When my grandmothers met, for the first time, during the early seventies, neither spoke the other's tongue. They could only communicate by using English. In their parents' generation, it would have been Spanish.
English should be taught in schools along with Spanish. From a past article, school children look to have encountered the problem from the government of enforcing the teaching of English, but using Filipino Tagalog as the medium of education. There are more Pinoy children who speak Cebuano in the home compared to Tagalog.
That would be akin to a English child going to school, then learning French, whilst being taught in German.
South Korea and China desire to learn English for international business, but they are also industrialised as countries by themselves.
The Philippines does not have the luxury and could have expanded upon both languages of English and Spanish without detriment to the people. Instead we have Tagalog nationalists calling for Tagalog instruction and could care less about the other 100 languages extant in the country.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost