Yes, Filipinos Are Indeed Good At English

It behooves me why my post “On Why Filipinos Are Good In English” has garnered the most number of hits on this blog site. Are people truly wondering why and how good we are at English? I’m an ESL teacher in an English Academy here in the city capital of the Philippines. And I didn’t even major in English. I am actually a Business grad with some accounting and administrative practice under my belt that I not so proudly count as job experience. Then why, you may ask, did I end up as an English instructor? Do I have a license or even the right to teach this honorable language? The answer to that, of course, is well, I don’t have both. No license and no right at all. But I’ve got something else which can justify my current job circumstances. Passion for teaching and love of Language. Why am I saying all this? For the reason that it got me thinking as to why I am fairly good in this language. I didn’t even like studying grammar during my school years. As I mentioned before in a previous post, our grammar textbooks had been full of jargons and complicated explanations I couldn’t bother with. One thing sustained my love for English though, and that was reading. I firmly believe Western literature has made me the kind of person that I am now, in the most positive way.

My country has become the preferred destination for a certain Asian country whose citizens are more than required to learn a language they aren’t that crazy about (Why? I honestly don’t know). They bother to travel all the way here for the purpose of gaining some substantial fluency in English at a price cheaper than the real McCoy in learning it, i.e., heading to the West. Cool. It definitely helps increase employment opportunities for many of my fellowmen here. By the way, in the academy where I work, most of my co-teachers are nursing graduates who can’t find work elsewhere. There had been an oversupply of nurses here because the demand abroad suddenly diminished a few years back. The point is, every Filipino who has obtained a college degree is qualified to teach these other Asian nationals lacking on the English fronts.

For this post, I’m going to state the obvious one more time. Yes indeed, the Filipino people are good in English. The language is embedded in our culture. It’s been our way of life. We can’t claim that we are masters in this field. And I myself still have a whole lot to learn. The brand of relaxed wit most American writers possess in their prose is something that I still aim to acquire. Not to mention I’ve got a long way to go in my Advanced English studies. But boy, do I feel lucky being paid for something that is very much related to my lifelong passion. I am blessed.

9 thoughts on “Yes, Filipinos Are Indeed Good At English

  1. Marjorie,

    I enjoyed this post very much and I am not surprised that your original post on the subject has been so popular. It really sounds like you have a dream job, living in the Philippines and teaching English. There is a great deal of interest generally in the achievement of learning English for people who don’t speak it as a native, and I have a similar experience with my most often visited post on my blog. It has to do with search engines.

    If you write about a subject which is widely popular and generates a lot of interest on the internet, when someone searches for that subject with Google or some other search engine, your posting may appear on one of the search result pages at some point. If someone clicks on the link that leads to your page, it will generally begin to get a higher rating, and if a few more people click on the link, it gets up higher, and depending on how many people are interested in the subject, the more hits your link gets, the higher it goes on the list.

    I wrote a post on my blog about Jim Morrison, a singer in a rock band called, “The Doors,” from back in the late `1960’s and early 1970. He died in 1971 in Paris, France. The 40th anniversary of his passing came in July of last year, and since I was a fan, I wrote a blog entry about it. It has nothing to do with the main subject of my blog, I just wanted to write about it. Since posting it in July of 2011, I have had over 700 hits on that post. The closest number of hits on a posting which actually is about the main subject of my blog is 402.

    You are a lovely woman, with many appealing attributes, and I have no trouble understanding why there is interest in your writing, but as a man who admires you, I have a lot of trouble trying to figure out why there hasn’t been a stampede of men to your door! You have much to offer as a woman and as an amazing human being and if I could get to the Philippines I would be one of them!

