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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 battle lines will soon be drawn…

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I’ve been thinking a lot about launching a party list group to advocate for the full return of the Spanish language. Not just in schools, but in the national government. However, comrade Arnaldo Arnáiz‘s skepticism toward something political is beginning to discourage me as well. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean it will not push through.

Admittedly, it’s going to be a tough ride to achieve such a feat. We’re virtual unknowns, we neither have the political machinery (i.e., funds) nor enough number of supporters, and we’re beholden to wage slavery which eats up our time. And worse, I even fear that there could only be three of us (with Señor Guillermo Gómez Rivera) who share the same line of thinking; we’re not very much sure with José Miguel García yet because, although we’re readers of his PATRIA, we really haven’t talked to him nor seen him in person. We still have to consolidate our thoughts. And we think that Traveler On Foot (who recently pledged support to our advocacy via email) still needs to be “lectured” more on what Filipino identity is all about (this popular blogger’s got full potential).

This lonely war that we’re waging is not merely confined to the struggle for the Spanish language cause in the Philippines. That is just the tip of the iceberg. We consider ourselves as iconoclasts. We go against bigoted and twisted versions of Philippine History, originating particularly from hispanophobic UP professors and instructors (including US-centric walking tour guides who are trying to distort the way you look at Manila — one step at a time), from what Arnaldo calls the “Agoncillo standard” (taken from Teodoro Agoncillo’s myopic and infantile viewpoints on Philippine history). And I even go a step further to declare that –despite Fernando Ziálcita’s objection to it– Christianity and the study of Philippine History should go together, that they are inseparable, that the other one could not go against the other.

In the long run, we would end up going against those who attack our faith no matter how hard we try to distance ourselves from it. As written in my Spanish blog

…Filipinas es, en realidad, una creación española… una gran creación española. Y me atrevo a decir que la reunión entre España y Filipinas es una fuerza mayor increíble. Una obra milagrosa de Dios

He may be our national hero (and I have the highest respect for my tocayo), but his views weren't always rational. And he himself admitted to that.

The greatest paradox this side of the nationalist cosmos would be to defend our Spanish past while assaulting the Catholic Church (which I erroneously did from 2003 to 2004) at the same time. Now, what is hilariously upsetting is to find people on the internet parading the legacy of our national hero, José Rizal, to simply suit to their pseudo-intellectual braggadocio without even knowing who Rizal really was or what he was fighting for. These individuals proudly appear in dailies and radio shows harping about “rationality” here and “godlessness/agnosticism” there, implying that it is “cool to be a freethinker”, and alleging that the Catholic Church is a “destructive force” that needed to be brought down. They take pride being tagged as the “new Filibusters”, wittingly or unwittingly pretending to be the noble saviors of those who are still “wallowing in ignorance” wrought about by an alleged Catholic despotism. I may cry.

These irrational filibusteros keep on whining about Catholic faults and failures. But Arnaldo wisely observed that they are exactly the fruits of what they claim to be as Catholic errors.

Something’s gotta give. They’re looking for war. We’ll give ‘em one.

This we swear: the battle lines will soon be drawn. Just wait and see…

The mist is rising.

Republic Act 7941 and the party list which will promote the Spanish Language

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What are the chances of a party list group advocating for the return and conservation of the Spanish language to exist for the 13 May 2013 Philippine National Elections?

As I’ve written yesterday, the chances as of now are slim because, admittedly, I am not familiar with the processes on how to create such a party (I may need assistance from like-minded individuals who are also drawn to such political activities). I’m not even an influential person since I’m just an ordinary citizen, a wage slave struggling to survive the perils of a globalized world — and a neocolonized local economy.

