I’ve known Sr. Gomez for 7 years now. But to this day I’m still learning new things from this man. His mind is a gold mine!
Two years ago he told me that we’re related. I told him that’d be hard to prove. A few months later he showed me this book with detailed family trees of the Locsin clan showing our familial link.
The guy’s a historian with a knack for finding buried truths.
I could understand why the ol’ man’s controversial. He doesn’t shy away from touchy historical topics. But as a young historian, I appreciate men like him because there’s not a lot people out there turning over stones. Whether you agree with him or not he deserves to be heard.
Gomez’s advocacy for the Spanish language is eerily similar to those forgotten Filipino who not only fought to keep it but used it to fend off rapid and rabid Americanization in the early 1900’s. His efforts, in print and, believe it or not, in social media, to bring Spanish back is quite fascinating.
Gomez’s from that generation of Spanish speaking Filipinos that saw Spanish as ‘THE’ language. While we all could draw different conclusions to this stand, it’s important to keep an open and critical mind. To understand this historian’s perspective we have to consider hisorical context. Gomez shares this ardent advocacy with the likes of Recto, Abad, Apostol, Balmori, Bernabe, Magalona and Cuenco.
There was a time when Filipinos stood up to defend Spanish, and to do so was patriotic. No one then questioned this advocacy as romanticism, although the American did consider it subversive. These days, only a handful of people fight this battle, and Gomez’s one of the last.
I’m of the opinion that Spanish must be studied not as a foreign language but a Filipino language. It’s irrefutable that old Spanish is part of our heritage.
Whether Spanish could lead the present generation of Filipinos to a deeper appreciation of our past is subject for open debate. I honestly believe that it’s not always the case. I’ve been in the BPO business for some time and has been friends with so many Spanish speaking Filipinos and majority of them possess no interest in our history nor our identity.
And yet, I’ve met people like the historian Pio Andrade, who has never spoken Spanish but has become a leading voice in bringing Spanish back in our schools. Another friend, a former Philippine Marine officer, who writes passionately on the subject, he too, never spoke Spanish.
So we go back to the question why Spanish is relevant today — I’d leave this for my distant uncle, my good friend, Sr. Gomez to answer.
Enjoy the podcast!
I’m kinda stuck now doing these podcasts in youtube. At the beginning, I thought that once the quality gets better and I get better producing it I’d try out itunes, only to find out that it would cost me to do so. So, I’m not going that route for now. These are the times when you wish you have money to pay for stuff.
For now, while it would be cool to have your own website and your files hosted, the way to go is to not to pay fees because there’s no fund for it. I think what’s important is that these conversations are uploaded in the internet and to allow people that are interested in ’em to get it when they want it. I have names lined up and together with my ol’ bud Filipinoescribble’s Pepe Alas, would continue making these podcasts.