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Which constitution killed the Spanish language in the Philippines? A clarification

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Many Hispanists blame the late president Cory Aquino for removing the Spanish language as an official Filipino language. But many individuals interested in this subject might start to wonder: why blame Tita Cory for the removal of the Spanish language when it seemed to be no longer official as far back as 1973 under Ferdinand Marcos?

This blogpost attempts to clarify the whole issue once and for all. It also provides some background of the Spanish language vis-à-vis the evolution of the Philippine Constitution.

The Spanish language during the days of empire

Since 24 June 1571 (the founding date of the Philippines), Spanish has been the official language of government and court offices. There was no written constitution back then since the Philippines was an overseas territory under the Spanish crown. But the Leyes de Indias (Laws of the Indies) oversaw the social, political, and economic life of Filipinos. Also, many educational institutions such as the Ateneo Municipal de Manila and the Universidad de Santo Tomás taught its students using Spanish as a medium of instruction. And all church documents were written in that same language. All this for obvious reasons.

It may be true that the Spanish language was not the mother tongue of the majority of natives who lived during the Spanish times. But that does not mean that it was not spoken on a national level.

When Tagalog rebels revolted against Spain and proclaimed the independence of the country on 12 June 1898, it should be noted that they still chose Spanish as the official language of the First Philippine Republic (1899-1901) under President Emilio Aguinaldo. And this was made official when the Constitución Política de Malolos (Malolos Constitution) was promulgated on 22 January 1899.

Filipino Army officers outside Iglesia de Barasoaín, Malolos, Bulacán (01/23/1899).

Article 93 of the said constitution states:

El empleo de las lenguas usadas en Filipinas es potestativo. No puede regularse sino por la ley, y solamente para los actos de la autoridad pública y los asuntos judiciales. Para estos actos se usará por ahora la lengua castellana.

(Translation: The use of languages spoken in the Philippines shall be optional. Their use cannot be regulated except by virtue of law, and solely for acts of public authority and in the courts. For these acts the Spanish language may be used in the meantime.

When the US took over, the republic was naturally dissolved, and there was no mention again of the ill-fated Malolos Constitution. As such, the Philippines went under the jurisdiction of the Federal government of the United States. Subsequently, the English language was enforced in the country.

But the Philippine Independence Act (more commonly known as the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934) prepared the Philippines for self-government after a period of ten years. And it authorized the drafting of a new constitution for the Philippines as an independent country. This constitution came to be known as the 1935 Commonwealth Constitution.


It was not a smooth road for the framers of the 1935 Constitution, particularly on deciding which official language should prevail. Heated debates ensued among the 1934 Philippine Constitutional Convention delegates who were involved in the language issue. Some were for Spanish. Some were for the native languages. Yet some were even for English!

Among the native Filipino languages, Tagalog was the most controversially discussed and debated idiom. But that’s another story.

In the end, the following compromise amendment presented by 24-year-old delegate Wenceslao Vinzons was approved:

National Assembly shall take steps toward the development and adoption of a common national language based on all existing native dialects.

Until otherwise provided by law, English and Spanish shall be the official languages.

However, the abovementioned amendment was written in a slightly different way in the constitution’s final draft. That version appeared in the book The Framing of the Constitution of the Philippines (1934-1935) authored by delegate Miguel Cuaderno (published in 1937 by the Philippine Education Company, Inc., Manila). It says:

The National Assembly shall take steps toward the development and adoption of a common national language based on one of the existing native languages. Until otherwise provided by law, English and Spanish shall continue as official languages.

If we may swerve for a moment. Note that the contention was still focused on which native language should be prioritized (although English and Spanish still dominated the constitution). Notice also that the Vinzons amendment contained the phrase “based on all existing native dialects”. But in the draft which appears in Cuaderno’s book, it was replaced by “based on one of the existing native languages”. This goes to show that a language problem was already beginning to surface (but again, it’s for another story).

Sadly, the more preferrable Cuaderno version was further revised by the constitutional convention’s committee on style. And that revision was approved and consequently included in the constitution (ratified on 14 May 1935) as Section 3 of Article XIV (General Provisions):

The Congress shall take steps toward the development and adoption of a common national language based on one of the existing native languages. Until otherwise provided by law, English and Spanish shall continue as official languages.

Section 10 of the same article further states that:

This Constitution shall be officially promulgated in English and Spanish, but in case of conflict the English text shall prevail.

Two years later, on 31 December 1937, Tagalog was chosen as the country’s national language. This, however, did not affect the Spanish language’s status as one of the country’s official languages. But the number of Spanish-speakers (many of whom were murdered during the Philippine-American War) began to decline. The statistics grew worse during World War II, particularly during the Liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese.