Honestly, I don’t have political proclivities. I’ve been apolitical ever since my activist days. I didn’t even register for this year’s coming elections due to disenchantment with what they did to FPJ during the controversial 2004 Philippine National Elections. In one way or another, however, my political apathy is improper (oh my, that rhymes — there’s still an ounce of poetry left in me!). Aside from possibly disappointing my friend Mayor Calixto Catáquiz of San Pedro, La Laguna who is running for reelection, it would appear hypocritical of me to join a democratic system which I am cynical of. It’s not a matter of “what’s done is done”. In a way, this will allow me to “test the waters” firsthand, to see if the system really works, to check if it’s worth it, and more importantly, to disprove my cynicism once and for all.

I received an astute query from a Facebook friend of mine asking me what are the chances that this party list which I’m planning to create will be approved by the COMELEC. He also asked if Spanish-speaking Filipinos or other individuals/groups who want to reinstate the Spanish language can be considered as “marginalized and underrepresented sectors”. He was obviously referring to Section 2 of Republic Act 7941, which is “An Act Providing For The Election Of Part-List Representatives Through The Party-List System, And Appropriating Funds Therefore”:

Sec. 2. Declaration of Policy. – The State shall promote proportional representation in the election of representatives to the House of Representatives through a party-list system of registered national, regional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof, which will enable Filipino citizens belonging to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors, organizations and parties, and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole, to become members of the House of Representatives. Towards this end, the State shall develop and guarantee a full, free and open party system in order to attain the broadest possible representation of party, sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives by enhancing their chances to compete for and win seats in the legislature, and shall provide the simplest scheme possible.

Yes, possibly this party list group that I (together with some nationalist friends of mine) am planning to organize may not be considered to champion the interests of the “marginalized and underrepresented sectors” of society. But our group is concerned heavily on the cultural and patrimonial side of things. Also, I am counting heavily on the statement “organizations and parties, and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole”. The only thing is, somebody should explain what type of “organization and parties” are allowed because it appears vague to me and not that “well-defined”. And besides, what should really constitute a “marginalized” group?

In Section 5 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, it is stated that:

(1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations.

(2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party list. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution, one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector.

Widely read constitutional author Héctor S. de León, in his monumental Textbook on the Philippine Constitution (1997 edition, Rex Book Store), explained the aim of the party-list system:

The basic aim of representative government is to attain the broadest possible representation of all interests in its law and policy-making body. It becomes necessary to give an opportunity to the various social, economic, cultural, geographical and other groups or sectors of our society to have their voices heard. And because they are usually without sufficient funding or political machinery, it becomes incumbent upon the government to extend such opportunity without the need to go through on expensive electoral contest.

For this reason, the party-list system has been adopted in the new Constitution to assure them of representation in the highest lawmaking body of the Republic.

De León further stressed the need for sectoral representation:

Sectoral representation is necessary because it is almost impossible for, say a farmer, laborer or public school teacher, to win in an election. It will foster the rise of non-traditional, political parties and greater participation for various interest groups, not to mention genuine grassroots consultation. After three (3) consecutive terms, it is expected that enough of the people organized sectorally (e.g. labor, farmer, and urban poor groups) will be able to win seats in the House of Representatives under the party-list system and those who are not organized but wish to be represented in the House of Representatives will be forced to organize and, may be, coalesce with other groups in order to have representation.

In view of the foregoing (man, I’m starting to sound like some law geek already), this Spanish Language party-list group that I’m planning to organize might stand a chance. Paragraph 2, Section 5 of our constitution mentioned “such other sectors as may be provided by law”. I’d like to consider this group of mine to be included in those “other sectors”. Besides, the clamor for the return of the Spanish language has been gaining strength over the years. Aside from other factors, it can be construed that the BPO sector has a lot to do with it since it offers a bigger salary to those who speak Castilian (and other foreign languages aside from English). Based on de León’s words, it can be surmised that a party list group which will rally the cause of Rizal’s beloved language can be included in those “various interest groups”.

But like what I said, I’m not a law guy. I need legal expertise here.

Will such a party be considered by the COMELEC?

Which organizations should convene to create a political party for the Spanish language?

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I hope that the humble blogpost I wrote yesterday will not be belittled nor ignored by those who are supposed to back it up. I am not forcing them to support my idea — I am actually begging them to do so.

