Thursday, May 17, 2012


[NOTE: This is Part 2 of what I would like to call "belated book review" of Dr. Ernesto Constantino's presumably now rare book on Isinay. As in singing a song with a guitar, this post is still part of the "pasakalye" started in Part 1. Succeeding parts will contain excerpts from this "nabalitu-an an libru" (Isinay for "golden book").]

Page 1 of Dr. Constantino's ACKNOWLEDGMENT. Note the rubber stamped mark on the bottom of the page: THE TYLOR LIBRARY, SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD. This was where a copy was sourced by UP Baguio Anthropologist Ikin Salvador-Amores who said she found it about to be discarded by the said library.


I DON'T KNOW about my fellow Isinays, but when I first learned of the book as mentioned above, among of the questions that played in my mind were the following:

Who is Ernesto Constantino? Which part of Dupax, or Bambang, or Aritao did he come from? 

If he is not an Isinay, how in the world was he able to write a book like that? What qualifications did he have to come out with so thick a volume (561 pages!) about Isinay?

Definitely intrigued, I Google-searched "Ernesto Constantino." And here's what I got from his curriculum vitae in --

Academic Rank: University Professor
Primary Academic Unit: Department of Linguistics
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines 

Date and Place of Birth: 
August 25, 1930   
Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija 

Educational Background:
AB English (cum laude), U.P., 1953
PhD Linguistics, Indiana University, 1959
Summer Program in Linguistics, Linguistic Society of America, University of Michigan, Summers 1956, 1958
Post-doctoral studies in Malayopolynesian Linguistics, Yale University, 1958-59
Graduate Studies in Linguistics, Cornell University, 1955-56

Positions Held:
University Professor,  U.P., 1993-1999
Professor of Linguistics, U.P., 1969-1992
Associate Professor of Linguistics, U.P., 1965-69
Assistant Professor of Linguistics, U.P., 1959-65
Graduate Assistant, U.P., 1954-55
Student Assistant, U.P., 1952-54
Chairman, Department of Linguistics, 1963-72, 1982-85
Chairman, Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature, 1969-74
Visiting Research Professor of Linguistics, Institute for the Study of the Languages and Cultures of Asia and
     Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo, Japan, 1981-82
Senior Specialist (in Linguistics), East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1968-69
Associate Linguist and Associate Director, Philippine Languages Project, Pacific and Asian Linguistics
     Institute, University of Hawaii, 1968-69
Fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1963-64
Fellow, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 1955-56
Fellow, U.P., 1955-59.

Other services or contributions:

I was able to contribute significantly to the adoption  and development of the Filipino national language. The 1971 Constitutional Convention adopted the proposal, popularly known as  the "universal approach", submitted by the UP Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature and the Department of Linguistics, both of which I was the chairman from 1969 to 1972, for the development of Filipino as the national language of the Philippines in place of Pilipino. Subsequently, the 1986 Constitutional Commission adopted Filipino as the national language of the country even though as early as 1970 the UP had already adopted and started using this language as the national language. Thus the Filipino national language is the distinct contribution of  the UP whose linguists were singularly consulted by the 1986 Constitutional Commission for the adoption of this language   by the 1987 Constitution as the national language of the Philippines.
          I was one of the three U.P. faculty members who made decisive contributions to the framing of the final version of the law entitled "AN ACT CREATING THE COMMISSION OF THE  FILIPINO LANGUAGE, PRESCRIBING ITS POWERS, DUTIES, AND  FUNCTIONS, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES."
         I have attended meetings and conferences in linguistics and Austronesian languages in the USA, Great Britain, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Moscow and Jakarta in which I read papers. I have attended far more meetings and conferences (including symposiums, seminars and workshops) in the Philippines on linguistics, Philippine languages, language in education, language in science and technology, folklore, and other topics. In almost all these academic gatherings, I was a paper reader, or a discussant, or a reactor.

(Continued in Part 3)

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