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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Ananias Diokno, taaleño revolucionario

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Today is the birth anniversary of Ananias Diokno, one of the greatest Filipino soldiers of all time.

Below is a brief biographical sketch of the taaleño revolucionario written by Carmencita H. Acosta (from the 1965 book Eminent Filipinos which was published by the National Historical Commission, a precursor of today’s National Historical Institute).

ANANIAS DIOKNO
(1860-1922)

The only Tagalog general to lead a full-scale military expedition to the Visayas against the Spaniards was General Ananias Diokno. He was also among the very few who, in the twilight period of the War of Independence, bravely undertook guerrilla warfare against the Americans.

General Diokno, born on January 22, 1860, in Taal, Batangas, to Ángel Diokno and Ándrea Noblejas, began his military career as Secretary of War in the departmental government of Batangas. After distinguishing himself in several battles in the Batangas-Laguna-Tayabas zone, he was commissioned to lead an expedition to the Visayas to attack the Spanish stronghold there and to forge unity between the Visayan rebel forces and the Central Revolutionary Government of Emilio Aguinaldo.

Diokno, therefore, organized the Maluya Battalion and sailed in September, 1898, first to Mindoro, then to Marinduque, where he reorganized his battalion; then proceeded to Camarines and places to the south. He established the local revolutionary governments in Buriás, Sorsogón, and Romblón where he supervised the election of local officials.

At Navas, Aclán, he victoriously laid siege to the Spanish stronghold. Diokno’s army then proceeded to Calibo and afterwards to Cápiz and in both places defeated the Spaniards. In a short while, the whole of Cápiz was completely liberated from Spanish rule.

Aguinaldo, upon recommendation of Apolinario Mabini, appointed Diokno politico-military governor of Cápiz. Diokno held the post for a time then left for other regions of Panay to lead his battles. He established contact with General Martín Teófilo Delgado, commander-in-chief of the Visayan rebel government, and in December, 1898, went to Jaro with his troops to maintain peace and order following the defeat of the Spaniards.

However, the temporary peace brought about by Spanish defeat was cut short by the arrival of the American forces. In November of 1899, General Diokno arrived at Santa Bárbara, Iloílo, where he had several engagements against the American troops. At Passi, he almost lost his life when he was ambushed by several mounted Americans. With his son Ramón, he fought off the enemy and even captured two of them.

The Americans being equipped with the latest weapons, many of the revolutionary officers throughout the archipelago knew that they were fighting a losing war and consequently the majority of them surrendered to the enemy. But Diokno refused to do so. He retreated to the hinterlands of Cápiz and resorted to guerrilla warfare. Badly wounded, he was captured by the Americans in a skirmish in 1901 and imprisoned.

After his release, he led the ordinary life of a citizen. The American government offered him in 1916 the directorship of the Bureau of Agriculture. Diokno refused because he believed it was disloyalty to his country so serve the very foreigners who had suppressed its independence.

He spent the remaining years of his life in Aráyat, Pampanga, where he died on November 2, 1922.

The ancestral house of Ananias Diokno in Taal, Batangas (photo taken by Arnaldo Arnáiz).

León Mª Guerrero, “lion” scientist

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Dr. León Mª Guerrero, the Father of Philippine Pharmacy.

From the illustrious and remarkable Spanish-speaking Casa de los Guerrero comes another Filipino genius: León Mª Guerrero (1853-1935), scientist brother of artist Lorenzo Guerrero and grandfather of diplomat/writer León María Guerrero (his namesake, author of the opus The First Filipino, 1962). Today is his birth anniversary.

Below is a brief biographical sketch of the the man who is considered as the Father of Philippine Pharmacy and Botany. It is again written by Héctor K. Villaroel (from the 1965 book Eminent Filipinos which was published by the National Historical Commission, a precursor of today’s National Historical Institute).

LEÓN MARÍA GUERRERO
(1853-1935)

Born on January 21, 1853 at Ermita, Manila, Dr. León María Guerrero was first among the many Filipinos to put the Philippines on the scientific map of the world.

A man of astounding scientific ability, he finished pharmacy in the University of Santo Tomás in 1876, specializing in pharmacology and botany, particularly the study of flowers. Later, he was awarded the degree of Licentiate in Pharmacy, the highest degree in that line at that time.

In 1887, he became a professor in pharmacy and botany and chemical technician of the Supreme Court in 1888.

During the Revolution, he assumed the editorship of the República Filipina; and upon the founding of the short-lived Philippine Republic University, he served as its dean and professor in pharmacy. Likewise, he was a delegate of three provinces to the Malolos Congress and representative to the first Philippine National Assembly in 1907.

