Bikol, Rinconada

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Incorrect and incomplete information about Rinconada Bikol language.

izakyakov, Fri, 2015-02-27 01:13
Language Development
ISO 639-3: 

The information in Ethnologue website is somehow incorrect, incomplete and quite misleading. I am a native speaker of Rinconada Bikol and I was born, raised and studied in Rinconada area (the place where it is mainly spoken) in the Bicol region. I was fortunate to have a job that pushed me to travel to different parts of the Bicol region particularly in Rinconada district, thus gaining a wide and broad information about my native language. I do not know who took the census and how it was made but the number of the speakers of Rinconada language based from your website is 234,000 (2000 census) to 320,000 which is a very conservative figure to the extent that I can say a number which is very far from the real digit as far as the number of speakers is concerned. As a businessman dealing with the locals, I was able to communicate with different people of different status in the society in my province, Camarines Sur. Aside from my basic knowledge about the language, the years I spent travelling as a businessman made me understand the place and boundary where the Rinconada Bikol is being used, not used, the folks who are bilingual, and towns with different accents. It also made me confident to say that the number of speakers in your database is different from the real number of speakers of the language in the Bicol region. For 5 years in the said the profession, I never encountered a single person in Rinconada area who cannot speak Rinconada Bikol. Additionally, most have knowledge with other Bicol languages and trilingual with Tagalog language (the national langauge of the Philippines) and English language. I have visited all municipalities and city in Rinconada area as well as other towns outside Rinconada and I'm very much sure that most locals are 100% conversant or know how to speak and use Rinconada as a daily language, except of course the people in Buhi (the majority speaks Buhinon, another language of Bicol). But even the folks in Buhi can talk and communicate well with the people in Rinconada. Filipino-Chinese as well living in Rinconada area are well conversed in the language. Now, considering the above information, I might say that the number of speakers is almost the total population of the entire Rinconada district, minus the population of Buhi town. Therefore, I conclude that the figure in your website is only a portion of the the native speakers of Rinconada Bikol. The population is almost half a million if we are to total the population of the Rinconada district in Camarines Sur. What more the people outside Rinconada who can speak and understand the language, and those who migrated to other parts of the Philippines and overseas? In your website, Polangui is not included. It is a town in Albay province where the majority are speaking a different Bikol language. But there are at least two or threee villages in that town where Rinconada language is their native tongue. Another thing is that, Rinconada Bikol, though a member of Bicol macrolanguages is not a dialect of it. Since a monolingual native cannot understand other Bicol languages, I consider Rinconada a language, since the Rinconada language itself has different variants and forms that are considered dialects. One more thing that I noticed in your coment section is that inhabitants of Iriga regard the Naga dialect as true Bicolano. This is absolutely wrong. People of Rinconada district just regard the language spoken in Naga a standard form of its own language, the Coastal Bikol language also known as Central Bikol or Bicol Estandarte or Bikol Naga. I can say and prove this becasue I, myself is a native of Iriga, the center of Rinconada district. Agreeing to the comment section in your page is degrading ourselves as true Bicolano. Is Rinconada a not true language of Bicol? We call our language Rinconada Bikol because we are Bicolano. Bicol languages heavily borrowed words from Spanish and Tagalog and to say that a specific Bicol language is true and purer than the rest is not just and fair conclusion. Most people without knowledge about our language and even the native speakers do refer to your website as a source of factual information about the subject being discussed. But it's just not right. Kindly rectify the information in your website as it's contradicting the facts. I suggest to have another broad census about Rincoanda Bikol. I want to be a part of Ethnologue so you can utilize me as your source. Thank you.

Editorial Action

We will make changes in the location and L1 speaker population categories of Rinconada Bikol [bto] for the 19th edition.