‘Filipino’ is not a race

track meet - thefilipinoaustralian dot com

Filipino race. [Photo credit: thefilipinoaustralian.com]

I have to give credit to Irineo B. R. Salazar for accomplishing a miracle. He spiked my interest about history. I’ve detested history since the eighth grade when I was required on exams to remember a lot of dates that had absolutely no relevance to a 13 year old boy who was migrating from games to girls. Come to think of it, that is why information like candidate platforms has absolutely no meaning to the tens of millions of Filipino poor people who have no where to go. It doesn’t do anything for them.

Irineo wrote an article titled “Being in Filipino” that started with Shakespeare (“to be or not to be”) and wound its way through Europe and across the Pacific to the Philippines where the Game of Thrones emerged from a tribal culture overlaid with the aspirations of conquering Spanish and American overlords (“live and let live“).

He wrote, near the end of his article:

“The hardheadedness of many Filipinos might be due to shifting ground they still stand on.”

That struck me as an extraordinary bit of wisdom, particularly as I see my own views hardening as they come under pressure from people who insist I agree with them, lest they slap labels on my forehead meant to diminish me to the stature of a worm slithering through the earth. The more labels they slap on my forehead, the more determined I am not to even listen anymore. I think a Spanish overlord or priest in 1823 might have the same affect on those at the bottom of the formal racially based caste system that existed at the time.

You see, that’s what Irineo did. He sent me directly to get a better reading on “Filipinos“, a word that until now I had interpreted in racial terms. But that is not true, I learned. ‘Filipino’ is not a race just as ‘American’ is not a race. Racial distinctions in the Philippines ended after the Philippine American War when the Spanish caste system, based on race, was eliminated.

“The system was used for tax purposes. Indios paid a base tax, mestizos de sangley paid twice the base tax, sangleys paid four times the base tax, and the blancos or whites (Filipinos, peninsulares, mestizos de español, and tornatrás) paid no tax. Negritos who lived within the colony paid the same tax rate as the indios.” [Wiki]

If you study the maps in Irineo’s article, or in Wikipedia, you get a sense of people in motion. Time is condensed to hyper-speed as we follow arrows that trace the horses, boats and planes that distributed people across the planet . . . to and from the Philippines. And those arrows are still distributing people across the planet.

The Filipino OFW diaspora has strong blue arrows aimed at Singapore, Hong Kong, North America and the Middle East, and thinner arrows going everywhere. If we had an animator draw it, I’m sure it would look much like an explosion, shrapnel, or pieces of families, radiating outward.

We have red arrows showing people moving from other lands to the Philippines. Heavy from China, moderate from America, Europe and Australia, and light from many other lands. Haha, it is an inward explosion, the magnetic attraction of cheap living, sunshine and plenty of white sand beaches.

Filipinos keep close track of famous people of Filipino heritage. Anyone who is half-Filipino is Filipino. Jessica Sanchez, Megan Young, Bruno Mars [List of Filipino Americans; Wikipedia]. They are Filipino, no matter their citizenship. So the term Filipino still has pseudo-racial connotations, although ‘Filipino’ technically is not a race. It is a label applied to people who have some share of birth right in the Philippines.

My son can’t chose his race. He has none, he is so mixed up. I have no idea what he will check on his census forms. There is no check box for “Prussian” or “High up in the Mountains”. He will be able to choose his nationality, though, American or Filipino. I have no idea what he will pick for his religion.

It’s a choice, you know?

So in a modern world, it seems to me that we should just give up on trying to record “race” or “ethnicity” on forms. It’s irrelevant if we consider international norms for human rights that say all people are worthy of respect. And we are all so racially intermixed that it is nonsense to try to identify a root from centuries ago that applies to who we are today. Only morally stunted societies like Japan and China and fans of Donald Trump prize purity of racial lines.

And I think “religion” as a classification should also go away. It is a choice, this thing called faith, into the hands of which we place our soul. It is not set in cement and passed from one person to the next. We each get there on our own . . . or we do not.

Why the need for classification, which implies judgment?

“Nationality”, on the other hand, means everything. It is a proper identification of people who hold allegiance to others of their group and who recognize that they need to help fend for the well-being of that group. It is in their best interest to belong to a strong tribe, and a nation is the biggest and strongest.

I often read that “Joe America is more Filipino than most Filipinos.” I object because I did not grow up here and cannot have the “equity of soul” that a lifelong resident would have. I think what people are saying is that, on the scale of dedication to the NATION PHILIPPINES, Joe America demonstrates a stronger loyalty than a lot of long-term residents. Selling a vote for a bag of rice is not a demonstration of loyalty to the Philippines. It is a demonstration of loyalty to one’s need for subsistence. Opting for a dictator or thief as president is not a demonstration of loyalty to the Philippines, either. It is a demonstration of loyalty to one’s emotional neediness, or the idea that some other person can fill in the hole that is missing in my sense of fulfillment.

Or for way too many, it is a loyalty to greed.

Both need and neediness would dissolve if more Filipinos had opportunity in front of them. And the tools  . . . education and job openings . . . to actually make something of themselves. BY THEMSELVES.

“Get to the point, JoeAm!!”

The point is, the Philippines is a nation, not a race. The nation is weak because it is poor. It is poor because voters make decisions based on need or neediness. They don’t choose because they want to take care of others.

If Filipinos knew that the designation ‘Filipino’ is not a race, but is a nation, maybe they would choose differently.

Maybe they would see that they are building a nation.

And choose knowledge over needy, and standing tall rather than being led to a fake promised land by an aspiring tyrant.

160 Responses to “‘Filipino’ is not a race”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    That is why post-its were invented,to slap labels in foreheads.

  2. karlgarcia says:

    The Filipino Race-show picture of A Track Race. ROFLMAO.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    On a similar note,before my first adult vhs or betamax tape,I t hought sex was Male or Female.

  4. Micha says:

    There are 5 presidential candidates and at this point of the pageant there are still no good choices. Mar Roxas might be the least ugly of the bunch but choosing him will undermine our standards of beauty (in the metaphorical terms of governance, of course).

    That should prompt us with a question, if the presidency is such an important and consequential job for the country, why are we not sending our best and brightest to run for it? Why do we have instead these clowns? A thief, a murderer, a clueless foundling, a sick woman, and a hollow man?

    Any explanation why we’ve come to this pass?

    • Joe America says:

      Well, I won’t debate the particulars of the candidates, as I see them differently, and others can make up their own minds. I’m not aware of any president at any time who has risen to the standards you expect, anywhere. They always ride into office on the popularity of charm or policy, and soon make a mistake, and off goes the luster. They all have critics, every single time, every single one. Therefore, if we believe in democracy over any other form of government, a certain weight of responsibility falls to those of us who watch our leaders be less than perfect, and not quit on our nation because of it. Otherwise, we never find the uplift and end up being old and bitter.

      • Micha says:

        Meritocratic countries were able to produce good leaders.

        One plausible answer to the question is that while the presidency is indeed an important and consequential job for the country, there’s an entity that wants to control it.

        That entity wanted a president who would obey their commands, protect their interests, and preserve the status quo of severe inequality.

        There’s a power behind the presidency – the unelected governing elite, the entitled class described, ironically, by Roxas himself as he pay homage to that crowd in his obligatory trek.

        Any one of these 5 wannabes are pliable enough to serve the interests of their real masters. And it is not WE the people.