Japan preferred Tagalog

It is interesting to note that during the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines (1942-1945), the Spanish as well as the English languages both lost their status as co-official languages when the Japanese invaders established on 14 October 1943 what is now known as the Second Philippine Republic. It, of course, had an accompanying constitution. Article IX (General Provisions), Section 2 of the 1943 Constitution states:

The government shall take steps toward the development and propagation of Tagalog as the national language.

Oddly, the Japanese opted for Tagalog instead of their own language to be included in the constitution. But this twist of linguistic fate was short-lived: the US reclaimed the Philippines two years after that Japanese-sponsored constitution was ratified.

This bloody reclamation was almost like a death-blow to the number of Spanish-speaking Filipinos. It also totally wiped out the Chavacano-speaking community of Ermita, Manila (Ermiteños).

The years that followed the war were years of poverty and misery. The number of Spanish-speaking Filipinos dwindled miserably as well. The few who survived migrated either to Spain, the US, or Australia and beyond. Those who opted to stay behind stayed because they could not just abandon nor sell their properties and businesses (this also explains why almost a majority of Spanish-speaking Filipinos remaining today are from the landed gentry and the elite).

Martial Law

Fast forward to 1970. The 1935 Constitution continued all the way to the Marcos years. On Marcos’ fifth year in the presidency, a constitutional convention was called to change the then existing law of the land. Special elections for the constitutional convention delegates were held on 10 November 1970.

The actual convention lasted around two years. Renowned linguist and scholar Señor Guillermo Gómez was chosen as the Language Committee Secretary of the 1971 Philippine Constitutional Convention. Under his helm, the same heated debates on language that happened in 1934 happened again. Once more, the Tagalog-language issue was raised. This resulted in Article XV (General Provisions), Section 3, sub-sections 1:

(1)This Constitution shall be officially promulgated in English and in Pilipino, and translated into each dialect spoken by over fifty thousand people, and into Spanish and Arabic. In case of conflict, the English text shall prevail.

In the foregoing section, the term language was erroneously called dialect. Tagalog was masked under the name Pilipino. And worse, the Spanish language was removed.

To further complicate the status of Spanish, sub-sections (2) and (3) of the same section further states:

(2) The National Assembly shall take steps towards the development and formal adoption of a common national language to be known as Filipino.

(3) Until otherwise provided by law, English and Pilipino shall be the official languages.

Knowing fully well that the number of native Filipino Spanish-speakers have dwindled throughout the decades, Señor Gómez, an ardent hispanista, thought it wisely to fight for Tagalog to become the country’s national/official language. As a polyglot and linguist, he knew fully well that the key to bring the Spanish language back to the mainstream was by propagating Tagalog, particularly the alphabet (including correct orthography) that represents it: the 32-letter Abecedario, the same alphabet used by Tagalogs and other Christianized natives during the Spanish and early American periods. According to him, all Filipino languages (i.e., the languages of Christianized lowlanders) are Chavacanos, but in varying degrees. Excluding the Chavacano languages of Ciudad de Cavite, Ternate, and Zamboanga, Tagalog is closest to Spanish, even closer to Hiligaynón, one of his native languages. And that is one major reason why Tagalog today is “Pilipinized” (again, another long story).

The 1973 Philippine Constitution was ratified on 17th of January, four months after the declaration of Martial Law.

Señor Gómez, however, had no power over the “renaming” of Tagalog as Pilipino, nor was he able to reinstate Spanish as a co-official language in the said constitution.

1973 Constitution absolved

Fast forward once more, this time to 25 February 1986, when Marcos was ousted due to popular outcry. His nemesis’ widow, Tita Cory, took over. During the transition period, a military-assisted constitution called the Freedom Constitution temporarily replaced the 1973 Constitution. The Freedom Constitution had no provisions at all about an official language due to its transitory nature. However, its successor, the 1987 Constitution —the one which we still use today—, states the following in Sections 7 and 8 of Article XIV (Language):

Section 7. For purposes of communication and instruction, the official languages of the Philippines are Filipino and, until otherwise provided by law, English.

The regional languages are the auxiliary official languages in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein.

Spanish and Arabic shall be promoted on a voluntary and optional basis.

Section 8. This Constitution shall be promulgated in Filipino and English and shall be translated into major regional languages, Arabic, and Spanish.

The Spanish language made a comeback in the 1987 Constitution (proclaimed on 11 February 1987), but not as an official language. The clauses specified above gave credence to the fact that the drafters of the 1987 Constitution no longer gave Spanish the same importance that it had before. Héctor S. de León, in his widely used Textbook on the Philippine Constitution (Rex Book Store), summed it up this way:

The use of the Spanish language as an official language is no longer justified in view of the lessening influence of the language in the Philippines. It is not used by most Filipinos, English and Pilipino being preferred by them…

…Spanish and Arabic are languages of world importance spoken by many Filipinos. However, since they are not official languages, the government is not bound to promote their use They shall be promoted on a voluntary and optional basis.

