Please Keep the Letters U and Soft E in Cuyonon Orthography

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We, the undersigned Cuyonos from various parts of Palawan are very concerned about the bullying and harassing of our people into believing that one version of Cuyonon Orthography is the only right way to write in Cuyonon. We are appealing to you: PLEASE KEEP THE LETTERS U AND SOFT E IN CUYONON ORTHOGRAPHY.

Backgrounder:

Datu Magbanua brought the Cuyonon Language to Cuyo in 1250 where letter U as in USLON (blanket) was already part of our ancient alphabet. In addition, Borneo where he came from could not be spelled without soft E. When the Spaniards colonized the Philippines and Cuyo fell under their jurisdiction since 1622, foreign borrowed words have been assimilated into our Cuyonon language and culture. These included the letters C, U, soft E as in EGG and Y.

Recently, a small group of the supporters of researchers Elphick and Sohn insist that the Cuyonon Orthography only got 19 letters with a glottal stop and only four vowels: a, e, i, and o. They also claim that there are no letters C, U and soft E in Cuyonon --- as backed by their scientific research. Anyone who contradicted them are called CLOSED MINDED. The elderly folks who participated in the Final Validation in Magsaysay were questioned and belittled about the kind of educational attainment they have, as if they don’t matter. This outraged the Cuyonos who pointed out: Elphick and Sohn do not represent us. They do not speak for us. We want to keep our language, customs and traditions that are with us for centuries, not the made up spelling that Elphick and Sohn are imposing on us. They replaced the name of our heroine Silveria Anota with SILVIRIA ANOTA. They also replaced the maiden name of former Music Teacher Mrs. Neria Kasubis Feria (RIP) with CASOBIS. They have never even apologized for it!

For instance, how can you spell CUYO without letters C and U? They have totally obliterated letter U as in UBER in all common words and replaced them with O as in OVER. They claim that there is really no difference between U and O; that O was chosen to make it simple and convenient to write. All common words with soft E as in EGG have been replaced with letter I as in INDIA. Same thing goes with the letter Y that was uniquely ours and now they have replaced it with letter I too.

This is contrary to the Final Validation of the Department of Education (DepEd) held in Magsaysay, Palawan in August 2017. According to DepEd Palawan, there are 28 letters in the alphabet with five vowels: a, e, i, o and u. DepEd also states that you spell words as you say it; contrary to what this particular group is teaching. DepEd also rules that letter E has two kinds of sounds: the schwa sound as HEARD and the soft E as in RENT while the other group only recognize the E schwa sound. We support and agree with the DepEd version.

Reports have reached us that the other group is pressuring the DepEd to accept this scientific research to delete and replace all U with O as well as soft E with I. We strongly oppose it! This is contrary to our several century-old tradition and system of writing. We need to strengthen our customs and traditions. Deleting the letters U and E is like deleting our century-old culture and system of writing.

For instance, without letter U or E:

CUERDAS to KOIRDAS
PUEDE to POIDI
PUERA to POIRA
PUESTO to POISTO
BUWISIT to BOISIT
GURURANGAN to GORORANGAN
GURUKUDAN to GOROKODAN              
CELL PHONE to SILPON
PALENGKE to PALINGKI
TELEPONO to TILIPONO
MUNICIPIO to MONISIPIO
CABUI/KABWI to KABOI  
LAPU-LAPU to LAPO-LAPO

ACTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:

Please allow the DepEd version with 28 letters and five vowels to prevail but RETAIN THE LETTERS U and soft E in our Cuyonon Orthography. We want a Cuyonon Orthography, but NO TO THE BASTARDIZATION OF CUYONON LANGUAGE. Teaching our vulnerable children that we got no letters U and soft E would only confuse them. If we do, it would turn Cuyonos into a laughing stock all over the world.

Thank you and more power to you! We look forward to your positive action on this matter.



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