The Hiligaynon revolution of 2014, Part 1

NO, I DID NOT forget Buwan ng Wika (Philippine Language Month) this August.

I just thought that I have already said most of what I wanted to say about our Filipino, and Hiligaynon, languages. 

But a lot of teachers and students contacted me through social media to ask my position on language issues lately.

I always refer them to my opinions already published online.

And just for fun, I started reading again what I said in the past.


And what I have written is really a joy to read.

Because it still holds true.

Like classic literature.

And I realized, it’s been five years since I started what I called the Hiligaynon Revolution of 2014.

And I’m just thinking, a reprint of what I said wouldn’t hurt my cause.

And I’m thinking, a reprint will actually be helpful to a lot of people who did not pay attention the first time that my manifesto came out.


And so, I’m yielding my column space in the next two weeks for the Hiligaynon Revolution of 2014, a movement that sealed my reputation as the “Champion of the Hiligaynon Language”.

I am the Champion of the Hiligaynon language not because I won some language boxing match, although I’ve won that in literary contests, too.

But mostly because I love the Hiligaynon language so much that I continue to study it, engineer it, and influence it.

Most importantly, as a living icon of the language, I bring Hiligaynon so much honor, pride, and dignity as among, if not its definitive, most decorated writer in the 21stcentury.

I have created a Foundation dedicated to the language from way back in 2012—The Peter Solis Nery Foundation for Hiligaynon Literature and the Arts, Inc.

And the Foundation’s expressed mission involves the promotion, propagation, and preservation of the Hiligaynon language.


Here then, is the Hiligaynon Revolution of 2014 that I have authored, in a simple Q & A:


What is the Hiligaynon Revolution of 2014?

It is a call for a new system in the Hiligaynon language advocated by Peter Solis Nery to advance Hiligaynon for the third millennium and the 21stcentury.

And to accommodate the demands of the globally aware generation. 

I published my manifesto on “The Hiligaynon for the New Millennium and the Globally Aware Generation” over the Internet on June 12, 2014, the 116thanniversary of Philippine Independence Day.


What changes do you advocate?

Let’s just start with two. 

First, the adoption of the 28-letter alphabet after the new Filipino alphabet of 1987. 

And second, the omission of the diacritics or stress marks. 

I believe that when we have adopted these two proposals, we can truly simplify Hiligaynon for the new and future generations. 

The 28-letter alphabet is liberally inclusive, and opens up the language to greater possibilities including new concepts and terminologies. 

The omission of stress marks, already the trend anyway, will prove to make Hiligaynon even more user-friendly. 

There will be additional changes and guidelines, but at the moment, these two should be popularized with priority. 

These should be the landmark changes of my language revolution.


Why 28 letters?

Why not? 

For Hiligaynon to survive in the third millennium, it needs to adapt, borrow foreign words, and maybe invent new words for concepts that we don’t already have. 

Globalization is a 1980’s idea that came with technological innovations including the Internet and shipping containers. 

I think we should call it “globalization” instead of “globalisasyon”. 

I also think we should call a “cellphone” a “cellphone” and not “selpon” or “silpun”.

Hiligaynon users are not illiterate.

So why should we dumb down our Hiligaynon spelling? 

To spell properly, we need the 28 letters. 


Why drop the stress marks?

Because other than the French people, and other Europeans, nobody really uses them anymore. 

And if we use them in Filipino or Hiligaynon, we are using them differently from what they are in their globally accepted use. 

We are not up to the international standard. 

Look at the French stressed word “café” for coffeehouse, for example. 

It is correctly pronounced /kafey/. 

If you follow the Filipino reading of that stress mark on the letter ‘e’, you’ll read it as /kafeh/. 

Now, if I want Hiligaynon to be respected alongside other languages in the international community, I would really push for a Hiligaynon that an international community can understand in terms of common stress marks. 

If our accent marks, called diacritics, are confusing to the international users of the same marks, I just think that they should go, and make our lives simpler. (To be continued/PN)


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