500 years of confusion


Countdown to extinction begins today. ūüėā


Example of a MYTH: Maharlika was our country’s original name.
Example of a FACT: The Filipino State was founded on 24 June 1571.
Example of a MISNOMER: Lapu-Lapu is known as the first Filipino hero.
Example of an ALLEGATION: Fernão de Magalhães / Fernando de Magallanes / Ferdinand Magellan arrived in our shores to conquer, pillage, and enslave.
Example of COMMON KNOWLEDGE: The National Historical Commission of the Philippines is filled with Hispanophobic historians and researchers.

#500DaysTo500Years of what?!
#PH500 of confused nationalism.

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Fake history spotted!

It has recently come to my attention that a certain Wassily Clavecillas (who, if I’m not mistaken, holds a certain position at the Limbagang Pinp√≠n Museum and Heritage Resort in Ab√ļcay, Bata√°n) is spreading some fake history item on Facebook regarding an alleged tribute to Lapu-Lapu written by Jos√© Rizal.


Below is a blow-up of the alleged Rizalian praise for Lapu-Lapu, in case you have difficulty in reading the above text…


For those who do not understand Spanish, below is the translation (image also provided by Clavecillas):


According to Clavecillas, he got this Rizalian acclamation from Cronolog√≠a Filipina by Domingo Ponce, a rare book that was published in 1958 (judging from its contents, it seems like a textbook, but I could be wrong). His FB post has been shared and praised by many clueless Filipinos who are not familiar with Rizal’s original works in Spanish.

But was the above text really written by the national hero?

To those who are familiar with Rizal’s body of work, the answer, of course, is no. Rizal wrote not a single word of praise to the Mact√°n chieftain. In fact, during his time, Lapu-Lapu ‚ÄĒor to be more precise, Cali Pulaco‚ÄĒ was considered by Filipinos as the antagonist of the Mact√°n narrative. Remember Carlos Calao’s 17th-century poem?

However, Rizal did compose a poem of praise, but not for Cali Pulaco / Lapu-Lapu. He wrote one for Fernando de Magallanes, aka Ferdinand Magellan. As a matter of fact, today is the anniversary of that poem…

(Himno a la Flota de Magallanes)

‚ÄďJos√© Rizal‚Äď

          En bello día
Cuando radiante
Febo en Levante
Feliz brilló,
En Barrameda
Con gran contento
El movimiento
Doquier reinó.

          Es que en las playas
Las carabelas
Hinchan las velas
Y a partir van;
Y un mundo ignoto,
Nobles guerreros
Con sus aceros

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Y todo es j√ļbilo,
Todo alegría
Y bizarría
En la ciudad;
Doquier resuenan
Roncos rumores
De los tambores
Con majestad.

          Mil y mil salvas
Hace a las naves
Con ecos graves
Ronco ca√Ī√≥n;
Y a los soldados
El pueblo hispano
Saluda ufano
Con affección.

          ¡Adiós!, les dice,
Hijos amados,
Bravos soldados
Del patrio hogar;
Ce√Īid de glorias
A nuestra Espa√Īa,
En la campa√Īa
De ignoto mar.

          Mientras se alejan
Al suave aliento
De fresco viento
Con emoción;
Todos bendicen
Con vos piadosa
Tan gloriosa
Heróica acción.

          Saluda el pueblo
Por ves postrera
A la bandera
De Magall√°n,
Que lleva el rumbo
Al océano
Do ruge insano
El hurac√°n.

5 de diciembre de 1875.

Rizal wrote this poem of praise when he was only 14 years old, as a student of the Ateneo Municipal de Manila (now Ateneo de Manila University). There was not a hint of rancor¬† or sarcasm at all. This poem is made up of beautiful verses of pure admiration for Magallanes and his fleet as they sailed away “To the gentle breath / Of the fresh wind / With emotion, / All bless / With pious voice / So glorious / Heroic action” (click here to read the complete English translation).

Moved as I was with its stirring imagery, I recorded my declamation of the said poem in its Spanish original…

Now that we have cleared this issue of false attribution, the next question would be: where did the publishers of Cronolog√≠a Filipina cull that text? Actually, it is true that Rizal wrote that text which Clavecillas had proudly shared in social media. However, Rizal wrote it without Lapu-Lapu in mind ‚ÄĒ those words were lifted straight out of his second novel, El Filibusterismo. In fact, they were the words of a disenchanted Isagani.

Whoever the publishers were of Cronolog√≠a Filipina were either as ignorant as Clavecillas is of Rizalian literature, or they really had an agenda in mind: to spread the so-called Leyenda Negra, the weapon of the Hispanophobe. We are inclined to believe in the latter especially if we are to read the heading on the page that was shared by Clavecillas: ¬°LOOR AL H√ČROE DE MACT√ĀN! Praise to the Hero of Mact√°n! And they even used a sketch of Lapu-Lapu to make it appear as if Rizal was really praising him!

Sad to say, Clavecillas is a perfect example of a messed-up Pinoy who could no longer understand Rizal’s nationalistic thoughts and ideals due to his ignorance of the Spanish language which up to now he erroneously associates with elitism. Nevertheless, we have to thank Clavecillas because, wittingly or unwittingly, he was able to produce evidence on how early books were already using Rizal to brainwash Filipinos into hating their Spanish past.

