Bicol Gubatnon or Southern Sorsogon Bicol

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Decades ago i dread going to Bulan, Sorsogon. Though fluent in many Bikol dialects I really can’t follow what the residents of Southern Sorsogon speak. I came to know later that residents of that area also have difficulty following the spoken dialects of Daraga, Albay and Legazpi City once they go in those places. I just told myself, “Hah, Bikol dialects are really much different from each other.”

Decades later I came across the website “Ethnologue” which is one of the most-known language classification services, widely-cited and used by some official agencies.  And, lo and behold, (surprise! surprise!) it classifies Bikol Gubatnon or Southern Sorsogon Bikol as a Waray dialect. I asked myself, “How can that be?”.

Trying to resolve the puzzle I texted a friend in Gubat, Sorsogon. I asked her if she can understand Samarnon. She answered, “Yes, almost entirely.” Wow! “We can talk with Samarenos directly without translation.” “Do you realize Ethnologue classifies your dialect as Waray?”. “Oh, I didn’t know that!”.

I am wondering now what Ibalonians coming from Southern Sorsogon have to say on this.

(Map credit: globalpinoy)

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