Pursuing other fields of study, like zoology, ornithology, and lepidopterology, he wrote and published several penetrating and brilliant scientific papers which attracted the admiration and respect of Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries.

He died on April 13, 1935.

Let us pray for miracles in Haiti

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Two members of the Filipino peacekeeping troops attend to injured Haitian children in one of the makeshift clinics that United Nations rescue workers set up in Port-au-Prince. PHOTO COURTESY OF AFP PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS CENTER IN HAITI

Let us pray for more miracles and hope in calamity-stricken Haiti. And may our prayers be directed not only to our brother Filipinos out there — we should also pray for the well-being of all the victims in Haiti.

Haiti still needs assistance. A week after the catastrophic earthquake which took thousands of lives, hundreds more are dying everyday due to their injuries. And many more are still underneath the rubble, trying to stay alive. Miraculously, however, many trapped victims –including infants!– are still being pulled alive everyday.

Weary rescue teams from all over the world need more help than they can get. “The moment we stop fighting for each other, that’s the moment that we lose our humanity,” said Adrian Helmsley (portrayed by British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor) in the disaster film 2012. The earthquake which happened in Haiti more than a week ago should concern us all no matter how far that impoverished country is from us. We all live in the same planet. And we have no one else to count on but each other.

If financial assistance is unavailable, the least we can do is pray. And even now, it’s already working. =)

Confirmed: Press Secretary Cerge Remonde dies

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It is confirmed: one of Arroyo’s staunchest defenders, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde, is dead.

Cerge M. Remonde (21 December 1958 - 19 January 2010)

Arroyo press secretary dies—Palace

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde was pronounced dead at 11:51 a.m. Tuesday, according to a Palace official.

“This is a sad day for all of us,” said press undersecretary Butch Junia who broke the news through a text to media waiting outside Makati Medical Center where Remonde was rushed after he was found unconscious in his Bel-Air residence.

Junia quoted Doctor Eric Nubla, head of patient relations, in his text.

Inquirer.net

FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES may have attacked him in the past especially because of his annoying loyalty to this pseudopresidency that we currently have. But his death doesn’t mean that this blog is celebrating.

Our condolences to his loved ones.

“Le” Cerge Remonde — I will survive?

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UPDATE!

Arroyo press secretary being revived—Palace

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde has had a “major heart incident” and was being revived after he was found unconscious in his home Tuesday, a Palace official said in a radio interview.

Nagkaroón pó ng major heart incident sa kanyáng pamamahay sa [There was a major heart incident in his house in] Makati. So he had been brought to the hospital at the Makati Medical where they are currently trying to revive him,” said deputy presidential spokesman Gary Olivar.

“As far as I know yun po ang latest news sa akin [that is the latest news to me]. He’s in the status of being revived. But obviously, the situation changes from one minute to the next so I will keep everyone posted,” Olivar added.

Press Secretary Remondo (who is at this very moment struggling to be alive) with the Arroyos (who are still alive).

For developments, visit Inquirer.net.

“Le” Cerge Remonde dies!

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This just in…

Arroyo press secretary dies—report

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde during healthier days with the country's healthiest person alive.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde has died, according to a radio report.

The report quoted a friend of Remonde as saying that the cause of the Cabinet official’s death was not known.

Go to Inquirer.net for more updates!

José Escaler, lawyer extraordinaire

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It’s a pity that nowadays, it’s almost impossible to find a principled lawyer made from genuine intellectuality such as José Escaler of Pampanga. What we have instead are unprincipled lawyers molded from genuine lies.

It’s also a shame that the glory brought by this illustrious Pampangueño to his fellow Cabalens would years later be tainted by the arrival of perhaps the most corrupt president this archipelago has ever known.

Today we commemorate his birth anniversary. Below is a brief biographical sketch of this lawyer extraordinaire from Apalit, Pampanga. It was written by Héctor K. Villaroel (from the 1965 book Eminent Filipinos which was published by the National Historical Commission, a precursor of today’s National Historical Institute).

JOSÉ ESCALER
(1885-1927)

José Escaler, intellectual, lawyer, industrialist, and businessman, was born in Apalit, Pampanga, on January 19, 1885, the eldest of six children of Manuel Escaler and Sabina Sioco.

He obtained his early education from private tutors; afterwards, he studied at San Juan de Letrán, where he finished his segunda enseñanza at the head of his class in 1897. His studies were briefly interrupted during the Revolution. When peace was restored, he studied at the Liceo de Manila, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree with highest honors in 1903. In 1905, he earned his Bachelor of Laws from the Escuela de Derecho at the head of his class; after which he left for the United States and Europe and studied briefly at Yale and Oxford universities. In 1909, he returned to the Philippines and took and passed the bar examinations.