    Keep going…you’re doing GREAT!!…..John H.,

  2. Thank you very much for all the praise you’ve accorded me. I’m actually beginning to blush now.. 🙂
    Glad to learn something about you being a fan of Jim Morrison ( as I’m aware of him and his popularity). Your explanation about search engines has been quite enlightening and I’m grateful for that. No wonder you earn that much hits. You write so well.
    I don’t exactly have a dream job although I feel more fortunate compared to others who are chained to jobs they detest going to every morning of their lives.
    And as to why there hasn’t been a stampede of men at my door, hmm.., that really behooves me more than anything else in this world. No no, it’s an absolute joke. Ha ha! Seriously, I don’t have that many appealing qualities, not to mention the fact that, well, I’m a little over the hill to be that desirable. But I appreciate every bit of good things you’ve assumed about me. You are very kind. You are the amazing one for making me feel good about myself. Again, thank you, John.

  3. Morning Marj:

    I share with you the passion for the English language. I grew up with the language in a banana plantation, but never had the opportunity of living in an English-speaking country. I wish I had, but you have to live with what you have and love what you’ve got.

    I read everything that comes within my reach that is related to the English language, (e.g. movies, magazines, newspapers, blogs, conferences, tourists and so on and so forth). Still, as you correctly pointed out, there is so much to learn, and so little time. However, I keep on plowing every day to polish up the language of Shakespeare. Writing a blog in English always helps, as it keeps my English juices flowing, if you get what I mean. (Omar mischievously smiles.) 🙂

    Regarding men knocking at your door, perhaps under different circumstances, I would be one of your most fervent admirers and would gladly say “I do”. There are so many things about you that I appreciate and cherish. If, and that is a big IF, I had known you forty years ago. (Wishful thinking).

    Anyway, reading your posts always makes my dat. And your English is absolutely beau-ti-ful, and so are you!

    Warm Regards,


    • Omar dear, oh ha ha! That’s such a lovely and delightful comment. You did make my day. Now I’m blushing again.. 🙂 Yes, if only…
      I think what matters now is we’ve found one another in the blogging sphere soon enough to become blogging buddies for life. We’ll always be here for each other and please don’t get tired of having me as your avid follower.
      You are a wonderful man and your wife is truly lucky to have you as her lifetime partner.

      One thing more, writing using the language of Shakespeare isn’t as easy as you might think for me. There are times when I sweat blood just to be able to carry a sentence through to completion. No kidding.

      Won’t last a day without clicking open your blog,

    • Yes, I kind of like the word “behooves.” And now I’ve also come to like the word “dragooned.” As in we were dragooned to surrender. Nice…
      Would you believe I still have to watch that classic movie? It’s definitely on my list when I find the time. I’ve heard that “Prepare to die!” classic line, too, countless of times. I thought, “Cool…” 🙂

      • The Princess Bride is a delightful film; a classic that definitely should be on your list! The other famous Inigo Montoya line is, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Behooves means to be necessary or in one’s best interest… Reading your first line, I wondered if you were shooting for “bemuses” maybe? What was your intent there?

        Dragooned is a cool word. To me, it connotates being forcibly dragged into some group or enterprise. If one were using “surrender” as a thing to be brought into, the sentence works okay, but otherwise the use seems a bit awkward.

        (Taking a little risk here… you haven’t asked for advice or feedback and yet I’m offering it… No offense intended! I just can’t help myself.)

  4. I’m sorry, perhaps I missed something. Having spent many, many years in the US Army, I met plenty of Filipinos, and all of them spoke English, many without an accent.
    I do understand your efforts, though. I’ve met many, many people, from all over, who speak English after much work. I am so lucky it’s my native tongue. English is a very difficult language to learn. Congratulations on all of you for having the determination to tackle it.

    • Ah, yes. The majority of filipinos have that strong or funny accents when they speak English. But there can be a few who manage to develop the American or British accent. I believe it’s simply a matter of practice – just like what I do as an ESL instructor.
      If you have time, please read my prior post to this one in the hope that I can make my point clearer:

      By the way, thank you for your side comment in Bb’s blog. Sure I’d be willing to hunt down anyone who pesters you. Just point to me their path. 🙂


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