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Without Spanish—What is a Filipino?
1/18/2007 9:54:55 AM

Whenever I encounter some "patriotic" or “nationalistic” longing or bravado to cut or purge the vestiges of our attachment/connection with our colonizers—Spain and the United States—I simply cannot ignore the point presented in the humor in Pepe Alas’ blog posts. In “Without Spanish—What is a Filipino?”, Alas writes:

A PILIPINO is trying to convince a FILIPINO to become patriotic…

PILIPINO: We must get rid of Spanish words from our native languages!

FILIPINO: And why is that?

PILIPINO: “Why” is a stupid question. Haven’t you learned anything from your history class? It is but a folly to retain Spanish loan words in our languages when it was Spain who destroyed our identity!!!

FILIPINO: Oh. Really.

PILIPINO: Really!!! And not only that! We should not cherish any Spanish legacy at all! Aside from Spanish tyranny, Spanish culture is not Philippine culture!

FILIPINO: Does that mean we have to throw away the culture that Spain bequeathed to us?

PILIPINO: Yes, of course! Don’t you remember what Señor Simoun told Basilio? “If they are unwilling to teach you their language, cultivate your own.” In a larger sense, we should cultivate our own culture.

FILIPINO: Hmmm, you have reason. So, throw everything away?

PILIPINO: EVERYTHING! The language, the culture, the concepts, the religious superstition… EVERYTHING!!! Our national heroes have already set an example by revolting against Spanish tyranny! Leadership by example! We should follow the great Filipinos of yore!

FILIPINO: Oh, OK. I might agree. But first, you have to begin this Castillian purging from our “culture” yourself. Just like what you said, “leadership by example…”

PILIPINO: Exactly. I’d be happy to take the lead. Now, what do you want me to do?

FILIPINO: First of all, take off your sombrero my friend. It’s Spanish.

PILIPINO: (stumped). That would be easy.

FILIPINO: And throw away that corbata, too. Of course you know it’s Spanish.

PILIPINO: (thinking) Well… I think I’d still look fine without a tie.

FILIPINO: And your passionate “nationalism” would look good on you if you take off your chaleco, camisa, vestido, zapatos, cinturón, and pantalón as well.

PILIPINO: Now wait a minute there…!

FILIPINO: No, you wait a minute there!!! Your PILIPINIZATION is not yet reflecting on you. You’re still wearing a relój.

PILIPINO: Fool! This wrist watch is from the US, not from Spain.

FILIPINO: You’re the one who’s loco, ese. We’re not talking about brand names. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing GUESS? or HILFIGER or whatever stuff that came out from another country that is not Spain. We’re not only talking about Spanish words now but concepts also. Before the arrival here of ROLEX and SWATCH and TIMEX, Filipinos already have watches and large grandfather clocks. Of course you already know that.

PILIPINO: (hesitant) Oh, all right! (mumbles and grumbles, but throws watch away) There! Gone!

FILIPINO: You can always tell the time by just looking at the sun, moon, and the stars, right! That’s the true PILIPINO way! Cultivate our own!

PILIPINO: (sigh of exhaustion) Cultivate our own…

FILIPINO: Uh, sir. you still have your medias and calzoncillo on…

PILIPINO: (raising his voice) Are you mad?!

To read the rest of this blog post, please copy and paste the following link:

See, those of us who want to push the “patriotism” or “nationalism” envelope by dissociating from our colonial past either have a memory lapse or selective memory. Take away just one Spanish influence, namely, religion—or more specifically, Catholicism—and the whole “patriotism/nationalism” deck of cards faces a truly difficult dilemma!


Zeny Padre
1/18/2007 10:05:55 AM

In “La Comida Filipina Es También La Comida Española”, Alas also writes:

Hispanophobes, true patriots of the Philippines, those who firmly believe that Spain didn’t do anything good to your country, do yourselves and your country a favor and STOP EATING SPANISH FOOD! That would be a very patriotic thing to do, dontcha guys think?

First, start scrapping paella from your family recipe. We all know that those bad old Spaniards brought it here in the Philippines and passed it on to our chefs. Now that’s a bad sign. If you hate your enemy, don’t eat what they eat. Or you’ll become like them.

Next Spanish food we have to dump is, sad to say, a classic Filipino favorite—adobo (from adobado), inspired by Spanish and Mexican dishes... And don’t ever mention nor even dare think about that embutido anymore. It’s so appalling that those Spanish missionaries would bring such phallic symbols to your innocent shores.

And the pigs, the pigs, the poor suckling pigs!!! Are they all destined to die before they even reach their second year? Those mean Spaniards taught your race to become heartless animal killers by teaching you the art of preparing lechón de leche. I mean, come on! If you already have laws against the murder of our canine friends, why can’t you do the same with pigs? Besides, them Muslims could be right after all: the Biblical devils could still be inside those oinkers. So I’d suggest that you convert to Islam also. At least, that would save you from Catholicism, another Spanish curse. Anyways, dont you have enough source of meat all around you? How about cows? What about goats? What about pythons and the chicken-flavored bayauac? Besides, cows don’t give out a shrill scream when you butcher them. So stick to cows and, to paraphrase Lennon, give pigs a chance.

Not even mechado is saved. Unfortunately, dear Filipinos, it’s a Spanish loan-recipe. So out with it also. ¡El mechado debería ser echado! Out out OUT!!!

Throw away everything Spanish! If you’re too honorable not to bite the hand that feeds you, just throw everything away! Arrozcaldo, champorado, afritada, asado, pan de sal, bizcocho, OUT, you should say! ¡Afuera! Even kare-kare, dinengdéng, sinigáng, pinacbét, and nilagà should be shown the kitchen door. Although they’re not Castilian, their ingredients –sampaloc, patata, repollo, tomate, chayote, rábano, zanahoria, guisantes, etc.– they’re all brought here by the wicked Spanish to nourish the land and the inhabitants. Oh, how evil can that be!

To read the rest of Alas’ blog post, please copy and paste the following:

1/20/2007 1:11:50 PM

I don’t really know to what to say (YET) Zeny but this will not dampen my battle for the OFW cause – I mean, not for the purpose of getting recognized but little things that make the Pilipino race a little bit more proud of their roots!

... every word you posted is the truth, NOTHING but the truth. I hope that whoever (a Pilipino) reads your post will take it as a lesson and interpret it the way I interpreted, –a lesson to become a Pilipino without necessarily baring oneself out from the necessity of living within the bounds of minimal comfort. Sut, what’s wrong if a Pilipino wears a cansolsilio, we need to adopt without necessarily Castillian!

If by any chance, you eat your dinner with a silver fork, (I suppose that it is Spanish too!), lucky you! I once fancied the idea, thinking that I earned it -but the very time I visited a refugee centre where a 'struggling' OFW was confined, I wept and threw away my silver cutleries!

....from then on, I invested my time and effort and part of my earnings to help them.....

//sige na nga, I just arrived convincing prison wardens to make sure the poor Pilipina will not be hand-cuffed when she gets deported!

I think I earned a good sip of Sherry! No, that is Spanish too! How about a Porto? Huuu...its Portuguese and Magellan was a Portuguese!


'night folks!


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