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English also, please!

Kris Aquino_REGGEE

ENGLISH ALSO, PLEASE! – There’s a bill in Congress introduced by Pampanga Rep. Gloria M. Arroyo to enhance and strengthen the teaching of English in the grades – from preschool to tertiary level. She laments that English suffered a setback when DepEd introduced the bilingual policy decades back.

She was quoted as saying learning two languages (Pilipino and English) is too much for a child, especially for a non-Tagalog. (Tagalog is the basis of Pilipino).

Truth is Pilipino (or Tagalog) is also learned at home and through movies and television. But English is best taught in school…by qualified language teachers, of course.

This is not to say that Pilipino will play second fiddle to English. But then English is equally important – if not more.

So English also, please!

BI OR EVEN TRI – The big edge of Filipinos over other Asians is we speak English. Not many are fluent, but what matters is they are understood the world over.

No wonder then that employers favor Pinoys over other jobseekers from non-English speaking countries.

Being bi (bilingual) is a big asset. Even more if one is tri (trilingual), meaning speaking in Pilipino, English, and Spanish.

In showbiz, look at Diane Castillejo and Angelique Lazo, who are trilingual. Diane covers the Miss Universe contests, usually dominated by Latin beauties. She also finds Spanish very useful in those boxing bouts where the likes of Manny Pacquiao fighting Mexican pugilists. Angelique interviews VIPs from Spanish and South America in flawless Spanish.

Among actors, those at home in Spanish include Pilita Corrales and daughter Jackie Lou Blanco, Edu Manzano, Eddi Gutierrez, Celia Rodriguez, Cocoy Laurel, and the late German Moreno.

FLUENT IN – Actors who are fluent in English are, as they come to mind:

Sharon Cuneta, Cherie Gil, Ogie Alcasid, Edu Manzano, Vilma Santos, Gary Valenciano, Pops Fernandez, Jackie Lou Blanco, Richard and Raymond and Ruffa Gutierrez, Piolo Pascual, Susan Roces, Amalia Fuentes, Laurice Guillen, Gina Alajar, Jericho Rosales and Romnick Sarmenta (at long last), Alfred Vargas, Monsour del Rosario, Eric Quizon, John Lloyd Cruz, Ricky Davao (he also speaks a little Spanish), Kris Aquino, Herbert Bautista, Dina Bonnevie, Bibeth Orteza, Christopher de Leon, Tirso Cruz III, Richard Gomez, Matteo Guidicelli, Gloria Diaz, of course, Martin Nievera, Gerald Anderson, Sam Milby, Ivan Dorschener, James Reid, Liza Soberano, Anne Curtis and sister Jasmine speak English like a native. But Matt Evans does not.