MAGANES: Why make fun of President Duterte’s Visayan accent?

September 17, 2018 at 9:47 am Leave a comment

While we Filipinos are referred to as one of the best English speakers in the world, we could not hide the fact that we could not master the enunciation as well as pronunciation of English words. We are not Americans or Britons who mastered fully well their English.

We are Filipinos who speak the English language as Filipinos, thus could not be compared to them. The fact that we are divided into regions with distinct dialects, it’s likely that we have troubles with accent in speaking English. Even a Tagalog who tries to speak Ilocano have a different accent, or a Visayan who speaks Tagalog.

vir maganes

When I was in college, I had a fistfight with a schoolmate who’s a Kapampangan who always corrected me of my accent whenever I talked. What peeved me really was the fact that even that schoolmate had accent problem and trying to project himself as a smart person. I don’t like people correcting my accent because that’s innate, like the way former President Fidel Valdez Ramos who has thick-English accent when he talks. That is why, I oftentimes ignore people who criticize other people on the way they speak much more laugh at their accents.

Accents are not a measurement of intelligence. Intelligence too is not measured how good are we in speaking English. Language is used to communicate, and not as a brag point to know that someone is intelligent.

 This “accent” thing has revived my anger on people who despised “regional accents” when speaking English. And this I referred to former Presidential Spokesman of PNoy Edwin Lacierda and a noted journalist Raissa Robles when they poked fun at President Duterte’s “ armed struggle and trouble” to “ armed stragol” and “trabol”. What were in the minds of these people? Are they in their right minds? While Robles is a good journalist and Lacierda an erstwhile spokesperson, they have no right to deride President Duterte based on his accent.

It is understandable that these two dim witted persons don’t like President Duterte as they have been cuddled by the “yellows”. It is unintelligent for them to talk or make fun of Duterte’s accent. What are they trying to portray? Are they more intelligent than President Duterte? Even if they dislike the President, they should at least show their respect to the highest elected official in the Philippines.

One netizen caught my attention of what he posted in Facebook who lambasted Robles and Lacierda. Allow me to reprint here of what a netizen who called himself “Magnus Historae” posted:

“So what do you mean Robles and Lacierda, that you are now superior than most of us because your impeccable knowledge of the English language?

Okay, so how about the French and the Germans, the Italians and the Russians, or the Spaniards and Portuguese? They are heavily accented too when they speak English, if they know English at all. Does it mean to say that you’ll also make fun of them? Are they now lower than the two of you simply because they cannot pronounce English words as perfectly as the two of you?

You are ill-mannered, and rude. But that is the common lot of you people out there. You are bigoted, you discriminate us from the provinces- especially us in Visayas and Mindanao- simply because we have a peculiar way of speaking the English language and that only you have all the right to be highly exalted.

Lacierda, your color and your facial features are that of an ordinary Filipino, and so with you Robles, in fact the two of you are ugly compared to many Filipinos. But why are you making fun of the President, simply because he is now in Malacañang and not the Yellows like you?”

As Filipinos, we have all the right to criticize President Duterte on his presidential actions as well as policies that affect us. However, we could not go beyond that. Criticizing him personally is something unhealthy. Duterte as a person has his own flaws. He’s no saint either. Why don’t we just pray that he will make his promise for a real reform in the Philippines? We must work together for the betterment of the Filipinos. Politics has been dragging us down for a long, long time. Let’s give room to breathe for change.

(For comments and suggestions, email me at emperorvirgil@yahoo.comor at Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at Read the online edition of Northern Watch at

Entry filed under: News.

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