There is something worth noting well and appreciating much in the relatively recent development in the Filipino language. Most probably it has been taught and insisted by the elders long since. But it is not really that long since that it became a rather common practice. And it is quite not only consoling but also endearing. One only need to listen a little more attentively to become conscious of and grateful for it. At least, there is still this one good news in this Country that is continuously flooded by one bad news after another.
Simple and plain, but true and real, the superlative of respect and deference word “Po!” is nowadays both ordinarily and distinctly used in conversations not only when the young address the adult, but also, and particularly so, when adults talk to adults. The truth is that the lesser respectful address “Ho!” seems to have disappeared from both ordinary and special conversations – although it is also a word or term of deference.
And there is one more amiable practice. This is when young people address someone older than they, as “Kuya” or “Ate” – and the like. Related they are not. Usually, they do not even know one another. But the respectful address as an older brother or sister precisely denotes a deferential relationship, a respectful communication.
Needless to say, all the above good tidings do not in any way compensate for the one to many wrong words and deeds continuously taking place in practically all parts of the Country – the mere mention of which bring the Filipino spirit down and makes the Filipino heart hurt. But the more reason there is to be aware, to be glad and grateful for the Filipino respectful stance – together perhaps with the Filipino hospitality.
Incidentally, let it be said that the English words “Miss” and “Mister”, “Sir” and “Madam” or “M’am”, are not really words of respect as they are more intended as qualifying titles. And the Spanish “Usted” is neither pleasing nor endearing as it is more but a formality.
In other words, there is still rhyme and reason to say “Mabuhay ang Pinoy!”
04 JUNE 2010