        • Joe America says:

          The Philippines is classified as a flawed democracy, ranking number 54 in the world. The US is number 20, the lowest rated of the states considered to have “full democracy”. The Philippines is rated higher than Romania, Mexico, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. Beneath flawed democracies are hybrid states, which include Turkey, Thailand and Venezuela. Then we get to the authoritarian regimes with Syria and North Korea at the bottom of the list (ranked 166 and 167). China is authoritarian (136) as is Russia (132). So you may consider the Philippines to be pretty bad, but the experts say otherwise, in a comparative sense.


    • Jean says:

      I don’t think I have ever experienced people sending candidates to represent them. By people, I refer to a collection of like minded individuals and not of those in power with their own agenda for personal gain/advantage.

      In my eyes, all the candidates who ran, have run motivated by personal aspirations. I don’t think any of them were ever saddled with the job because they had to champion the people’s cause.

      Well perhaps Cory came close but that’s about it, I think

  5. Joe, many thanks – especially for the Game of Thrones reference. I have never watched GOT but the wiki got me interested because GOT is about different “races” or groups of people and their wanderings and interactions across centuries. It is mythical access to history via popular culture.

    Every nation is a group of people that happened, yes accidentally, to live together and mingle and have a common fate. “Schicksalsgemeinschaft” or community of fate is the term coined by an Austrian historian for a nation. Bavaria: Germanic and Celtic tribes invading a Latinized population in the 6th century onwards, driving them into the mountains but assimilating the literate among them because they were needed to keep things running, united by 8th century Hungarian invasion and starting to form a nation (natus = birth, nation = same birth) from then onwards.

    Filipinos: the tribes of Luzviminda archipelago, invaded by Spain, divided into castes by the casta classification which was also used in Latin America. Indios or natives had the least rights while those who had higher rights had to pay more taxes – except the whites. MRPs reference to dark-skinned and flat-nosed people an echo of this – after all it took more than a century from slaves being liberated in USA through Elvis dancing and singing like a black man and the civil rights movement to President Obama – every nation takes time to merge in its consciousness.

    1/8 of four million Filipinos around 1830 were classified as mestizo – now I doubt all of them were, even if in Latin America many native women married and had kids with foreign settlers so their kids at least could escape virtual slavery. But even there some faked mestizo status to avoid the forced labor necessary and the indignities of being the lowest caste, never mind higher taxes. Starting with the 1860s foreign trade brought more foreigners to the country… the Ayalas came a bit earlier but I can imagine Karl’s Belgian ancestor coming a bit after 1860 among other people.

    Spanish soldiers like Manuel Quezon’s father and Manuel Roxas I’s father were the Joe Americas of their day, went native after marrying Filipinas and started caring for the country they adopted. Of course some mestizos unwittingly started behaving like the blancos before them when most blancos were gone, but it was not all of them. Besides some of the more native ones also had reverse racism – some Katipuneros chopped off the noses of Spanish saints in Catholic churches. Now the population has mixed a lot… Leni is more obviously Spanish than Mar but somehow is seen as being more of the people than Roxas because she grew up Bikolana middle class – in Bikol all the races mingled, fought and mixed, nobody got too rich nobody stayed too poor there.

    “La mezcla” – the mixture of races and class is the Bikol blend which is why we are already more of a nation than the whole Philippines and don’t make those differences anymore.Spanish also call their own mix (Moros, Iberian Celts and Visigoths) “la raza” but the term “blue-blooded” comes from the old Spanish aristocracy being mainly Germanic = Visigoths who were so white that the blue veins showed. Being the scorned mixed race in Europe, the Spanish let it out on others. Many Andalusians only need to wear Arab clothes to be mistaken for Morrocans or Algerians. Andalusians can be the most racist among the Spaniards though – maybe for that exact reason?

    Chimneys in the Algarve (Al Gharb, “The West” in Arab) are a legacy of the times when the converted Muslim population of Southern Portugal had secret minarets, and the Catholic Church constantly suspected them of secretly still praying to Allah. Even the Spanish schedule of getting up late and eating at night is similar to the Arab way, still. Even the Christian and Moro elite of the Philippines look similar – one have Spanish admixtures (Romualdezes came from Cadiz originally) and the other Muslim traders or missionaries in their bloodlines – same mezcla if you look at it.

    The Philippines is much like Brazil in its riotous mixture of bloodlines, even if in Brazil there are more migrant than native bloodlines. Even the Presidential debate showed these bloodlines. Binay (native), Duterte (mestizong bangus just like Hugo Chavez hehe), Roxas (mestizo moreno) and Poe (very white foundling, “Chinese beauty” some have written) – but should that matter? They all have to some extent been shaped by the same country which is still growing together. They all managed to communicate in English, Filipino and a little bit of Visaya here and there.

    • karlgarcia says:

      You went straight to the comments.Very normal.

    • Joe America says:

      I find the mixture of races here to be exotic, like a fine red wine where you can sniff and sip and roll it gently across the tongue to breathe in the complexities of berries and chocolate and oak and hopefully not too much tannin, and then just take a gulp, and it is divine.

    • Jean says:

      @irineo, Off topic|: if you are planning to check/follow G.O.T. I suugest getting a copy of the books. while I appreciate the H.B.O. version, it doesn’t quite capture the wonder of the printed versin. For one thing, the tv series doesn’t capture the thought process of the characters which for me is the real draw of the storyline.

    • Jake says:

      How does one fake being a mestizo..esp in a very detailed Spanish documenting system?

      From what I understand, in post-colonial Mexico esp after the Mexican Revolution in 1900s, a mestizo meant someone who does not look white but is not Indian in culture.
      It’s a different semantics in the Philippines in post Nueva España Filipinas. Mestizo de españoles, at least the registered ones, never exceeded 20,000 all in all. Most of the registered mestizos were mestizos de sangleyes. I’d postulate that more mestizos de españoles were not registered esp the ones that descended from the frailes.

      On an interesting note: here is a Nat Geo DNA break down of Filipinos. Not much European (at 5%), but interestingly, there is a Native American introgression as well as South Asian


      • Joe America says:

        Wow. Genographics! New to me. Thanks for bringing that in.


        Native American 2%
        Eastern Asia 36%
        Southeast Asia & Oceania 53%
        Southern Europe 5%
        Southern Asia 3%

        The reference population is based on people living in the Philippine archipelago. The large Southeast Asia/Oceania component is indicative of some of the earliest settlers of the islands of Southeast Asia some 40,000 years ago, when much of the Philippine and Indonesian archipelagoes were connected to mainland Asia. The East Asia component, in contrast, is associated with the migrants from China and Taiwan who expanded south, spreading Austronesian languages and rice cultivation some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.

        • That 2% Native American is what I’ve been curious about for the longest time, and all I know is the Macabebe-Yaqui connection. The Spanish galleon trade covered not just Mexico but the rest of South America, silver was from Bolivia/Peru area, I’m wondering if there were more native American tribes represented (brought by the Spanish to the Philippines).

          The Yaquis are related to the Commanches.

          • Joe America says:

            If you find out, let us know.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Some text about Native Americans brought by The Spaniards.

            • Jake says:

              But this is Wikipedia type article. We need scholarly works…maybe someone can go through the archives in Spain or perhaps Mexico

            • It is a scan from Craig’s book… good source from my point of view.