Now, let us go back to the original question: why point an accusing finger at Tita Cory for the removal of the Spanish language when it is now apparent that its officiality became null and void since the 1973 Marcos Constitution?

Not exactly.

Many Filipinos do not know that on 15 March 1973, two months after the 1973 Constitution was ratified, Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 155 recognizing Spanish (alongside the English language) as one of the Philippines’ official languages! Below is the full text:

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 155 March 15, 1973


WHEREAS, Section 3 of Article XIV of the 1935 Constitution of the Philippines provided that “until otherwise provided by law, English and Spanish shall continue as official languages;”

WHEREAS, Section 3(3) of Article XV of the new Constitution provides that “until otherwise provided by law, English and Pilipino shall be the official languages;

WHEREAS, a sizeable part of documents in government files are written in the Spanish language and have not been officially translated into either English or Pilipino language;

WHEREAS, it is advisable to maintain the legal admissibility of important documents in government files which are written in the Spanish language pending their translation into either English or Pilipino language; and

WHEREAS, Spanish language is a part of our priceless national heritage, which we share with the great Hispanic community of nations.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers in me vested by the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated September 21, 1972, and General Order No. 1 dated September 22, 1972, do hereby order and decree that the Spanish language shall continue to be recognized as an official language in the Philippines while important documents in government files are in the Spanish language and not translated into either English or Pilipino language.

This Decree shall form part of the law of the land and shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 15th day of March, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-three.

The presidential decree can speak for itself. No more explanation is needed as to why the 1973 Constitution should be absolved from “deleting” the Spanish language from our patrimony.

Please be advised that this blogpost is not meant to accuse nor to lay blame on anyone regarding the disappearance of the Spanish language from our country’s written statutes. This is simply meant to avoid any misunderstanding that might occur in future researches regarding the said topic. Marcos’ presidential decree is not widely known today, and it is high time that this should be explained online on the light of an apparent resurgence of interest in reviving the Spanish language. Several Business Process Outsourcing companies, regarded today as a “sunshine industry”, are in dire need of Spanish-speakers. President Noynoy Aquino’s predecessor, Gloria Macapagal de Arroyo worked with former Secretary of Education Jesli Lapus, the Spanish Embassy in Manila, and the Instituto Cervantes de Manila to bring back the teaching of Spanish in Philippine schools.

And thanks to the internet, the clamor for the return of the Spanish language has found a new medium. Various online forums are now discussing the importance of Spanish in our history, culture, and identity as a nation. Several websites and blogs promoting the Spanish language in the Philippines are starting to appear. Even Facebook does not want to be left behind.

Indeed, now is the time to treat our past in a more positive light and a keener eye, and to grasp the real score —the unbreakable link— between the Spanish language and the Filipino national identity.

Will current President Noynoy Aquino, whose grandparents on either side of the family spoke Spanish, do the correct thing and reciprocate Marcos’ intelligent move in saving our hispanic heritage?


This now-forgotten Marcos decree (presidential decree no. 155) was taken from Chan Robles Virtual Law Library.

43 responses »

  1. Thank you for this article.
    I do remember people who visited the Philippines and were surprised with the number of Filipinos who spoke English. They did not get the chance to practice their Tagalog, whilst in Manila. Even television and news were in the English language.

    Unfortunately, with the constant attacks from the tagalistas and the ignorant politicians who refuse to learn other languages, that looks to be no longer the case.


    • I disagree on this. Almost all TV channels have news in Tagalog in Manila. Perhaps those people you mentioned went to Makati or places frequented by the highly educated class. The upper and upper middle class people speak mostly in English and their Tagalog is mostly Taglish. Wealthy Filipinos from the south, as well from the North who relocated to Manila usually speak in English instead of their vernacular. If ever they speak to locals, they would try to interchange English and Tagalog which would sound Taglish. Many of them were quite not confident to speak Tagalog because many Tagalogs have tendency to laugh at their wrong accent even if their grammar is correct. If the people you mention are Caucasians or mestizos, most likely the locals will try to speak to them in English but I am pretty sure that they could hardly make a conversation with them. Have you seen some video clips in youtube about the locals trying to speak in English and having a hard time to keep up with the conversation? Sad to say, a lot of the locals could hardly appreciate Spanish either. Many are even ignorant of the fact that Tagalog has many loan words from Spanish.


  2. El empleo de las lenguas usadas en Filipinas es potestativo. No puede regularse sino por la ley, y solamente para los actos de la autoridad pública y los asuntos judiciales. Para estos actos se usará por ahora la lengua castellana.

