Cuyonon are believed to be of Malay origin. They are of medium build with brown complexion, and with straight or curly hair. The Cuyonon speak the Cuyono dialect.
The anthropologist James Eder estimates that children speak Cuyonon in as few as 10 per cent of Cuyonon households in Palawan (personal communication)—an ominous observation that is confirmed by CLCP data collectors. Even those who try to speak Cuyonon incorporate so much Tagalog unconsciously (and English more consciously) into their speech that they are inventing creoles that can hardly be called Cuyonon at all.
Insofar as Cuyonon is to be valued as the repository of a formerly isolated, rural, Hispano-Philippine culture, massive culture loss is imminent. Cuyonon will not die out tomorrow, at least in its home-base on Cuyo. Yet its survival as a distinctive language is in question for the coming decades. As David Crystal has observed of African regions where creoles are rapidly growing, “many local languages are felt to be endangered—even though they are currently spoken by several hundred thousand people.”
“Three, minority people are losing territory fast to the center’s ethnolinguistic group. For example, Puerto Princesa in Palawan, which used to speak Cuyonon, no longer does, and the Cuyonons [a Western Visayan people] are becoming confined to a small group of islands off Palawan and will inevitably die out should we do nothing. Same story for the rest of the native Palawan, Mindoro and Zam-bales languages. – Dr. Jose Dacudado, President, SOLFED
Cuyo is the oldest town in Palawan with a culture of its own which has been preserved all these 350 years; and a dialect spoken by 43% of the estimated 300,000 Palaweños. Around its islets are rich fishing grounds. It is estimated that of about P200,000.00 worth of fish caught annually in Palawan, 50% comes from the waters around Cuyo Islands.
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Ako Cuyonon Blog
Ako Cuyonon Blog - in this blog you can read some interesting vieaws about Cuyo, Palawan.