Fifty Years of Partnership in the Philippines

(May 20, 2003) The first SIL linguists arrived in the Philippines 50 years ago at the invitation of a man for whom one of the most prestigious awards in Asia would later be named. Twenty years afterwards, SIL achieved the distinction of receiving that recognition—the Magsaysay Award for International Understanding.

In partnership with others, SIL has provided linguistic research and vernacular materials in almost 100 languages of the Philippines. SIL partners with The Philippine Department of Education, Translators Association of the Philippines, the Linguistic Society of the Philippines, University of the Philippines, De La Salle University and Philippine Normal University. Numerous community-based associations in language areas where SIL has worked now carry on similar language development programs for themselves while SIL provides training and consultation.

The 50th Anniversary Bibliography of SIL Philippines lists nearly 3,500 titles of academic research and literacy publications focused on the minority peoples of the nation. The work begun in the Philippines has spread to benefit minority groups across Asia and the Pacific. Today, the Philippines is also home for SIL Asia-wide training and administration.

In honor of this 50th anniversary, the Philippines government commissioned a series of postage stamps that feature ethnic designs of many cultural communities SIL has assisted.

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