    (Translation: The use of languages spoken in the Philippines shall be optional. Their use cannot be regulated except by virtue of law, and solely for acts of public authority and in the courts. For these acts the Spanish language may be used in the meantime.)

    The sentence Para estos actos se usará por ahora la lengua castellana is, in the Wikipedia Talk about the 1898 Philippine Constitution, sort of mistranslated since the word usará is the third person future form of the word usar and most likely means:

    For these acts the Spanish language will be used in the meantime.

    Read the talk page and correct me if I’m wrong. I’m taking these with a little verification needed.

    And with Noynoy Aquino reviving the Spanish Language, I have absolutely no idea. Whatever the case is, Instituto Cervantes and a few staff left over from the former administration will take care of that, and many of the Filhispanistas will take care of that.
    I hope your group gets to translate from Spanish to English or any local Philippine Language, then publish historical documents about our country.


  3. Español de Filipinas, UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE,,, please support the claim


  4. I’m no Hispanophone to be honest, but I’m in favor of its reinstatement as an official language of the Republic of the Philippines.


  5. Philippines should put Spanish back to its official language status. It should not even be abolshed in the first place. Spanish is such an important tool and bridge for Filipinos to understand ther history and culture better. No matter how much resentment towards the Spanish language, it is still part of the Philippine national heritage. Spanish is also a Philippine language, just like English. How come many Filipinos are proud that they are English speaker but resent the learning and teaching of Spanish?


  6. Hopefully, Filipinas will restore Spanish so that people can read and understand the works of the great Jose Rizal in his own language and get a better understanding of thy-selves and the history without being “lost in translation.”
    Viva Filipinas! De un hermano puertorriqueño.
    PD. Albert, your correction of the translation is right. (se usará = will be used) The original text actively mandated the use of Spanish language in the meantime. The mistranslation (may be used = se podrá usar) is a passive statement compared to the corrected translation. An example of how meanings can be lost in translation.


  7. Thanks for confirming, Jose Juan of Puerto Rico.

    In English, shall is an auxillary verb for the future tense which denotes hints of uncertainty, as opposed to will.
    In laws and wills, the sets of I will, you shall, and he/she/it/they shall are used since the lawmaker and the writer of the will is certain of the action they make. In this case, the verb will fits the context.


  8. hola a todos saludos desde peru deseamos que filipinas regrese a su historia , el idioma español es su historia y debe de ser instaurado como idioma oficial


  9. The Philippines is the only country in the world which continues to regret its main colonizer (in this case- Spain). All other former colonies think of their colonizers as “Yes, they were cruel to us, but now we’re independent, they’ve accepted their mistakes, so let’s be friends and recognize the links and bonds between us.” Why do Filipinos STILL regret things of the past instead of making peace with Spain, Spanish culture, and, most importantly, the SPANISH LANGUAGE?

    The Philippines must belong to the Spanish speaking world, with whom it shares so much culture and history.

    Do you really think the Filipinos have any cultural and historical ties with ENGLAND, the birthplace of the language they seem to be SO obsessed with?

    (Coming from a Puerto Rican, who shares a similar history with Filipinos (Spanish colony, lost to the United States after the Spanish-American War. Spanish is still the main language here!!! [And always will be])


    • How come in Puerto Rico, English is not being enforced like how it was during the American occupation in the Philippines?


      • Because Puerto Ricans do not want to lose their identity and culture like your people did too easily and its about freedom of course English is learnt in Puerto Rico but no one is going to forget about Spanish. For shame for your people that don’t want to learn Spanish anymore even though the US was just as cruel as Spain probably was.


        • Abelino Cifuentes

          bien dicho Joe,,, no se podía decir más claro. Los Filipinos de hoy en día son el único pueblo que ha perdido su identidad sin conocer su pasado


