philippines history

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Encarnacion Alzona (1895-2001) was a Filipino historian, and the first woman in the country to obtain a PhD. She completed her doctoral studies in history at Radcliffe College in the United States, previously, her master’s thesis had consisted of a historical survey on the education of women in the Philippines, a subject of great concern for her throughout her life.

She advocated strongly for women’s suffrage, and her writings ultimately helped to give women the vote in 1937. In 1985 she was awarded the title of National Scientist of the Philippines.

The Majority-Christian Asian Nation (and some other interesting things about the Philippines)

Its been a while since I did a facts list…here we go:

  1. The Philippines has the highest rate of discovery of new animal species with 16 new species of mammals discovered just in the last 10 years.
  2. The world’s largest pearl was discovered by a Filipino diver in the Palawan Sea in 1934. Known as the “Pearl of Lao Tzu,” or “Pearl of Allah,” it is worth around US$40 million, and is believed to be 600 years old.
  3. The Philippines is the only country in the world whose flag is hoisted upside down when the country is at war.
  4. The yo-yo had its beginnings as an ancient Filipino studded hunting weapon attached to a 20-foot rope. 
  5. There are between 120 and 175 individual languages spoken in the Philippines, 171 of which are living while the other four no longer have any known speakers.
  6. Both University of Santo Tomas in Manila, founded in 1611, and the University of San Carlos in Cebu City, founded in 1595, are older than Harvard University (which was only founded in 1636)

Quick note: there are actually two majority-Christian nations in Asia, and both are in Oceania! One is the Philippines, and the other is East Timor.

history tho
  • filipinos: oH MAN THE KKK WAS A GREAT REVOLUTION THO
  • americans: //LOUD HORRIFIED GASPING

so when the ny times reports about duterte being practically responsible for over 7k random deaths in one year, in metro manila alone i might add, y’all r silent af

but one guy decides to write about his (again, very EXTREME) lifelong experience with his house help in the atlantic and suddenly y’all are up in arms???? suddenly the philippines is a relevant country and u suddenly KNOW EVERYTHING about what goes on here???

In case you’d forgotten American imperialism in the Philippines after Spanish colonial rule dating back to the 1500s.

From Wikipedia

“In some areas, Filipinos were forced into concentration camps, called reconcentrados, which were surrounded by free-fire zones. These camps were overcrowded which led to disease and death. Between January and April 1902, 8,350 prisoners of approximately 298,000 died. Some camps incurred death rates as high as 20 percent. "One camp was two miles by one mile (3.2 by 1.6 km) in area and ‘home’ to some 8,000 Filipinos. Men were rounded up for questioning, tortured, and summarily executed.“ In Batangas Province, where General Franklin Bell was responsible for setting up a concentration camp, a correspondent described the operation as "relentless.” General Bell ordered that by December 25, 1901, the entire population of both Batangas Province and Laguna Province had to gather into small areas within the “poblacion” of their respective towns. Barrio families had to bring everything they could carry because anything left behind—including houses, gardens, carts, poultry and animals—was to be burned by the U.S. Army. Anyone found outside the concentration camps was shot. General Bell insisted that he had built these camps to “protect friendly natives from the insurgents, assure them an adequate food supply” while teaching them “proper sanitary standards.” The commandant of one of the camps referred to them as the “suburbs of Hell."”

youtube

A video by my fellow pinoy @kirbyaraullo, for black history month (yes, I know I’m late for that).

This is a thank you to the African Americans who stood up for my ountry, and a reminded to my fellow Filipinos, especially Filipino-Americans to be grateful and to stand up for the rights of the African American community, as is right and as is only fair.

