I’d like to share an email that was sent to several Filipino American who were members of a discussion forum. I was copied by a friend. The sender, has been living in the States (or lived) for some time and has become active in Filipino American forums on the internet.
After posting some of the good that can come out from reintroducing Spanish, citing direct benefits for the appreciation of Filipino culture and history. among others, the poster was bombarded by the other members that kept on pressing that the move of getting Castillian back will be an educational disaster – to them the fact is that there is no historical basis for Spanish to be considered as among our language. The poster responded:
Hola *****, ****, todos–
No, you didn’t understand what I was trying to say. You are hearing what we have always been told:
1. Spanish was never the language of the Filipinos.
2. It’s impossible for Filipinos today to learn Spanish.
3. Spanish is irrelevant for the Filipinos.
4. What we see today as the Philippines and the Filipino nation is all that has ever been, all that ever will be.
1. Spanish is now once again an official Filipino language.
2. A lot of young Filipinos would want to learn Spanish if they had the means. In fact, a lot of young Filipinos are now studying Spanish because they realize that it is an asset.
3. A young Spanish historian told me that in Mexico at the time of independence, Spanish was not the lingua franca. In no former Spanish colony, practically, was Spanish the only language. It was in the course of the development of the new republics that the education system was developed and Spanish was spread.
4. Spanish has been irrelevant for the Filipinos, we have been taught that it is irrelevant — as you yourselves, who should be the first to debunk this fallacy, as “tisoys” should have done, but have perhaps wanted to keep it a language for the kitchen and the family gatherings, but have not bothered to cultivate it in order to write in it and defend it, as many of your great-grandparents did while they knew that it was inevitable, that their own descendants would turn their backs on Spanish and embrace English, nay, even aspire to become estadounidenses.
We were taught that it was irrelevant.
And today, what? Look at that country today. Look at it from your ivory towers in the States or wherever you are.
I’m ashamed of you.
Really, and find your shortsighted tisoy arrogance completely anachronistic, passé, proper to our parochial past.
I am speaking on behalf of your great-grandparents and great-greatgrandparents who never meant revolution to mean turning our backs on a rich culture and embracing a foreigner who wasn’t even interested in marrying into our race and spending the rest of their lives in our homeland.
Okay, please excuse me for the scolding. You can do what you want with it.
But the tisoy culture of the Philippines made its contribution to making Spanish and the Spanish past hated, and giving the anti-Filipinos who were posing as nationalistic heroes more firewood for the bonfire. Indigenism, Tagalog as the only Filipino language. The moros and ethnic minorities as irrelevant.
It was Elizalde who discovered the Tasaday, who showed love for them. I had never before seen any Filipino acting as though the jungle folk were worthy of being loved or honored.
I don’t know what the story was behind the scenes, no doubt there will be Elizalde bashers.
But the descendants of the Spanish in the Philippines also have things to examine in their consciences.
Anyway, my point was this: that A PEOPLE WITHOUT A MEMORY ARE FAIR GAME FOR EVERY CARPETBAGGING DESGRACIADO WHO WANTS TO STRIP THEM OF THEIR WEALTH AND DEGRADE THEIR PEOPLE INTO THE CONDITION OF DISENFRANCHISED BEGGARS.
We have a Hispanic Filipino memory and history that we alone — I believe — of all the former Spanish colonies — have not known how to value.
Instead, we have joined in with the idiots and dwarves — the midgets that were called midgets by our own Hispanic Filipino great-grandparents — who have thrown our Hispanic heritage into the dustbin, to emigrate to the United States.
Or to Australia, or to God knows where, and use the Philippines as their occasional residence, to “not lose their roots”.
Or the Sorianos and Zobels et al. who give away prizes to their pet artists and writers, good for them, at least they are paying lip service.
But oh! What a shame, what a damn shame! For all the good things that the United States of America did for the Philippines, that the U.S. trained bureaucrats and politicians have only learned to manage decadence and a culture of ignorance, as Pardo de Tavera described it.
OK, he dicho.
Por encargo de los difuntos.
I had to say this one day, and it’s out of the bag.
You can dish it out now. I really am interested in what you will have to say.
I guess if you cave in to insults and criticisms you lose, sometimes its best to fight!