COLABORATIONS

20/09/2000

THE FILIPINO STATE/ EL ESTADO FILIPINO

Por Guillermo Gómez Rivera
Academia Filipina de la Lengua
Correspondiente de la R. A. E.

Manila

    1.WHAT IS A STATE?

      A small dictionary defines state as "a territory with laws".
      The word "laws" in this definition naturally implies that there are people living in that "territory". This also means that the "territory" is the patrimony of the people living in it for which they have laws.
      And the very fact that a territory has its own laws, it also implies that it has a basic attribute of sovereignty to make such laws for itself.
      Thus, the word "laws" in this definition also implies that there is a government, with defending soldiers or policemen, existing in the same and referred to territory that enforces those laws upon the people living in it.
      That government may be monarchial because the ruler is a Chieftain or a King or by whatever title such a ruler may be called.
      Let us now find out the origin and evolution of the State that locals, as well as foreigners, now call as the Filipino State. Ang Estado ng Filipinas.

      2.WHEN WAS THE ORIGIN, OR BIRTH, OF THE FILIPINO STATE?

      When Philippine history is taught now-a-days, the origin, or birth, of the Filipino State is not discussed. It is purposely omitted.
      By whom? - You would ask. And we would answer, - by our White Anglo Saxon Protestant masters who by their undue interference in the language and economic policies of the Filipino State threaten, or violate, its attribute of sovereignty.
      Why? - You would again ask.
      In order to turn Filipinos into strangers in their own country for the purpose of better exploiting them economically in the midst of their confusion about themselves.
      And this charge can be proved true by the un-Filipino results of the educational system principally conducted in English which most often makes relative, or insecure, the attribute of sovereignty of the Filipino State.
      But let us go back to the main question. When was the birth of the Filipino State?
      The answer is very easy.
      At the same instant that Manila was founded and established as its capital city. And the date given to that event is June 24, 1571.
      It is, therefore, a fact that the Filipino State was simultaneously founded with the founding of Manila. For, why should there be a capital city, seat of a Central Government and Law, without a corresponding State to govern?
      And due to this fact, we come across a grave error being committed in the manner Philippine history is taught in our schools.
      We often tell our students and children that Manila was founded on June 24, 1571 as the Capital City of the Philippines but we always fail to teach that with its founding the Filipino State was also founded and established.
      We also fail to underscore that from that day onward, the Filipino State began to exist as a jurisdictional reality up to the present time as we find ourselves talking about it in this year 2000.

      3.WHAT WAS THE STATUS OF THE FILIPINO STATE IN 1571?

      Its status was that of a Province of Spain administered through the vice-kingdom of New Spain which is Mexico today.
      At the beginning, the Filipino State was treated as a missionary and military outpost by its creators. The Spanish military was there to guard and protect the missionaries and the scant Spanish civil population that came to settle in the Islands.
      But this situation does not affect the other fact that the constituents of the newly formed Filipino State were primarily the Spanish Conquistadores followed by the indigenous (mostly Tagalog, Pampango and Visayan) and Chinese population that accepted the King of Spain as their sovereign.
      Naturally, by accepting the Spanish King as theirs, all those mentioned became Spanish citizens in fact. And as Spanish citizens they shared in whatever attributes of sovereignty that Spain had at that time.
      This is the reason why Spain was referred to as their State's Mother Country. And this also may explain why Filipinos stood with Spain, for almost four hundred years, against all the several invasions of their islands launched by the Dutch, Limahong and the British.
      We may add that under the United States of America, the Filipinos stood by her against Japan because they lived with the thought of sharing with Americans their country's attribute of sovereignty even if General MacArthur, unlike Simón de Anda, chosed to flee from the Philippines leaving Filipinos to themselves with the phrase 'I shall return'. The tragedy of the Filipino war veterans waiting for American compensations in the form of a grant of U.S. citizenship with all its benefits, is a drama that we are witnessing up to now and well into the new millenium. But this fact is merely noted as a footnote to the relative "attribute of sovereignty" due the existing Filipino State.
      Going back to the establishment of the Filipino State in 1571, we moreover note that when the reigning King of Spain became Felipe II, the name Felipeno acquired a more pragmatic connotation. It meant 'one who paid tribute, or taxes', to Felipe. Thus Felipenos were also the Indios who rendered service in his name and the Chinos Cristianos that paid the necessary licencia (a form of tax) to him for doing business in the Islas Felipenas. The other Felipenos were, or course, the Spanish Conquistadores and Frailes that served Felipe II.