          • diez palabras, once son mentiras

            There should be no shame if we do not want to learn Spanish; we should be able to choose Spanish if we want to. If you want to talk about shame, start with Spain. How long was Spain under the Arabic speaking Moors? Much, much longer than the Philippines was under Spain. Don’t forget the Visigoths who raised the status of Spain from being a mere province under the Romans (Philippines was not even a province of Spain), did Spain hold on to the Visigothic language? How about almost all the countries in Europe? Is there any European country lamenting the fact that they have lost their Latin language, a language they should be embracing and thanking the Romans for, to avoid suffering from shame?
            Most Filipinos do not hate Spaniards. If the bond between the Spaniards and the natives in the Philippines has always been weak that is NOT BECAUSE WE HATED them but the fact was, there were so few of them in the Philippines to even form a bond. Here is a description of what was happening at that time “en América con un invasor que casi todo lo llenaba y que tendía con su número á hacer desaparecer la raza primitiva pura precisamente todo lo contrario de lo que pasa en el país filipino en donde la raza indígena en masa imponente se sobrepone á toda absorción bastando este concepto solo para que ni con medios muchísimos más poderosos que los hasta ahora puestos en práctica, puedan conseguirse los frutos que las leyes exigen?” Filipinas: Estudio de algunos asuntos de actualidad By Eduardo Navarro, Eduardo Navarro Ordonez – MADRID IMPRENTA DE LA VIUDA DE M MINUESA DE LOS RÍOS Miguel – 1897
            The laws this author was referring to were the laws on teaching Spanish; obviously Spain was a failure in teaching us their language. Was it Spain’s fault? Not really, not even if the Spaniards with their Spanish language were filling up all the space in South America and hardly in the Philippines. Gee, people from the USA have always been far and few in between in the Philippines ever since they took over from Spain. The reason English gained a stronghold is because all the textbooks are written in English, English is taught from first grade all the way to college, and most of all the medium of instruction is English. Up until the 90s Spanish was taught for 2 years in college; 3 units per semester. For Spanish language to become a phenomenon in the Philippines (Spanish has never been a common language as you probably have read in this article), Spanish has to be taught from first grade, textbooks have to be all written in Spanish and most of all the medium of instruction has to be in Spanish all the way to college courses. If not, Spanish experience will be the same in the 60s (24 units, 3 units per semester) but Spanish stayed in the classrooms.


            • Well technically they started teaching the people Spanish but then the people wanted independence and the US helped them somewhat be free from Spain and the leaders like Aguinaldo all spoke Spanish and would had been the main language to this day if the US would not had tried to be like Spain and made the Philippines their colony. However, the US succeeded in making the Filipinos learn English and forget about Spanish which was failed in Puerto Rico as the people proudly speak Spanish to this day. Its not hard to teach Spanish they just need to reintroduce it back in school. I think if Aguinaldo or Rizal were alive today they would feel like strangers in their own home land. To compare with other countries that do not speak the language after winning freedom is not the same how you described because things were different. The Filipinos already been learning Spanish and have Spanish last names. The US only conquered the country for about fifty years and why would English be favored if still many at the time could not speak English?? Should not just Filipino be the only favored language and not English by the examples you were giving? And why should everyone be called Filipinos since that is a Spanish word and not preferably Philipians??


    • Filipinos have indirect ties with UK.

      The British occupation of Manila in 1762 to 1764 has been recorded, but the genes that went in were Indian since the soldiers sent were the sepoy, not the British redcoats. When Spain reoccupied Manila, these soldiers were in hiding, and in a nearby province, in Rizal, there are some people who have Indian features.

      However, these Brits only occupied Manila and Cavite, not the rest of the Philippines.

      By language, it’s only through the US occupation that we acquired the English language extensively. By then, North American English had developed certain features distinct from the King’s English.


  10. yo si quiero que el español vuelva a ser mi idioma
    nuestra historia se escribe en español y ojalá algún dia podamos volver a hablar en esta lengua tan bonita


  11. I’m a Filipino, and I’m interested in learning Spanish. They should make Spanish as our 3rd or 2nd language.


  12. I love your idea, Filipinos should speak Spanish too, I am Mexican and I see filipinos like my brothers because we share so much history. I think Filipinas is a Hispanic country.


  13. Arcenilla-Lumbad

    Pinatutunayan lang na’tin na mga idiot tayo. Tsaka MALAKI ang KAUGNAYAN ng Filipinas sa España lalo na sa cultura at kasaysayan. At, may KAUGNAYAN BA TAYO SA AMERICA, INGLATERRA at sa mga bansang nagsasalita ng Ingles? At nagpapakabaliw tayo sa Ingles? Mga piling americano?

    Nakakaawa ang Filipinas, ang dali nating kinalimutan ang Dakilang Kasaysayan na wala ang iba… Di katulad ng ibang mga bansa, lalo na ang Puerto Rico, inalagaan nila ang kanilang kasaysayan.

    ‘Di katulad ng Filipinas, kung anong uso sa ibang bansa, madali na’ting ginagaya. Kaya napapagsabihan tayong GAYA-GAYA ng mga ibang bansa. Kaya ang baboy na Filipinas. Halo-halo na! Wala tayong sariling atin…

    Isa lang po akong 17 Años. Ito lang po nalalaman ko, kung may mali ako, pakitama na lang ho…


  14. The Philippines should definitely use its historical and cultural links with the Spanish- speaking world because it is a very large market of 500 million potential customers. Yes, it’s true that the Filipino national identity was born in Spanish; But the issue today is to not lose that patrimony and use it for economic development in the form of increase trade and business. Singapore is now introducing Spanish in their schools. The good thing for Filipinos is that learning Spanish would probably be easier than learning any other foreign language due to the large number of Spanish words already found in every dialect of the country.


