funny that you posted that piece on “amanung sisuan” around the same time that i’ve been ribbing our friend P for the language fiasco involving a billboard that his employer put up in pampanga recently (see attached photo for reference, and try to figure out what’s wrong with the copy).
the thing is, there’s a central luzon team that their marketing guys could have easily checked with regarding the accuracy of the words used in the ad. i’m not sure if the agency actually did a language check, or if they did, obviously they asked the wrong people. (i have an idea who it is. when i told him about it, P replied “bakit? nanung mali doon?” ha.ha.)
even funnier is how our friend found out about the mistake. he was tagged on this photo in facebook by our former english teacher who now works for a regional tv station. as you know, the cultural revival and preservation movement is quite strong in these parts (and rightly so, given our rich heritage) and the kapampangans (like the visayan-speaking people) are especially proud of their language. so this was like a slap on the face. (or looking it another way, a reality check on how our tenuous grip on maintaining cultural traditions and artifacts, including language, is slipping.)
anyway, P said that they have replaced the offending billboard. but the culture guardians i think are demanding for a formal apology from the offending company. it’s ironic that the conglomerate where that company belongs has a social foundation and a museum whose thrusts include art, history and culture. i guess it’s high time that they (or their ad agencies) are required to check with their internal experts in matters like these before they are released to the public.
if you were to re-write the copy, how will you phrase it? in the facebook thread of our former teacher who allerted P to this (she is actively involved in the province’s current social and cultural affairs since she’s in the broadcast industry), it seems like the prevailing agreement among the kapampangan literati and cultural advocates is “Keng Globe, Mipanusigan ing Buri Mu”, which they are offering for free. (i wonder what the replacement actually was, i haven’t seen it.)
btw, i googled up the literal translation of amanung sisuan (i’ve always wondered what the “sisuan” part meant) and found out that it literally means “breast-fed language” akin to “native language”. hmmm… it’s language literally transferred to mouth from the mother’s breast (“pe-susu-an”). interesting. apparently, through the years a lot of native kapampangan mothers have been bottle-feeding their children instead. if you go to the malls and schools today, you will hear the kids speaking in either english or filipino, mixed with kapampangan (if at all). i seriously hope that the reason is media’s influence or maybe the medium of instruction in schools, but NOT because they’re ashamed of using their native language. it will be such a tragedy if it is further diluted by the succeeding generations. (no need to look any further, do you know that in our beloved college org, some of the present members don’t speak the language at all or are “balid” when they try? the horrors!) 😛
(Acknowledgements to Ms. Maureen Gepte and Infomax TV for background info and photo credits for this post. Thanks, Ma’am!)