A friend of mine sent a link to a website where the site proprietor published his open letter for the municipal government to use of the name “san pedrense” over “San Pedronian”. Having worked with the mayor of the town, I know he prefers “San Pedronian”. The dilemma is that there are civic groups that has been using San Pedronian for a long, long time. Making them change what they call themselves wouldn’t really make much sense at this point. Also, and this is the main argument of some, the people in town are quite comfortable calling themselves “San Pedronian” — well, the reason for this is because they haven’t really heard about the proper and more local sounding “san pedrense” — most of the residents of the town today just moved in — we have to put the message across a lil’ bit clearly.
Now, I usually don’t mind these debates, but I happen to consider myself a resident of San Pedro, albeit, temporary most of the time. And if ever I decide to raise my family in this town (and this seem like a long shot because I don’t even have a child and I’m almost in my mid-30’s and also, I don’t like what’s happening here, the town is slipping into disorder) I would like to tell my kids these small details that I know doesn’t really matter for most people who’d rather watch TV dramas and log on to facebook, but such information would make them aware that Filipino towns just don’t pop out of thin air. That there’s history behind names and meanings. I want them to understand that behind these wonderful towns are complex historical origins — and that the spirit of those who first came together to build the community, which later became the towns we know today, lives on each and every one of us.
Does these people, whom we can refer to as the founding ancestors who laid the foundations of our town, even care whether the people now residing in the town (more than half are not locals) they built gets called “San Pedronian” or “san pedrense”?
We don’t really know. They’re not here anymore, the older generation has been quietly disappearing as well, but I would like to think that they wanted us to respect Filipino traditions, just as you would want your children and their children to honor your family name. And based on written history, not only in our country but in other Latin nations as well, san pedrense is the proper name.
There’s this anonymous person (the owner posted it this persons comment on the site as a response to my friends contention) that argues that both names are correct. Technically, this person and his or her American consultants are correct. Of course, no grammar or gentilic rules are being grossly violated but insisting or encouraging local administrators and the town people to refer to themselves as San Pedronian, a name that came to being during the American era, is like accepting that we “Filipinos” can be called “Philippinian” or “Philippinese” or “Philippist”. We’ll never accept any other name. Perhaps we’re the only people that does not have any other name aside from what our history bequeathed us. Other nationalities would be just as glad to be called by their westernized and anglicized names. A Nederlander would be ok with Dutch, a Deutsche with German, a Français with French or even a Nihonjin with Japanese but try calling a Filipino by any other name and he would most likely get offended. Our name was founded based on historical principles and events — not by whimsical theories which have no basis other than being acceptable to Americanized ears. We should quit trying to be like everyone else. Let’s look back at our history and try to find our real self.