In recognition of his educational attainment, he was elected president of the Philippine Columbian Association for several terms and made vice-president of Club Filipino. Meanwhile, after a brief apprenticeship in the law office of William Kincaid, a noted American lawyer, he was made the latter’s junior law partner. Later, he established his own office in Intramuros, with Quintín Salas as his partner.

As a public servant, he started as clerk of the Philippine Assembly; then became attorney of the City of Manila; and, in 1916, was appointed first Assistant Director of Education. The following year, he was appointed Undersecretary of Justice; and, in 1918, acting President of the University of the Philippines, where he had served earlier as member of the Board of Regents and as professorial lecturer.

Escaler was one of the most active businessmen of his generation. He was at one time vice-president and director of several commercial enterprises. A firm believer in the country’s economic progress, he stressed that government intervention in the economic realm was inevitable, that technical know-how must be developed, and that research facilities and laboratories should be established.

Not being a person of very strong constitution, his health soon broke down. He left for Europe to rest and recuperate, but it was too late. He returned to Manila in January 1927, and died on February 17 of a heart ailment. Escaler married Aurea Ocampo on June 26, 1915, by whom he had seven children.

Oh where have all the gentlemen from the old school gone?

A review of Brother Andrew’s Book: “Language and Nationalism: The Philippines’ Experience Thus Far” by Pío Andrade

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A REVIEW OF BROTHER ANDREW’S BOOK: “LANGUAGE AND NATIONALISM: THE PHILIPPINES’ EXPERIENCE THUS FAR”
Pío Andrade

Brother Andrew’s treatise “Language and Nationalism” was praised in the foreword by Cecilio López as “the most exhaustive and up-to-date treatment of the language problem in the Philippines”.

It may have been up-to-date when it was published, but by no means could it be described as exhaustive. One look at the list of references shows the absence of very important sources such as the following:

1.) The Official Census of 1903.
2.) The Ford Report of 1916, which shows that the use of Spanish was more widespread than commonly admitted.
3.) Pío Valenzuela’s History of Philippine Journalism.

There are many big and important facts on the language question that are not mentioned at all in Brother Andrew’s book, such as the fact about Spanish being the language of the Revolution, the role of Spanish in effecting the unity of the various Filipino ethnic groups which made the 1896-1899 Revolution possible, the role of the Chinese Filipinos in disseminating the language of Cervantes all over the country due to the fact that the Philippines was the most thoroughly educated Asian colony in the last decades of the 19th century, and the fact about the much higher circulation of Spanish language dailies than either the Tagalog or English dailies in the 1930s.

Brother Andrew González, FSC, uncritically accepted the figure of 2.8% as the percentage of Filipinos who can speak and write in Spanish at the turn of the century given by Cavada Méndez y Vigo’s book. This book was printed in 1870, just seven years after the establishment of the Philippine Public school system in 1863 by Spain.

Surely by 1900, more than 2.8% of the Filipinos were speaking and writing in Spanish and there was incontrovertible proof behind this assertion.

Don Carlos Palanca’s Memorandum to the Schurman Commission listed eight Spanish-speaking provinces in the islands in addition to the 9 Tagalog-speaking provinces which, according to him, are also Spanish-speaking. To this total of 17 Spanish-speaking provinces, Don Carlos added that there were only five other provinces where “only a little Spanish is spoken”. Don Carlos Palanca was the gobernadorcillo of Binondo and the head of the Gremio de Mestizos. (Chinese Christians were the ones referred to as mestizos since the Spanish half-breed was called criollo).

William Howard Taft’s 1901 statement after his tour of the Philippines clearly says that Spanish was more widespread than Tagalog.

This fact about Spanish being even more widespread than Tagalog in the entire archipelago is further attested to by the well-documented fact that American soldiers during the Fil-American war had to speak bamboo Spanish to all Filipinos –not bamboo Tagalog– in order to be understood without any interpreter. There is still that other fact about the early occupational government of the American Military in the Philippines having to published in Spanish, not in Tagalog, all its official communications in order to be understood by the Filipino people. An English translation was appended whenever necessary for the consumption of the Americans themselves.

This official use of Spanish by the Americans themselves went on up to 1910 when they started to issue communications in English but still followed by a corresponding Spanish translation of the same. In view of this fact, if a national Filipino national language needed to be established other than English, the correct choice should have been Spanish, not Tagalog.

