As early as 2002, students of media and members of academe were cataloguing and analyzing the relationship between Filipinos and the keypads of their mobile phones. For example, history professor Vicente L. Rafael, then with the University of California at San Diego and now with the University of Washington (Seattle), quoted from and interviewed various members of Jose F. Lacaba’s Plaridel Papers mailing list to write his essay “The Cell Phone and the Crowd: Messianic Politics in the Contemporary Philippines.” It remains interesting reading until now and has the added bonus of capturing the mood of — shall we call it text empowerment? — during the heady demonstrations against President Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada. (And lest we think that texting is another case of “Only in the Philippines,” Rafael recently informed me that the essay has been included in other books on media, in the United States, Italy, and India.)
THE NATIONAL language of the Philippines is no longer Pilipino but Filipino. And as it evolves with its modern alphabet, Philippine literature is expected to develop along with it. But the latter is a task that could be difficult to accomplish especially with such government rulings as Executive Order 210 that has once more made […]
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