by Dr. Benj Bangahan
Bahasa Sūg is the lingua franca of the people of the Sūlū archipelago. Being rooted in the central Philippine group of Austronesian languages, it shares similarities with Butuanon, Surigaonon, Cebuano, Bicolano, and Tagalog. As a language enriched by Southeast Asian-based customs and Islam, Bahasa Sūg covers a broad spectrum of verbal and written expressions, and embodies diverse links with other cultures. In this dictionary, the author argues convincingly and substantially for the word “Tausūg” to be interpreted not as “people of the current,” as is widely asserted in anthropological texts, but as “people of the path of knowledge.” Today, the Bahasa Sūg language and its idioms continue to tell the story of the Tausūg people’s struggles.
This English–Bahasa Sūg dictionary contains over 15,000 entries, and is the first of its kind.
The author has spent years investigating the construction of his native language that he articulates according to the objective method of Tausūg language interpretation. This approach has enabled him to infuse Tausūg etymology with insights of sociocultural, religious, political, historical, and intellectual ideas—presenting these with profound and authentic articulation of the Tausūg character, worldview, and ethos.…Certainly, this Tausūg dictionary of Dr. Bangahan helps serve the purpose of rebuilding this country into a new nation or nations of informed people willing to accommodate historical truth and live with the reality of cultural diversity being schemed in the new Philippine Historical Code as “people’s national identity.”
- Abraham P. Sakili, PhD
National Historical Commission of the Philippines