“I am now sure that the goal to intellectualize Filipino so that it may become the chief working language (thus replacing English) in the controlling domains of language in the Philippines can no longer be pursued successfully. This is rather a sad, but realistic, conclusion. Filipino may just be what Fishman calls a small national language which he describes so beautifully and eloquently in the following words:
It is the burden of small national languages that they have “almost made it” into the big leagues. They are at least “almost,” “never quits,” “solid mediocrities” and “moral victors.” This is irking to true believers who would like to see them safely, nobly, and handsomely ensconced, beloved and obeyed. The lives of most small national languages are actually far more precarious, if not beleaguered, than is commonly acknowledged or recognizedï¿½ Small national languages are often secretly felt to “deserve” the troubles they have because they also have the pomp and circumstance of nationhood as their compensation. Is there any wonder that, at times, their protagonists reveal a pettiness and even a meanness of spirit which bespeaks the never-ending pressures, the endless sniping, from above and below, from without and from within, which is their lot? (See “On the Peculiar Problems of Small National Languages,” by Joshua A. Fishman in PANAGANI. 1984. Edited by Andrew Gonzalez. Manila: Linguistic Society of the Philippines. pp. 40-45.) ”
Bonifacio P. Sibayan, “The failure in educating Filipino children through their native languages and through Filipino”, Manila Bulletin, 22 April 2001.