Thursday, February 15, 2007

Kinagisnan: Pagrorosario

Natanong ko sa isang nakatatanda kung kailan tinigil ang paggamit ng Latin sa misa (Gusto ko kasing malaman kung may kinalaman ito sa pagtigil ng pagtuturo ng Latin sa paaralan). Ang sabi ng nakatatanda sa 'kin, mga 1965/66 daw.

Maliban dito, nabanggit niya na dahil Latin ang misa at hindi rin naman maintindihan ng maraming tao ang pinagsasabi ng pari, kadalasa'y nag-rorosario na lang daw ang mga tao habang nagmimisa. Tinanong ko kung anong wika ang gamit sa pagdasal ng rosaryo, kung Latin ba at ang sagot niya'y hindi.

Nakakatuwang malaman ang konteksto ng pagrorosario ng mga matatanda habang may misa na paminsan-minsan nakikita pa natin hanggang ngayon (at kahit na pagsabihan na sila ng pari na hindi ito dapat gawin, patuloy pa rin itong ginagawa). Old habits die hard ika nila. Nakakatuwang isipin na ang pagrorosario ay isang pamamaraan kung saan naiintindihan ng karaniwang tao ang sinasabi niya sa Diyos.

Meron kaya itong kaugnayan sa pagkamalapitin ng Pilipino kay Birheng Maria? Kung sa pakikipag-usap kay Hesus kailangan mag-Latin, kay Maria, hindi ito kinakailangan at puwedeng kausapin ang mahal na ina sa salita ng karaniwang tao. Ito rin kaya ang dahilan kung bakit ang mga Atenista ay naging kilala na nagdadala ng rosario sa kanyang bulsa hanggang sa kamatayan?

Ngayon na ang wika sa misa ay naiintindihan ng karaniwang-tao, hindi na laganap ang pagrorosario habang nagmimisa. Sa panahon ngayon na ang Diyos ay minsan tinuturing na kaibigan, hindi na rin nakikitang kinakailangan ang formula prayers na kabahagi ng pagrorosario (Wala na akong kilalang Atenistang nagbibitbit ng rosario araw-araw). Ang bawat isang tao ay inaakalang puwedeng kausapin ng diresto ang Diyos na hindi nangangailangan ng pamamagitan ni Maria.

Kung meron pa kayong nakitang matandang nagrorosario habang sila'y nagmimisa, huwag na itong suwayin. Ang matandang ito ay nakikipag-usap sa Diyos sa wikang kanyang naiintindihan.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


I've been going over issues of The Guidon from 1956 to 1970 and doing so makes me understand a little bit what is meant by reflexivity. The Guidon of that period showed a world that was really different; debates making headlines, a strong American presence, Ateneans seemingly bolder than they are now.

While I read the articles, I notice things that are very different now or I notice things that began way back then or I locate individuals I know now in a different period in time and I understand them differently now.

If I step back from my thoughts, I begin to realize that while I am studying that particular period in time, I realize that I can only understand it from my point of view in the present. What I notice depends on that point of view. What I consider different depends on a definition of what is not-different. A person from that particular point in time might notice something different from what I did (or not notice what I noticed), much more a person from a completely different culture who is not an insider to the University even at the present.

So a reflection on the elements that I consider relevant to my understanding of the past tells me something about how I think at the present. I have a lens through which I see the past and yet, if I step back, I also become conscious of the lens itself through which I see, especially if I share with others what I see and they see something different.

In seeing something different, I begin to realize my way of being and my way of seeing that I have always taken for granted.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Arrneow Accent

Ateneans of an earlier age were well-known for their so-called Arrneow accent. Reading through the issues of Guidon from 1956 onwards, I realized that the accent came from the preponderance of American Jesuits from the New York Jesuit Province who volunteered to come to the Philippines and teach at the Ateneo. Looking through the yearbooks from 1956 to 1967, one could see that an overwhelming majority of administrators were Americans and that a number of teachers were also Americans. I guess boys who lived 16-17 years of their lives with these Americans eventually picked up the accent, most probably without really intending to. Now that most of the Americans are no longer around, Ateneans have managed not to inherit the accent.

Accents are indicative of where we came from. One of my all-time favorite movies is My Fair Lady starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison where Harrison plays the part of a phoneticist who can tell where a person is from and has been based solely on their accent. Harrison asserts that, "Anyone can spot an lrishman or a Yorkshireman by his brogue... but I can place a man within six miles. I can place 'im within two miles in London.Sometimes within two streets". Having lived in Thailand for seven years, I can pretty much tell if people are Thai even if they are speaking in English.

In the Philippines, especially in Manila, one can tell if someone is a probinsyano based on their accent. One of the professors in our school who knows how to speak French tells the story of hearing Filipinos speaking French at an airport with Ilocano, Bicolano and other Filipino accents.
We can tell more about where a person from the way they speak a language and not just the language they speak.