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(As a linguistic note, we remind our co-Filipinos that the two letters "E" in Felipeno were eventually replaced with the letter "I" because the indigenous Alíbata did not have neither an "E" nor an "O" in its composition. Being influenced by Arabic it only had three vowels or phonemes, ----namely A, I, U).
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      The form of government that came with the founding of the FILIPINO STATE was monarchial and it had the main feature of being one with the Catholic Church because of the Patronato Real. This was an agreement of unity between Madrid and Rome.
From this Patronato Real, the unity between the Spanish monarch and the Pope produced the first aim of Spanish colonization which is to Christianize.
      By 1599, or twenty eight years after the founding of the Filipino State, a Synod was organized in Manila wherein all the Maharlicâ Chieftains, Régulos, Principales, Rajahs and Datus or heads, of the different Ethnic States that were still existing in the entire rchipelago, were assembled in Manila to answer the simple question (called a requirimiento ) if they accepted, or did not, the Spanish King as their sovereign. (See John Leddy Phelan's "The Hispanization of the Philippines", P. 25 as edited and presented by historian Renato Constantino's Filipiniana Reprint Series, Manila, 1985).
      The Synod had this one simple and main question addressed to all the representatives of the native Ethnic States. "Do you accept the King of Spain as your lawful sovereign?"
      The question was translated to them in all their different native languages.
      Before answering Yes, the Chieftains conferred among themselves and then frankly asked the Spaniards under Legaspi what benefits they would get if they elected the Spanish King as their sovereign.
The Spanish answers were, more or less, the following:
      (*) They would have the organizational benefits of Christianity since their acceptance of the Catholic Religion will not only mean the salvation of their souls but also the conversion of their barangays into sitios, their several sitios into a barrio, their several barrios into a municipio, their several municipios into a provincia with a cabecera, and, their several provincias into a "estado regional" under a Concejo de Indias of the Crown of Spain. By the 1800s, Las Islas Felipenas would fall under the Ministerio de Ultramar as an over-sea province (Provincia de Ultramar) along with Cuba and Puerto Rico.
      (*) The indigenous people would become, so to speak, CITIZENS of Spain because "your friends will be our friends and your enemies will be our enemies", in the tenor of the Requirimiento read to them.
      (*) They would also have a better economy, from one that was of subsistence in character to one that was utilitarian. This would occur upon the arrival of new industrial and agricultural plants, root crops and vegetables like the maize, the café bean, the chocolate cacao, patties, camotelc, (camote) tobacco, casava, papaya, maní, lanca, calabaza, tomatoes, onions, sincamatelc, (sincamas) camachictelc (camachile), etcetera, aside from the introduction of the arado (araro) and the azadón (asarol), the sistema de cajón of planting rice and a working irrigation system with the introduction of the horse (kabayo), the cow (Baka), the carabao (imported from Vietnam), the sheep and new fowl like the ganza, the pavo and a new breed of pato.
      (*) From Manila, the capital city, a national system of government would improve the local pre-Hispanic system of governance for every Ethnic State since with Christianization and the founding the pueblos or municipios the integration into one, single, Filipino State of all the previously different local, or ethnic, nations would be achieved.
      (*) There were other things, relevant to a national Filipino infrastructure, that were possibly mentioned and explained like the organization of parochial schools, colleges and a university (UST), a foreign trade vía the Acapulco-Manila Galleons, a system of land ownership with the encomiendas that would later become partitioned into haciendas, an inter-island transportation system, etc..
      (*) The gradual spread of Spanish, along with the principal languages (Tagalog, Bisaya and Ilocano) as the primary official language of the courts and public documents would be the hallmark of progress. The mentioned principal native languages would also be developed with a common phonetic and Hispanic alphabet in order to convert them into better tools of Christianization and basic European civilization and education for the indigenous people.

