Correct demonyms for Lagunenses

Correct Demonyms in La Laguna Province / Gentilicios Correctos en La Laguna

Official seal of Laguna


1. Alaminos = Alaminense
2. Bay = Bayeño
3. Biñán = Biñense (Biñanin may be acceptable since the name of the town is not Spanish)
4. Cabuyao = Cabuyeño
5. Calambâ = Calambeño
6. Calauan = Calaueño
7. Cavinti = Cavinteño
8. Famy = Calumpañguin (the town’s original name is Calumpang)
9. Kalayaan = Loñgoseño (the town’s original name is Loñgos)
10. Lilio/Liliw = Lilioeño/Liliweño
11. Los Baños = Bañense
12. Luisiana = Luisiense
13. Lumbán = Lumbeño
14. Mabitac = Mabitaqueño
15. Magdalena = Magdalense
16. Majayjay = Majayjayin
17. Nagcarlán = Nagcarlañgin
18. Paeté = Paeteño
19. Pagsanján = Pagsanjeño
20. Pañgil = Pañgileño
21. Páquil = Paquileño
22. Pila = Pileño
23. Rizal = Paulino (the town’s original name is Paulî)
24. San Pablo = San Pablense
25. San Pedro Tunasán = San Pedrense
26. Santa Cruz = Santa Cruzense
27. Santa María = Santa Mariense
28. Santa Rosa = Santa Rosense
29. Sinilóan = Siniloeño
30. Victoria = Victoriense

Duterte and Rizal

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I noticed how many local Facebook groups and pages, as well as anti-Catholic individuals, are taking advantage of President  Rodrigo Duterte’s childish tirades against the Catholic Church (including God Himself) by using a dead writer as an attack dog to support their disgust of anything that has to do with Catholic priests. I’m referring to Dr. José Rizal. Several memes about our national hero’s anti-friar attacks have been spreading around like wildfire, feeding the liberal happiness of those who loathe the “Bride of Christ”. I’ve even read comments from some die-hard Duterte fans who compared the president to the national hero.

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Pardon me for the quality of this rare book. I just got this from a flea market many, many years ago.

Fr. Cavanna wrote the book as an investigator and as a scholar, not as a priest. Once you’ve read through the book’s entirety, then that’s the only real time that you can argue about Rizal’s stand toward the Catholic Church.

Until then, feel free to shut up.

First published here.

Defining the Filipino National Identity without all the nationalist melodramatics

Image result for "filipino national identity"

Immediately after the “basktebrawl” that ensued between Gilas Pilipinas and Boomers last Last July 3, well-known sports broadcaster Chino Trinidad took to Facebook to express his dismay and embarrassment over the matter. Netizens were divided on the issue, but it seemed that many (including this blogger) defended the violent anger displayed by Gilas Pilipinas against their roughhousing opponents. Trinidad’s outspoken opinions didn’t sit well with many basketball fans, even prompting some to question his patriotism.


In a seeming response to the insults received, Trinidad posted a question that is close to my heart.


All the comments he received were subjective. Naturally, for not many Filipinos are aware of what a Filipino really is. While it may be easy to define who a Filipino is, it is not the same as defining what is a Filipino. So since the Filipino National Identity is my core advocacy, I couldn’t resist not to reply.

Dear Chino. It is easy to define WHO is a Filipino. Anyone can do it by pointing out to one’s citizenship, or via jus soli or jus sanguinis. Even foreigners like Robert Downey, Jr. can become Filipinos if they wish to do so (via naturalization). Still others can wax melodramatic by claiming that they have the heart and soul of a Filipino (I know many of this kind, Fil-foreign celebrities and emotionally charged historians alike). But defining WHAT a Filipino is? That’s the tricky part, especially for the historically uninitiated, for this area requires a bit of “historical science”. Let me explain briefly…

The Filipino National Identity is the product of the so-called “Estado Filipino” or the Filipino State that began to exist in Spanish on 24 June 1571. This Filipino State was founded together with Manila on that same date, with the government having Spanish as its official language. Towards the end of the 16th century, the previously existing native ethnolinguistic states went into the Filipino State as co-founding members. They incorporated themselves with the Filipino State when they elected King Felipe II of Spain, popularly known as King Philip II, as their natural sovereign. This election was verified during a synod-plebiscite held also during that time frame.

From that time on, and after forming part of the 1571 Filipino State, our pre-Hispanic —I’d rather call it pre-Filipino— ancestors also accepted Spanish as their official and national language with their respective native languages as auxiliary official languages. Thus, the previously autonomous ethnolinguistic states that existed before the 1599 synod-plebiscite were respectively the ones that belonged to the Tagálogs, Ilocanos, Capampañgans, Bicolanos, Visayans, Mindanáo Lúmads, etc. not excluding the Moro Sultanates of Joló and Maguindanáo. Aside from these indigenous or native ethnolinguistic states, the pre-Filipino Chinese of Mayi-in-ila Kung shing-fu or Maynilad, or what is now known as Manila, likewise joined the Filipino State when they accepted the King of Spain as their natural sovereign. More so, because they knew that they would become the chief benefactors of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade that would in turn last for 250 years.

Hence, all of the above mentioned people became, ethnographically and politically, Filipinos as well as Spanish subjects when they freely accepted the Spanish King (Rey Felipe II) as their natural sovereign in 1599, resided in Filipinas to do business, and paid taxes to His Majesty’s Manila government which became the capital of the Capitanía General de Filipinas, the basis of today’s Republic of the Philippines. It is because of this historical event that the Spanish language has become an inseparable part of every Filipino’s individual, collective, and national identity.