Ang Laya Mo’y Babantayan: The History of the patriotic song, Pilipinas Kong Mahal

Not much could be gathered of the famous patriotic song, Pilipinas Kong Mahal. Sung in numerous state events and in Philippine flag ceremonies, it doesn’t invoke the usual unfeeling tune performed by marching bands. This was understandable because these songs were designed to rouse the fighting spirit and sound the call to arms. But Pilipinas Kong Mahal stands out. When one observes the tune, one could feel a tinge of sadness that wraps up in a powerful resolve to defend Pilipinas, redeemed at such a high cost.

*The raising of the Philippine flag at the Independence Flag Pole at Rizal Park, Manila (taken last June 11, 2017).

The song itself surprises us. Its inspiration is foreign, the song, aptly rooted from the Philippine colonial experience. It arose at the time when the Philippines was under American rule. By virtue of Act No. 1696 enacted by the American-led Philippine Commission on August 23, 1907, the display of the Philippine flag, and all symbols of the First Philippine Republic, including the Katipunan flags, emblems, and the Marcha Nacional Filipina (our national anthem) were strictly prohibited. Violators were fined, or imprisoned from 3 months to 5 years.

As part of the American apparatus of pacifying the islands, Prescott F. Jernegan, an American civics teacher at Philippine Normal School (now Philippine Normal University), composed a hymn to replace the Marcha Nacional Filipina with a national hymn entitled, “Philippines, My Philippines.” The hymn was inspired by “Maryland, My Maryland,” the official anthem of the U.S. State of Maryland. 

I love my own, my native land

Philippines, my Philippines

To thee I give my heart and hand

Philippines, my Philippines

The trees that crown thy mountains grand,

The seas that beat upon thy strand

Awake my heart to thy command,

Philippines, my Philippines


Ye islands of the Eastern sea

Philippines, my Philippines

Thy people we shall ever be

Philippines, my Philippines

Our fathers lived and died in thee

And soon shall come the day when we

Lie down with them at God’s decree

Philippines, My Philippines


Yet still beneath thy ardent sky

Philippines, my Philippines

More numerous sons shall live and die

Philippines, my Philippines

In them shall breathe the purpose high

The glorious day to bring more nigh

When all may sing without a sigh

Philippines, My Philippines

The anthem was included as part of the music textbook Philippine Progressive Music Series for the Primary Grades in 1914 and taught to Filipino children. Sources suggests it was quite similar to the Maryland anthem that inspired it, which in turn was inspired by O Tannenbaum, a German Christmas song. There was nothing wrong with the lyrics, but since it’s in English, and the feel of the music was American, there was a certain distance between the common Filipino and the song being sung.

In 1930, Filipino musical composer and the first Filipino director of the U.P. Conservatory of Music and known “Father of Kundiman,” Francisco Santiago, set out to compose the melody for Philippines, My Philippines. The music that came out, evoked the musical tradition of Kundiman (in ¾), the type of Tagalog music from the late 19th century that is characterized by sad, rhythmic and smooth undertones, it’s lyrics often fatalistic, often portraying a heartbroken lover willing to bear his all just to get the heart of an unreachable beautiful maiden. Kundiman comes from “Kung hindi man” (if it’s not meant to be) making it sad and beautiful. Santiago’s music was original and truly Filipino.

*“El Ciego” (The Blind Man) (1929) by Fernando Amorsolo

The exact date was lost to us in history but probably sometime in the post war years, poet Ildefonso Santos Sr., translated, shortened, and tweaked the lyrics. By this time, the song–music and lyrics– has transformed into a Filipino favorite. In effect, we have transformed something that was designed to subjugate us into something that became inherently ours. Since then, it has become part of the line up of patriotic songs in state ceremonies. Consider the simple lyrics that was sung up to the 70s. It begins with the cherishing of a country (“Ang bayan ko’y tanging ikaw…”) with a promise that our heart and life would be willingly offered to her without hesitation.

Ang bayan ko’y tanging ikaw

Pilipinas kong mahal

Ang aking puso’t buhay man

Sa iyo’y ibibigay

Tungkulin kong sinumpaan

Ang lagi kang paglingkuran

Ang laya mo’y isanggalang

Pilipinas kong hirang

Listen to the song HERE performed Philippine Constabulary Band and the Philippine Constabulary Choral Ensemble, circa 1970s. 

