When I made my way down south to Cebu and the Visayas, I was shocked that people were not impressed with my meager knowledge of Tagolog. I say this because in Manila (and up north in general), people are often completely flattered that you can speak ANY Tagalog. Down south, not only were they not impressed with my Tagalog, but they demanded to know why I couldn’t already speak Bisaya – their dialect! Haha. At first I found them kind of rude, honestly, but soon began to really appreciate their sense of pride. I really came to love the people and culture down there. Bisaya people don’t like Tagalog because they believe that the majority of people in the Philippines speak Bisaya, and that it should have been chosen as the national language instead of Tagalog. Unfortunately they are also looked down on by many people in Manila.
If somebody from Manila visits the Visayas and speaks to the locals in Tagalog, the locals will answer back in English, even though they can speak Tagalog well (they must learn it in school). Again, the point is I love this sense of pride that Bisaya people have in their language, culture, and food…and I wish that people up north weren’t quite so “western-worshipping”. There were times when I almost seemed to embarrass people in Manila by speaking their own language (Tagalog), as if they were ashamed of it. Filipinos have so much wonderful culture and heritage – I would like to see all Filipinos celebrate and take pride in it.