I was informed that late last year, our country together with the African state of Equitoreal Guinea has been inducted associate members of Ibero America Summit. This only goes to show that we are still recognize by other Hispanic countries as belonging, historically, to the realm of Hispanic states. Though met with cold reception because of lack understanding by our very own leaders, exchanges with other Latin countries would help us recover our lost Hispanic history aside from the benefits of being in a league of nations with a common social and economic goals.
This induction is a plus as other known Latin nations (the group includes Portuguese speaking nations) will be together discussing economic and social issues. It does not promote anything other than close ties among Hispano nations – so no, we are not being re-conquered here but being recognized as a nation that was once the jewel of Hispanic civilization in Asia.
I know its probably hard for some to understand how an Asian nation that sits right across China could ever be Hispanic or at least consider herself Hispano. How could we be any different from our beautiful Oriental neighbors, many people ask. Different yes, but as geography has destined us to be with Asia, so is our historical role of being the bridge that connects Asia to the Latin world. Sadly, we haven’t realize this enormous potential yet due to many factors ranging from historical revisionism to uncontrolled hispanophobia.
As I’ve observed in the past, many of these states rightly recognizes the Hispanic-Filipino identity that they closely relate to. This acceptance has a lot to do with our historical tradition that not only resembles theirs but it is also proving to be a source of common strength and universal brotherhood among the former colonies.
The reality is that we are prouder of our American experience (brown Americans?) than our Hispanic origins, this explains our leaders’ disinterest who according to the writer Liz Medina, “Y es la misma gente que odia el español, odia el pasado, que vende sus almas por el dólar, que miente y roba y usa la política para fomentar el vicio, la ignorancia, la enajenación”. Somehow, this does not come as a surprise as we have been conditioned to accept selective facts about our Filipino history. For some joining the Summit is just an event but its significance could not be overlooked. This could very well be the light switch that will help us understand our Hispanic history.
Today, as we face up to precarious economic times, being with other Latin nations in a group is a great advantage. There is strength in numbers. As for me, I’m waiting for substantial discussions on helping us preserve our Hispanic culture and traditions. Funds and technical assistance that would help restore our old buildings and churches. This would be the best help that the Summit could give us.