I don’t hide my thick Bisaya accent when I speak Tagalog, even when I am in Manila.
I’m just confident. Just like Sir Manny Pacquiao.
I also don’t work for the hecklers, they don’t pay me to change my accent to sound like those first speakers of Tagalog.
If Manileños (or even a few Bisaya) laughed at my accent. It’s them who sinned because of their ignorance. I’m off the hook.
A lot of Bisaya are embarrassed to show their accent to those around them. From ordinary Bisaya to movie actors and politicians.
When these Bisaya speak, some are trying hard to hide the accent to sound like a Manileño but a good listener can sense the futile effort, others can speak fluently without a trace of Bisaya accent.
When I first came to Manila, I was insecure, with a bit of low self-esteem. I was defensive. I don’t what to be a laughingstock.
On my third time to Manila. I was more confident. I wanted to be different. I’d like those around know that I’m Bisaya.
Nobody had made fun of me or my accent, but there was one instance a guy was trying to hold back his giggle. Sadly, it was inside the church. We had our choir practice that time. But generally, probably 99.9% were nice to me.
But I can think of several reasons why they respected me:
- First, I am handsome.
- I have lighter skin. I’m of Chinese descent.
- I speak English when I can’t express myself in Tagalog.
- My clothes are not shabby.
- I’m an architect.
It could have been different if I was a houseboy or if I looked like Manny Pacquiao.