Honrar a los marineros o tripulantes de los galeones que fueron en su mayoría mexicanos y filipinos

¡Están invitados a participar!

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Preparado por: Numeriano Bouffard.

 

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24 de junio de 1571: siempre volveremos a las raíces

Siempre invocamos cuando llega el 24 de junio que la dicha fecha es la misma fecha sagrada cuando se estableció el Estado Filipino (24 de junio de 1571), la base de la actual República de Filipinas.  Hoy se enseñó a todo el país a reconocer esa fecha, a través de un lavado de cerebro sistemático a lo largo de las décadas, simplemente como la fecha en que se declaró Manila como “ciudad capital”. Pero también siempre preguntamos lo mismo: “¿la ciudad capital de qué país?” Porque la lógica dicta que si hay una ciudad capital, debería haber, por supuesto, un país que debería representar.

¿Por qué el encubrimiento?

Gracias al Internet, la verdad sobre la Historia de Filipinas ya no se puede ser escondida. Nosotros filipinos siempre volveremos a las raíces.

¡Feliz 448° cumpleaños, Filipinas!

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Una sencilla celebración con mi mujer

VOLVAMOS AHORA A LA CIUDAD MURADA
(Pepe Alas)

Volvamos ahora a la ciudad murada
do brotaron todos nuestros anhelos,
esperanzas, amores, alegrías.
Cada adoquín tiene una vida propia,
cada ladrillo, con un breve cuento:
de los informes de los
misioneros mansos y dedicados,
llenados por el Verbo;
correrías de diestros marineros
de las naos castigados por el clima
que han vinculado varios continentes;
la vigilancia de los defensores
de los gruesos muros que han defendido
a los residentes durante muchas
edades, cuando el ruido de las calles
era el galope de las carromatas,
la brisa nocturna se llenaba de
sal fresca y fría de la bahía que
ha sido testigo del crecimiento
de la ciudad de nuestras dilecciones.

Adoquín, ladrillo, baldosa, cápiz,
techos de tejas rojas que coronan
cada caserón, y los campanarios
que muestran campanas que
suenan con cada tirón de esos brazos
jóvenes animados por el aire
vigoroso del ponto:
todos estos trozos de historia y canto
revelan una etapa
cuando la ciudad de nuestros amores
aún estaba rodeada por muros de
nuestros anhelos, nuestras esperanzas,
nuestros amores, nuestras alegrías.
Volvamos ahora a la ciudad murada
para reanimar estos deseos
que nos completarán.

Derechos de reproducción © 2019
José Mario Alas
San Pedro Tunasán, La Laguna
Todos los derechos reservados.

Did the Spaniards treat our native languages as garbage?

Last year, my friend and fellow historian José María Bonifacio Escoda (author of best-selling book Warsaw of Asia: The Rape of Manila) became viral after a Facebook post of his was deemed supposedly as anti-LGBT. He was bashed left and right because of this. But I didn’t know anything about it until last night when another friend posted an online article regarding the controversy on her FB timeline. Browsing through the article and comments, I encountered this:

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And yet he writes in Taglish. Makes you wonder who, really, is treating Tagálog like garbage.

Now this is a brash claim. The Spanish friars preserved our native languages by studying them intently and then writing grammar books about them (“Gramática de la Lengua Tagala”, “Arte de la Lengua Iloca”, “Vocabulario de la lengua Bisaya”, etc.). In fact, the real reason why we are still talking about the Baybayin today is because the Spaniards preserved it for posterity. They were the ones who first wrote about our indigenous syllabary. Furthermore, our local epics such as “Biag ni Lam-ang”, “Ibalón”, and “Hinilawod” were handed down from generation to generation only through oral tradition. But to preserve them in print, the Spanish friars wrote them down using the Spanish-alphabet-inspired Abecedario Filipino.

It was our Spanish conquerors who took all the time and trouble in preserving our native languages. It was not even for their sake. If it is true that they treated our languages as garbage, they would not have done all the scholarly investigation to preserve and conserve them, and even publish precious books about them which we now consider as prized items.

Anyway, going back to this brash claim, never in my over two decades of studying our country’s history, culture, and languages, have I encountered any book, historical document, or any other pertinent scholarly article stating that the Spanish conquistadors treated our language (but which language? we have over 170) as garbage, nor did they enforce the teaching of the Spanish language just to control us. The real reason why the Spanish language was taught to us is to inculcate easily in us Spanish culture and religion. The teaching of Spanish was clearly stated in the Law of the Indies (“Leyes de las Indias“) which governed our country, way before republican constitutions entered the scene. The sad fact remains that that law wasn’t even followed properly because of lack of teachers and because many friars refused to do so (a topic fit for another blogpost).

