Education Secretary Mona Valisno warned jejemons to observe the proper spelling and refrain from using jejenese, the “language” of jejemons, in texting.

 

This is in spite of the call of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to respect jejemons’ right to free expression.

Valisno said the warning is for the good of jejemons if they want to land a good job in the future.

“That is for their own good kung sinasabi natin ito dahil gusto natin ma-improve ang communication skills ng mga bata. Para sa kanila yun, hindi para sa amin to. [It is] for their own improvement and for them to land good jobs and attain a better future for themselves and a better economic condition for the country,” Valisno said.

Valisno herself does not encourage the use of jejemon-speak or jejenese by her grandchildren. “Yung texting na wrong English at tsaka yung wrong spelling, yun talaga nakakasama,” she said.

“We would like to encourage our children to text in the correct grammar, correct construction of the sentence, and correct spelling. Kasi ang alam ko if you have repeated repetition, if you have wrong practice, wrong din. E di masasanay ka, hindi mo na makokorect,” Valisno added.

“Jejemon” is short for “jeje” monster. It is a recent phenomenon in Philippine pop culture. Jejemons have developed their own “language” called jejenese, which makes use of an exaggerated distortion of the correct spelling of words and phrases. For instance, instead of “hehehe,” they write “jejeje.” For “hello po, kumusta na po?” they text “”3ow ph0w, mUsZtAh nA?”

Not a few Filipinos have made known their disgust for jejemons. Anti-jejemon sentiments have been posted on the Internet, from Facebook to Twitter.

“As early as now we would like to advise our teachers and students, including their parents, to please advise your students to look into this especially when we have our aspiration to maintain that the Philippines is the center for teaching of English in Asia and the Pacific,” said Valisno. — With report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News.

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