During the country’s experience under the scourge of dictatorship, the song further evolved, being sung among a host of other Filipino patriotic songs in massive protests that led to the EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986. There was a small addition to the lyrics, but the song became more powerful.

Ang bayan ko’y tanging ikaw,

Pilipinas kong mahal

Ang puso ko at buhay man

Sa iyo’y ibibigay

Tungkulin ko’y gagampanan

Na lagi kang paglingkuran

Ang laya mo’y babantayan

Pilipinas kong hirang

It is such a wonder that such a song with a few words could stir such emotion. I’ve wondered about it when I listened to it being sung and performed at yesterday’s Independence Day rites at Luneta and at Quirino Grandstand. 

The song captures the story of the nation that has, time and time again, brought itself up to its feet from the tyranny of the oppressor (whether foreign invader or dictators). Now that we have celebrated our 119th Independence Day, may we always cherish this freedom that was bought at a high price. Let us never belittle it or take it for granted. Let us guard it with our lives, as did the Filipinos who’ve gone before us.

Indeed, “Ang laya mo’y babantayan, Pilipinas kong hirang!”


Maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan sa ating lahat! (Photo taken at last night’s Philippine Independence Day Celebration, from the Manila Pavilion Hotel).

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“Never question a man’s patriotism by the blood that runs in his veins, or by the nationality of his ancestors; we should judge a man by what he is, rather than where his forefathers came…” ~ Manuel L. Quezon


(( So maybe a few of our half-blooded Filipino brothers and sisters are insecure about being a Filipino just because they’re not pure or are teased that they should go back to wherever they are stereotyped to have belonged to because of their looks even if they themselves know deep inside that they are Filipinos who love the Philippines and all. Well don’t be insecure, friends! If you have that Filipino blood, then you are Filipino! If you’re a naturalized Filipino, don’t be insecure! You’re still a Filipino! -just be sure you’re a legal Filipino peep ok, so that problems with the law will be avoided ;;w;“- Even though there are some bad or not so good things with being a Filipino, well, isn’t that the same with other nationalities as well? So don’t let those petty words put you down, stand proud; be proud to be a Filipino! ^_^b ))



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MANUEL L. QUEZON

-was a Filipino statesman, soldier, and politician who served as president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944. He was the first Filipino to head a government of the entire Philippines (as opposed to the government of previous Philippine states), and is considered to have been the second president of the Philippines, after Emilio Aguinaldo (1899–1901). Quezon was a Spanish Filipino, with both his parents being Filipino mestizos.


In 1907, he resigned from the governorship and tried for a seat in the First Philippine Assembly, and he won by the largest  majority, for he was popular with the masses as well as the ilustrados. He became floor leader of the Assembly and distinguished himself with oratory, delivered in flowery Spanish phrases.


During his presidency, Quezon tackled the problem of landless peasants in the countryside. His other major decisions include the reorganization of the islands’ military defense, approval of a recommendation for government reorganization, the promotion of settlement and development in Mindanao, dealing with the foreign stranglehold on Philippine trade and commerce, proposals for land reform, and opposing graft and corruption within the government.
Credit must also go to Quezon who used diplomacy to convince Americans that Filipinos were prepared in governing their own sovereign government.

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REFERENCE/S:

> Based on Aida Rivera Ford’s HEROES IN LOVE [Four Plays], published by Anvil Publishing, Inc.

> McArthur, Douglas (1964). Reminiscences.> Quezon, Manuel L. (1946). The Good Fight.

> Perret, Geoffrey (1996). Old Soldiers Never Die: The Life of Douglas MacArthur.

> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_L._Quezon

(( Yes, Quezon Province was previously known as Tayabas, although it had lots of other names before too. <XD ))