Tagalog or Pilipino?

Last week I attended a press conference called by Statistics Canada to promote this year’s census. Once again, I raised the is­sue of language in the category ‘mother tongue’. Of the top ten mother tongue reported for Brit­ish Columbia in the 2006 census, the Philippines is ranked No. 6, next to French and German with English and Chinese in the top. The problem is you would not know that the Philippines is in this bracket if you’re not aware that ‘Tagalog’ is the language spoken by most Filipinos, as it should be. There is no Tagalog nation or country, so foreigners looking at that data would not immediately associate Tagalog as a Pilipino language.

But officially, there is a ‘Pilipino’ language which is based on the ‘Tagalog’ dialect. In an effort to unify the country, in 1937, Phil­ippine legislators enacted the National Language Institute and the use of Tagalog as the basis for Pilipino was enshrined in the 1973 and 1987 Constitution.

Here is an entry from Wikepe­dia:
In practical terms, Filipino is the formal name of Tagalog, or even a synonym of it. It is sometimes described as “Tagalog-based”, part of a political fiction that the national language is based on an amalgam of Philippine languages rather than on Tagalog alone. [4] It is usually called Tagalog within the Philippines and/or among Filipinos to differentiate it from other Philippine languages, but has come to be known as Fili­pino to differentiate it from other countries’ languages; the former implies a regional origin, the lat­ter a national. This is similar to the Spanish vs. Castilian concept (see Names given to the Spanish language)

According to Statistics Cana­da, the practice of identifying ‘Ta­galog’ resulted from the answers given by respondents in previous censuses when asked the lan­guage most spoken at home. Of­ficials say it is up to Filipino lead­ers to make Statistics Canada aware of the discrepancy.

The Naked Layton
For those die-hard NDPer’s, here’s a question I want to ask.
How many of you knew that then- city councilor Jack Layton was once ‘uncovered’ or I mean, discovered by Toronto police nude during a raid on the late mid-1990’s at the Velvet Touch Massage.
According to The Globe and Mail, when this report surfaced three days before the May 2nd elec­tion, Layton explained: “There was no wrong-doing at all. I went for a massage at a community clinic. The police advised that it wasn’t the greatest place to be, and I left and never went back.”

Just wondering if it was not a city councilor the police found, would they have given the same advice? Voting blindly?

On the same subject of the NDP, it seems Quebec voters in the Berthier – Maskinongé riding did not care whether the candidate they were voting for knew their riding or was even campaigning for their votes. On election day, Ruth Ellen Brosseau was in Las Vegas yet she handily took the seat from her near nearest rival, Guy André of the Bloc Québécois.

It looks like voters were willing to vote for the NDP and not for the candidate, which brings me to the issue of voting for a Filipino candidate. Should one support a candidate just because he or she is Filipino as some proponents argue we should.

Let’s continue the dialogue as we look forward to the next election. Email: