Bolstering and Distinguishing Young Filipino Writers in Combatting Educational Crisis

Bolstering and Distinguishing Young Filipino Writers in Combatting Educational Crisis

“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” ¯- Ludwig Wittgenstein

The abiding advocacy and constant utilization of the English language as a medium of learning instructions in almost all disciplines in the Philippine educational institutions’ curricula have manifested highrate of literacy among its populace not to mention the significant role of our native language. As a favorable result, majority can read and write in both our native language and in English as our second language. Philippine schools, colleges and universities were able to produce fine speakers of the English languageas well as writers. With this constant pedagogical immersions to English as a second language, many Filipino learners are linguistically incline which maneuvers the emergence of their English literary skills. The country has produced Filipino writers like Francisco Arcellana, F. Sionil José ,Virginia R. Moreno ,Michelle Cruz Skinner ,Ingrid Chua-Go, Gilda Cordero-Fernando ,LualhatiBautista,Carlos Bulosan, ZoiloGalang,N. V. M. Gonzalez, Edilberto K. Tiempo,KerimaPolotanTuvera,Nick Joaquin,Alejandro R. Roces,Bienvenido Santos among other early and contemporary writers.

Theonset of Philippine Literary writers in English in the early 20th century tells that literary geniuses thrive amongFilipinos. However, the proliferation of early literary writers today is incomparable in the past which is an alarming issue to be addressed by scholars inthe field of language,mass communication andliterature. There is a decline of interests, contents and depth among Filipino writers under varied genres such as poetry, short story essay, novel and other works in the print media that requires the mastery of both languages. What hampers the development of the written literary inclinations among Filipinos today? Perhaps,it is due to constant changes in our educational systems associated with a changing innovatively –inspired environment yielding changing curriculum and evolving technology which confuses individual learners.

Curriculum of learning are altered due to innovative ideas that displace old learning contents. Philippine basic curriculum currently focuses more onEnglish grammar than literature courses attributed by the fact that College basic education has been trimmed down into few subjects, not to mention that Filipinosubjects incollege that can enhance literarywriting were also reduced. This is a result of fast turn- overs of responsibilities among government officials in the central offices that form our educational system wherein policy makers have different views with regards to the youth’s educational development. Government authoritative views on policies are beingformulated changing the former educational system. With the newly- formulated policies framed for implementation, the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) automatically conform with the mandates despite majority’s contrary views over executive approval.

Secondly,beyond the control of school administrations; changing technology isone resilient factor. The non-stop growth of gadgets that give way to social media and through the cyberspace are the main focus of learners.Their interests are divertedinto thetime-wasting and superficial content of the internet rather than finding time toread and write for the purpose of increasing creativity.
But despite these factors that hamper students’ literary involvement in using Filipino and English language as channels for the proliferation of creative writing dispositions, two possible solutions can materialize. These are reinforcement and recognitionof their communication and literature-oriented interests and works.

Reinforcement is a processof conditioning and immersing to communication and literary motivatedstudents through a curriculum that caters to their responsiveness. It is proposed that the early stage of their college education should have a curriculum that contains language, media and literature subjects offered as one general course with specific subjects such as : Filipino as a native language, English as a second language -withmore grammar subjects including but not limited to the four macro skills in the language supported by other additional subjects like expository writing, public speaking, oral interpretation, editing and writing, news and feature writing, news and information gathering, column writing, editorial cartooning, theater arts, investigative reporting, development communication, weather forecasting and other related forms of correspondence education, Mass Communication research and media Technology. For literary studies, the need for introduction to literature, literary criticisms,Philippine literature, American literature, British literature, Asian literature, Survey of world literature that comprises early and contemporary literatures on studies of non-fiction and fiction, varied genre of literature like: the short story, novels, poetry, drama and mythology.

Additionally, another type of an effectivereinforcementis the recognition of their earlyliterary works byaward giving- bodies. It is a selfless responsibility of every educator in this field to motivate young promising writers by encouraging them to submit their varied category – written works in recognition to their writing prowess of which few are mentioned herein. The Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature (CPMAL) which was established in the early 1950’s caters to four major divisions of literary works: English language division, Filipino language division, youth division and regional language divisions. These divisions cater to varied genres of literature that includes: short story, short story for children,essay, Adult poetry, and poetry for children,one-act play, full-lengthplay, and a Filipino language screenplay. This literary award –giving group is the most theprestigious-award giving -organization in the country and it welcomes submissions for the competition inthe early quarter of the year annually. Another award -giving organization for Filipinos is the Global Filipino Literary Awards (GFLA) for literature that recognizes the published works of Filipinos around the world for developing contemporary Filipino literature. Furthermore, the National Book Award is governed by National Book Development Board (NBDB) and the Manila Critics Circle (MCC) in acknowledgement to the published books of any Filipino writer in English or in Filipino languages.The award categories are: cartoons, Children’s literature, comic book,cultural criticism, documentation, Drama, diction ary, cookbook, editing, education, environment.

To add, Free Press Literary Awards (FPLA) awards are presentedby the Free Press Magazine (FPM) to credit the standard literary works. Most of its literary discoveries arebeing used by Philippines universities and Colleges as springboards for grammar,reading or in literary studies.

Moreover, the Filipino Reader’s Choice Awards (FRCA) is another entity that honors most widely-read books published in the country by Filipinos. It mainly aims to enhance the knowledge and to appreciate theinclinations ofwriters for the development of thecountry’s bookindustry. This body recognizes published books in varied categories which are fiction in English and in Filipino , Fiction in the combination of English and Filipino, romance in English and Filipino, romance combining both languages, fiction anthology, young adult fiction, children’s picture book,comics and graphic novels, and collections of poetry. Finally, the Nick Joaquin Literary Awards (NJLA) through the Philippine Graphic Magazine awards poetry and fictionworks published in a set period of time in particular months specified by its editorial board.

Writers aren’t born, they are made. This is supported by the idea that education has much rudiments to offer every learner before he effectively applies. The ultimate way to support their craft is to build a conducive environment for appropriate instructions governed by a curriculum duly mandated by the state that captivatingly interplays with their interests. It is a great credence that when we recognize others’ skills,we are at the same time reinforcing their abilities through the rewards that they deserve. Many among our Filipino students, who embrace the power of printed words to educate, could be promising writers for national and global endeavors.


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