              Explains why Duterte looks a bit like Hugo Chavez, and who knows the colloquial term “mestizong bangus” could come from there – fishes that swam across the waters.

              • Jake says:

                I have some reservations esp given the term Austronesian is used. If I remember right, “Malay” was used during his time. It is only the last few decades that the terms was widely used.

                Perhaps, it was replaced with Austronesian in the later editions?

              • karlgarcia says:

                I got that from here.Jake has a point austronesian was used only recently.


              • sonny says:

                Since we are talking about Philippine ethnography/ethnoliguistics, might as well throw in more words-codes-tags keeping their etymologies close by for extra measure:

                thalassocracies = managing the seas surrounding; thalasso (sea) + cratein (rule)

                austronesian = southerly islands; austro (south) + nessos (island)

                Malay = anything, many things that refer to the Malay archipelago; hence, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia (Java+Sumatra, Irian Jaya+New Guinea, the Moluccas, the Strait of Malacca, the coasts of Malaya, Indo-China, south coast of China (Macao, HK, Shanghai) and of course Taiwan

                MalayoPolynesia; poly = many, nessos = islands; anything referred to places & peoples between roughly 20 deg north latitude & 20 deg south latitude, sometimes the Maori of New Zealand are included AND longitudes between (east limit) Easter Islands and (west limit) Madagascar; Malay = anything sea-faring and ancient (anything after the last ice-age)

                Indo-something = anything radiating from the Indus Valley, most often land-locked

                Bellwood (out-of-Taiwan) vs Nusantao (Solheim) = the most current models of ethnography/ethnolinguistic for Austronesia, viz. Malay Archipelago and Polynesia

              • Joe America says:

                MalayoPolynesia sounds like something to put on a ham sandwich. You and Irineo certainly make history/geography more interesting than my teachers did in school.

              • sonny says:

                I come from the Ilocos. My hometown has close ties with Baguio and the Benguet tribes through the early education strand (1920s) of that city. Ilocano is still a major part of Baguio’s lingua franca. Irony is I have not yet set foot on either the Banawe nor Ifugao Rice Terraces. Readings give me the impression that the original builders of the rice terraces came from descendants of the Yunnan plateau of China where similar terraces are still in use. There are two routes I can make out to get out from Yunnan plateau to the Philippine cordilleras: south direction through the Mekong River, then EITHER go easterly by land along the south China coast or by the sea crossing So. China Sea to the Ilocos coast then up to the Cordilleras OR using the Bellwood model, from Taiwan swing immediately to the Pacific, hug the Cagayan coast, find passes thru the Sierra Madre range until one finds the calmer heights of the Cordilleras.

              • karlgarcia says:

                I correct myself. Otto Demwolf the first guy to research on Austronesian Language died 1938. So Austronesian wasnit just in recent decades.
                Irineo he is German,you must have read about him.


            • Jake says:

              After the word “sumatra”, there is a “citation needed” superscript. An indication that that print is from a Wikipage

              • karlgarcia says:

                I submit that is from a wiki source.That is why I dug deeper.
                You maybe right,it might be a hoax or a he said she said historian’s account.
                This is a wiki source to prove you are correct on the kapampangan loan words.

                most kapampangan words were derived from Chinese and Sanskrit.


          • Jake says:

            I’ve never found a reliable document that pertains to the Yaquis in the Philippines. Mostly internet articles without reference.

            But given the scores of Nahuatl and perhaps a little Mayan (Palenque, anyone?), the Native American genes could have come from mostly Central Mexico and to some extend southern Mexico. From what I understand, the Yaquis come from Northern Mexico and some parts of the US.

            Filipino scholars may need to dig up documents in the former Nueva España…or perhaps, Nat Geo could just tell us the region where the NA found in Filipinos are most common

            • Jake says:

              The Yaquis are from Northern Mexico and parts of the US. Aztecs are Nahua-speaking people from Central Mexico. The native allies of the Spanish were the Tlaxcalan, a Nahua-speaking peoples who disliked the Mexicas(Aztecs) which is why they sided with the Spanish in invading the Aztec/Mexica cities, esp Tenochtitlan(present day Mexico city). My theory is, those NA could be Tlaxcalans. But I have no solid proof.

              What I am looking for is a solid record/document about Native Americans in the Philippines. The source Karl posted, I have read it some years ago, but we need to get objective here. The article seemed just theory but provides so convincing source.

          • karlgarcia says:

            This is the Yaqui Macabebe Connection you are talking about.


            Aug 2, 2008 at 3:20pm QuotePost Options Post by legionnaire on Aug 2, 2008 at 3:20pm
            “The Macabebes, were never native to the Philippines.

            Their ancestors were Yaqui Indians brought in over from Mexico. They were a large portion of the Spanish garrison force before South America gained Independence from Spain.

            The Spanish loved them and gave them land in Pampanga where they intermarried with the natives who also hated the Tagalogs. Because of their close ties to Spain, the Tagalogs hated them, but you can’t consider them traitors if they were never really Filipinos in the first place.

            When Spain gave up the Philippines the Macabebe scouts were integrated into the Philippine army. They used to serve under Gen. Antonio Luna, but when Aguinaldo ordered Luna killed, the Macabebes switched sides, either they are true Luna loyalists or they were sickened by the idea that the president had their commander killed in cold blood or both. When it was time to capture Aguinaldo, most of the Macabebes saw this as hatchet day for Aguinaldo, although it was recorded that 3 Scouts refused to participate by feigning illness (1 hid in the hammocks of the ship used in the operation). The 3 Filipino leaders of the operation initially refused to participate (Talplacido, Cadhit and Segovia), they were “persuaded” by Funston to participate, and participate they did performing their acts like seasoned actors. Given this information, it is very easy to understand why the so-called traitors acted the way they did.

            The Macabebe scouts were formed from, as from their name suggests, Kapampangans from Macabebe. They were a small group of Spanish colonial troops who were counted as a reliable formation by the Spanish. Why reliable? Well, they hated the Tagalogs and did not have any qualms in killing their hated adversaries. After the Spanish left, they were impressed by Gen. Antonio Luna’s handling of the Armed forces and they enlisted in the Philippine Army and served mainly Gen. Antonio Luna. They were subsequently disenchanted when Aguinaldo had their commander killed. (See above) They were mainly used by the Americans in further formenting regional animosities, to pursue their successful strategy of divide and counquer.

            The Philippine Scouts on the other hand were composed of volunteers recruited from all over the country.

            There might have been some Macabebes in this unit but they formed a part of one big unit and they could have been sprinkled in various formations within the Scouts.

            When the Philippine Scouts were formed in 1901, the Philippine American War was practically over (Aguinaldo was captured March 23, 1901), thus they were not really used to suppress dissent since resistance was confined to small parts of the archipelego.

            The Philippine Scouts was a professional organization composed of the best of the best in the country. It represented the creme de la creme of Philippine soldiery as World War II would show. Repulsing the Japs several times their number, acting as mobile fire brigades counter attacking when Japs penetrated the lines, etc. They gave a very good account of themselves throughout the war. Sgt. Calugas who earned the US Medal of Honor was from this unit. Most their members are interred in the American Cemetery in Fort Bonifacio. ”

            I don’t remenber the source of were I found this info on the net anymore.

            “[The Macabebes were believed to be descendants of Mexican Yaqui Indians who were brought to the Philippines by Spain.]”