      4.THE INTEGRATION OF THE PRE-HISPANIC ETHNIC STATES.

      The majority of the local Chieftains that came to the 1599 synod, upon learning of the foregoing benefits, overwhelmingly voted Yes to the proposal about the Spanish King being their sovereign.
      Even the Moslems of Manila, of Joló and Mindanao said Yes to this proposition thereby integrating their own local Estates into the recently founded Filipino State. The favorable vote of these early Moslem groups was later affirmed by Sultan Alimuddin of Joló when he later visited Manila.
      Thus the local Moros also participated in the establishment of the Filipino State from the start.
      The 150 or so Chinese residents in Mayi-in-I-la also said "Sí" to the same proposal and became citizens of Spain.
      Thus, the Filipino STATE, started out with three kinds of people as its founding constituents. These are the Spanish Conquistadores and Frailes, the Tagalog, Visayan and Capampañgan katutubô or indigenous (Indios to the Spanish records) and the Chinese that migrated from both China and the destroyed Orang Dampuan settlement in northern Mindadanao.
      As the Messianic Spanish Frailes went on with the founding of Catholic pueblos, which they also endowed with maiz, camote, kamatis, sibuyas, ajos, calabaza and the guisado, the asado, the pinirito (frito), the salseado, the enjamonado, the embutido and the puchero and the tinola, they also got the Chinos Cristianos to bring over some Chinese culture, particularly their cuisine.
      With the help of their indigenous flock and their Chino Cristiano co-adjutores, the Frailes got to build, through the bayanihan system of both the Polo and the Falla, all those awesome Catholic churches, roads, bridges and Casas-Tribunales and Casas Reales that used to dot every Filipino pueblo of recent times.
      Thus, the Filipino STATE became consolidated in fact because of the patient work and determination of the Spanish Frailes at the head of their Indio and Chino Cristiano flock.
      Then, Filipinos, with their Indio and Chino Cristiano relations, became full-fledged Spanish citizens. This happened in 1810 when they were given Spanish surnames for identification and tax purposes. Those who wanted to keep their Indio, or Chino Cristiano, surnames were allowed to do so with the condition that these be spelled and pronounced in Spanish.
      Thus Indio surnames like Macaspac, Maglaque, Agcaoili and Chino Cristiano surnames like Tantiongco, Cojuangco, Tanjutco, Locsin, Lacson, etcetera, became Spanish surnames with their owners also becoming Spanish citizens.
      There were only five kinds of taxes imposed upon them. These were: the cédula personal, the licencia, the amillaramiento, the aduana and the herencia.

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There were, then, no such oppressive things as a yearly income tax to pay at source and to file every March and April. There were no oppressive EVAT, no gasoline tax, no electrical and water distribution tax, no amusement tax, no 70% inheritance tax, no confiscatory land and business taxes, no court, litigation, entertainment and prostitution taxes and no cigarette and drink taxes, etc. etc. now collected to mainly pay an atrocious foreign debt and an oversized and graft-and-corruption ridden bureaucracy.
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      In the Nineteenth Century Filipinos revolted against Spain in their desire for political reforms but were overtaken by the war declared by the U.S.A. in order to grab Cuba, Puerto Rico and Filipinas, the three last provincias de ultramar or Spanish over-sea provinces.
      The U.S. WASP invaders did not only downgrade into a mere "insurrection" the Filipino resistance to their war. With the war they cruelly imposed upon the recently born República Filipina of 1898, they nullified the flowering of the 1571 freely established State in Asia.

      5.MATURITY OF THE FILIPINO STATE IN 1898.