    • If the people only want English then why do they call themselves Filipinos?? Sounds too Spanish language!! They should of called themselves Phillippians! lol


  15. The current generation of Filipinos (1980 – present) are the only ones not educated in Spanish or Thomasite English (classical English literature such as Shakespeare, etc.).


  16. Enhorabuena Pepe. This is a prize-winning article complete with accurate bibliography. ¡Adelante! GGR


  17. nice read. how to say that in spanish?hehe kasalanan ba kung ndi kami marunong mag espanyol?gustuhin man namin?eh sa kadahilanang wala kaming anda?anong magagawa namin?kung gusto nyo kaming matuto edi pagaralin nyo kami..ung libre!ok?buenas dias paquito diaz!


  18. Our penal code (Código penal revisado de Filipinas), and to some extent, our civil code, rely on the Spanish text. The penal code was originally written in Spanish, hence the Spanish text must prevail. The law is blunt on that. I don’t understand why Spanish is not a requisite for law school. In addition to the above-mentioned, any law student would know that a huge share of Philippine jurisprudence, whose effects are binding up to this day, is written in Spanish. Some of them were written as recently as 1955, with decisions up to this day quoting local jurisprudence in Spanish.


  19. Can’t agree to disagree. Spanish SHOULD be the official language of the country. Being a diverse linguistic person/individual, each can contribute to the country’s economic growth since we’re in the era of globalization and being the Philippines in a strategic location in terms of economy trade blocs between:

    a.) North American and European countries – Thru English
    b.) ASEAN region and Asian Region – Since we’re Malay and definitely Asians
    c.) Hispanic Communities – shares culture and history and speaks Spanish(if implemented again)

    We can be the economic center for the above mentioned countries.

    Without Spain, the Philippines will not be called by its current name but will be known as the nation of barbaric tribes.

    Filipino (modern tagalog) should be abolished as an official language no offense to tagalistas, due to the fact that everytime our brother Visayans and Mindanaoans try to speak tagalog/filipino, and because of the diction, the native tagalog speakers would laugh and say ” May pataga-tagalog ka pang nalalaman eh bisaya ka naman pala! ” which would established Superiority among brethren Filipinos(Visayan and Mindanaoan alike). Me being a Cebuano myself, experienced being ridiculed by some Tagalog speakers due to my diction and how we say/utter the words. It feels like we’re being excluded and at the same time inferior from the majority of the group that make up this country.

    Anyone is free to flame me but this is the truth/reality that is within the nation. Lucky for you guys whose native language “mostly” became the fundamentals of what the national language is today.


    • diez palabras, once son mentiras

      Well if Spanish replaces the Tagalog, wouldn’t you think (I’m not speaking about you). that “patagatagalog kang nalalaman” insult will be repeated to someone else and by someone else and it will now go like this with equivalence in Spanish: “Did you even go to school, you can’t speak Spanish well?” You may have gotten your revenge with Spanish replacing Tagalog but the issue does not change, still the same issue propagating everywhere.


  20. I think this is stupid. We can’t even get our NATIONAL languages right (grammatically we suck at Filipino and English) and now y’all are like, “oooh we need to bring back the Spanish language into our schools… bleepbloopblopboop.”

    We have the NHCP and their able pool of history researchers to translate and give life to our colonial history for this matter. You can take Spanish lessons at the Instituto Cervantes or enroll your children in Poveda or some Opus Dei school for all I care, but don’t eff with our national language.

    Seriously, there are more pressing issues in society than backpedaling into the 1800’s. Look, we can’t even get our school calendars right (uh, June, August, or September?). Find something else worthwhile. Don’t kill yourselves over this Spanish thing. The 1898 Philippine Revolution happened for a reason: to get rid of the rapist colonists. And that is exactly why we call people who would deliberately insert Spanish words in their sentences vaginas (cono- can’t find the enye). BAM!


    • I don’t often reply to foul-mouthed fellows, and I’ve already said my piece about it. But hey, it’s your lucky day, Mr. Ribald. I’m in the mood right now :D

      “I think this is stupid. We can’t even get our NATIONAL languages right (grammatically we suck at Filipino and English) and now y’all are like, “oooh we need to bring back the Spanish language into our schools… bleepbloopblopboop.”
      You know what? I think you are stupid, and there’s no more need for me to expound on that obvious fact.

