Bracing Philippine Relationships with Communication

By: Paul Neirhart Legion

The first three months of fetal development signal the dawn of human communication. The eyes, ears, nose, mouth, fingers, and toes (the organs of both verbal and non-verbal languages) of the emerging human being are recognizable by the eighth week. Then gradually, all the bodily parts become fully developed and thus, the communication between the baby in the womb and the mother becomes complete. Therefore, it cannot be denied that communication between and among human beings actually starts from conception (and most often than not) only ends in death. Thus, human beings themselves can both be considered the first witnesses and models of meaningful organic expressions. Now, history, culture, and environment take central stage in strengthening the people’s communicative competence in languages.

The settlements of different colonial powers in the Philippines triggered both interpersonal and intrapersonal communications. During the Spanish regime, the Katipunan, led by Andres Bonifacio, expressed their disenchantment with the government by shouting their demands, tearing their cedulas, and staging a bloody revolution. On the other hand, the thoughts of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the national hero, on what was happening during his time were made known through writings which further spurred the Filipinos’ demands for reforms.

In 1935, the Philippines achieved its freedom under a Commonwealth with the late Pres. Manuel Luis Quezon at the helm; but World War II delayed the American government’s plan of granting it independence. It was only on July 4, 1946, after struggling against Japan, did the Philippines gain full independence with the late Manuel Roxas Y Acuña as president.

This event changed the outlook of the Filipinos as far as expressing themselves was concerned. If before they were afraid to either verbalize or write down their thoughts and sentiments, their newly-regained independence afforded them more freedom of speech; thus, rallies at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila and unrestricted columns in dailies became familiar features of the everyday, ordinary lives of the Post-War Filipinos.

The two terms of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos as President of the Philippines threatened the freedom of speech of the citizenry. They started transmitting messages in deepest secrecy and devised symbols to convey meanings without government interventions. The assassination of the late Sen. Benigno Aquino, Jr. influenced his widow Corazon to run victoriously for President with Salvador Laurel as running mate in the 1986 snap elections. When Marcos refused to budge in, she led a peaceful revolution at EDSA from February 21-25, 1986 in which the people aired their grievances against the Martial Rule of Marcos. This event eventually led to his escape to Hawaii, giving way to the transition government of Mrs. Aquino.

Since then, Filipinos have been provided with all possible opportunities to express themselves. A variety of messages, processes, and information transmitted and received have been apparent in the society. The rapid changes happening in the world have given way to a massive profusion of styles and means of communication.

The emergence of new technologies and innovations has widened society’s acceptance of the concept of globalization. The internet and text messaging have become widespread that a person lacking them is sometimes regarded as losing touch of reality and/or has been left behind. New designs and new brands of modern communication gadgets have made communication easy and have become the basis for social indulgence and involvement.

As always, when such involvement calls, when the time comes for the daring and the doing, the youth of the land are the ones tasked to take the challenge. The economic crises, accompanied by political and social issues, compel the youth to improve and utilize their abilities in communication. The youth is now, more than ever, responsive to the needs of the times. This is clearly evident in the numerous protests and remarkable actions being contributed and are still contributing to the Motherland every time they are called upon. At times, elders may think that they are traversing the wrong path; but it is from their downfalls that they were able to rise again, it is from their mistakes that they learn their greatest lessons, and it is from their failures that they derive the inspiration to try again. And all of these were achieved partly because of their ability to communicate.

Communication then is important in a fast changing society for it is the primary means by which a country’s history, culture, and development are preserved and transmitted. Thus, there is really a need for people, specially the FilipinosFree Reprint Articles, to tirelessly improve and enhance their communicative competence in the modern world.

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