario stressed that it posits more consistency to call the country of Filipinos as “Filipinas” not “Pilipinas.”
Mayor REX Gatchalian was thankful that Valenzuela City had the opportunity to be enlightened of this crucial linguistic concept. “I share the same view that our national language is our best instrument to make ourselves united to weather all the challenges that our country may face. Hence it is just proper to bank on an advocacy that could elevate our dignity and pride as Filipinos,” he said.
The annual commemoration of Buwan ng Wika is pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1041 s. 1997, which is aimed at promoting the significance of the Filipino language. This year’s national slogan is, “Wika Natin ang Daang Matuwid,” which is in tune with President PNoy Aquino's famous tag line, “Tuwid Na Daan.”
Almario announced the possibility that Valenzuela City would be featured on the next celebration of Buwan ng Panitikan which would be held on April 2014.
The notable Filipino scholars who attended the symposium were former UP Department of History Chairperson Dr. Evelyn Miranda, Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino Commissioner Jerry Gracio, Dean of the Philippine High School for the Arts Vim Nadera, and DepEd Valenzuela Filipino Supervisor Rosarie Carlos.