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I Choke on Taglish

I remember my first TV interview.

I was not prepared to talk in Tagalog. First of all, MOMS is an english word so I thought the interview was in English. When I saw the script, I was horrified.

I asked the writer: So I have to reply in Tagalog? I don’t speak Tagalog so well.

It can be Taglish. the production staff said

Taglish is just as worse. So throughout the interview, I struggled for the words, figuring out what the Tagalog word for grief….feelings…etcetera.

Suffice it to say, I had a Take 2.


It was a pain to speak in Taglish. My first language is English (Blame my parents) and spoke Cebuano with my peers. I spoke two languages as a child and never mixed cebuano and English in one sentence. When my daughter was once an active blogger, she received a deluge of criticisms for being more fluent in English. At least she can still speak in Tagalog. Shouldn’t we choose the first language that is best comfortable to communicate?

How come Cebuanos don’t mix Cebuano and English in one sentence? There is no such thing as ““Cebualish”“. People would gush with admiration at how we, Cebuanos didn’t have Cebuano accents whenever we spoke English. The Cebuanos from UP or Ateneo studied from top-notch high schools in Cebu with the same high standards as those of exclusive schools in Manila. So what made the difference? It was only much later that I found out that the taglish originated from the ““yayas”

Yet, I think it is really wrong to speak in Taglish so I forced myself to learn to speak Tagalog. So far so good especially if it is a radio interview since I have a cheat list in front of me and I can concentrate on my train of thoughts.

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