P.S. I use the words “ignorant” and “ignorance” on this blogpost without meaning to offend.
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

“Elcano And Magellan” provokes careless comments

Netizens today are careless commenters. They comment brashly and prematurely before getting to know the meat of the story. But the same thing goes to news writers. They bait readers to get more clicks to their links, and in order to do that, they come up with some of the most obnoxious headlines.

The problem is that many netizens do not read beyond headlines.

This is what I realized after reading the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s story regarding a Spanish animated film that has not even been released yet. I am referring to “Elcano: La Primera Vuelta Al Mundo” (Elcano: The First Voyage Around The World).

La imagen puede contener: 2 personas, texto

The movie is being marketed in the country as “Elcano and Magellan” probably because Fernando de Magallanes (Ferdinand Magellan) is more (in)famous among Filipinos compared to Juan Sebasti√°n Elcano who was actually the one who completed the first circumnavigation of the world. But as expected, the trailer and movie posters drew flak among netizens.¬†And for obvious reasons.¬†Here are just some of the vitriol that the movie, which will not be released until January 2020, has been receiving:

There’s an animated movie about Magellan and just… YIKESSSS. Stop depicting colonizers as good guys.

The title should be: ‘The beginning of 333 years of pain and suffering to all Filipinos.’

This movie should be banned in the country.

“U better not release this fucking film”

“Si magellan naging bida haha¬†ūüĎŹūüĎŹūüĎŹ¬†tapos si lapu-lupa kontra bida¬†ūüĎŹ”

Virtually thousands of similar comments in various social media platforms have been hounding this production by Dibulitoon Studio, an independent audiovisual production outfit based in Spain. The backlash prompted Atty. Lawrence Fort√ļn, 1st District Representative of Agusan del Norte, to chime in. He allegedly called on the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to ban this film.

No hay ninguna descripción de la foto disponible.

The good thing that came out from this press release by Atty. Fort√ļn was that it triggered supporters of the film and other level-minded netizens, many of whom are well-versed in Filipino History.

Upon reading one of the headlines from Inquirer (“Solon to MTRCB: Ban ‚ÄėMagellan‚Äô movie for possible Lapu-Lapu slur” by Pathricia Ann V. Roxas, but I noticed that they already replaced “Ban” with “Review”), I thought of using Twitter to bash the said solon (I can be a mean troll at times ūüėā). But thankfully, I kept my composure and read the whole story first, as it should be done in the first place. Surprisingly, the gentleman from Butu√°n City was not calling for the film’s banning at all. He merely suggested that experts in Filipino History be tapped to review Elcano and Magellan to ‚Äúprovide a more in-depth perspective and ensure that the movie will not dishonor Lapu-Lapu‚Äôs rightful place in our collective memory.‚ÄĚ

La imagen puede contener: texto

From a Twitter exchange that I had with Hon. Rep. Fort√ļn.

So now I guess the moral of the story is this: don’t judge brashly. Read the whole news right after reading the headlines before commenting. In the same vein, watch Elcano and Magellan first before coming up with a judgment.

Also, Inquirer’s headlines are click baits. ūüėā

Having said that, let me just add that Filipino have been unfair for years in treating all this Magallanes‚ÄďLapu-Lapu encounter. We have enshrined Lapu-Lapu to the highest pantheon of heroes without even having any in-depth knowledge of his history. To those who have been unkind towards Magallanes: have you even read the accounts of Antonio Pigafetta, the chronicler of the Magallanes Expedition? Magallanes, Elcano, and all the others who went with them were not exactly colonizers but explorers. During their time, many parts of the globe have not been explored. Their era, therefore, was known as the Age of Exploration. The people back then even thought that the world was flat, and that all sorts of sea monsters filled the unexplored oceans of the planet. The Magallanes Expedition during its time was equivalent to man’s first voyage to the Moon.

Also, not many people apparently are aware of Magallanes’s Catholic zeal, nor are they aware that Lapu-Lapu was not defending our country for the simple reason that it did not yet exist during his time. Does anyone here even know that Lapu-Lapu was not his real name, and that during the Spanish times, Magallanes was regarded¬†highly by Filipinos?

Nevertheless, before I am depicted as an apologist for a movie that has not even been shown yet (although, admittedly, I really am), let me just caution readers that if it is fair for us to make films depicting Lapu-Lapu as a hero and Magallanes et al. as villains, why couldn’t Spain do the same for theirs? But more importantly, Elcano: La Primera Vuelta Al Mundo / Elcano and Magellan is not exactly a movie about the Battle of Mact√°n (Magallanes’s bloody resting place), for it seems that that battle is merely a footnote to the movie, as it really was to the Magallanes Expedition. The film is about the first circumnavigation of the globe, a human feat that has brought glory not only to Spain but to mankind. If the voyage to the Moon was mankind’s first giant leap, the first circumnavigation of the globe was mankind’s baby steps. As one famous rockstar put it, you have to learn to crawl before you learn to walk.


