The same manual, as in the “Letters” of Valdez, contains templates of letters, and ‘Surat 21’ dated ‘Octubre 1, 1928’ will be useful for understanding the history of the Ilokano language. For this reason, I cite this letter verbatim: “Ay-ayatek a Rosita:/Diak magibusan nga isarita ti naiduma a ragsak ko idi innak naawat toy patgek unay a surat mo. Ngem idi nga innak maimatangan ti linas-odna, dagos laeng a simmal-lin ti nasaem unay a ladingit idi naganos nga essem itoy pusok. Wen, Pudno ket di masapol nga pasay-okan nak, ay-ayatek, ta kas pagaammom ngaruden nga pudnoak ket ipaypaysok dagiti isoamin nga naisaritak ken ka./ Wen, ay-ayatek a Rosita, ado dagiti pampanunot nga immapay kaniak a nakaigapo iti nabayag nga isusungbat mo. Umona, impapan ko nga pinalpali-iw ken rinikrikna nak pay laeng ken pinaneknekam pay met ti kinapudno. Maikadwa, mabalin met nga adda maysa  ka dagiti kapulpulapol mo unay nga nagirugrugi a nagsarita ka dagiti bambanag a mabalin a mangyaw-awan ta pamanunotam maipapan itoy ayat ko ken ka. Wenno, mabalin met a diak maikari nga agayat ken ka, ket iti kasta diak karbengan ti maikaskaso. Ket agpapan ita diak pay la ammo no ania ka dagitoy ti Pudno./Binasak a silaladingit toy surat mo. Binalbaliwak a binasabasa, ngem di met la nagsukat ti nailas-od. Pinarparmatak ti narniag a tagtagainep ket sika kan pay idi ti adda idi nagtingngaan ti lawag; binalabalakon ti maysa a balay iti tangatang ket sika ti princesa na; ket inar-arapaap ko metten ti panagbiag ta a sipupunnot ragsak, gapo na nga dagiti balikas mo pagpigergeren ken paglidayen dak iti nakaro unay iso a diak magibusan nga ibaga ken ka. Impapan ko laeng a naragsak ta iti biang ti maysa ken maysa ka data, nagam-ammo ta iti sidon ni naan-anay a talentalek, ket impapan ko pay nga naammo tan a naimbag ti tunggal maysa kada ta ket diak impagarop a maminsan laengen a maipadaga dagiti inanamak. Pudno la nga kastan aya? Mabalin ngata a kasta ti ranggasmo, ay-ayatek? Agdawdawatak ita kaasim ta di nak pay kuma pampaminsanen a paayen ta tanangem pay kuma. Ket ipalubos mo kadi a sawek pay toy naindaklan nga panagayat ko ken ka. Di nak kad guraen, ala; yantangay diak gagem ti agranggas. Pudno unay, ket diak agdwadwa nga siammo ka, nga siksika laeng ti pagbiagan toy pusok. Ngarod, di ka kad ipaidam ti inka panangimatang manen itoy sungbat mo ket ipalubos mo kad met nga maaddaan manen inanama,/Toy sipupudno ken ka, Rosendo.” (“Dear Rosita:/ I cannot begin to tell you how happy I was when I received your letter. But when I noted its contents, the tender happiness in my heart was replaced with the deepest of all griefs. Of course, you do not have to flatter me, dearest, as you know I am serious and I mean all that I have told you./ Yes, Rosita, dear. I entertained many reasons why you were slow in your reply. First, I thought you were observing, studying or testing my sincerity. Second, some people around you may have started a rumor tending to mislead your thought as to the truthfulness of my love for you. Or, it may be because I am not qualified to love you and therefore, you must disregard me. Until now, I do not know which of these reasons is right./ I read your letter with the utmost sorrow. I read it over and over, but the contents remained the same. I had dreamed such a bright dream of which you are the central figure of light; I had built such a castle in the air of which you were the princess; I had seen such a vision of life full of felicity, that your words shock and distress me more than I can tell you. I did not expect them. I thought we had been so happy in each other’s society, we had met in such entire confidence; we have, I thought, understood each other so well that I had dared to think my love for your was not unreturned. Even yet I can hardly believe that all my hopes are so suddenly dashed to the ground. Are your serious? Can you be so cruel, dearest? I pray that you do not utterly reject me without a little respite. Let me once more say how much I love you. Do not be angry with me, please. I do not mean to be rude. Please do not think that I have no respect for your decision. Surely your know that you alone are the life of my heart. So please, do not refuse to reconsider your reply and let hope once more be with/Your ever sincere/Rosendo.”)

The clue to the difficulty, even in the ‘illiterate’ quality of the Ilokano as used in the foregoing sample text materials is the failure to recognize that the Ilokano language is a verb initial language unlike English which most often begins with a noun or an actor. As a verb initial language, it is action that hits right at the start of the sentence, not the actor, and which renders the use of the ‘ket’, sometimes functioning as a copula, not a good example of a vigorous and crisp Ilokano sentence.

(To be continued)