It is no wonder why former senator Claro M. Recto, one of our country’s greatest nationalists, declared that: “Without Spanish, the inventory of our national patrimony as a people will be destroyed, if not taken away from us since Spanish is part of our flesh and blood as Filipinos.”

The first to call themselves Filipinos, however, were those Spaniards who were born in our country (my generation remembers them as insulares). These Filipinos proudly referred to themselves as Hijos del País (Sons of the Country or Mg̃a Anác ng Bayan). But there was a power struggle between them and the Spaniards who were from Spain (peninsulares). The ethnolinguistic natives, particularly the most Hispanized of them all (the Tagálogs and the Capampañgans) sided with the people they grew up with: the insulares/Filipinos. In time, these Hispanized ethnolinguistic natives, including the Christianized Chinese, began calling themselves as Filipinos as well. And they had all the right to do so, because they spoke Spanish, they were baptized as Catholics, and they had been sharing the gifts of Western culture with their native-born Spanish brethren.

In sum, our Filipino National Identity is deeply rooted in our Spanish past, as do our country’s name (Filipinas/Pilipinas/Philippines), and how we call ourselves (Filipinos).

This information that I share to you about the origins of the Filipino Identity is just an introduction, and I tried to summarize it as briefly as I could. It is expected that many will disagree with this origin of the Filipino Identity, of course, and I can even be easily tagged as a colonial minded individual or “maca-Castilà”. But I have learned to understand such labels, especially since all of us have all grown up to the kind of history that was spoonfed to us by a chauvinistic kind of nationalistic education, that only the “nativist view” of the Filipino is the best and the most patriotic (I am not afraid to point a blaming finger at UP Dilimáns influential History Department and its exclusivist “pantayong pananaw” view of history).

But then, I think it is high time that we use our intellect instead of our emotions when it comes to a fair appraisal of Filipino History. And more importantly, knowing WHO and WHAT we really are based on our national identity as decreed by history will give us the much-needed DIGNITY and even COURAGE to help us move forward during these perilous times.

President Duterte is anti-depression (prelude to SONA)

While I have seen President Rodrigo Duterte talk many times on TV and on the Internet, I’m still excited to personally witness him deliver a speech, but just for entertainment value, not for anything else. I’m pretty sure many others like me feel the same, most especially the media who are hungry for more quotable quotes, focusing more on any forthcoming curse-laden quips from the president rather than on his accomplishments. It’s because he is starting to sound more of a comedian than a statesman, more of a jokester than a public servant. But why shouldn’t he? Public opinion is running wild with unwanted news about Chinese encroachment of our territory and the insane rise in prices of goods because of an unforeseen TRAIN wreck. And now, with four local government executives assassinated in just over a week, an underperforming stock market, and another transportation fare hike, he of all people knows that the public needs a respite from it all. All this is very depressing. So yeah, I’m very much willing to hear a presidential stand-up comedy myself. Nothing like it anywhere else in the world.

I just can’t wait for his SONA this Monday.

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Thank you for signing Republic Act No. 11036.

Serendipity in history

I’m always obsessed in trying to link present dates (or celebrations to be more precise) or even persons to historical events. I’m not sure if all historians practice the same, but for me, I find it fun and highly riveting as it somehow reveals a new perspective to a modern event or person.

For example, when I was researching about the life of Captain Abelardo Remoquillo of San Pedro Tunasán, La Laguna, I discovered that he shared the same birthdate as the Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō which had a minor participation in the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. It should be remembered that the attack on Pearl Harbor was the catalyst of the Pacific War, a theater of World War II, and that Captain Remo, as he was nicknamed, was a hero of that war.

Today, July 18, I turn 39. When I made a similar research that I did on Captain Remo for my special day, I found out that a least-known historical event —but something terrifying— happened on my birthdate.

138 years ago today, an earthquake rocked Manila and the provinces of Cavite, Bulacán, La Laguna, Pampanga, and Nueva Écija. Many structures such as churches were destroyed, especially those in Manila and La Laguna.

One of these churches was the one in San Pedro Tunasán (now the City of San Pedro).

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Iglesia de San Pedro Tunasán (San Pedro Apóstol Parish Church), San Pedro Tunasán, La Laguna (photo taken on 8 March 2017, courtesy of La Familia Viajera).

This church and its parish, dedicated to Saint Peter the Apostle, were established on 18 January 1725. The church houses the once miraculous Cross of Tunasán which infamously suffered a Rizalian satirical jab in the novel Noli Me Tangere.

Incidentally, we’ve been living in San Pedro Tunasán since 2004. My sons Jefe and Juanito were baptized in its church in 2010. And it was there where my wife and I had our belated traditional Catholic wedding on 13 September 2013.

Yes, exactly 99 years before I was born, the church which was to become an important part of my life was destroyed by an earthquake. There is indeed serendipity in history.

The AlDub phenomenon, and why Filipinos have gone crazy over it

I’m reblogging this now classic 2015 blogpost from my defunct blog FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES just in time for the AlDub Phenomenon‘s third anniversary which falls today. 😊



No matter how much we complain or give praise about it, it is a fact that stares us hard right in the face: our country is fixated with showbiz. It has become part of our culture — Filipino pop culture to be precise. From advertisements to philanthropy to politics, celebrities are almost always a focal point. Since the departure of strongman Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, who during the Martial Law years suppressed freedom of the press due to (alleged) circumstances beyond his control, emerging media moguls (led by ABS-CBN) somehow tinkered with the newly satiated freedom of many anti-Marcos Filipinos whose civil liberties were intentionally excluded by military rule. As emotions were running high during that time, new expressions of TV freedom (this includes TV Patrol’s rather controversial “on-air tabloid” style) were suddenly introduced to minds that had just been freed from years of media suppression. Not much later, Kris Aquino, the daughter of Marcos’ successor herself, became its prized darling…

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