            • Joe America says:

              Nice work, Sir Librarian. You definitely excel at your work.

              • karlgarcia says:

                I hope I was able to help Jake.

              • sonny says:

                Strong ditto, nephew! This de-mystfies the Macabebes for me in good measure. Do they have connections to the town of Mexico, Pampanga? If the Macabebes have their own non-Malay language that survives, then that will wrapup outing their true provenance.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Hi Unc,
                Have you read the note of Bill,here and at Irineo’s.
                I looked at the wik page of Mexico Pampanga,looks like it was masiku or makisiku before it became Mexico.
                If some Kapang pangans derived their words from Yaqui-Aztec,that says a lot.

            • Jake says:

              I have read this one but what is the source of the source?

              This seems from the Corregidor boards

            • Jake says:

              The Mexico came from the name Mexica, which is what the “Aztecs” call themselves. The Yaquis are different people, they are from further North, in the less populated areas of Mexico.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Thank you Jake.

              • Jake says:

                That’s why I’m not convinced with the Yaqui-Macabebe theory.

                I think this is a part of Philippine history that historians/anthropologists could further explored.

                The Filipinos in Mexico is better explored than the Mexican immigration to the Philippines. Their number could be significant given that their genetic trace is at 2%. One could dismiss it as “NA came from Asia”, but only Filipinos registered NA ancestry. But documentation are so scant and the recorded Mexicans in the Philippines have been limited to colonial officials and clergies.

                The closest I could find is from Fedor Jagor. But I don’t know about his figures on mestizos, though. He writes that someone who has lived in Manila says that most of the military was composed of “South Americans”. Maybe that south Americans could mean south of the US. Most likely from Central Mexico given the Nahuatl loanwords in Tagalog. They actually use tiangui in Mexico up to this day:



              • The book “1493” by Charles Mann mentions Filipinos in Mexico City hundreds of years ago, with their own religious groups similar to the cofradias of the Black Nazarene, and Filipinos who even made it up to Havana Chinatown… there is an entire chapter on the song Bahay Kubo and how practically none of the plants mentioned there are native in origin, all came via the galleon trade which was the first true globalization.

                That the first Filipinos in the USA were in Louisiana is also something I have read, and that there still are groups near Acapulco that speak some sort of Tagalog, basically from the galleon trade who stayed there… the first OFWs so to speak.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Jagor’s book edited by Austin Craig.


                Philippines Through Foreign Eyes.


                Even in the message boards.Some who claim to descendants of Macabebe scouts,say that the Aztec Yaqui ancestry was a hoax.

                Irineo told me,that history books really have different versions on many things.
                In war stories,it is told by the victor,in others it is to get the natives impressed by their scholarly work,etc.

              • https://archive.org/stream/reisenindenphil00jagogoog#page/n12/mode/2up

                digitized version of the German original from 1873… my mother has a paperback reprint.

                Chapters 8-18 are all about Bikol, Chapter 14 about “Bicol Indian customs and life”.

                Chapter 19-23 Samar/Leyte/Cebu, Chapter 22 “Visayan Indian customs and life”.

                I haven’t read it all so I don’t know if he passed by Biliran. Jagor knew Rizal BTW.

              • https://archive.org/stream/reisenindenphil00jagogoog#page/n352/mode/2up

                Population at that time (1870) divided by cities and provinces… 7,451,352

              • https://archive.org/stream/reisenindenphil00jagogoog#page/n94/mode/2up

                a perfect drawing of Mayon… corresponds to modern photos I have seen.

              • re-reading it… there is stuff on how frequent amulets are… anting-anting. And about “aswang”… that there were people in villages who were considered “aswang” by the rest of the village and were excluded from social life… now I remember a woman from Pangasinan who in the 1980s seriously told me there was an aswang family in her village and everybody avoided them… and Jagor mentions an old man who tells him well aswang today don’t eat people anymore, but their ancestors did for sure, they are scary.

                And of course trivia like “the women of Tacloban are pleasant and bathe a lot”. And some stuff about corruption in customs that caused some harbors to be closed in the 1830s.

        • Jake says:

          Ancestry DNA, FT DNA, 23andme are popular right now.

          Kaiser also made a genetic study. Interestingly, only Nat Geo seem to have “detected” the native American and South Asian genes on Filipinos

          I wish Nat Geo elaborated what Native American cluster were found on Filipinos.


      • “How does one fake being a mestizo..esp in a very detailed Spanish documenting system?”

        One just has to look at the Philippines and most of Latin America… to deduct that Spanish colonial rule was strict on the surface but most probably very corrupt on the ground.

        The 500 thousand mestizo figure around 1830 I have from Benedict Anderson’s article “Cacique Democracy”… but it could mean both mestizo and mestizo Sangley (Chinese). What I have also read is that the heyday of the encomienda system and its abuses led to a certain reduction in native population – but that was late 1500s / early 1600s… One should also remember that surnames were only regulated by Claveria mid-19th century.

  6. OT Twitter blog:

    Duterte evolution:

    – Not running. Running. Not running. Running. Filed COC late.

    – Kill. Discipline. Get rid of crime and drugs in 3 to 6 months. Fondle women, don’t listen to them.

    – Will back Binay if DQed.

    – COMELEC approves candidacy.

    – Followers are empowered and swarm social media to discipline opponents with threats and insults.

    – Duterte says during a debate that Sec. Roxas is a fraud.

    – Cotabato clash. Duterte sides with leftist agitators and accuses Aquino of having “blood on his hands”.

    Is that the correct time line?

    Do you find it pretty?

    Do you find it uplifting?

    Does it give you security?


    Ateneo professors make a strong statement on Marcos.

    Raissa wants to do a book launch at Ateneo.

    It is cancelled due to bomb threats.

    Raissa wants to do a book launch at UP.

    UP history professor’s make a strong statement about Marcos.

    The UP faculty center where offices and papers are burns down.

    I have told people at Raissa’s if this is not enough to wake people up, what is?

    better fight NOW than later, because this is just a prelude to the possible regimes

    I see some fight gathering in certain quarters… but this is about the future of the country.

    This is most especially about the direct future of those who are still living there.

    If things are not fought out now… there may be little chance to fight it out in 3-6 months time.

    • Micha says:

      Who’s the enemy, irony?

    • Joe America says:

      From someone who knows about these things . . . a fair warning.

      A lot of decent Filipinos should be very very worried, and they should start enlightening people. Warning them. Shout them out of their obdurate complacency with people of absolutely horrible values.

      Dark clouds are forming over the Philippines. Satan laughs.

      • Micha says:

        Whoa! Satan with a forked tongue in nimbus clouds pitchfork in hand belting out bwahahahaha?

        What’s the catch?

        • Joe America says:

          Maybe you have to live here to understand.

          • Joe America says:

            I would add that if you have anything meaningful to contribute, please do. You seem to be in one of your flippant, near trolling moods, and I don’t have the patience for it.

            • Joe America says:

              If you don’t get it, just move on to blogs or articles you do get.

            • Micha says:

              Joe d Mango, you’re the one making assertions about dark clouds and satanic laughs with nothing on associated detail or qualification. The grim and gloom you portray is nothing new to Filipinos who, by the way, is also known to exhibit abundant dose of fatalism.

              We’ve been there, we’ve experienced it.