A big fault of Brother Andrew’s book lies in his uncritical acceptance of Teodoro Agoncillo’s History of the Revolution. Agoncillo’s History book has already been proven to be heavily distorted by omission of facts, false interpretation of events and documents and by outright lies.. The omission of these other facts was done because the same could not be reconciled with Mr. Agoncillo’s own personal bias in the narration and teaching of Philippines history. An example of Brother Andrew’s fault with regard his uncritical acceptance of Agoncilo’s distortion of history is the conclusion that the founding members of the KKK (Katipunan) were Filipinos of lowly origin. The founding Supremo of the KKK is Andrés Bonifacio and it is not so that he is of lowly origin. Bonifacio was definitely not a poor man when he got into the Katipunan.

Nor were the other Katiputan charter members. Agoncillo also failed to mention that the Philippine economy was booming during that decade and that Bonifacio, unlike most other Filipinos, approved of the torture of a captive friar.

The years 1900 to the Commonwealth period (1935-1941) wre not well researched by Brother and Cotor Andrew Gonzalez. Thus, the language issue affecting the Filipinos then are not well discussed. Had Brother Andrew researched more on the language issue of that period, he would have found out that as laste as the 1930s Spanish dailies outcirculated wither the Tagalog or English language dailies.

He would have found out also that the use of Spanish during the following decade of 1940 was bound to even get stronger had it not been for the devastating 1943-1945 war.

The strength of Spanish is evidenced by the majority of cinema films shown between 1900 and 1940. These films, even if made in Holywood were in Spanish subtitles and talkies. And several of the Philippines produced full-length films had all-Spanish talkies.

Another important fact not found in Brother Andrew’s book is the role of the Spanish language in assimilating and integrating the Chinese emigrants into mainstream Filipino society. The 100,000 Chinese in the Philippines at the turn of the century spoke Spanish in varying degrees of proficiency. The Philippine Chinese Chamber of Commerce since its establishment in 1904 wrote its minutes in Spanish until 1924. When they ceased using Spanish in their official meetings and minutes, they reverted to Chinese, not English. Today, strange as it may seem, the last bastion of whatever Spanish language is left are the Chinese Filipinos, and not those of Spanish descent except the Padilla-Zóbel family that maintains the annual Premio Zóbel.

Finally, Brother and doctor Andrew González treated very superficially the question of nationalism and language. There should have been more discussions on the point that adopting a foreign tongue, or using foreign words, are not per se against nationalism. If nationalism is love for ones country and foreign words and language can best help literacy and communication, it is nationalistic doing so.

Neither did Brother and Doctor Andrew González realize that nationalism in the question of language can be destructive as has been the case in the Philippines. Doing away with Spanish orthography and the cartilla, the educational authorities did away with a very inexpensive and very effective method for teaching reading skills to the young. Exterminating Spanish in the schools made the Filipinos today estranged to their Hispanic past and made Filipinos prey to nationalist historians who misled several generations of Filipinos in the sense that Spain had done the Philippines very little good when the contrary is true.

What is the prime purpose of language? Is it not to make us understand one another better? Yet, Brother and Doctor Andrew González’s book gives the impressions that showing nationalism is the prime purpose of language.

To be fair to Brother Andrew González, we want to think that he is a victim of too many distortions found in Philippine History including the history of language among Filipinos. Thus, the remark of Cecilio López in his introduction to Brother Andrew’s book “Language and Nationalism”, the the same “is the most exhaustive and up-to-date treatment of the language problem in the Philippines” is only true in the sense that the very few books on the same subject are mostly superficial.

Perhaps it will be correct for us to recall a Spanish saying that prays: En el país de los ciegos el tuerto es rey.

Arnaldo Arnáiz and Pío Andrade, defenders of true Philippine history!

José Miguel García’s take on “A party-list group for the Spanish language”

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Below is fellow propagandist José Miguel García’s views on the creation of a party-list group to advocate the full return of the Spanish language to our country.

The Spanish language is the most noble of all Filipino tongues!

OUR SITUATION
José Miguel García

POLITICAL

Our political situation is basically American directed. Many organizations have been established to influence the development of our nation. Among them was the Statehood Movement to move to make the Philippines a state of the United States. As many Filipinos are really worshipping dependents of the Americans, these, I believe are many. Maybe the Americans themselves do not want this. To the organizers of this, all I can say is: ¡Sin Vergüenza! There are the leftists who have been fighting to establish a political power base. But because of their conflict of interest with the Americans, they have remained marginalized because of the American covert and overt maneuvers. There are the Partido Nacionalista and Partido Liberal. These are the giant political parties who, because of the pro-American characteristics of the personalities and their actions throughout history, they have remained dominant, strong, and have outlasted all other political parties.

CULTURAL

Our national culture is basically worshipping dependency on the Americans. When I was a student, I remember my classmates regarding our Spanish language class as the most useless class. Some even despised it. It is true for many of us Filipinos. Most of us cannot see its relevance to any of our pursuit of economic, social, intellectual, technological, military, or developmental aspirations at the personal or at the community level. America is the only point of reference for ethical values, for cultural excellence, sound economic doctrines, sound military doctrines, superior technology, superior race, and all excellence in development. You can observe them in schools, among our youth, television, our radio programs, the songs played in radio, advertisements, and in the attitude of Filipino soldiers among us.

The questions to most of us filipinos that come to mind when confronted with the daily decisions as we struggle for the survival of life of our personal, family, career or business, on whether to use Spanish or not is: what for when there is already english which is hard enough for us to learn; what for do we need two languages to learn when one which is English, will already do; what for when English is the language of the economically, technologically, intellectually, and biologically superior race; why should we use the language of our oppressors? How will this help my business compared to English? How will this help me in my career?
And the prevailing answers to all these questions are: there is English already for those in the higher economic strata among us; and there is already the Tagalog plus our own local languages and dialects for the majority who are of the lower economic strata among us.

DEPTH OF REALIZATION

Who among us who are interested in the Iberian language are really convinced that we need to recover it because it is a vital instrument to recover our inherited national identity and developmental code? And who among us having realized this also realize that this is vital for our path to recovery from a pathological denationalized dependent individuals with an autosocial defense system, towards a wholesome nationalized self-sustaining and independent cohesive social unit? Who among us who are interested in the Spanish language realize that our loss of our inherited national development which includes our national identity is at the underlying cause of our national corruption because of the absence of love of nation and in its vacuum is filled with struggling individuals out to fill our materialistic hunger which is dependent on foreigners controlling our country?

How then can we even expect the Spanish language, a vital organ it may be, to survive in a body already spread with a developmental Heredity Injuring Virus already at the advanced stage manifested by the American Imperialism Defilipinization Syndrome?

PERCEPTION

Let us follow the path of good soldiers or physicians. In a maze of conflicts, they see a clear pattern of the situation enough to conceptualize the problem thru which solutions are revealed.

APPROACH

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

The aforementioned remark is attributed to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French writer and aviator (29 June 1900—31 July 1944). He was a successful commercial pilot before World War II, joining the Armée de l’Air (French Air Force) on the outbreak of war, flying reconnaissance missions until the armistice with Germany. He joined the resistance movement, Free French Forces organized by General Charles de Gaulle against the German invaders. He disappeared on a reconnaissance flight over the Mediterranean in July 1944.

I mentioned the background of the author of that remark because I want to emphasize that his literary works which were notable were products of his experiences as a successful pilot. This makes that remark full of factual basis and therefore very credible.
Indeed, if you want to build a recovery vessel —political party for the Spanish language, which could take our nation to wherever we envision it to take us (towards economic liberation, towards high productivity, towards cultural excellence, and towards Hispanic shores)— do not convince the people to recruit, to organize and to go through the process. Instead, make the people yearn for the experience of a nation rich in glory — something that they could see and touch, and that it is no longer dependent on another people who control us, since this is already something they inherited, and it is their own and can come home to. Then you have build an inspired people. An inspired people will no longer be them as differentiated from you. From then on, they will no longer be identified as they. From then on, they will identify themselves as, we. It is because what has been sparking the passion in you is already the same in them. They have become you and you have become them. Then this time there is only we and us.

OPERATIONALIZATION OF THE EXUPÉRY CONCEPT

There would not be anymore a need to tell the people among us what process to take to build an organization to recover the Spanish language. We the people who have been inspired would not only not anymore need to be told what the procedures are, we ourselves would decide to build that organization. We would decide not only to build that organization but we would decide to build the best organization. The Spanish language this time would not be a decree written in a document, a requirement to pass school requirements or an artifact well preserved in a cultural institution. It would be alive within our developmental national hereditary code.

FACTUAL BASIS FOR THIS CONCEPT

That is the reason why I am preparing a report which evolved from my earlier report on “Developmental Basis…” It will serve as a basis for the recovering of our inherited nation. It is supposed to capture that golden era of our nation during the conception of our filipino, our birth, during our infancy and our struggle to continue to live inspite the onslaught by the american invaders and chinese who they also helped to invade. It was the time when we: the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated, many of those who came from the Iberian peninsula, the Castillans, Euskaldunak, and the Catalans, the Iberian natives of the land of mestizos, and the natives of this archipelago all united to become hijos del país and to be called Filipinos; formed a nation not in paper but in offering self, in the service of the nation; were clean and our surroundings were clean; conducted ourselves in an excellent manner; when our aspirations were towards giving life for the nation instead of material pursuits; inspite of social injustices like land grabbing and political power monopoly committed by many among the rich and the unethical social practices committed by the poor against fellow Filipinos which were both plain selfishness and taking advantage of fellowmen, can be corrected thru the balancing process of our maturation as a developing provided that we are a sovereign nation. It would be a strong basis to prove that this is a vision organic to us filipinos because it has happened and it happened at a time when the infection transmitted by the foreign invaders were not yet deep and wide.

This is necessary as there has to be a basis for whatever process we might pursue thereafter be it a political organization or a pilot project. As to a pilot project, there has to be a conceptual framework as a guide to a more concrete but smaller social unit for simpler management. This can serve as a showcase for our concepts and will be a tangible proof that our concept works. Let us learn lessons from how the French people, and the Israeli people developed to become among the most powerful and respected nations in the world today.

FRENCH NATIONALISM MOVEMENT

France utilized their glorious military history and the French language thru education and media to unite the French into a single nation. This process took centuries of development. This resulted to the present pride of the French of their nation and their being among the top superior nations of the world.

ISRAELI IDEOLOGICAL MOVEMENT AND THE RECLAMATION OF THEIR STATE

The present Israeli nation which was recovered in the 1940s have been in exile around the world for 2000 years. For at least hundreds of years, a developmental concept was pursued and disseminated among the dispersed jews all over the world. This concept with a program, Zionist Movement, was just the preservation of the Isreali identity and eventually the regeneration of their inherited nation for the purpose of reestablishing that homeland they so longed for thousands of years. How that longing was sustained was the product of their identity which remained preserved for 2000 years. Your giving importance to our national identity is indeed valuable for the preservation of our original nation. Language which is Hebrew for the Jews was an important organ that facilitated the dissemination and the sustaining for generations this Israeli Ideology and unity. For further information about this nationalist movement of Israel, you can read http://www.zionismontheweb.org/zionism_history.htm

PILOT PROJECT

As mentioned earlier, a pilot project is one option we can consider to apply our concepts and programs to a willing host community. An example is the town of Taal, Batangas. Taal because it is a town which belongs to a province with one of if not the most nationalistic people of the country today. It is also a town which has a big percentage of it’s structures, demography preserved from foreign corruption. In this town a developmental program can be proposed to the people thru it’s mayor which would enable the people there recover their inherited character which was during the time our nation was born thru the intercourse of the Iberian and the natives of the place and not yet corrupted by the foreign invaders. The economy would be agriculture and tourism based as well as the organic potential of that community. We can involve organic agriculture organizations in the area. There is one authoritative and professional organization I know personally existing in nearby Malvar, Batangas. We can involve the Instituto Cervantes to conduct support for reintroduction of the Spanish language to the masses, architectural research of the town development during the Spanish times. They may have some documents or maps available. Something similar to this has already happened in Ilocos. It was something like a heritage preservation program. Their economy improved substantially. This proposed Taal development project can even be deeper in scope. This all depends on the willingness of the host people of the town. Other alternatives could be the towns of Guimbal and Concepción in Iloílo.

POLITICAL ORGANIZATION

This is a long process starting with the preparation of this report of factual basis of this organic concept and program, to the getting the right persons to work with this proposed project. We can work this in tandem with a political and auditing organization to conduct studies, search for funding and monitoring of the progress of the program.

If this succeeds, it can easily be replicated to other areas of the country. Bcause by then, we the people of this nation will ourselves be the ones who would yearn for that vast and endless sea of national excellence where we would have realized that this has been really our own home all this time.

12/09/09

The new “Propagandists”

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I’d been having dreams lately, drunken dreams with their peculiar lucidity in which the Experience Trail, the High Seas seemed to call louder and louder, more and more insistently with a voice that was at the same time music—a siren’s song that almost threatened me if I refused to obey its quixotic urgings … –Sol Luckman–

The nuevas “Propagandistas” —el Señor Guillermo Gómez Rivera, Arnaldo Arnáiz, José Miguel García, and yours truly— convened for the first time this morning to discuss the formal founding of a website which would be the nucleus of our group (I playfully call it a “cyberclique”, LOL!!!).

We talked about our passion for Philippine History, how we got interested with the subject, and shared each other’s viewpoints on how to rectify the errors of this taken-for-granted field. Blithely, Señor Gómez likened us to Don Quijote, hopelessly fighting the windmills. We were like “madmen”, so to speak, because the topic of Philippine history is perceived to be reserved only in school. And we have to face it: we are like ants against rampaging elephants. But this knowledge that we have is our “curse”; we have to live with it. And we had to live through the somewhat belittled field of Philippine history for it encompasses everything that is truly Filipino, the very subject which in a way keeps us sane. For us, the study of Philippine history is a treasure trove of knowledge and discoveries about our past that has been taken away from us by a neocolonialist extragovernment.