To Hispanize is to Filipinize: the Indio is the enemy of the Filipino (part 2)

‚ÄúSpanish friars mercilessly¬†flogged Filipinos!‚ÄĚ

This modern concept of the¬†Indio¬†being flogged by a Spanish friar under the hot tropical sun is what keeps the motor of hispanophobia running. There is no more need to expound what an indio means; simply put, indio is a Spanish word for ‚Äúnative‚ÄĚ. The so-called ‚Äúinsulares‚ÄĚ or Spaniards who were born in Filipinas¬†were the first Filipinos. Through time, however, Hispanization further blurred this. Indios/natives who were Christianized, who started learning and talking in Spanish, and who imbibed the culture from the West began referring to themselves not as indios but Filipinos as well. And this posed not a problem to the insular. As a matter of fact, the insular never considered themselves as ‚ÄúSpaniards‚ÄĚ in the strictest sense of the word. They, as well as the Hispanized indios, simply referred to themselves as FILIPINOS. Filipinas is where they were born and where they grew up (patria chica).

To continue, those indios ‚ÄĒwhether they belonged to the Tag√°log race, Ilocano race, Bicolano race, etc.‚ÄĒ who were Hispanized in effect lost their ‚Äúindio‚ÄĚ identity (but not completely, of course) when they assimilated themselves to an influx of cultural dissemination coming from the West. There is nothing wrong with this. During those days, it was perfectly normal, as the influx of a foreign culture had no hint of any personal profit and even promoted cultural osmosis in the local scene (contrary to popular belief, Spain NEVER became rich when they founded and colonized our archipelago).

Anyway, because of cultural dissemination, the Hispanized Tag√°log ceased to become Tag√°log: he became Filipino. The Hispanized Ilocano ceased to become Ilocano: he became Filipino. The Hispanized Bicolano ceased to become Bicolano: he became Filipino. In other words, the term Filipino is not a race but a concept (there is no such thing as a Filipino race because our country is composed of several races). But this concept put a premium over our collective identities, giving us a patriotic ‚Äúswagger‚ÄĚ to refer to ourselves under one homogeneous identity:¬†EL FILIPINO.

To Hispanize, therefore, is to Filipinize.¬†And to put it more bluntly, our ‚ÄúSpanishness‚ÄĚ is what makes us Filipino, not our ‚Äúindio‚ÄĚ identity (which is merely a substrate). If we take away our indio identity in us, our Hispanic identity will still continue to flourish. But if we take away our Spanishness, we will go back to becoming savages, and go back to the mountains as ‚Äúcimarrones‚Äú.

Take for example¬†Cali Pulaco, popularly known today as ‚ÄúLapu-lapu‚ÄĚ. This fellow, an indio ruler from Mact√°n, virtually resisted change. His neighbor, Raj√°h Humabon, did not. Humabon accepted change, was baptized into the Christian faith, and received a Christian name: Carlos (named after then Spanish King Carlos I). Remember that culture is not static, should never be static. His men accepted the Santo Ni√Īo (and the icon‚Äôs culture) as part of their own. Those who were baptized with him died as Christians; Lapu-lapu and his people died as heathens.

And even up to now, Cebuanos celebrate the feast of the Santo Ni√Īo with frenzied fervor. Because the Santo Ni√Īo has become part of them as Cebuanos, and part of us as Filipinos.

During the Spanish times, there were many other ethnic groups who resisted change ‚ÄĒ the Ifug√°os up north, the Aetas of the mountains, the Ma√Īguianes of Mindoro, the Muslims of the south, etc. And because they resisted change, they missed the opportunity to become ‚Äúone of us‚ÄĚ. Technically, they are not Filipinos. They are Filipinos only by citizenship, most especially if we view them from a socio-historico-cultural perspective. Look at them now: no disrespect, but they look pathetic and backward because they resisted change. The mountain tribes of the Cordilleras still wage against one another. The Aetas continue to be forest dwellers. The Muslims still raid and kidnap Christians for a ransom and to have¬†their turfs seceded from Filipinas. Etc. etc. etc. Because, then as now, their culture remains static. They still remain as INDIO as ever before.

Let us accept the fact that our Spanish past is what made us Filipinos in the first place. it is this identity which removed us from the backwardness of a static culture that refused to accept change. Let us accept that we are Filipinos because we are Christians (Catholic), we use¬†cubiertos whenever we eat, we STILL SPEAK Spanish (uno, dos, tres, lunes,¬† martes, mi√©rcoles, enero, febrero, marzo, silla, mesa, ventana, polo, pantal√≥n, camisa, etc. etc. etc.), we eat adobo and pochero, we have Spanish names, we practice and value “amor propio“, “delicadeza“, “palabra de honor“, our town fiestas are¬†the most festive and lavish in the whole world, we enjoy the ‚Äútiangues‚ÄĚ of Divisoria, etc.

No soy indio. Porque soy filipino.

Read part 1 here.

 * E * L * F * I * L * I * P * I * N * I * S * M * O *

This blogpost is dedicated to Saint James the Greater, patron saint of Madre Espa√Īa, whose feast day falls today. ¬°Viva Santiago Matamoros!