      “We have the NHCP and their able pool of history researchers to translate and give life to our colonial history for this matter. You can take Spanish lessons at the Instituto Cervantes or enroll your children in Poveda or some Opus Dei school for all I care, but don’t eff with our national language.”
      Able pool of history researchers? Think again. I met at least two people from the NHCP, and they sound exactly like you. And I will eff with your national language for as long as I like.

      Seriously, those pressing issues in society that you are referring to can be handled by various government and non-government agencies concerned, of which I am not aligned to. Pressing issues about the economy are be handled by NEDA and related organizations; pressing issues about the environment are handled by the DENR, and so on and so forth. You just don’t go here and dictate to me which issues I should discuss. We are talking about our country’s language situation here, not about the economy, not about the environment, the population, poverty, politics, etc. As much as I am concerned about those other issues you speak of, those are not my advocacies nor my expertise even. So excuse me. If you are looking for blogs which discuss those pressing issues you are concerned about, then you go hunt for them and comment there. It’s really not that difficult to do, isn’t it kiddo?

      And no, bringing back the Spanish language does not mean backpedaling to some medieval part of our country’s history. My golly. The Spanish language is one of the most spoken languages in the globe today. Or you didn’t know because you are probably out of time?

      And yes, I have already Found something worthwhile: the campaign for the return of the Spanish language in the Philippines. Because it is not just a “colonial” thing. It is already part of the Filipino Identity, stuff that you still don’t know about, and I forgive you for that. Because if you had known more about your national identity, then you wouldn’t have made a complete fool out of yourself by blurting out senselessness such as “The 1898 Philippine Revolution happened for a reason: to get rid of the rapist colonists”. BAM.


    • You know what screw the national language because there is no one else outside of the poor ridden country that will want to speak it unless you are Filipino. Spanish would be a nice language since you know a lot of Filipinos cannot even speak clearly in English. Rapist colonists?? Does that include the US?? I hope it does since the country was a colony under the US and no better after Spain. You must of dropped out of high school after warming the seats up for the next students to sit on. Pepe said it better by saying he think you are stupid. The country could been in a more better position with Spanish alongside both languages or else no more being called Filipinos and drop all the Spanish last names.


      • diez palabras, once son mentiras

        With the current English as a medium of instruction, children in the Philippines do not become fluent in English right after graduation from elementary, not unless they come from families where English is casually spoken at home. Not to mention that some children are naturally inclined in mathematics than interested in languages, some are just more interested in expressing themselves through arts. English and Spanish have a lot of common words between them right down to the spelling, (indispensable, error, horror, area, hospital, general, super, chocolate, legal, matrimonial, colonial, mental, normal) It will take me a long time to write them all down. This is what I am really trying to say, I have seen native English speakers learning Spanish grammar, and they do not learn it in six years, not unless Spanish is spoken casually at home.


  21. Rev. Fr. Fedinand A. Leaño

    I pity those Filipinos who have a distorted view of Philippine history. It just shows the lingering effects of the “black legend” propagated by the American colonialists that anything connected to Spain is not good which was picked up by those generations who grew up in the American period. The journey in finding the beauty of the Filipino identity is understanding and accepting our Hispanic past. Knowledge of Spanish would help us connect to our Filipino soul. The US contributions should also be appreciated. It has become part of our identity too. Of course, our various native Austronesian parts and other Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Arabic, etc.) influences should never be neglected too. Let’s stop bickering and look for the great future for our beloved Philippines in this modern world. We are a great people. We have the capacity to bridge the world. Ojala que el idioma español se vuelva en las Filipinas. No hay problema si muchos filipinos lo aprenden. Podemos hablar con 500 miliones personas del mundo. Hay muchos beneficios por la economia de nuestro pais. Yo soy filipino…estudie el lenguaje español por 4 años pero todavia necesito practicar hablarlo para no lo olvidare.


  22. The Spaniards are so arrogant. They like to brag about Spanish this, Spanish that, its the 2nd most spoken language everywhere in the world (baloney) and blah, blah, blah. Spanish is dead in the Philippines – period! English and Tagalog are the official languages. Spaniards have to accept this fact.

    The truth is Spanish is only spoken officially 98% in the Americas, Spain and Equatorial
    Guinea (so small you can’t even see it on a map, and French and Portuguese are also officially spoken there). Ceuta and Mellila and the Canary islands are not Africa…they are considered part of Spain. And in southern Morocco Spanish is pretty much defunct.

    It only seems like Spanish is widely spoken because unlike Brazil, which stayed intact, thank god, Spanish America split up into 20 smaller countries. Brazil could have easily split into 25 countries, but thankfully it didn’t. That’s why Brazil today is an emerging world economic superpower (5th strongest in the world). The Spanish speaking countries are still pretty much banana republics!