After our meeting, I told the group that I’m so happy that our number has “grown”. This is because I thought that Señor Gómez and I are fighting a lonely war. The great Filipino scholar and I have known each other since 1997 (he’s been like a father to me). We’ve also been searching for like-minded people, but in vain. Historian priests Fr. José Arcilla, S.J., and Fr. Fidel Villaroel, O.P. would have been perfect allies. But as published men, they are on a league of their own. Besides, having them on board will only attract baseless and absurd accusations of “ecclesiastical bias” and “papism”. There’s also prolific researcher Pío Andrade, author of the highly controversial book The Fooling of America and a friend of Señor Gómez. But we couldn’t find him. And so it was a blessing that Arnaldo Arnáiz and I have met back in 2007; Having discovered who the real Filipino is through his own researches, he too started to look for like-minded individuals to whom he can share his thoughts. I happily introduced him to Señor Gómez (they later found out that they’re distant relatives). Then just last year, the mysterious José Miguel García found the three of us in cyberspace.

The rest, as they are wont to say, is history.

Some of those who know us should already have an idea of what we’re up to. This group, particularly the website that we’re planning to set up, will encompass everything that we’ve been fighting for all these years: the recovery of our national identity (which is based on our undeniable hispanic/latin physiognomy and culture), to counterattack the ludicrousness of the so-called leyenda negra (that the Americans “saved” us from the “evil clutches” of the Spanish Empire), the rectification of an ill-written and bigoted Philippine history, and the defense of the much maligned Catholic Church, the faith which brought the Western civilization to these once heathen shores. In one way or another, all this shall be realized by bringing back the Spanish language as an official language of the Philippines (or –perhaps– at the very least, to have it taught in all levels of education).

Here is a brief profile of my comrades:

We shall continue what our heroes fought for. The struggle for the conservation of our national identity espoused by one of the greatest Filipino Nationalists who has ever set foot on this planet, Senator Claro M. Recto, will never falter.

1.) ARNALDO ARNÁIZ has been a history buff for as long as he can remember. An astute researcher and a master when it comes to the life and psychology of national hero José Rizal, it is surprising to note that Arnáiz has had no formal training in historiography and historical research. He is, in fact, a business process outsourcing (BPO) professional and a jiu jitsu expert. Instead of taking up History, he pursued Computer Management and earned his degree from the University of Perpetual Help Rizal (now the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA).

Later on, Arnáiz took advantage of the BPO boom in 2002, earning six years of exceptional experience in call centers. His work ethic paid off in 2004 when he was promoted as a team leader (supervisor). In that designation, he helped lead a pioneer customer service account in APAC Customer Services, Inc., eventually winning the Best Team Leader award a year later. In between working as a call center supervisor and a traveler-photographer, he delves into the mangled world of Philippine history. Through his own, he was able to discover our true roots. But it wasn’t always that way in his younger years:

I’ve realized lately that I have become what I, as a younger man, hated to become: negligent of one’s history. When I was child, I can recall getting upset whenever my classmates would make fun of Bonifacio (the Andrés hatapang ‘di a tacbó joke). I don’t know why and where this started, but my history education as a child was better than the other kids in town. I have the luxury of learning from one of our well-off neighbours who had in their collection a vast array of titles, some are centuries-old books.

The rest of my History lessons was concluded in schools. Although the lessons were barely acceptable to my standards, I’ve always felt that it was insubstantial. In my adult years after college, I bought my own books to supplement my studies but not as avid as I once was. ‘Past is past’ they say, but unless you study them you will continue to make the same mistakes. As my favorite history quote goes, ‘One faces the future with one’s past’. I now try to regain some lost ground in my study of history. It’s never too late for all of us to study and preserve what is left.

A curious note: although Spanish is not his native language, Arnáiz is a staunch defender and advocate of the said tongue. Like the late non-Spanish-speaking senator, Blas P. Ople, this distant relative of Señor Gómez seriously deserves to be commended a Premio Zóbel medal once the said oldest literary award-giving body in the country is reactivated.

2.) To introduce Señor GUILLERMO GÓMEZ RIVERA would already be superfluous in the light of his myriad of accomplishments in the field of arts, literature, language, and history. He is described in Wikipedia as “a Filipino writer, journalist, poet, playwright, historian, linguist, and scholar of Spanish and British descent from the province of Iloilo”…

Gómez Rivera is an academic director of the prestigious Academia Filipina de la Lengua Española (Philippine Academy of the Spanish Language), the local branch of the renowned Real Academia Española based in Madrid, Spain, and part of the Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española (Association of Spanish Language Academies). He is also a teacher of various Spanish dances, and is considered the undisputed maestro of Flamenco in the Philippines.

