Editorial: 'Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa' promoting our Filipino People's National Language

The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) lead the Celebration of "Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa" on August 1-31, 2013, highlighted by the "Linggo ng Wika" in the first week of August, to focus on the significance of "Filipino" as the national language, as provided in the Philippine Constitution.

This year's theme is "Wika Natin ang Daang Matuwid," with five sub-themes: Wika Natin ay Wika ng Katarungan at Kapayapaan; Wika Natin ay Laban sa Katiwalian; Wika Natin ay Sandata Laban sa Kahirapan; Wika Natin ay Wika ng Mabilisan, Inklusibo, at Sustenidong Kaunlaran; and Wika Natin ay Wika sa Pangangalaga sa Kapaligiran.

Every year, government agencies and institutions of learning hold varied activities such as essay writing contests, exhibits, and parades in celebration of Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa. The first "Pambansang Kongreso sa Wika" will be held on August 19-21, 2013, at the Ateneo de Manila University, by the DepEd and KWF, in coordination with Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Commission on Higher Education, the Civil Service Commission, and the Ateneo Department of Filipino. President Benigno S. Aquino III will address the conference on August 19, 2013, the Birth Anniversary of President Manuel L. Quezon, the "Father of National Language." The "2013 Dangal ng Wikang Filipino" will be conferred on individuals who have contributed to the enrichment of the national language and other Philippine languages, and the "Gawad KWF sa Sanaysay" on winners of the annual essay-writing contest.

Celebration of the national language started in 1946, when President Sergio S. Osmeña Sr. issued Proclamation No. 35 designating March 27 to April 2 each year as "National Language Week." On September 23, 1955, President Ramon F. Magsaysay changed the date of the celebration to August 13-19 of every year in honor of the Birth Anniversary of President Manuel L. Quezon. President Corazon C. Aquino issued Proclamation No. 19 on August 12, 1988 proclaiming National Language Week on August 13-19 every year. President Fidel V. Ramos issued Proclamation No. 1041 on January 15, 1997, declaring the whole of August as "National Language Month."

The Manila Bulletin, led by its Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. Emilio T. Yap, President and Publisher Atty. Hermogenes P. Pobre, Executive Vice President Dr. Emilio C. Yap III, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Cris J. Icban Jr., Business Editor Loreto D. Cabañes, Officers and Employees Congratulate the Department of Education headed by Secretary Bro. Armin A. Luistro, Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel A. Roxas II, Commission on Higher Education Chairperson Dr. Patricia B. Licuanan, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino Chairman Virgilio S. Almario, and Civil Service Commission Chairman Dr. Francisco T. Duque III, in their collective efforts to promote the growth and flowering of "Filipino" as national language of our Republic of the Philippines and all our Filipino people. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!

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