Usapang Wika : a celebration of rich Filipino dialects

Filipino is the National Language of the Philippines and its basis is Tagalog which is the dialect spoken by most of the people from Luzon - the largest of the 3 major islands in the country. The country is said to have more than 111 dialects spoken. You may be wondering how people from all over the country were able to communicate effectively with each other when each province or region has its own spoken dialect which is different from that of their nearby province or region? Besides, not all people from the archipelago understand Tagalog. Some of them only speak their own dialect.

This is one barrier in an effective communication which is crucial in nation building. So this August, in celebration of the Buwan ng Wika; NCCA and ANC launched Usapang Wika hosted by Sen. Loren Legarda.

Usapang Wika is a 10-episode cultural documentary series featuring the major languages of the Philippines which are listed below. The scripts were written by Mr. Floy Quintos and is directed by Mr. Jeypi Salonga. It is scheduled to premiere in August 6, 2022, 430-5 pm at the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC).

Episode 1 – Intro episode 
Episode 2 – Tagalog 
Episode 3 – Kapampangan 
Episode 4 – Pangasinan 
Episode 5 – Ilokano
Episode 6 – Bicolano
Episode 7 – Hiligaynon/ Kinaray-a
Episode 8 – Cebuano
Episode 9 – Waray 
Episode 10 – Meranaw/ Closing

The concept for the treatment of Usapang Wika was borne out of the need for connectivity and entertainment during the pandemic. Interview styles as well as presentation of scenes and examples were inspired by trending apps such as Zoom and Tiktok. The challenges of travelling to the centers of these languages was likewise addressed via an online crowdsourcing campaign enabling us to present the show in a manner that is youthful, innovative and fresh.

The show aims to give the viewers a glimpse of the richness and depth of each language through the sharing of our respective experts as well as slice of life vignettes featuring the native speakers of each. Usapang Wika also hopes to illustrate unity and understanding despite the diversity of these languages and how we as a nation has survived and thrived in spite of it.

The show also features an original sound track entitled “Tulay”, composed and sung by Mr. Ivan Corleone from the band Kalyo, the same group that performed the theme song for our previous cultural documentary series “Buhay na Buhay”. The song can be listened to or streamed via Spotify, Youtube Music, Tiktok and other platforms.

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