              So if you’re going to scare us with dark clouds and satanic laughs, you better provide details so we could scrutinize the devil’s DNA.

          • Micha says:

            I lived in the country for the whole stretch of Marcos kleptocracy so don’t tell me I don’t understand.

            • Joe America says:

              Yeah, I’m sorry about my remark. It wasn’t called for. The dark cloud is the impending danger of a Duterte or Binay presidency, and the likely wasting of good work done the past six years, along with the possible election of BongBong Marcos to the VP slot. Also, we have COMELEC voter lists hacked and stolen, faculty building burning, bloody riots in Mindanao, bomb scares and the like suggesting that the online thuggery we witness is migrating to physical acts. The Satan laughing is when the bad guys gain the upper hand and the good are rendered powerless or dumb.

              • Joe, the forces against Daang Matuwid are gloating, it seems . Others who are disguising themselves as for it are endlessly asking (like uprightbike at raissa’s) – is it time to throw in the towel to discourage genuine pro Straight Path, trying to make them waver in their support. That comes from the bandwagon mentality, the endless mind conditioning of the now weekly surveys. Who checks their methodology anyway? Who is to prove that what they say random choice of respondents is not really random, but chosen with a certain result in mind? There are billions of reasons (in pesos and $) to do that, not saying it’s what happened, just saying it might be a possibility. The people around Mar’s rivals have access to plundered loot ready to be utilized so the Marcos era can return in full force. They say it’s now or never…and we say NEVER AGAIN!

                Poe will never be an alternative to the consistent number 4 in the survey…she made it clear by her choice of associates and her pronouncements that reveal her true nature. What should be done is to convince as many as possible to not be influenced by survey results but by the principle of the expansion, improvement (correction of whatever imperfection) of the Daang Matuwid as initiated by PNOY, as enunciated by Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo.

                Others are asking what if Roxas make it to Number 1 in the survey, say 40%? My standard answer – survey or no survey, RORO! – for reasons already stated repeatedly. Our decisions should be based on clear cut reasons and logic, not based on the opinions of 40% of respondents.

                Come to think of it, Poe, Duterte, Binay and Santiago represent the dark cloud, the impending return of the Marcos dark era. For that reason alone, Filipinos should rally around the one candidate that will prevent that.

                Sometimes in this life, we are faced with principled decisions which once reached, should not waver….and this is one –


              • Joe America says:

                Thanks, Mary. I’d myself put the black cloud as Duterte, Binay and Marcos, and Poe a dark gray, trending either way. It’s up to her, and her deeds so far give me absolutely no confidence. Her self-sorry plaint that she returned to the Philippines to right the wrongs done to her father tends to fade to oblivion knowing she might take endorsement from Gloria Arroyo. Sen Poe has no principle or allegiance, I fear. not to her father, not to any nation, not to the honorable sitting government. I mean, if that is not a pattern, I don’t know what is.

    • NHerrera says:

      IMAGINE if

      – the Duterte evolution
      – the bomb threat at Ateneo and the arson at UP associated with a launch of a book against Marcos

      described above were in fact ABOUT Roxas. We would have had loud 24/7 screaming — real and virtual — in the print, broadcast and social media, most of all from Duterte, Binay and Marcos. I may as well include Poe and Santiago in the list for completeness.

      • Joe America says:

        For Micha’s benefit, you have described the dark cloud well.

        • Micha says:

          Dark clouds might actually bring in rain; which is good for drought stricken farmers of Cotabato.

          • caliphman says:

            Micha I have long been on record taking your view that this election is essentially a choice of lesser evils. More than a year ago, it was because Binay was the undisputed leader in the presidential and trusted official polls. Fast forward a month before the elections and Duterte, Bongbong are now marching shoulder to shoulder with Binay threatening to win the elections. I have been sounding the alarm about impending disaster for so long, I must seem like a broken record but some quarters still seem stuck with a different or no election agenda. They remind me of Nero fiddling and the band playing as the ship of state slowly slips beneath the waves. Yesteryear Satan smiled, now Lucifer laughs.

  7. Hansen Sy says:

    Philippine context[edit]
    In the Philippines, many Filipinos consider the term “Malay” to refer to the indigenous population of the country as well as the indigenous population of neighboring countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei. This conception is due in part to American anthropologist H. Otley Beyer who proposed that Filipinos were actually Malays who migrated from Malaysia and Indonesia. This idea was in turn propagated by Filipino historians and is still taught in many schools. However, the prevalent consensus among contemporary anthropologists, archaeologists, and linguists actually proposes the reverse;[citation needed] namely that ancestors of the Austronesian peoples of the Sunda Islands, Madagascar, and Oceania had originally migrated south from the Philippines during the prehistoric period from an origin in Taiwan.

    The “out of Taiwan model” however has been recently challenged by a 2008 study from Leeds University and published in Molecular Biology and Evolution. Examination of mitochondrial DNA lineages shows that they have been evolving within Island Southeast Asia (ISEA) for a longer period than previously believed. Population dispersals occurred at the same time as sea levels rose, which may have resulted in migrations from the Philippines to as far north as Taiwan within the last 10,000 years.[11] The population migrations were most likely to have been driven by climate change — the effects of the drowning of a huge ancient subcontinent called ‘Sundaland’ (that extended the Asian landmass as far as Borneo and Java). This happened during the period 15,000 to 7,000 years ago following the last Ice Age. Oppenheimer outlines how rising sea levels in three massive pulses caused flooding and the partial submergence of the Sunda subcontinent, creating the Java and South China Seas and the thousands of islands that make up Indonesia and the Philippines today.[12]


    • Joe America says:

      Thanks for the background brief, Hansen. I’m reminded of the song lyric “stuck in the middle with you”, as I see the Philippines being the gamefield for the meeting of Malaysians from the south and Chinese from the north. The midpoint seems to be Cebu, and I’d suggest we relocate the national capital to there. 🙂

  8. cha says:

    I think most Filipinos don’t actually think that “Filipino” is a race. As Hansen Sy points out in his post above, most Filipinos (at least those of my generation) would have been taught we are part of the Malay race. Nowadays though, those of us based outside the mother country would udentify as Filipino when queried about our ethnicity. Back in the Philippines, I think people would tend to identify their ethnicity in terms of the regional group they belong to, so you would have bisaya, ilokano, kapampangan etc as the more likely descriptions of one’s ethnicity.

    There are many traditions, habits and modes of behavior that we would recognize as quintessentially “pinoy” but other than the concept of “Filipino time”, it seems we haven’t really given much thought as a people to what it means to be a Filipino except perhaps for those in the academic milieu, particularly in the field of psychology. Or is what is considered to be “pinoy”, often attached to our food, songs and other cultural elements equivalent to what it means to be Filipino? So is being Filipino therefore to most of us, a form of cultural identification? Not necessarily attached to notions of patriotism, loyalty to the flag and to our fellow Filipinos? And there’s the rub,so to speak, and the whole point of your article, Filipinos need to start thinking as if they really are one nation, not islands separated by geography, political affiliations, religious beliefs and on and on and on.

    How do we do it? Do we wait for “higher level management” (borrowing from Irineo’s categorization somewhere) to point the way? That would be so nice if they do but when would they get to it, as one cohesive block themselves, one wonders. or can we not be agents of change and transformation ourselves in the language we use, in how we atrempt to include those whose opinions differ from us in the conversation instead of pushing them away, in our articulating a stand on issues from the perspective of what is best for the Philippines as one nation?