Please do your country a favor by bringing back the Spanish language as a co-official language of this country, vis-à-vis Tagalog and English.

I have no personal political ambitions. And even if I have the political machinery and mindset to become a statesman, I will still not opt to do so. It’s simply not in my system. I’m content of just sitting on the sidelines to observe and comment. To echo what former PNP Director-General (and now Senator) Ping Lacson said many years ago during a TV interview, “I hate politics. And to put it more bluntly, I hate politicians”.

So why am I doing this? Why do I zealously put forward the idea of having a political party to achieve this nationalistic dream of restoring the Spanish language to where it rightfully belongs? Because like what I said yesterday, the political arena is currently our only chance of achieving this dream. I may not have been able to register for the upcoming 2010 Philippine National Elections, but that doesn’t mean that I have totally lost my faith in our country’s political system. That’s why I’d like to give our democratic functions one more chance. Not by exercising my right to suffrage but by creating a “minor” or small political party (or party list) with the noble aim of recognizing the Spanish language’s true worth and deserving status in this country.

I strongly believe that putting forward the idea of making Spanish a co-official language together with Tagalog and English has a very big chance. In the first place, Spanish has long been an official language of this country until it was callously stripped of its status in the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Most legal documents and statutes that we now have in the three branches of our government (namely the the executive, the legislative, and the judicial departments) were originally written in Spanish before it was decided to translate them into English (and sometimes in other native languages). I don’t even have to mention the Spanish language’s impact towards our multifarious cultures and languages (not excluding behavior and even spiritually) since it has already been discussed and debated before.

The Spanish language SIMPLY needs to be brought back to the Filipino cosmos. Not for the language’s sake, but for OUR SAKE. It shouldn’t have been taken away in the first place.

I would like to call on all major institutions in the Philippines (and perhaps those in Spain as well), which has a strong connection to the Spanish language and culture, to sit down and convene about the language’s future in our country. Will the Spanish language just remain a thing of the past, something that should just be treated as an interesting scholarly topic for future dissertations? Should it be considered merely as a stepping stone by BPO professionals to augment their salaries? Should the language be treated only as a school subject? What should be the treatment Filipinos of today should give to the language of their forefathers and heroes who had helped shaped this nation? Shall we content ourselves of merely treating the Spanish language as nothing but a cultural gem that is kept in a see-through vault for everybody to see and admire?

To the best of my knowledge, the organizations which have the answers to the foregoing questions are the following:

Academia Filipina de la Lengua Española
Commission on Higher Education
Cruzada Internacional por la Reivindicación del Español en Filipinas
Department of Education of the Philippines
Heritage Conservation Society
Instituto Cervantes de Manila
National Historical Institute
Spanish Embassy in Metro Manila
Spanish Program for Cultural Cooperation
The Government of the Philippines
The Government of Spain (and concerned representatives of other Spanish-speaking nations)

And of course, the list should include the foremost online group in the country today which advocates the return, dissemination, and conservation of the Spanish language in the Philippines: the Círculo Hispanofilipino, of which I am a member since 2001. It was founded by –of all nationalities– a German!

It will also help if the powerful Zóbel de Ayala family revives the country’s oldest literary award-giving body, the prestigious and legendary Premio Zóbel which has been on a sabbatical since the year I joined the Círculo Hispanofilipino. Bringing back the Zóbel Award will not only spark the fiery zeal and interest to promote Spanish in the country’s sociopolitical landscape — it will also inspire writers who do not write in Spanish to explore a whole new linguistic world. It might even inspire the few remaining hispanoparlantes filipinos to bring out the literary genius in them (whatever happened to Marra Lánot?).

I may have missed some groups. But I believe that the abovementioned list should lead the advancement of the Spanish language in the country. A dialogue or convention should be brought forth. May this meeting be made a national event.

With the symbiosis of the groups mentioned above, this political party which will struggle for the advancement of the Spanish language in the 2013 Philippine General Election will not just be an ordinary party-list group.

*******

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

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