Cebuano 101

The use of Tagalog as a basis for Filipino drew criticism from other Philippine linguistic groups. To some extent, there was active resistance shown against its usage. For instance, the Philippine national anthem is sometimes sung in Cebuano and not in Pilipino in the island province of Cebu}. This resistance did not threaten the country's national sovereignty. On the part of the Cebuanos, this may be a mere clamor for linguistic recognition. Their clamor for recognition might be based on the following arguments:

  1. Historically, Cebu is the first and oldest City in the Philippines. Long before Manila fell into the hands of the Spanish Conquerors in the 16th century, Cebu was already an established trading and military post for the Spaniards.
  2. Linguistically, Cebuano is recently, the country's second most widely used language. During the independence, it was the first largest linguistic group. Cebuano, though originally spoken only in the island of Cebu, is now being spoken in many parts of Mindanao, the eastern part of Negros island, and Bohol.
  3. Strategically, due to its geographical location, Cebu is the alternate gateway to Manila adding significance to its language. Cebuano is the native language of more regions than Tagalog, being the language with the most native speakers in Region VII (Central Visayas), Region IX (Western Mindanao), Region X (Northern Mindanao), Region XI (Davao Region), Caraga Region, and Region XII (Southern Mindanao), and lingua franca speakers in latter 5 regions and even Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). There are also significant number of speakers in Region VI (Western Visayas, mostly in San Carlos City and neighboring areas) and Region VIII (Eastern Visayas, mostly in western Leyte and Southern Leyte). By comparison, Tagalog is the language of the majority in the NCR, Region IV-A, Region IV-B, and Region III (Central Luzon, where Kapampangan and Ilocano also dominate some areas).

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