    PS : Sorry for rambling on there. your article put me on an introspective mood. From a facilitation point of view, you just posted a great process question captured as a point for reflection, something seasoned process facilitators, management of change practitioners employ to redirect or push forward the change process. Perfectly timed, well articulated. Thank you for that. Hope more people are able to recognise it for that. .

    • Joe America says:

      Well, I’m so happy to see the article working the way it is supposed to. New information (for me) about how Filipinos view their race and ethnicity. Identification of the cultural qualities. And recognition of the thin national loyalty . . . although I would note there is great pride and sovereign ownership of being Filipino so that some find an American rude in trying to replicate that dedication. And finally, the speculation about what to do about it.

      It seems to me there are four steps that might develop a stronger national loyalty and contribution to group well-being:

      1) Grow the economy so that people are happy about what they are being given by their government.

      2) Hire a President with charisma who can talk up the idea (Poe is probably best among the existing candidates, but I’m not sure her policies promote inclusion; she strikes me as being a divisive character, favoring some, condemning a lot).

      3) Embark upon a cultural program to achieve certain goals, like national pride, confidence and so forth. South Korea has done this I believe.

      4) Start or enter a war.

      To that latter point, it will be interesting to see if Duterte being associated with the violence in Cotabato will elevate his standing for being “humane” or reduce it for “siding with the enemy: NPA”. In a strongly patriotic nation, it would be the latter. In the Philippines, who really knows?

      I’m glad you found the article meaningful, and appreciate the top of mind reflections.

      • cha says:

        1. Yes, I think it is hard to focus on , much less think about, the national good when one is hungry or jobless.

        2. Can we add depth to that please?

        3. Yes. And in the meantime, let’s keep talking about it , generate interest and start conversations like you and Irineo are doing. And let’s also talk up Being Filipino ourselves, beyond those who make it as hollywood actors, or American, Brit, Australian talent show placers and winners, and all that. We are more than all those.

        4. Ahhm, I see the potential but hopefully, it doesn’t get to that. 🙂

        • Joe America says:

          Charisma. A president with Kennedyesque charm and a purpose of unifying the nation would do that in the same way that Obama was able to “cure” the 2008 economic collapse on the strength of the confidence of his speeches and message. So there would be a slogan and goal “Unity for Filipino leadership in Asia”, or somesuch, and drive hard, speaking of the national objectives all the time. Essentially, you set the target and work with words and programs instead of war.

          • cha says:

            Oh I meant depth as add on trait of the president wth charisma. Not in the explanation of your idea. 🙂 Sorry for the confusion. But thank you still for expounding on what that charisma should bring with it, which already implies that depth would also be characteristic of the holder.

            • Joe America says:

              Depth. I guess you will have to define it. For me, it would mean maturity, experience and diplomacy to be able to read events, articulate a position, and rally people to unity. It’s what I think Grace Poe could have had with six years as an active VP, but is now pasting over with shallow populism.

          • cha says:

            Also I just realized that Leni Robredo has both of that, depth and charisma. Just putting it there.

  9. Gemino H. Abad says:

    Wonderful article, thanks to Irineo, to you! Our nation poor because weak, weak because individual decisions based on neediness, need, greed! No civic spirit, no care for others, no “pakundangan.” I would just like to add my own mantras: A people is only as strong as their memory. My country — I prefer “country” to “nation” — is what my imagination owes its allegiance to. “People,” “country,” “nation” — as with words (of any language), these are abstractions. What education does is to cultivate one’s power of abstraction, which springs from imagination. It is the imagination makes real to the mind (its power of abstraction) what the mind perceives or intuits. What is most real is what is most imagined: this makes possible that “care for others,” this makes real “people, country, nation.” (Add further: The sense for language — that abstract, conceptual system of representation — is our most intimate sense of our human reality.)

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, terrific, Sir Jimmy. You put such rich meaning to the structural bones. The dangerous concepts are those which are illusion or superstition, that would see strength where there is only conflict or even emptiness. Also, the switch from personal need to helping others is so important to nationhood.

  10. Jake says:

    According to Filipino civics, a Filipino should be short, dark, and flat-nosed…

    Which is why even a UP scholar cannot believe that the indigenous carrot man in the north has “aquiline” nose so he postulated that the boy and his people must have “Caucasian blood” from an Anglican missionary.

    • Jake says:

      Quite OT:

      But the new books of society/civics caused quite a stir when someone spotted that the DepEd approved books had a line that says that the people of Mountain Province are Aetas.

    • Joe America says:

      Those features for sure are not what we see in television commercials or even the shows themselves. Maybe the UP scholar should look up from his books now and then. 🙂

  11. Madlanglupa says:


    I recall that Marcos tried to create a so-called “third way” ideology in the belief that Filipinos are unique (in essence, Filipino exceptionalism), call it a race and must throw away the “old-fashioned” values that impede progress.

    In practice, he was trying to create a cult of personality.


    This candidate is terribly desperate, if not insane.

    • Joe America says:

      There is a “unity” I suppose to declared racial homogeneity, but it is terribly unkind to those outside the box. China uses the technique, and Trump. It makes sense that a tyrant would use it. It ought not be one of the steps I’d recommend to generating national unity. Indeed, I would say the Philippines should use “pride in diversity”, because although the skin tone is shaded dark by geographic location, the variety of languages, islands, indigenous peoples and cultural values is amazing. I think here is even room for white guys, as evidenced by the Peter Wallace citizenship.

  12. josephivo says:

    Race it not much an issue in the Philippines, it is more the strong very caste system and yes castes are partly related to the color of the skin. The bigger problem has to do with the Serenity Prayer:

    “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference.”

    Filipinos spent 100% energy in the first two lines and 0% in the last line. They easily accept that they belong to a lower caste that has to struggle a whole life to survive or that they belong to a higher caste with all corresponding entitlements and castes are God created so who would dare to change? They are very resourceful and energetic to exploit all what is possible within their means, with a bias for action. But… no one will ever dare to challenge a status quo, except for some radical “leftists” with often the wrong or manipulated motives.

    Americans are the completely the opposite, accept nothing for granted, belief you can do everything, even become president if you are willing to work hard. They belief that their democratic vote rules supreme and they completely ignore the match fixings in the smoky dark rooms of political parties, boardrooms and lobbyists (…until the resent revolt of Trump and Sanders supporters?)

    • Joe America says:

      Therein lies the fascination for cross-cultural wanderers. The caste or class system is indeed profound, and the goal should be to get more and more of the laboring class up to the spending class. That is happening, but it is surprising that many of the constructs remain the same (superstition, over-respect for whites, ideas about government not being for the people). So along with economic gain, I suppose there needs to be taught new, more wholesome community values.

      Interesting. Thanks for giving me something more to ponder.

  13. Lim says:

    I think Filipino, as much as American, is still to this day seen as a race that one is defaulted as.

    If you speak of race in terms of physical characteristics, then that is convoluted, as the line of who is actually Filipino can be drawn in a simplistic, medieval style of anthropology. You could say Mestizos and Chinese came later, and so are not “originals”. Thus that leaves Indios or Negritos with no mix as the true blood “Filipino” race.