      Thus, after 337 years, the FILIPINO STATE became so rich and so vibrant that from a mere missionary outpost it went on to become a colony, in the Spanish sense of the word. It went on to become an over-sea Spanish province under a Ministerio de Ultramar until it graduated into the 1898 República Filipina which the invading American forces of the 1900s literally destroyed with an unjust war by murdering one sixth of its total population (see: "The Philippines, Land of Broken Promises" by James B. Goodno, page 33) and plundering from it its reserve in gold and silver worth, according to witness Soledad Vital de Luna (in her 1952 letter), over one hundred billion U.S. dollars.
      From the full-fledged STATE that it was, the Filipino State was grossly demoted into a servile U.S. neo-colony ridden, from the start, with graft and corruption as aptly described by the El Renacimiento Editorial of 1907, "Aves de Rapiña" (Birds of Prey).
The República Filipina of 1898, as the legitimate owner of the Filipino STATE, gallantly defended itself against the U.S. WASP invasion in a protracted war that began in the Santa Mesa-San Juan bridge, with one Captain Grayson being the first to treacherously open fire upon Filipino soldiers.
      The Filipino-American war formally ended with the capture and execution of the second President of the República Filipina, Macario Sakay, in 1907.

      6.1900: THE FILIPINO PEOPLE WAS DEPRIVED OF ITS OWN STATE.

      When the American WASPs had, at last, succeeded in imposing their military and neo-colonial rule, one of them, James Leroy, concluded that the Filipinos became stateless as a result of U.S. expansionism. (See: "Filipinas para los Filipinos", a book written by Epifanio de los Santos Cristóbal /EDSA/ edited in 1908).
      Indeed, the Americans claimed the Philippine Islands as a "territory of the United States of America" but never gave any American citizenship status to the Filipinos as Spain did from the start of her rule.
      Thus, while it was the Spaniards who started for all Filipinos the organization of what was later to become their own Filipino State, the basis of their national patrimony and rights, the American WASPs took away from them, the Filipinos, their own STATE.
      This explains what James Leroy said.
      This is the reason why the fact about Filipinos having been Spanish citizens is deliberately being silenced in any present history text book of this country.
      And this all because our servile educational authorities of today are afraid to recriminate the American WASPs for having withheld the U.S. citizenship due to the Filipinos in lieu of the latter's loss of their status as Spanish citizens and, later, their own loss as citizens of their own independent 1898 República, ----which the same U.S. WASP invaders brutally destroyed and robbed.
      This is why a famous newspaper writer, Tirso Irrureta Goyena, who was also a lawyer, a political science professor, a poet and a friend of Claro M. Recto, wrote the following critique in 1916 against the unjust American take-over of the Filipino State at the great expense and loss of the Filipino people. Wrote Goyena:
      "The American occupational Government in the Philippines ought to make it known that the Filipinos now live under the American flag but are not American citizens nor can they call themselves Filipinos since no Filipino State is presently allowed to exists; that this people therefore are like the Jew, robbed of National personality; but that under the Spanish rule the Filipinos were Spanish citizens and could occupy, as many occupy still, important posts in the Motherland.
      It ought to make it known that now the Filipino cannot command American troops, white troops, because the brown color of his skin forbids it, but that this color never was an obstacle under Spanish rule to keep a native Filipino from commanding white Spanish troops, as several of them actually continue to do now in Spain.
      It ought to make it known that the Filipino, on account of the color of his skin, can neither be member of a white association of Christian young men, now being organized as such a center but in a separate building for Filipino associates, when there already exists one for Americans and foreign whites.
      This is a reflection of what occurs in the Southern States where the Negroes have to form, if they can, their own circles, their own clubs and societies apart from the whites.
