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Message: Seminar-Workshop on Digital Archiving of Languages

November 26, 2018

Message of Senator Loren Legarda*
Seminar-Workshop on Digital Archiving of Languages
November 26, 2018 | Sequoia Hotel, Quezon City

*Delivered by Chairman Virgilio S. Almario, NCCA

Good morning to all the participants of this Seminar Workshop on Digital Archiving of Languages and welcome to our guests from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London.

Archiving is vital in the preservation of our history and culture. Noted anthropologists Franz Boas and Edward Sapir considered it as an essential component of the work to document indigenous languages.[1]

As a nation with more than a hundred languages, several of which are endangered, we need to archive our languages as a way to preserve our culture. It is very important that we have the updated skills and the tools to do it.

It is for this reason that I did not think twice in supporting this project to advance our knowledge and capability to document and archive our native languages.

Last year, when I witnessed the signing of the agreement on the development of the Philippine Studies Program in SOAS between the Philippine Embassy in London and SOAS, I welcomed the suggestion of Baroness Valerie Amos to include the Philippine languages in the Native Languages Documentation Project of the Endangered Languages Program. With that, I also increased the funding of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) to document the extinct and endangered languages in the Philippines.

I am happy that KWF has been actively pursuing our goal of enriching, promoting and preserving our native languages through various programs we have launched this year and in the past few years. Much more needs to be done and I will continue to give my full support.

I am grateful to our lecturers from SOAS for sharing with us their precious time so that they may impart their knowledge and expertise to us. We welcome further collaboration with SOAS, especially through skills trainings and other capacity enhancement activities, in order to comprehensively document all endangered languages of our ethno-linguistic groups in the country.

To our participants, this is a very important activity. Always bear in mind that your role is crucial in preserving our native languages, which is critical in preserving our cultural heritage. We are doing this for future Filipinos—this is our gift to them. We are doing this to honor our forefathers and as a sign of our respect for our history and culture.

I wish for a very fruitful and successful event. Mabuhay ang Wikang Filipino! Mabuhay ang ating mga katutubong wika!

[1] A Brief History of Archiving in Language Documentation; Ryan E. Henke and Andrea L. Berez-Kroeker, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (2016)