MANILA -- The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) is set to unveil its Bantayog-Wika monument representing Blaan, the language of Mindanao's Blaan Indigenous Peoples (IPs), in General Santos City on Wednesday.
Installing and unveiling monuments representing Philippine languages like Blaan aim to raise public awareness and promote the continuous use of such communication modes to prevent them from becoming extinct, KWF Bantayog-Wika project coordinator John Lerry Dungca said.
"It's also a way of giving recognition to our indigenous languages and elevating their status," Dungca said.
Aside from KWF representatives, he said the agency expects General Santos City Mayor Ronnel Rivera and Vice Mayor Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles to attend the monument's unveiling.
The General Santos City government, the Kalimudan Culture and Arts Center, and the Mindanao State University-General Santos will help the KWF unveil the monument, according to the commission.
Blaan Bantayog-Wika will be KWF's 13th language monument, Dungca said, noting that the marker in the monument's pedestal will provide information about the Blaan language.
He said having the monument will help instill, among Blaan IPs, pride in their language so they would be encouraged to continue using it.
The KWF is undertaking its Bantayog-Wika project in coordination with Senator Loren Legarda's office and local governments that express interest in having the monuments put up in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
Last year, KWF installed and unveiled its first Bantayog-Wika monument in Antique for the province’s Kiniray-a language.
The agency targets to install and unveil a Bantayog-Wika for each of the country's estimated 130 languages.
Dungca said the KWF is already coordinating with local officials with jurisdiction over Lake Sebu, regarding the installation of a Bantayog-Wika monument for the T'boli language.
"We hope to unveil that monument next month," he said.
Installation artist Luis “Junyee” Yee Jr. designed and created the Bantayog-Wika monuments, according to the KWF.
The monuments are made of stainless steel so he uses laser technology to cut ancient Baybayin letters into the material.
The letters form several lines from Philippine hero Andres Bonifacio's poem “Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Bayan”.
Bantayog-Wika monuments are lighted from within so people can read the lines at night. (PNA)