"Kamusta po kayong lahat, mga potensyal na medyor ng programang Pilipino!> My name is Jason Delos Reyes and I am a fellow graduate of the Bachelors of Arts in Philippine Language and Literature degree of 2015. If you are reading this, you are most likely thinking of majoring in Filipino and would like some insight before making this bearing decision. Currently working in a completely unrelated field, let me give you a little perspective on why the Filipino program is an excellent investment of your time and tuition.
Growing up in a predominantly Tagalog-speaking household, I was given bilingual abilities that not the average American child can say they have. Granted my U.S. education, I could only speak as good as the best four-year Filipino kid at most. With almost no formal education in Tagalog, I relied on conversations with my mother, grandparents, friends, and watching Filipino-language content TV stations TFC and GMA in maintaining my knowledge and comprehension. Fast forward to deciding on which college to attend, UH Mānoa having a Filipino program was a large factor in making my decision to attend this university for my undergraduate education.
Upon taking the Filipino placement exam, I was placed into FIL 202, which was a great starting point since I could improve on intermediate topics while still experiencing the preparations of Songfest, something only one-to-two hundred level students get to experience. Though I was a Computer Science major at the time, I decide to check off a few items off the UH Mānoa graduation requirements such as Writing Intensive (WI) and oral communication (OC) and get a minor in Filipino while I'm at it. In my last year, I got to experience being the Web Administrator as an officer of the Katipunan Club, as well as being one of the singers at the very beginning of Himig ng Katipunan. It was also the same year where I took my most favorite classes, FIL 435 (Filipino Translation Techniques), and convert my minor into a major since I only had to take an additional one or two classes to complete the program. Thus, in Spring 2015, I graduated with two degrees: a BS in Computer Science, ad a BA in Philippine Language and Literature (Filipino).
Three years later, i am currently employed as the Web Application Developer of the Biostatistics Core at John A. Burns School of Medicine, making very good use of my Computer Science degree. Though my current career goals do not directly benefit from my BA in Filipino, my UH Filipino program experience improved my life in ways that no other experience would have been able to do. I have gained some of the most meaningful friends in my life through the program. I no longer have to use an embarrassing amount of English in my Tagalog conversations that negate the need of speaking another language. I have a much deeper understanding of the Philippine culture, mentality, and language that I will take with me throughout my life and career. Most importantly, the community spirit that has been demonstrated by the Filipino program and Katipunan Club is something I will always strive to share amount people I will meet.
Thank you for reading, if you still haven't fallen asleep, yet. One more thing to motivate non-language majors: I still aspire to work for a translation company, in the likes of Google Translate, so I can improve the often-faulty Tagalog/English translations, but I am yet to be good enough for such a quest."