    But in today’s standards, when you say Filipino it is whoever mostly looks like– and is accepted by– the general populace. I would say Filipino is mostly those of the Indio/ethnic, Chinese and Spanish origins. Bloodline is especialy a trump card that Filipinos with even just 1/8 blood mixes love to boast about. Chinese-Filipinos, particularly the “pure” blooded ones, take great measure to separate their race from their nationality, insisting they are Chinese more than they are Filipino, and sometimes putting down other Filipinos too. Mestizos from a far-away Spanish line however do not make that distinction; they call themselves Filipino. Other Filipinos who are “half” occupy two nationalities by default, and their race is Filipino as much as their other nationality. However, social stigma exists for those who look too foreign, as the masses think of them as foreigners–either viewing them with envy and disdain, or clamoring over them for their looks.

    Your example of Filipinos claiming Bruno Mars as Filipino is typical Pinoy Pride, or as others who notice the hypocricy call it as Peenoise Pride, though I would consider Bruno Mars more American than Filipino. Once the general Pinoys from the Indio side get wind of another’s accomplishments abroad, they rush to lay claim on these people as if they own them and by extension bask in their glory. As if by calling the foreigner/mixed blood as Filipino they are somehow uplifted and make a huge spectacle and parade of this person’s (and their) Pinoy glory. The general populace of Filipinos today love idol worship and mostly value people by their faces and complexion; they are vain and shallow in this regard, thus to be called Filipino race is when one is accepted by the masses as “Filipino”. Otherwise they treat and view you as a foreigner even though technically you are Filipino. Those calling you “more Filipino than most Fiipinos” are the rare few who understand and think that race is not by blood, but rather by thr culture and sympathies you have for the Philippines. You may lay claim as Filipino if you like, or not. The decision is yours, no matter what the masses say so.

    On a side note, look at how majority Filipinos in facebook look at Grace Poe and you’ll see blatant hypocricy and nastiness. They call her American and even her family too. While Bruno Mars they call Filipino? Talk about selective inclusivity (or perhaps exclusivity?). She is as much Filipino as you and I are. But this time they choose the passport/”nationality” card for her consideration as “Filipino”. They love to turn a blind eye when they think that they do not want you.

    While those favoring the madman are themselves the Filipino thugs of the barrios and the majority middle class/upper lower class people who are selectively exclusive and want to make Philippines pure again– I mean great again.

    • Joe America says:

      I find the distinctions you cite to dilineate a racial line in the Philippines to be useless and artificial, as one who does that keeps bumping into himself trying to explain the differences. Better to accept that we all have different mix but are married together by nationhood. That is the point of the blog.

      As for Grace Poe, the issue for me has nothing to do with ethnicity, but loyalty and deed and I suppose position to which she aspires. Bruno Mars to my knowledge has not abandoned any citizenship or recanted any oath, and he is for sure not running for President. Although I wish he would, I’d love an uptown funky style to it. Her deeds reflect the same opportunism and lack of principle displayed in her switching of national allegiances, going with populism and surrounding herself with questionable associations. Plus not explaining how she is going to fund her elegant and extravagant proposals.

      So all objection to her is not as simplistic as you suggest.

      I also disagree with your last paragraph. I think it has nothing to do with national greatness, but personal gain.

      • Lim says:

        The general populace does not view being Filipino in terms of nationality, hence my use of race in citing how one is “Filipino”. I’ve read and heard many say that the Philippines is “mixed” but they cite dialect and the Spanish times as “proof”. And there is a sort of irony when they love and hate foreign Filipinos, the curious cases of an “Other” Filipino category that should not be discarded. What was written in my previous statement was to explain how majority Filipinos see other Filipinos. Personally I would like value of nationhood as a forefront in being Filipino.

        Without talking politics, I find it cruel that they call Grace Poe only American. She is an example of an OFW and their family’s predicament when they return to the Philippines. They are no longer “liked” and the Filipinos have excluded these people from the Filipino clique. Hence my explanation of the actual views here in the Philippines.
        On the topic of her fulfillment of residency and political plans, that is of course subject to questioning. But nationality or on being Filipino? No. To her, she is still Filipino, whether you like it or not.

        The last statement was to show the view of their camp. Mostly these people exhibit pride and an aura that centers on the self and on “ang tunay na Pinoy”.

        • Joe America says:

          Grace Poe is OFW? I’ve heard that view ridiculed because she was gifted with houses and money and cars and has led a pampered life, whereas most OFW’s are separated from families by need, work hard and send a lot of money home (something Americans would have a hard time understanding; this sacrifice), and many aspire only to have a good job back in the Philippines. Politics is a cruel business, I suppose. Certainly the cry that Aquino has “blood on his hands” for a leftist orchestrated, deadly conflict in Cotabato is cruel to me. People call me “yellow” all the time, or an “apologist”, trying to diminish or hurt me. I’ve been told repeatedly to go back to America because people don’t like my opinions. So . . . beyond politics . . . life is sometimes cruel.

          As I said, nationality is not my issue, so kindly don’t put words into my mouth. Loyalty is, opportunism is, bad decisions and deeds are. If politics is cruel, it is also able to give gifts to people like Senator Poe, who doesn’t mind using photographers in church to give her that angelic image, or Mayor Duterte, who doesn’t mind killing or stepping on dead bodies to get some more power, riches and probably women.

        • Jake says:

          Filipinos seem to have a confused notion of being Filipino. Too “native” (IP) means too uncivilized(and they want no relation – aka a la Carlos P Romulo) unless something native is in UNESCO. Too white, you’re not a real Filipino unless you win Miss Universe or become popular in Hollywood

          I’ve read some people say the true Filipinos are the IPs, nevermind the fact that the first people to be labeled as such are the criollos.

          • This attitude might come from that of the mainstream Filipino, meaning the Christianized lowlanders – not too native but not too white either. BTW thanks for the Spanish link, will have a look at it, but I read slowly in Spanish so my answer might take some time.

  14. Joe,

    From my time over there, the closest metaphor is the Biblical Babel story— but told backwards.

    The Navajo, Hopi and Zuni people all live inside the greater Navajo nation, all three groups are defeated, poor nations (they speak very different languages, unintelligible to each other).

    The Navajos though, have had a tradition of sending their young to become US Marines (so too the Apaches and Commanches, the latter are more Army oriented).

    Once young Navajos (and Apaches) get wired into the dominant culture, they speak English, from there on out, they seldom return to the res… they either make a career in the military or get out and go to school (if they return they return on their terms).

    AFP and PNP back there, I didn’t get a sense of this same opportunity. Tagalog is the dominant culture/language, hence that’s what’s spoken, but ethno-linguistically, it was still broken up ala Babel… Ifugao, Kapangpangan, ilongo, Tausug, etc. etc.

    There’s dominant American culture, when you buy into it, invest yourself in the idea, whether you spend your life in the public or private sector it pays off. But what is the dominant “Filipino” culture, what language does it speak?

    Figure out the language first, and you’ll have your unity—

    • Joe America says:

      The Philippines has tried to figure out its core language, but has failed, because there are 114 of them and Visayans (where I live) and other localities are for sure proud of their own, and hold dislike for the Tagalog elitist view that gives theirs prominence. English is the official language of government documents and proceedings, but is not the national language for the same heritage loyalties. It may be that the language/culture fracture is the reason for the weak nationhood today, but I think nationhood can be captured without forcing anyone from their natural heritage. The basic idea is to recognize diversity and be proud of it.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        I think that it’s wrth looking at Indonesia as to how that nation has solved it’s similar language problem. In terms of population the dominant language is Javanese..spoken by about 130 millions as birth tongue..But the Indonesians made the choice to have Bahasa based on Malay, as their national language because it is a link language throughout the islands..