In addition to his contributions to Philippine literature and history, Gómez is also an accomplished linguist and polyglot. He speaks and writes fluently in his native Hiligaynon as well as in English and Tagalog. Aside from being an acclaimed master of the Spanish language in the country, he is also conversant in French, Italian, Portuguese, Kinaray-a, and Cebuano, and has made an extensive study of the Visayan and Chabacano languages.

Critics regard him as the Spanish equivalent to his friend Nick Joaquín’s English. Joaquín’s body of written works were discreetly about the “Hispanic soul” of the Philippines brought about by three centuries of Spanish rule. Joaquín’s stories in particular were sentimental, reminiscing the Philippine’s Spanish past as well as its decline. Gómez wrote on the same theme, more thoroughly about the decadence of the country’s “Hispanic soul,” but his style was much frank and straight to the point—the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs) were the cause of Spanish decline in the Philippines. Also, unlike Joaquín, Gómez focused more on fiery essays than short stories.

He won a Premio Zóbel in 1975 for his play El Caserón (The Big House) which was published in 1976. He has since been a longtime master of ceremonies for the said award-giving body. Prior to this, Gómez won second place in the Premio Manuel Bernabé for an essay on the historical and nationalistic value and import of the Spanish language.

Much of the theme for Gómez’s poetry, as well as his essays and short stories, lie mainly on the destruction of which he calls the “Filipino Cosmos,” i.e., the destruction of Philippine languages and culture due to American neocolonization.

Gómez is a somewhat belligerent writer, as can be gleaned by his scathing attacks in his Spanish weekly newspaper Nueva Era against what he observed as local pro-compulsory “ONLY-English-language government officials” who he accuses as vile puppets of US WASP neocolonialism. Many of his writings boast of proofs against these people he accuses. Through his monumental body of literary works, he has advocated his Filipino readers to “rediscover” their Spanish past in order for them to gain knowledge of their true national identity.

Another way of doing this is through cultural dissemination, particularly through dance. Aside from sharing his knowledge of flamenco, he has made several researches on Philippine songs and dances, especially those of Hispanic influence, which he was able to contribute to the internationally acclaimed Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company. In fact, most of the Spanish-influenced native songs and dances choreographed by the said group can trace their origins from Gómez’s researches, which earned him the role of an adviser for Bayanihan.

He was also a recording artist, having recorded Filipino songs that were originally in Spanish, as well as Chabacano songs that were popular in areas were Chabacano used to be prevalent.

Gómez is also credited for reintroducing into the modern local film industry the now forgotten film Secreto de Confesión. It was the first film that was produced in the Philippines that was spoken and sung in Spanish (la primera película hablada y cantada en español producida en Filipinas).

He was also the National Language Committee Secretary of the Philippine Constitutional Convention (1971–1973) during the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos. As part of the committee, he fought for Tagalog to become the country’s national language. In the same convention, Gómez teamed up with other nationalists to preserve Spanish as one of the country’s official languages. Spanish, however, later was made an optional language (together with Arabic) from the Freedom Constitution of 1987 when Corazón Aquino took over from where former strongman Marcos had left.

Due to his tireless efforts in attempting to bring back the Filipino national identity based on Spanish, he is considered by some of his hispanist/nationalist friends, such as Edmundo Farolán, as El Don Quixote Filipino.

These astounding accomplishments (including those not written above!) should earn Señor Gómez no less than a National Artist Award for Literature and/or Dance and/or Historical Literature and/or Music (for his two-volume LP Nostalgia Filipina). Surprisingly, the credibility of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the National Commission on Culture and the Arts spiralled down to the sewers when it chose to give awards to undeserving people such as those who glorify blood and gore on film.

3.) Unfortunately, I cannot discuss much about our compañero JOSÉ MIGUEL GARCÍA (not his real name) due to security purposes, no thanks to this corrupt, neocolonized, and LAME puppet government. For now, his real identity cannot be revealed (thus the reason the four of us don’t have a photo together). But this is all I can say about my tocayo: I am mighty glad to have someone like him on our side.

Call me pretentious; I don’t really care (been called worst names in the past). But now that there are four of us, I can proudly say that our heroes did not die in vain after all.

Those @-h0les who have been spreading blatant lies and stupidities about our country’s history will VERY SOON have their “beautiful day” in cyberspace.

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