      It ought to make it known that the present U.S. government here is not like that of unfortunate Spain, the old Spanish one being “by and for Filipinos” with the aggravating circumstance that the presently best figs in the budget, the best positions and the best salaries, are, in their majority, primarily being enjoyed by Americans, whilst the inferior posts of clerks, messengers and porters are exclusively reserved for Filipinos, even if better educated and instructed than the Americans.
     It ought to make it known that, formerly, Spanish missionaries used to evangelize the savage tribes of the interior, forming them into village and town communities, converting them to Christianity and infusing into their souls the spirit of civilized beings; but now, a Worcester puts himself to “civilizing” those same tribes with glass toys and by cinematic projections, to get them to fashionably part their hair in the middle, whilst in their interior they remain savages like before
      It ought to make it known that now many more millions of pesos are extracted from the Filipino people than in Spanish times, and a pile of money is spent in Public Instruction only to have those thousands of supposedly instructed young men, that yearly come out of those schools, find themselves unemployed because the have not been given, in reality, any other future in their own country save that of dependents and petty clerks in American concerns that economically exploit the Filipino natural resources; that the lucky student who is sent to America with money wrested from the Filipino people, has to pay for what they tell him is a U.S. privilege when, in reality, the money that was spent for him he really owes to his own people, whom he later betrays when he makes over his personality to become a half-baked American that has to give undue thanks to the American administration.
      It ought to be known that in many public employment positions, competent and intelligent Filipinos are put below incapable Americans, and have to obey American superiors whom these Filipinos must instruct because they really know nothing of their charge.
      It ought to be made known that the miserly pay which the Filipino school master gets in the public schools is a pittance when compared to the splendid salaries drawn by principals, supervisors, superintendents and high American functionaries in the department of education.
It ought to make known that here, it is the American Government itself that functions to the detriment of the interests of individuals, because it is the American government here that goes into the business of freighting vessels, of supplying ice, of manufacturing furniture and of printing textbooks; And that in public bidding and awards, the bid of “the local firms” are accepted, but Filipino money still leaves the country because those bidding firms are, in fact, American companies since the companies which first enjoy franchises and privileges are the American ones, or those enjoying American patronage, whilst the enterprises of Filipinos and other foreigners are without any protection.
      Finally it should make known that all, absolutely all Filipinos who now occupy high positions in the Assembly (Philippine House of Representatives) in the Courts, in commerce, in the arts, and in the administration are products of the Spanish education which the Americans and their lackeys here treacherously attack in newspapers and school textbooks at every turn.
      It is but a fact that all the Spanish-speaking Filipinos who are today's honored statesmen, noted writers, distinguished priests and recognized artists, -----which is an impressive intellectual phalanx of greatness-----, are precisely the ones who do so much honor to the Filipino nation thereby vindicating for it a high place among the most civilized nations and not the miserably confused lot that have now graduated from this colonial system of mal-education; that, in order to provide intelligent pupils for these present day American schools of reinforced concrete now being built upon American orders, but at the expense of Filipino money, Spain had to first succeed in giving existence here to a cultured, Christian and civilized society; -----And that if Spain had not accomplished this gigantic and sublime work, America would not need to build schools of concrete now, but would have been forced to erect barracks of wood and strongly fenced iron pens to herd in them an uncivilized Filipino people, like they often do to this day with the Red-skins that are still penned up in the so called U.S. State Reservations, because in contrast to what the present Spanish educated Filipinos are in this first decade of the 1900s, Anglo-Saxon Protestant civilization has reached absolutely nothing higher with the original natives of the American continent."
(See: "Por el Idioma y Cultura Hispanos", Tirso de Irrureta Goyena, UST Press, Manila, 1917).

