KWF Unveils 1st Language Marker in Cordillera

March 26, 2018

The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), the Office of Senator Loren Legarda, and the Ifugao State University (IFSU) today unveiled the Language Monument or Bantayog-Wika for the Tuwali language in Lamut, Ifugao.

The Bantayog-Wika for Tuwali is the first in the Cordillera Region and the second language monument erected in the country next to Antique, where the first language marker for Kinaray-a was inaugurated earlier this month. Installation artist Luis ‘Junyee’ Yee, Jr. designed and created the language marker.

Tuwali is one of the widely spoken languages found mostly in the municipalities of Kiangan, Hingyon, Hungduan and some parts of Lamut, Asipilo, Lagawe and Banaue in the Province of Ifugao where the world-famous Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras is located, and whose “Hudhud” chant is considered a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” in the UNESCO list of 2001.

“Our country is undeniably rich in culture and traditions. In Ifugao alone, the world-famous rice terraces and the world-acclaimed ‘Hudhud’ chant are testimonies of the Ifugao’s industrious traits, creativity and rich heritage. I hope that through these symbolic language markers, we will always be reminded to stay rooted in our own culture and traditions, and continue to preserve our cultural heritage as it gives us identity as a people and as a nation,” Legarda said.

Bantayog-Wika is a nationwide project of KWF in partnership with Senator Loren Legarda. It seeks to identify areas where languages originated.

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, Legarda ensured funding for the installation of language markers for the 131 languages in the country. She also supported funding for the ethnographic studies of Philippine languages.

“We need to comprehensively document all active, endangered, and dying languages of our ethno-linguistic groups in the country and we should promote the continued use of such languages. To complement the Language Markers Project of KWF, the Department of Tourism and the local government units (LGUs) can provide language tours to include discussions on how the language started and was embraced by the community in order to widen the perspective of the youth, students, and tourists when visiting various tourist sites in the country,” said Legarda.

The KWF has already been in coordination with other LGUs for the implementation and installation of the language markers in their respective sites. This year, it aims to install 22 language markers across the country.