Saturday, December 1, 2007
Filipinos not colonized by Spaniards.
One sentence that constantly upsets me whenever I read history books,
Filipino historians, tour books, from the Philippines and around the
world (which the rest of the world got from the information first
written by Filipinos in Filipino history books) is:
The Spaniards colonized the Filipinos.
The Spaniards did NOT colonize the Filipinos. The Spaniards colonized the Malay, Aeta, and indigenous peoples of the land.
The result of that history is the Filipino people.
"Filipinos" in the way the word is used today, did not officially exist until the 20th century.
This adds a lot of miseducation to Filipinos and to people all around
the world because it leads people to believe, Filipinos especially
included, that there is such a thing as a Filipino race, and a united
Filipino people before the arrival of the Spaniards.
You don't read history books say "The Spaniards colonized the Mexicans"
because that's incorrect. The Spaniards colonized the Aztec and Mayan
Indians of the land, as well as the African slaves, and the result today is the Mexican people.
So whenever it's written, which I see all the time, "The Spaniards
colonized the Filipinos" it's especially written out of a grand
miseducation that is taking place among Filipinos about their own
history, and the way we write it and portray it is especially important
if we are going to instill pride and education in future generations of
Another thing that peeves me when I hear Filipinos write it and is so reflective of mass
miseducation among our people is:
The Spaniards erased everything about the Filipino culture!
There was no such thing as Filipino culture until the Spaniards arrived.
Everything Filipino is a mixture of Malay, Chinese, and Spanish cultural elements.
As far as what was erased in the Malay culture of the natives before the Spaniards arrived,
that's debatable and there is no exact way to measure it, but considering that Tagalog and other
indigenous languages are still used, it's easy to say that a lot of pre-Hispanic Malay culture
among the natives of the land that is now the Philippines stayed intact.
It's completely obvious that sentences like that above which are so
common to read in Filipino textbooks are what leads Filipinos to grow
up with deep insecurity issues, not just about their own history and culture, but also
with issues about ancestry that Filipinos get into constant strifes with each other about,
which is completely unnecessary considering that the sentence is false and a result of mass
miseducation and a lack of caring about taking time to make sure that
Filipino history is written with complete historical accuracy.
As far as the online debates Filipinos have with each other, it's ridiculous sometimes,
considering that they wouldn't even be arguing with each other if only they were
properly educated about the ancestry of their own people, which has to do with
another common sentence in Filipino history books that is incorrect as a result of miseducation:
The Spaniards intermarried with the Filipinos.
The Spaniards did NOT intermarry with the Filipinos.
The Spaniards intermarried with Malays and other indigenous people of the land, and their children and grandchildren and future generations became Filipinos.
The word Filipino is used so often among our people, but it's constantly used in way that is reflective of the fact that most of our people don't even know exactly what it means or should mean, or used incorrectly in reference to race instead of nationality. It just boils all down to one word when it comes to mending our country's self-esteem: EDUCATION.
You're not of Filipino, Spanish, and Chinese blood.
You're of Malay, Spanish, and Chinese blood.
And you're a Filipino, and you're proud of it. Mabuhay!