      7.THE FILIPINO STATE TODAY.
      With the farcical grant of a July 4 independence to the Filipino people of 1946, the U.S. WASPs had also subtly laid out an economic debt-trap wherein the Filipino State would perpetually be in debt to their banks. This is a situation that would allow them to annul that "independence" when they dictate policies, both economic and educational, upon the Filipino people through the latter's own political leaders. One of those dictated policies is to ram into Tagalog based Filipino the entire English alphabet with the Ñ as its only concession.
      In other words, it should dawn upon every Filipino that the independence granted to them in 1946 was later on taken away by the same grantors because the Filipino STATE continues, in fact, to be "a territory of the United States of America" without the majority of Filipinos not knowing about this matter in the midst of their mis-education and stultifying poverty.
      And so that Filipinos would never know, the neocolonialist WASPs, and their vile local lackeys, have laid out a language policy that would confuse the Filipino people about themselves and their national identity.
      The neocolonialists know that the best way to keep a people ignorant and poor is to first confound their language.
      In line with this cruel objective, we have Andrew González, FSC, denying in the first chapter of his book (Language and Nationalism, Ateneo de Manila Press, QC, 1980, page 1) the fact about the 1898 Filipinos having chosen Spanish and Tagalog as their "national linguistic ymbols". He writes:
      "This search for national identity however, did not focus on language as an issue. Nor did it associate the search for national identity with a specific Philippine language."
      This statement is false in its first part because José Rizal lengthily discussed "language as an issue" in Chapter Seven of his "El Filibusterismo" when he made Simoun and Basilio debate about Spanish vis-à-vis the 40 or so native languages. Is this debate not a "focus on language as an issue"?
      On the same page of his book, Andrew González, FSC cites the Constitution of Biak-na-Bató as stating that "Tagalog shall be the official language of the Republic."
      Yet, the same Andrew González, FSC and twice selected DLSU President and presently appointed DECS Secretary, predicates this fact, attested to by no less than the Constitution of Biak-na-Bató, with his arbitrary and baseless disagreement that there was no "search for national identity with a specific Philippine language" during the time of the First Filipino Republic.
      What, then, is Tagalog? Is it not a "specific Philippine language"?
      Andrew Gonzalez, by saying that The First Republic had a "Nationalism Without a National Linguistic Symbol" wittingly, or unwittingly, wants to justify the neocolonial imposition of English upon the unwary Filipino people and at their monetary expense at that. In this matter about language, it looks like he is with the American Protestants and Masons of the SIL and is virtually against the mostly Catholic Filipino people and their socio-economic as well as national language interests.
      We also know the negative stand of Andrew González vis-à-vis Spanish even as a mere foreign language subject in today's college curricula. It is a fact that when he presided over the CHED panel that issued CHED's CMO No. 44, Series of 1997, not provision of a number of units was made for the formal teaching of Spanish and Arabic.
      This omission is an act that is clearly contrary to what is explicitly mentioned in the 1986-87 Cory Constitution about Spanish and Arabic.
      It may also be a fact that he could have possibly influenced one CON-COM appointed Wilfrido Villacorta, a DLSU professor, to support the abolition of the little teaching of Spanish in college via the much criticized Cory constitution.
      What looks like an Andrew González bias against Spanish is akin to his stand against Tagalog, or Filipino, vis-à-vis the compulsory use of English as medium of instruction and its compulsory teaching in all levels of present-day Filipino education (or should we also say mis-education?).
      For if he were for Filipino, he would be the first to demand the restoration of the 32 letter Alphabet used by Balagtás in the original "Florante at Laura" in lieu of the English, or Taglish, alphabet now being rammed into Filipino, into Tagalog, into Bisaya and into all the principal native languages.
      We remember him also as one of those who presented himself before the Salvador Británico Committee at the Batasang Pambansa (1985-1986) to ask for the abolition of the Miguel Cuenco 12-unit Spanish language law. And the reasons he gave were highly questionable.
      We also know him as a member of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, a CIA-USAID funded entity that possibly dictated the ramming into Tagalog, or Filipino, of the anti-phonetic English Alphabet which vowels, or basic phonemes, are contrary to the basic sound of the five absolute vowels of Tagalog and of all the principal native languages of the Philippines.
      (See the book "Fishers of Men or Founders of Empire?": The Wycliff Bible Translators (Summer Institute of Linguistics-SIL) in Latin America” by David Stoll, ZED Press, London, 1982).
      The practice of spelling Tagalog words in English is now accepted without any Filipino linguist sensitive enough to strongly object to this overt destruction of the very foundations of the Filipino national language.
      At the bottom of this destruction of Filipino, initially based on Tagalog, is the sectarian and racist hatred for Spanish because what we call the Balagtás Alphabet is, to a large extent, derived from the Spanish Alphabet, ---albeit added with letters that symbolize particularly Tagalog and native consonants.