Hispanophobia and historical ignorance are still alive and well in Filipinas. Sadly.

Another win for built heritage

Enough of bad news even if just for a short while. Let’s have some good news from renowned heritage advocate, Arch. Joel Vivero Rico…

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With the above-mentioned revision of the demolition permit application, heritage buildings, including those that are over 50 years old, have a stronger fighting chance against wanton demolitions. According to Arch. Rico, he submitted a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte early this year for the possible revision of the current demolition permit form that is used nationwide by the Office of the Building Official (a local government unit division).

It should be noted that the current form does not have any provision for non-issuance if the applied structure for demolition is already old or is architecturally significant. In short, there is almost no hassle at all in demolishing any old structure, even it if it’s culturally and historically relevant. But Arch. Rico’s draft explicitly refers the application to any of the three cultural agencies involved (the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the National Museum of the Philippines, and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines) for verification or rejection of the application subject to the provisions of Republic Act No. 10066 or the “National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009”.

Clearly, this is another win for the conservation of our country’s built heritage. Congratulations to the parties involved, most especially to Arch. Joel Vivero Rico. May your tribe increase!

For now, let us wait for the next move coming from the President and his allies in Congress.

Rizal the poet

When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize his deep love of country.
When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize the deep impact nature had on his creativity.
When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize his deep devotion to the Virgin Mary.
When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize how pedagogic he was as he was romantic.
When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize that Spain indeed had conquered Mindanáo, that it is not for the Moros.
When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize that he was both a Nationalist Spaniard and a Patriotic Filipino.
When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize his high hopes for the youth.
When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize how exactly he felt whenever he was inspired or heartbroken.
When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize that his first verse was a verse of love, and that his final one was still that of love.
Dr. José Rizal was not all about his novels. When you look at him as a poet, you will realize that he was one of the greatest WRITERS of the Spanish language, truly one of the all-time Filipino greats.
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Stop studying him as a propagandist. It is high time that you all look at him as the poet that he really was.

Father’s Day today?

They say it’s Father’s Day today. I say, “no way”.

For us Filipinos, the real Father’s Day (Día del Padre) should be commemorated every March 19th. Our forefathers knew this. It was the US neocolonialist pigs who subtly imposed the modern-day commemoration of Father’s Day every 3rd Sunday of June for commercial purposes: to sell greeting cards, items that fathers’ love (such as tools, electronics, and other similar gadgets), special promos in restaurants, discounts in resorts, and the like. In short, today’s celebration of Father’s Day (and Mother’s Day) is BASED ON PROFITEERING whereas the real Filipino celebration of Father’s Day is SPIRITUAL (feast of Saint Joseph, the adoptive father of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the patron saint of fathers).

The Father’s Day that Filipinos celebrate today has its origins from the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Spokane, Washington. Sonora Smart Dodd, daughter of a US Civil War veteran, was inspired by a sermon from Anna Jarvis who was promoting Mother’s Day the year before, in 1909. Dodd then thought of a noble idea to honor fathers as well. And she was doubly inspired because her dad was a single parent who raised six children on his own. She then suggested to a pastor in the YMCA to organize a Father’s Day celebration that will complement Jarvis’s Mother’s Day. Dodd initially suggested to hold the very first Father’s Day celebration on June 5, on her father’s birthday. However, YMCA pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, so it was decided that they celebrate Father’s Day two Sundays later: on June 19, 1910. That date was the third Sunday of the month. Since then, it has become a tradition to hold Father’s Day every third Sunday of June.

Unlike Jarvis’s Mother’s Day, Dodd’s concept did not become a huge hit on its first few years. She even stopped promoting it to pursue further studies in Chicago, Illinois during the 1920s. A decade later, she returned to Spokane and revived Father’s Day, with the motive of raising awareness at a national level. Interestingly, she received help from trade groups who were thinking of other opportunities: profit. These trade groups had interests in the manufacturing of ties, tobacco pipes, and other typical items that would be of interest for fathers. Hungry for profit, they worked hard in order to make Father’s Day the “Second Christmas’ for all the men’s gift-oriented industries” (See Leigh Eric Schmidt’s CONSUMER RITES The Buying and Selling of American Holidays. NJ, USA: Princeton University Press, 1995, pp. 256-292).

Both Jarvis and Dodd’s objectives were simple and noble: to honor parents. But their noble vision was buried by commercialization which still pervades to this very day. All in the name of US imperialism. So why do we Filipinos have to identify ourselves with something that is not ours, that is not us?

I am a Filipino. Soy filipino. Not a little brown Kanô.

Originally published in FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES, with minor edits.