My blog. My class.

March 28, 2007

To Hostage Or Not To Hostage

I'm not surprised (again) to see and hear breaking (bad) news back home from the Philippines. This time it's about a day care center operator taking hostage of a bus full of school children.

Children Hostage In A Philippine Bus
Children taken hostage - Photo from Channelnewsasia TV live broadcast

Whatever his reasons, it's not justifiable to take hostage of these poor young kids. He can voice out his criticisms about the government (dirty and downright stinky with all the rampant graft, red tape, and corruption) through means other than resorting these children to grave danger (guns and a hand grenade). He can use the media, TV, radio, and even the Internet (like blogging) and kill all his precious time making sure everybody knows about the ills of the Philippine government. I can definitely do that through this blog. But definitely to endanger my fellowmen is a "no-no" option! Such an option backfires towards the criticizer instead of the one he or she criticizes.

* * * *

Until now, I'm still annoyed by how the current crop of Filipinos, while speaking English, always seems to grope for words and terms and frequently mumble "ah..." while pausing for a moment to get the right English word to say out loud. The Philippine news correspondent talked to by one of Channelnewsasia TV reporters frequently say "ah..." while reporting on the hostage event.

One thing I like about the English-speaking locals here in Singapore is that, even though I hear weird accents, mispronounced words, and missing "R"s (making it quite difficult for native English-speaking foreigners to grasp at once what Singaporeans are saying for the first time), I'm amazed by how smoothly and confidently they speak English to the point that they speak each word fast and almost in one continuous breath. Their vocabulary is fantastic and they speak as if they're reading an imaginary script held before their eyes.

Unlike some (if not most) of my fellow Filipinos who still have difficulty speaking whole sentences without pausing to think for the next word and saying out aloud "ah...". It's a nationwide habit I find really disturbing and should be avoided. If in doubt, pause (avoid "ahh"s or "uhh"s) before you speak. Or better yet, learn a new English word every day and broaden one's vocabulary.

But don't worry my fellowmen, I still love the way we speak English among other Asian countries. We're the only ones who can rival the Americans and even the British in speaking English words clearly, phonetically, syllable by syllable. Heck, we can copy both Northern and Southern American accents and the renowned (bloody hell) British accents and have a field day speaking out English to anyone every where.


rmacapobre said...

the gaps between words and sentences only shows the level of speaking skill. language fluency can be divided into speaking, listening, reading and writing.

my opinion is we filipinoes do a lot better in the other aspects of fluency. i for example am doing better in reading and writing as opposed to speaking where i d find myself struggling to use the right words.

i would bet that anyone who is learning a second language has this deficiency. everyone ...

rmacapobre said...

hmm come to think of it. even native speakers have gaps. id rather put more substance in what they are saying rather than how theyre saying it. it is a matter of culture.

we ALL have accents. to make one appear superior over another is maybe just a symptom of a deeper issue. one that concerns the artificial divide between social classes.

isnt it odd that the "proper" accents are the ones used by the elite of society? (ex: singaporean way of speaking as opposed to te filipino way of speaking). if this is the truth then arent we just being discriminatory against the non elite or the common man ..

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Known to be the webmaster of the defunct Taym Matsing website (well, that's old news now...)