      8.THE FILIPINO STATE BECOMES MUTE, OR STAMERING, IN ITS OWN LANGUAGE.

      As we said, the neocolonialist desire to own the Filipino State in spite of the Filipinos themselves, is riding on the issue of language. This is an issue which they purposely fabricated to confuse the Filipino people unto ignorance and poverty. It is also there to annul the real voice of Filipino self-reliance and freedom.
      Thus, the Spanish language, in summary, is also the other target of the contradictory statement of Andrew González in his mentioned book.
      Spanish, maintained as an official language by the Malolos constitution represented the continuation of the basic nationality and nationalism of the Filipino since 1571 unto 1898 and even onward to the 1935 Constitution.
      Even President Ferdinand Marcos, reviled as a Dictator the moment he defied the U.S. WASP neocolonialists, preserved Spanish as an official language of this country in a decree he issued during his tenure. It is said that this decree was issued to spite the neocolonialists that insisted in dictating upon him, Ferdinand Marcos, the permanence of the economic indebtedness of this country to the U.S. banks masquerading as world lending institutions.
      Marcos decreed something they did not like for the Filipino, Spanish, the official language of the Filipino Republic they cruelly destroyed through bloody serial massacres.
      Modesto Reyes, a newspaperman and a labor leader from Manila wrote the following article in his Rizalist newspaper known as ISAGANI. The article clarifies two matters that our resent-day history books deliberately omit:
      "The Spanish citizenship of Filipinos and their embrace of Spanish as their own language. “Well, in our humble judgement, the Philippines used to have a national language when it formed part of the Spanish nation. And that national language was Castilian or Spanish, which is also the national language Spain because the Philippines was an integral part of Spain and we used to be Spanish citizens like those born in the Peninsula. But came the United States and without first making us part of its territory nor wishing us to become American citizens like themselves, they have, however, imposed upon us English, their national language".
      Page 24 of the monthly magazine ISAGANI, (Revista mensual de asuntos generales), Año 1, No. 5, Junio, 1925, with offices at 466 Calle Nueva, Binondo, Manila, I.F., Tel. 2-55-37, edited by Modesto Reyes.
      In another, and later, issue of the same monthly magazine, ISAGANI, corresponding to September, 1925, and on page 22 of the same, the following comment is read:
      "It had to take a quarter of a century and a (Monroe) Commission of wisemen, chosen from millions of U.S. citizens, to know that the Filipino people can not be forced to speak the language (English) of another people no matter their wealth and power. Here are the eloquent words of that Commission: “Upon finishing school, more than 99% of the Filipinos will not speak English in their homes. Probably 10 to 15 percent of the next generation might use this language in their occupation. In fact, according to this estimate, English in the Philippines will not be the language of the Filipino people".
      At most, it will only be the language of the people in the government service who may use it among themselves, which is why there shall always be the need to use the vernaculars (and Spanish) to address directly the people...
      If only some reflection had been duly done when the actual (American) rule was implanted here and if only there was a measure of equanimity and respect toward what was previously in existence in this country, namely the accomplished work of occidental civilization (Spain) for over three centuries upon the strong base of Catholic Christianity, all that exists here would not have been considered bad and despicable, as seen from the lens of egoism and ignorance, since so many great institutions could have been appreciated, such us our legal system along with our other institutions which are just as sacred and which are the envy of other nations that are greater than the filipino nation itself.
      Among those other sacred institutions is the Spanish language of Alfonso el Sabio and Cervantes, el Manco de Lepanto.
      Outside of the right (if any) of the (U.S.) Master to impose his language upon the people subjected by him, due to the design of Providence according to him, and the Treaty of Paris and the twenty million dollars according to history, what other right and just motive does he have to erase the Spanish language in this country and replace it with English?
      Is it not of plain common sense to know that it would have been far easier to further propagate Spanish, which was already the official language and the mother tongue of so many pure Filipino families, in and out of their homes, and from whom were born so many writers, poets and distinguished men of letters?
      There is absolutely no doubt, says a Filipino jurist of today, that if the same time and money, and the same teaching systems and methods, now employed in the teaching of English were instead dedicated to the teaching of Spanish, the latter would have been propagated in a much larger proportion in comparison to the much less present proportion in which English has been propagated!
      Now, with that failure with English, it is but natural to think in the adoption of one of the native dialects as, first, the official language and, later, as the national language of this country.
      In short, the WASP Neo-colonizers very capriciously and brutally forced the English language upon the Filipino people without any respect for the wishes for Spanish on the part of our Filipino ancestors, in general, and without spending a single U.S. dollar from their own American treasury, since the funds needed for the imposed teaching of English was extorted, as is the practice up to now, from Filipino taxpayers.
      A Puerto Rican writer once made this question: What effect, upon the matter of language did the terrifying military operations, as launched by the U.S. invaders, really have upon the Filipinos since 1899?
      An American linguist, Mary I. Bresnahan gave the following answer.
With regard to the question as to whether the desire of the Filipinos to learn English was sincere or merely a submissive gesture of survival aimed at calming down the American invaders, will continue to become speculative.
      At any rate, documents depict the Filipinos as shaking in fear inside their houses of sticks and wood expecting the entry of cruel Americans, reputed as murderous giants, decidedly ready to kill the trusting Filipinos. Uncertain about the motives of the Americans, the Filipinos did what they thought would please and flatter them the most, ---study their language. (Vide; Idioma y Política "El papel desempeñado por los idiomas español é inglés en la relación política de Puerto Rico-Estados Unidos", por Alfonso L. García Martínez, Editorial Cordillera, San Juan de Puerto Rico, 1976.)

