Wednesday, January 26, 2011

february is only feb-roo-wa-ree and feb-yoo-wa-ree

february is national arts month in the philippines. and our government is celebrating it by holding the philippine international arts festival, a month-long flurry of activities all over the archipelago.

because national arts month is happening this february, and because january is about to end, and because i just heard actor jericho rosales mispronounce the word 'february,' i figured it's about time that we have a review. this way, we don't end up like mr. rosales and the many people out there who mispronounce 'february' with gleeful abandon.

so here it is. you have two options in pronouncing 'february.' the standard way is feb-roo-wa-ree. the only acceptable variant drops the r, a phenomenon ascribed to haplology (according to, a sound change involving the loss of a syllable when it is next to a phonetically identical syllable), feb-yoo-wa-ree. it is not, as mr. rosales pronounced it, feb-yaree. it's also not feb-ya-ree, feb-ra-ree, or feb-raree. and never feb-waree nor feb-wa-ree.

so next week, when you start telling your friends that february is national arts month, you have two options: feb-roo-wa-ree and feb-yoo-wa-ree. no need to do a jericho rosales.

current reading

anne fadiman's ex libris: confessions of a common reader. it's a collection of essays that every book lover (be they courtly or carnal lovers) must read. i'm having so much fun reading it, i want to lick the book. i guess i'm a carnal book lover as fadiman puts it.

my letter of support for dean rolando tolentino's bid for up diliman chancellor

Dear Honorable Members of the University of the Philippines Board of Regents,

It is my honor to support College of Mass Communications Dean Rolando B. Tolentino's bid to become Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Diliman. Dr. Tolentino possesses the requisite intelligence, management skills, and vision rooted in a profound appreciation of Filipino culture and expressed with flair that is uniquely UP.

As a former faculty member of the Department of English and Comparative Literature of the College of Arts and Letters and former Deputy Director of the UP Press and the UP Institute of Creative Writing, I have known and worked with Dr. Tolentino in various capacities for several years now. And as a reader of literature, a creative writer, and a person who takes interest in our cultural heritage, I have known Dr. Tolentino’s works for even longer.

His track record as a writer, a cultural worker, and a critic is impeccable and worth emulating. The staggering amount of books he has written and the quality of scholarship and artistry in them attest to Dr. Tolentino’s genius. His participation in various undertakings local and international is proof of his dynamism and the respect he commands in these circles. And his unwavering stand to serve the country and fight for social justice reveals how well he embodies the ideals of our university.

There is no doubt in my mind that Dr. Tolentino is the best choice for UP Diliman Chancellor. In our continued struggle to improve the state of our nation and develop the Filipino mind, our finest oblation to the Philippines to date is the selection of Dr. Tolentino as UP Diliman Chancellor.

Very truly yours,