    Portuguese on the other hand, is truly a global language. It is spoken officially in 10 countries on 5 continents. And most of them are rich in oil, precious metals, and other important natural resources. China does tons of trade with all of the Portuguese speaking countries! And they are learning Portuguese themselves !! So are the Indians and Japanese !!

    What gives a language importance on the world stage is when it is spoken officially on all the continents, and is an important language of the global economy like Portuguese is. Furthermore, many other countries have Portuguese as either an obligatory or studied subject in the school curriculum i.e., Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Venezuela, Namibia, South Africa, Congo, Senegal, Goa (India) etc. So, the only truly global languages are: English, French and Portuguese. Spanish is a regional language (98% in the Americas).

    Spaniards and hispanics give the Spanish language way more credit than it deserves.


    • Coming from an ignorant Filipino or should I say Phillippian?? And your name is Julio?? Should it not be Julius or July? I bet you have a Spanish last name right?? Anyways you say Spanish speaking countries are banana republics?? Lol ok that is funny! Chile is a developed country and Spain too. Argentina, Uruguay, and Mexico not struggling and poor like the Philippines.
      Tagalog is a horrible language that no one else speaks outside of your little messed up country. You guys wished you were Americans like the people of my country. You guys have uglier women and any Mexican or hispanic woman is prettier than Filipino women. Spanish is a popular language here in the US and your people are lacking intelligence and the smarts because you guys speak Tagalog and whatever other indigenous language and cannot even speak English correctly or clearly. Spanish probably would do you guys better than English, just look at your ex president Gloria Arroyo. Spanish is still preferred than Portuguese even in Europe and the US. Just ask any American and they will know Spanish more than Portuguese or French.
      You do know Ceuta and Melilla are in Africa on the border of Morooco right? And Canary Islands are technically apart of Africa just it is part of Spain. You do know Western Sahara has Spanish speaking people right? In Equatorial Guinea Spanish is main national language and not many speak French. With a corrupt dictator he added Portuguese as official language because of history and no one even speaks the language. Now there are many countries with Spanish speaking people like here in the US and Belize for example. Trinidad and Tobago will make it official in 5 years and they are not a poor country like the Philippines. You be stupid for saying Brazil could been 25 countries. You show why Filipinos lack intelligence and can’t help the country be wealthy. At least Spanish is an official UN language like English, French, Mandarin and Russian are. Tagalog will never be. So it makes sense you guys reintroduce the language since you guys cannot speak English correctly. You guys know Spanish is part of your culture but to learn English you guys probably should forget you native Tagalog or Filipino whatever you call your languages.

      White American who find Filipinos like this Julio guy as funny looking people.


    • By the way Brazil did split into 2 countries!!!! You do know Uruguay won independence from Brazil right??? And Uruguayans speak Spanish!


  23. I’m Filipino and have visited a number of Spanish speaking countries: Spain, Peru, Argentina, and Puerto Rico, including numerous interactions with Mexicans and Cubans in California and Miami respectively. I can confidently conclude that the Philippines’ hispanic heritage is closer to that of the Americas than it is to Spain. I had a hell of a time understanding Iberian Spanish. I was almost in tears talking to an elderly Andalucian lady because I could not understand her despite studying Spanish for some time.

    On the other hand, Latin American Spanish, especially Mexican and Peruvian, sounded so familiar and natural to my ears that although I wasn’t very fluent, I understood 90% of what was said to me. When I took a guided tour in the old town in San Juan, Puerto Rico, I found myself saying “yup, same in the Philippines” when the guide explained bits of their history and culture. The old part of San Juan is what the historic part of Manila would have looked like if it were not destoryed in WW2 and had it been looked after. In Lima, Peru, they still keep a miraculous cross made in 16th-17th century Philipines.

    My main point here is that if Filipinos wish to explore their hispanic heritage, they should first look into the Americas because we were a frontier Spanish colony after all. We had no direct links with Spain since the 16th century because for almost 250 years, we were administered by Mexico until they gained independence. Thus, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that we are the little brother of Mexico. We don’t have much in common with Spain and than we do with the Queen of England.

    At this point, Spanish is not a second or even a third language for Filipinos. It is already a foreign language and this we must accept because of historical circumstances. Should we reintroduce it in schools? Sure, even if we don’t believe in the cultural-historical argument, knowledge of another language is always a good idea. Trust me, if it has opened doors for me, it will do so for others as well.

    If I were to revive Spanish in the Philippines, I would hire teachers from Mexico, Peru, or Colombia instead of those from Spain (no offense intended). In my opinion, their Spanish is closest to our colonial Spanish. Also, I would not teach vosotros and its conjugations. It’s an Iberian archaism that a foreign learner doesn’t need to know until he/she decides to live in Spain.

    Viva el castellano! Que tengan ustedes buen exito!



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