      9.THE FILIPINO STATE, HOCKED BECAUSE BETRAYED..

      Thus, because of the confusion wrought upon the national psyche of the Filipino people through the English language confusion that has been imposed upon them in a collective manner, and at their own monetary expense, the Filipino State has ended being a virtually lost property to the Filipino people because it has been hocked, in perpetuity, to the American banks and to whatever they may deign to dictate.
      The solution to this betrayal could be the rejection of the use of the English language on the part of a more respectable Filipino people, unless the U.S. government and people take in the Philippines as a State of their Union and assume all the debts, which they themselves did impose upon the Filipino State in the first place.
      But since it is most likely that the U.S. will not take in the Philippines as a State, the rejection of English must be started by the Filipino people themselves to give way to their own national language as their tool of education and real development as a State with a better share of that attribute called "sovereignty".
      The present state of the Philippine economy, and the doormat situation of the Filipino State, calls for a solution such as the one we recommend.
      Anyway, with compulsory English, it is only a few Filipino betrayers and scalawags who can get rich through corrupt means and thereby avoid suffering the poverty and penury imposed upon the majority. The rest, as we know, are condemned to poverty, ignorance and to the frequent miseries of brownouts, lack of potable water and deadly environmental pollution.
      What then is the general benefit Filipinos get from talking in a mostly fractured English now known as Taglish? Employment as over-sea domestic maids, drivers, entertainers, prostitutes, ----including the child and male varieties?
      This degradation upon which the ordinary Filipino job-seeker is forced into, has even turned the name 'Filipino' and 'Filipina' to mean 'domestic help' or servant in the English language. Is this the reserved place for Filipinos in the English speaking world?
Can the Filipino people ever recover the national honor they had when they were still a predominantly Spanish-speaking people? Or, will Filipinos need to become totally Chinese in order to recover some honor for themselves?
      In the end, can the Filipino State be ever recovered from its U.S. WASP oppressors that come as foreign banks and neocolonizing Mortgagees and hustlers?

Guillermo Gómez Rivera is a Hispanic Academic in the Academia Filipina, Manila


Collaborations/Colaboraciones:
Ang karahasan sa historia ng Filipinas (1) (2) (3) (4) &
Influencia asiática en el chabacano, & José Balmorí, & Estadísticas: El idioma español en Filipinas, &
El idioma criollo de Filipinas, & Mabuhay, Gloria Macapagal, & Literatura hispano-filipina, by Guillermo Gómez Rivera
Paulino Alcántara the Pilipino-Spanish football player, by Ian Estenor;   La Academia Filipina, by Tony P. Fernández
Presentation of the Book "Rizal According to Retana" (1) (2) (3) by Liz Medina;
Why the Spanish has disappeared from the Philippines?, by Jess Mendoza;  
Filhispanic Activism & El fenómeno hispano en Filipinas, by José Perdigón

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