Capitol promotes Cebuano through ‘Lantugi’ program

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

TO promote debate using the Cebuano dialect, the Arts and Culture Committee of the Cebu Provincial Board is airing a program featuring debates between students from local universities and community colleges.

Dubbed “Lantugi,” the program airs from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Sunday on the Cebu Catholic Television Network (CCTN). (Lantugi is the Cebuano word for debate.)

Provincial Board Member Arleigh Sitoy, who handles the arts and culture committee with Board Member Miguel Antonio Magpale, said the program aims to revive the culture of debate and the love for the Cebuano language.


“First and foremost, we want to build up the Cebuano language as an effective medium for expression in debates,” he told Sun.Star Cebu. “We also want to revive the love for argumentation and debate.”

Sitoy said debates in Cebuano were a practice during election campaigns decades ago.

“Cebuanos are known for lantugi. We’re not known for vote-buying,” he said.


The program is hosted by Sitoy himself and lawyer Dara Acusar, a consultant of Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale and a managing partner of the Divina and Uy Law Offices in Cebu.

It is aired on channel 47 in the local news channel, channel 36 or 8 on Sky Cable.

The debate uses the Oxford-Oregon format, with two teams having three speakers each. Each speaker is given seven minutes to deliver his or her speech and five minutes to interpolate the previous speaker.

They argue for or against a policy in terms of necessity, practicability and beneficiality.

No winning team is declared, but the best speaker and the best debater is announced by the three judges and given trophies.

The first episode aired last March 2, featuring a match between students from the Cebu Technological University-Danao campus and the Talisay City College. They debated over whether or not the term limits for public officials should be removed.

On the second episode last March 9, students from the Cordova Public College and the Consolacion Community College argued over whether or not to require voters in national and local elections to be at least a high school graduate.

Political dynasties

This Sunday, the program will feature a match between debaters from the Cebu Normal University and the University of San Carlos. They will argue about whether or not to remove the constitutional prohibition on political dynasties.

Debaters from 24 local colleges and universities are expected to participate in the program in its first season, which will last for three months.

Acusar said the purpose of the program is not competition but the promotion of the Cebuano language.

She said the activity also aims to develop camaraderie among the students, as well as to motivate or stimulate students and teachers in local colleges.

Sitoy said the program, which is supported by the Province’s Language Commission, will help develop confidence among students and parents in community colleges.

“We want to build up local or community colleges by giving them exposure,” he said, adding that universities and colleges in the city are already congested.

Sitoy said the debate program supports the multilingual education of the Department of Education.

The agency is implementing the mother tongue-based multilingual education in first, second and third grade in elementary.

By showing debates in Cebuano on television, Sitoy hopes Cebuanos will appreciate the local language more.

“With Lantugi, we let people appreciate the beauty of the Cebuano language as a mode of expression in debates,” he said.

To move forward as a race, Sitoy said, Cebuanos should have full appreciation of the local arts and culture, of which language is an integral part.

“If we elevate the language, we also elevate the appreciation fot the arts and culture,” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 13, 2014.

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