Young generation Filipino-Australians are losing their grasp of the Filipino language, while Tagalog language enrolments in Victoria are dwindling in numbers.
Meanwhile, Filipino migrants who spent more than 10 or 20 years in Australia are having difficulty teaching their children the use of the Filipino language. They themselves are equally guilty that although they still know the language, translation and usage are getting harder every day.
These are the concerns raised in today’s (25 August 2021) online session titled “Pambansang Wika: Puso’t Diwa ng Bansa”.With the theme “Filipino at mga Wikang Katutubong sa Dekolonisasyon ng Pag-iisip ng mga Pilipino”, the session was hosted by the Philippine Consulate of Melbourne led by Consul General Maria Lourdes Salcedo and Deputy Consul-General Anthony Mandap as part of the Philippines’s Buwan ng Wika celebration.
The Philippine Consulate staff also attended making the overall participants 32 people. Filipino language teacher Manny Asuncion talked about the history of the Filipino language and how it evolved. Panelists included Ruel “Beng” de Leon, May Red Zafra and Julieta Uy.
Participants were able to share their experiences using the language and even expressed their opinions on what to do such as conversing in Filipino in a relaxed manner with children or motivating them to speak and learn more Filipino words. It was agreed during the Zoom session that a similar initiative be held in the near future to discuss ways on how to make the use of the Filipino language relevant to the young and older Filipinos in Australia.