San Pedronian? Really?

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.

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3 responses to “San Pedronian? Really?

  • Post #3: San Pedronian vs. San Pedrense - The San Pedrense | The San Pedrense

    […] read Ms. Elizabeth Medina’s post about this issue on her blog, With One Past. Her post “San Pedronian? Really?” is another well-written addition to this […]

  • Nica Mandigma

    Hi DeAnDa, thank you for linking to the post on my blog and for adding insight into this issue.

    You wrote: “We’ll never accept any other name.” This statement reminds me of the dilemma I had when Mr. Pepe Alas called my attention to San Pedrense being the correct demonyn for San Pedro. You see, I’ve been living here since I was inGrade Four. Hindi man ako taal na tiga San Pedro, dito na ako lumaki, nagkaisip, nagtapos ng high school at dito na din lumaki ang anak ko. Ni minsan, hindi ko narinig ang terminong “San Pedrense” mula sa mga opisyal ng lokal na pamahalaan at mga guro. Palaging “San Pedronian” ang aking naririnig.

    Maliban sa iyong sarili at kay Mr Pepe, wala na akong naririnig na gumagamit ng salitang ito. Kahit ang kasalukuyang alkalde ng bayan at kanyang maybahay ay di ko narinig na banggittin ito. Sa ganang akin, ito na ang history na kagigisnan ng anak ko — na tawagin bilan San Pedronian imbes na San Pedrense.

    Ang history naman ay puno ng pagbabago. Ang tanging magagawa na lang natin bilang mga estudyante ng kasaysayan ay itala ang mga pagbabagong ito nang sa gayon, hindi tuluyang mabura sa kasaysayan ng bayan natin.

    I end with a quote from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet: ” A roe by any other name would smell as sweet.”

    More power to you and your blog!

    • De AnDA

      @rica- history doesn’t change, it’s our understanding and interpretation that tends to differ. When I said that “we’ll never accept any other name” I was referring to the national gentilic term, “filipino”, we’re an exception because we don’t use any anglicized version of our nationality’s name. Meaning we don’t use Philippinian or Philippino. Now, back to San Pedro, and this is my opinion, perhaps this san pedrense issue only matters to those people that are aware of its hispano filipino past, otherwise, like what you said, you never used it, never heard it, so why use it all of the sudden? I could understand your point. It’s like using the hispanic term “filipino” when you’ve grown to be an adult never hearing nor using it. But I still suggest, for the town’s history to be remembered and studied, you having the site that can help educate, continue promoting the original name.

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