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Saturday, June 28, 2003

Here's the resolution for language conservation by the DEFENDERS of INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES in the ARCHIPELAGO (DILA) in which I am now a member.

DILA-philippines is a union among patriotic Ilocanos, Pangasinenses, Pampanguenos, Bicolanos, Warays, Karay-as, Ilongos, Cebuanos, and other minority ethno-linguistic groups in the Philippines (as well as Tagalogs who are sympathetic to our cause) who feel aggrieved by the language policy of their country, and whose passion in life centers around promoting their dear languages (and other aspects of their culture) and saving them from extinction. Love and pride for their languages motivated them into forging this grand alliance.


WHEREAS as early as the age of six when our children have not even attained a full vocabulary of their native tongue, much less developed any love or pride for it, they are already made to formally learn a foreign language,

WHEREAS our children derive a wrong attitude towards their native language and lose respect to it when they see it being cast aside in favor of other languages,

WHEREAS our indigenous languages have long been observed to be undergoing decadence and are deemed heading towards eventual extinction,

WHEREAS such languages are the most treasured aspect of our culture considering that without them our ethnic identity would be lost,

WHEREAS on account of our love and pride for them, we want to prevent them from dying like the three thousand languages predicted to disappear during this century,

WHEREAS the disappearance of indigenous languages is expected to be by leaps and bounds during these decades on account of modern technology,

WHEREAS cultural diversity is being encouraged in most parts of the world as it enriches and enhances a country's self esteem,

WHEREAS the conservation of languages is just as significant, if not more, than the conservation of endangered animal species on account of its direct link on people's culture,

WHEREAS in addition to this concern we have regarding language, the economic progress of most regions in the Philippines is hampered by what seems to be the fault of a present system,

NOW, THEREFORE, We, the Defenders of Indigenous Languages in the Archipelago, otherwise known by its acronym, DILA, by virtue of the authority we have vested in ourselves as speakers of such native languages, do appeal, as we hereby appeal, to our legislators for help in this worthy cause by presenting to them our main goals, viz.:

1. To make all indigenous languages the medium of instruction in the primary grades of all schools in lieu of Filipino and English. Examples: Kapampangan shall be the language of learning in all primary schools in Pampanga and other areas where the said language is native or indigenous to, and Cebuano shall be the one in Cebu and other Cebuano-speaking areas, etc.

2. To make English the medium of instruction from fifth grade through college (except in foreign language courses), in lieu of Filipino.

3. to include English and the indigenous languages of all regions as subjects in the elementary, high school and college curricula. Examples: Karay-a shall be taught as a subject in Antique, Aklanon in Aklan, Ilonggo in Iloilo, Kapampangan in Pampanga, Waray in Samar, Bicol in Camarines, Bisaya in Bohol, IIocano in La Union, Ibanag in Cagayan, Maguindanao in Cotabato, Maranao in Lanao, Igorot in Banguet, Pangasinan in western Pangasinan, Tagalog in Mindoro, etc. In addition, English shall also be included as a separate subject from first grade through college.

3. To have the Philippine territory partitioned into states with boundaries strictly according to major ethno-linguistic lines and not on population. (This is if ever we adopt a federal system of government.) Examples: Pampanga and Pangasinan shall each be made a state separate from the rest of Central and Northern Luzon; a Tagalog state shall include all the Tagalog-speaking portions of Central Luzon added to its southern base; Cebu shall cover the present Central Visayan region plus some parts of Mindanao, etc.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have hereunto set our hands this 26th day of August (coinciding with the anniversary of the Cry of Balintawak), in the year of our Lord two thousand two.

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A Tao 道 Sign

Le poèt de Pangasinan

Santiago B. Villafania, a bilingual Filipino poet who writes in English and in his native language of Pangasinan, is the author of poetry collections Bonsaic Verses (2012), Pinabli and Other Poems (2012), Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles (2007), and Balikas na Caboloan (Voices from Caboloan, 2005) published by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA) under its UBOD New Authors Series. He has been published in several countries and translated into several languages. Villafania is one of the 11 Outstanding Pangasinan conferred with the 2010 ASNA Award for the Arts and Culture (literature) during the first Agew na Pangasinan and also the 430th Foundation Day of the province on April 2010. He is a member of Philippine PEN writes a regular weekly column for the Sunday Punch.



A collection of ghazals in Pangasinan language. Order now at Amazon.com

A collection of haiku, senryu, tanka, haiga, and other poems in English and Pangasinan language. Order now at Amazon.com

“Santiago Villafania is a searcher with a seemingly insatiable curiosity and endurance. His quest has brought him to explore world poetry from points East and West. He is no stranger to sophisticated verse forms such the Sapphic strophe nor to the diverse permutations of the Japanese haiku. But he is not a formalist, he has daringly explored Asian and Western cultures in a very personal way and writes his mind with a daring, invigorating, aesthetically pleasing ease. In his poetry Villafania displays not only a breadth, but it feels very much like a breath of fresh air.” – Ute Margaret Saine, poet, critic, translator, past president of PEN Orange County and the former editor of the California Poetry Quarterly

“Villafania’s emergence as a poet is a fine moment to celebrate. Another voice from the regions augurs a richer body of writing that Filipinos can hold up as a mirror of our native culture.” – Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist for Literature

The Beloved Idiom | A Reading of Villafania’s ‘Pinabli & other poems’ by Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo

LCCN.: 2010338612

Order your copy now at CreateSpace or Amazon.com :)

"The publication of Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles by Santiago B. Villafania should be a source of rejoicing for readers of regional literatures. This second book by Pangasinan's leading poet today is impressive in both form and substance. Villafania has created 300 sonnets and 50 villanelles in his own language that attempt to reflect the primacy of native culture and return the poet to the central stage of social life."A Boost to Pangasinan Literature from Breaking Signs by Cirilo F. Bautista (Philippine Panorama, 16 Dec. 2007, pp.25-26)

"Villafania is not only a visionary poet, he is a linguistic philosopher who codifies the origin of language and culture, dissects the myths and the common beliefs of the people against the urban legends, juxtaposes the literary tradition against the modern influences by dialectically infusing them in his poetic revelation of truth."Poetic Revelation in Language and Culture by Danny C. Sillada (Manila Bulletin, 12 May 2008, pp. F1-F2)

Photos: Book Launching at the Pearl Manila Hotel, 5 Feb. 2008

"Santiago Villafania's Balikas ed Caboloan certainly has reinvigorated the anlong tradition of Pangasinan that for a long period of time suffered silence from the hands of writers more attuned to English writing. Characteristically anacbanua, Villafania's poetry echoes his predecessors and presages a promising era for young writers in Pangasinan." – Dr. Marot Nelmida-Flores

Thesis: Bilay ed Caboloan - Reconfiguration of Space using a New Historicist Lens by Ayesah Tecson

from Pangasinan 'Anlong': Oral tradition into the 21st century published in Manila Times / Sunday Magazine, March 13 & 20, 2011.

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