Inebriated with lingo


There’s legislation to require vernacular for graduation from high school here. Theoretically, it asserts that the mandate would ensure the use of vernacular in perpetuity. Both intent and purpose are off course!

Use of vernacular begins at home. What PSS does is reinforcement in formal settings in simple conversations, reading and most importantly, writing. If the written vernacular isn’t taught the indigenous children then the lingo fades into history in 25 years time. This is the path we’ve taken today! Thus my advocacy of the written lingo!

The written material allows students and scholars to exchange knowledge especially the refinement of the indigenous language from the usual approach of western literature. We must include orature! This is our way of passing stories to our children since time begun!

Is there anything so egregiously wrong speaking to our children in their native lingo? Unless we humbly settle down and speak vernacular at home the local lingo is set to fade like strange objects in the rear mirror!

The legislation must be retrieved so pertinent issues are addressed full square. It should include the method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept. This needs defining so we understand the relationship between applied linguistics and language pedagogy or subject-based pedagogy.

Must ask if we now have an official orthography, a simple book of grammar in the vernacular that teaches how to write in Chamorro and Carolinian so pupils could learn syntax or how to ensure grammatical integrity in their writings. Do we now have an official dictionary? Must begin with basics and please, no more disoriented provincial mindset on issues that matter.

As it is we simply grab what’s available and employ it in the classrooms and elsewhere. Sadly disorienting like inching our way in a pitch-dark superstorm trying to find safe shelter. Let’s bring the experts together so we trump our cards in educated fashion.

Appalling how the teaching of the vernacular is now focused on the use of the media for instructional purposes. Really? I’d be damned if it swims on land but why can’t it be explained entirely in Chamorro? Start teaching your kids their native tongue at home!

Manglona’s proposal

Employers in either sector would be required to pay CW workers the prevailing or hourly wage per a proposal recently filed by Sen. Paul Manglona this week.

The senator said such proposal would encourage locals to apply for jobs that definitely pay the prevailing hourly wage. Penalties would be provided for employers who fail to meet this future legal requirement.

Manglona further said measure should bring agency heads together to decide on an annual updating of prevailing wage rate. “Hopefully this would result in establishing and fostering equality in wages for positions in either sector over a two-year period,” he said. “We would monitor this aspect of the proposal so it is followed when the measure makes it as law”.

For instance, there’s no reason why a government engineer should earn more than those in private construction firms. Salaries should be the same for engineers with the requisite academic and professional credentials. “This should encourage local employees to look at private industries for stable and meaningful employment,” Manglona noted.

He would further ensure that the NMI practices what it preaches by ascertaining that suppression of salaries for trade jobs turn into a thing of the past!

The challenge beyond ‘biba’

Families look around for answers to cushion their pocketbooks. Perhaps the search and rescue effort is being done in all the wrong places. Until they bump into the smiling faces of apathetic and confused alleged policymakers who don’t have realistic answers either.

With a record of abysmal performance with report cards filled with failure appalling the gall to seek re-election against the tide of towering fat zeros!

Either the guys are completely clueless or are braving chancing another round of “biba” with suspect hope they’d squeeze by once more. Isn’t this tantamount to insulting our intelligence?

Anyway, an election year also brings forth supporters who learn certain lines in search of beer money. Recalled three guys who visited me saying I’d retain my seat in the Senate. And I wasn’t even an incumbent. But came the fatal whisper for $20 for beer. I showed them my water tank in the backyard. None ever chanced stopping by since.

Another was a candidate doing “house-to-house” who asked for my vote. I quizzed if he could name one issue that could help folks in precinct one. He quickly drew his gun saying there are quite a number of other matters to contend with. It shows he wasn’t listening and am I supposed to place my fate at his feet?

I’ve probed the gall of wishful candidates who still can’t find the backdoor at the legislature. It has to do with the suspect power trip and hearing people address them “congressman” or “senator.” You could easily work up disappointment listening to sessions in either chamber as the guys and gals grope for words struggling with syntax. You walk out asking: Was this the people I voted for? Yes you did and that makes you part of the same problematic equation.

Graceful moment

Magoo is the relief valve when my mind is loaded with issues that shift into controversy when hillside geniuses fail fiduciary duty. His expression is itself instant fodder for comedy or tummy chuckles. He’d admonish that I need to back off and “let it be”.

I’ve made him the village barometer when gauging the pulse of the community on significant issues. There’s no holding back his views on most issues I’ve raised. What he’s expressed is echoed in the voices of most folks everywhere at the village level.

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

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