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I am not Filipino/Tagalog

- a conversation posted on Yahoogroups' DILA

Message #21923 from Josepepe

I don’t know who it was who once wrote that one has to walk a mile in a stranger's shoes to really know where that person is coming from. You will never understand what a non-tagalog feels because you have never walked in our shoes. I know you are sympathetic about us non-tagalogs on our concerns for the loss of our language. But you don’t understand our feelings for the impending loss of our people's heritage.

First, if we stripped off the propaganda on our so-called history, there never was a national revolution that took place all over the Philippines. Read every circa newspaper during that time and what you will find out is that it was a local rebellion by the 8 or so Tagalog provinces. The Katipunan was a Tagalog movement. It is no wonder that Bonifacio and for a time Aguinaldo wrote a constitution that was for the Tagalog nation. The subsequent "documents" that suddenly materialized that supposedly included non-tagalog nations as Tagalogs are recent hoaxes to justify a propaganda.

Second, we bisaya did not join the Katipunan because we were a separate nation. Bisayans did not come into the so-called "national revolution" headed and staffed by Tagalogs until the American invasion, and by then it was no longer the Katipunan but a revolutionary government organized as Filipinas. The changes brought about by the Spanish-American war opened a power vacuum that needed to be filled. Spain can no longer protect my people so there was this moro-moro uprising in Cebu. It was not a bloody uprising at all but cordial where they disarmed, briefly jailed and released the Spaniards.

Third, when our Bisaya elite who filled the void left by the Spaniards entertained the overtures of Aguinaldo, it was for protection knowing we were weak. It was for the recognition of our being separate nations and respect for our autonomy that convinced the power elite. That's the reason why Republica de Filipinas was the name and the Malolos constitution came to be written and the reason why it was not a republica ng catagalogan.

Fourth, there never was any intent by that Filipino republic to ever change our nations into anything other than what we already are. the provisions are clear. To paraphrase, all our nations are to be called Filipino nothing more, nothing less. there wasn't anything on that constitution that remotely suggest we become Tagalogs and that we become tagalized in a concocted "lahing kayumanggi" or "isang bansa, isang diwa" type of uniformity.

Fifth, what the tagalista nationalists did is to make the Tagalog nation the supreme identity of las Filipinas. It was done in the guise of "unity" enforced through legislation which was a usurpation of our identity by another nation, the Tagalogs.

Last, nothing was really broken. we had a country called las Filipinas or the Philippines as the Americans called it. We had our national languages and we had the language of government and commerce for our separate nations to communicate and that was Spanish. The tagalista nationalists broke this common legacy we already had. By using "nationalism" - that is Tagalog nation is Filipino and to be decolonized according to them - to make the Tagalog nation supreme.

You know when I came back to my ancestral homeland I found out many things have changed. But nothing hurt me more than hearing my own relatives speaking to me in Tagalog and when I rebuked them they told me Tagalog is patriotic. That I cannot be Filipino if I don’t speak Tagalog or "Filipino", the national language.

That’s why I no longer counted myself Filipino and why I will never return to my ancestral home other than as a tourist. The Philippines which is really a Tagalog republic did not do us Bisaya any good. This Tagalog republic is a third world country. But I think it’s too late now because the Bisaya is very much tagalized and will remain Tagalog imitations in the future.

On hindsight, had the Spanish-American war never taken place, the Tagalog rebellion would have been permanently defeated. Our nations would have gone their separate ways, and when ready would have formally asked Spain for independence. It would be granted because Spain by then was a declining empire and could not afford to continue subsidizing colonies. Then as separate nations we would have reconstituted as an economic bloc because of geography, similar to EU. One that would only lead to strong bilateral ties to Spain/Europe, and we, collectively, would have become first world nation beholden not to Asia, but to our own backyard.

Message #21924 from Joemax

Our history books are not really history but propaganda, because it sides with an ideology pushing the Tagalog identity as the identity of liberation for Filipinos. We are made to think that we came as a monolithic block emanating from Manila. Even the federal republic of the Visayas was never taught in our schools, although we won our independence separately from Spain. We are not one monolithic nation emanating from Manila as what our tagalista propagandists made us believe.

Message #21925 from Ernie Turla

Like what I have been saying time and time again, too much nationalism on our part is what would put our indigenous languages on the death list. While it is okay to be nationalistic, excess in it to the point of being a fanatic is not good for regions that also have interest in preserving their indigenous cultures, let alone their beloved languages. Once in a while we have to show to the world our regionalistic feelings which schools have inculcated in the youth as something ugly just so they could promote unity. But we all know that there is already unity among us Filipinos despite our diversity in so many aspects such in religion, politics, etc. So why are we so "afraid" to teach people their own languages. Why teach something that is not really theirs?

If we are really former nations (i.e. nations prior to our unification through our colonization under Spain), we should assert our right to have our own local languages as national languages in our respective indigenous regions or areas. That's how it is in some foreign countries that have many languages. They don't just have one national language for the whole country, but a "national language" for each region. This system has not divided them at all. Instead, it has even made their citizens become prouder of their countries because they do not deprive them of their rights to assert their identity as a people.
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DILA is committed to legal and peaceful means in achieving our aims, and welcome those who share our noble cause to protect our peoples and languages from extinction. May the Lord bless His languages. (From the FOREWORD of the book Josefina D. Henson, DILA Foundation, Inc. President)


A Country of Our Own
"The best writing on the Philippines I've read in a very long time."—Dr. Michael Ashkenazi, Regents College, London

"Meticulously researched, coherently crafted, passsionately argued."—Carmen Miraflor, Stanford University, California

"Immensely stimulating."—Bro. Andrew Gonzalez, FSC, former Sec. of Education, RP

"Like Alexandr Solshenitsyn, David C. Martinez, writing with the grace of a poet, the acumen of a scholar, and the heart of a patriot, offers the reader two rewards—the unembroidered truth and the priceless gift of hope."—Joseph E. Fallon, author, "Deconstructing America"

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"Courageously irreverent, scrupulously annotated, and richly rewarding. A must-read for all who wish to comprehend the 'Philippine phenomenon'."—Tim Harvey, Co-Founder, DILA [Defenders of the Indigenous Languages of the Archipelago]

This volume and Filipino Is NOT Our Language can be purchased at Filipinas Heritage Library and Ayala Museum at the commercial district in Makati City, Philippines for P300.00 and P100.00 respectively.

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