Language Barrier

A few weeks ago, I made a post about learning Philippine languages, and communications here. In the comments, I mentioned that people in Cebu don’t care for Tagalog, and some actually are very anti-Tagalog. A few commenters said that they had never heard that before, and were curious about it. For me, I have heard that since my first trip to Cebu in 1990. Today, I was looking over some videos on YouTube, and came upon one that is entitled “Language Barrier.” It deals with the way that Tagalog is viewed by Cebuanos. I found it quite interesting.

See what you think:

Post Author: MindanaoBob (1354 Posts)

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.

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  1. Celina says

    First of all I would like to say thank you for the wonderful website. I am thrilled to be able to find solid information that is helpful to both my personal and educational research. I wanted to comment on this video clip based on my personal experience. I am biracial; my mother is Filipina (Cebuana) and my father is African-American. I was born in Manila, but raised in Angeles City. I speak fluent Bisaya, Tagalog, and I also understand alot of Kapangpangan. I have a great love and respect for my heritage. I am proud that my mother had the God given sense to teach her children Philippine culture. I agree that if you are in the Visaya region of the Philippines and you CAN speak Bisaya; to extend the courtesy and speak the language. Not necessarily because you have to, but, I feel that this action physically represents a common respect. After all, isn't that one of our greatest attributes as Filipinos? We are known for our ability to be hospitable and courteous. I do not believe that there should be a sense of hostility or superiority between the two. Often times my grandmother (from Leyte) would emphasis to me the importance of teaching my children Bisaya. She felt that it was more important to teach my children Bisaya than Tagalog. I do not attribute this desire of her's to a sense of superiority. But rather, I attribute this to the pride and love she has for her heritage. During our long talks I would response to her comments by loving telling her that I would teach my children BOTH Tagalog and Bisaya. I sensed that she needed from me reassurance that I would share the richness and the beauty of our Bisaya culture. I believe that she felt that the best way to connect her grandchildren with their heritage was to teach them the Bisaya language. With this concept, I believe anyone would agree.
    Thank you…and God Bless.

  2. says

    Hi Celina – Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I am glad that you decided to teach your kids Tagalog and Bisaya – It is important for them to understand their culture.

  3. Ed says


    This is truly a great website and excellent source of information about the Philippines!

    I love everyone and I have no prejudice against anybody regardless of background whatnot. That is how I was raised in the Philipines. (I am also biracial).

    But the issue is deeper than language. Even in the USA, there is a sense of superiority that I felt amongst some of the Tagalogs against a person who is from the south.

    This has been my experience and I'm disappointed. It is an ugly flaw and I wish things were different. I believe it goes all the way back in our Philippine history……

    I will definitely teach my kids Bisaya and the Philippine Southern culture. My son (multiracial) even loves fish and rice. My wife who is American is a little disappointed that "junior" hates mashed potatoes.

    God Bless and Thank you.

  4. says

    Hi Ed – Thanks for leaving your comment! My mixed-race kids like rice and potatoes! As a matter of fact, they like to mix rice and mashed potatoes together! Now, that is bi-cultural! 😯

  5. PHguy says

    I have so much respect and pride for Cebuanos being my fellow Visayans because of their fervor loyalty to their language, history and culture distinct from what is being shoved by the central government throughout the country. I do hope that every other Visayan (Hiligaynon, Waray, Aklanon, Karay-a) should take pride in their own language and ancestry and basically being Bisaya altogether.

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