Our babysitter’s husband has been awarded Belgian citizenship and there was a celebration in the local town hall to celebrate this (knowing Belgian celebrations I suspect that it was accompanied by a vast range of edibles, I digress). Like me, the local mayor was rather pleased with himself for knowing that they speak Tagalog and asked the newly minted Belgian citizen how to say “welcome” in Tagalog. In fact, it appears that there are over 170 languages in the Philippines. Our babysitter and her husband speak Illonggo along with 7 million other Filipinos and their grasp of Tagalog is rudimentary, much like mine of Irish. Our babysitter tells me that her husband was very flustered and started asking his friends and relatives in the room how to say “welcome” in Tegalog. You can imagine the mayor must have been a bit surprised that this guy was having difficulty telling him the word for “welcome” in what the mayor believed to be his native tongue. Our babysitter, however, came to the rescue she advised him to “for heaven’s sake, tell him how to say it in Illonggo, it’s not as though he can tell the difference”.
People, there’s a whole world out there.