        • Joe America says:

          Are their legal documents in Bahasa, do you know? Pilipino, or official Tagalog, is the national language here and is taught in schools across the land. It is also television language . . . or on TV, a mix of Tagalog and English . . . so people grasp it. Legal and official documents are in English. The president does his speeches in Pilipino, with English translation provided immediately, and Pilipino is a common language in legislative hearings because most people are comfortable with it. Not always are they comfortable with the “nosebleed” language of English.

          • They use Bahasa for nearly everything, more in Indonesia than in Malaysia which uses more English due to the Chinese and Indian (Tamil) groups in its population. Indonesian Bahasa has a lot of Dutch loanwords, one of the being “korupsi” (corruption)…

            http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_protect/—protrav/—ilo_aids/documents/legaldocument/wcms_174556.pdf – this is an unofficial English translation of the Indonesian 1945 Constitution, so I guess the original is in Bahasa.

            First President to use Filipino in his speeches a lot was Erap… Cory was very much the American-educated convent school woman so she used English a lot… Marcos also used English a lot being an Ilocano – they like English, many dislike Tagalog.

            Arroyo used more English than Filipino/Tagalog… Filipino is actually simplified Tagalog and has absorbed some words from Bisaya.. one of the first to be absorbed was “bakla”. Bahasa was like Swahili a “link language” for traders used throughout the Malay area.

            Filipino in 30 years might be a Tagalog-Bisaya-Aldub mixture for all we know… almost 3/4 of Filipinos speak some form of Filipino/Tagalog by now, more than the 60% who speak some form of English… Indonesians BTW have told me Tagalog sounds like Javanese.

            • Jake says:

              Tagalog is already swardspeak slang..colloquially known as bekimon

            • Bill in Oz says:

              “Indonesian Bahasa has a lot of Dutch loanwords, one of the being “korupsi” (corruption)…” Irineo, It is true that Bahasa has a lot of Dutch loan words..But Korupsi was an invention by Sukarno taken from English…Kamar is a better example : Kamar pos= Post office

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Yes joe..All legal and government services are provided in Bahasa Indonesia. Javaese is heard, spoken in Central & Eastern Java It is a very complex sophisticated language.In fact too complex for most people to learn unless they learn it in the family. The next most populous language is Sundanese spoken in West Java ..and the regional capital Bandung. But all kids learn Bahasa at school from grade 3 having first done prep and grades 1&2 in the local language.

            By the way, Bahasa Indonesia is extremely close to the Bahasa Bangsa of Malaysia & Brunei. So in that part of SEA it is a multinational linking language.

    • Joe America says:

      I didn’t like the Snowden leaks because they damaged national defense, but these are different. They reveal crimes. I’m sure some will say that is just hair-splitting. Okay.

      It will be interesting to see the details rolling out. So far, what I have read is that some of the funds are “close to” Putin, but don’t outright peg him as corrupt. I’m sure a lot of government officials will be poring over the data, which I understand is just huge.

      • Madlanglupa says:

        What was expected were the names Marcos and Ejercito, now mentioned in the database. In addition, some of the names connected to large local corporations — sadly, most of whom are of Chinese extraction — are also in the open, which wouldn’t be surprising if the usual anarchists take to the pulpit and make denouncements, just like the Kidapawan disaster.

        • Joe America says:

          I had not thought about Philippine Panama connections. Wow. Juicy!

          • Madlanglupa says:

            It’ll be interesting to see what other names would come out, including those involved in the elections. It’s this stuff that would make even the big corporate TV networks blink twice.

        • http://interaksyon.com/article/125980/imee-marcos-sons-jv-ejercito-among-572-pinoys-in-offshore-holdings-expose

          UPDATED – 4:06 p.m.) MANILA – As the huge leak on Sunday (April 3) of 11.5 million tax documents exposed the secret offshore dealings of aides to Russian president Vladimir Putin, world leaders and celebrities, an earlier data dump also examined by dozens of investigative media groups around the world had turned up interesting entries.

          Three sons of Imee Marcos, namely, Ferdinand Richard Michael Marcos Manotoc, Fernando Martin “Borgy” Marcos Manotoc, and Matthew Joseph Marcos Manotoc, who in 2014 passed the Philippine bar exams and expressed his plan to join politics, are listed in an exposé by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

      • Madlanglupa says:

        BTW, as much as Snowden endorsed the Panama leak, he still has to choose his words carefully because he’s inside Putin’s household.

    • http://panamapapers.sueddeutsche.de/en/ – the original… this is Stieg Larsson stuff!

      The world-class investigative paper Süddeutsche Zeitung from Munich has scored the biggest “leak” ever… 2.6 TB, 11.5 million documents and 214,000 shell companies.

  15. Bill in Oz says:

    Joe, Off Tpoic !! I have been reading Biz News Asia the latest issue..On the cover are 2 colour photos of a “Saintly Erap’…holding a little baby and hugging an elderly woman..
    Is this the man who was forced to resign as president and then convicted of grand theft ? What gives ?And what is this magazine Biz News Asia ?

    Erap is again standing for Mayor of Manila…Has he been a saint and acheived miracles while mayor for the past 3 years..? I am very puzzled..

    • Madlanglupa says:

      He’s exaggerating himself for the foreign press. In addition, he allowed that damn eyesore called Torre de Manila to be built just behind Rizal’s monument in Luneta.

    • Joe America says:

      It probably is Mayor Estrada. He has not been saint or accomplished miracles that I’m aware of, but has worked earnestly to govern the city. He was instrumental in smoothing out dispute between Manila and Hong Kong over the bus massacre a while back. I’ve not really tracked his specific deeds. He was always a popular man from his acting days, and no one gets cheers from the laboring class like Estrada. He has been pardoned for his crimes, and so is officially in the clear of any taint or legal complaint. His son is still in jail however, and I think this may actually gains the old man some sympathy, because people know he hurts about that. He has endorsed Senator Poe as a presidential candidate and that is a big gain for her.

      Forgiveness here follows the entitled around. It is not out of the ordinary.

  16. Bill in Oz says:

    What is the Torre de Manila ? In the high rise clump buildings of Ermita, I am not sure which one you mean & why it is significant.

    Erap was pardoned by Arroya in October 2007. But I have read that Arroyo did this on the request of Mar Roxas… Is this true ? not being a believer on the works of the Lord, I wonder if he was blessed by ‘Lord’ Roxas ?

  17. Bill in Oz says:

    You have lead me a bit further off topic Joe…!! I read the Torre de manila post and a good few of the comments… So now I have some understanding of the stuff up there…Now I wonderif it was ever finished..

    And have a couple of comments as well :
    1 : It’s SOP when building high rises to build in ‘a safety factor’ with the foundations. I suspect that this was done here..

    2 :The actual site and the diorama of Rizal’s execution is screened by trees and a wall. It is very impressive as an illustration of Philippines history. But it costs 40 pesos to get in and see it..But Rizal is the national hero and knowledge of this ‘legalised’ murder by the Spanish occupying power should be the common knowledge of all Filipinos. Ditto the garotting of the three Filipino priests in 1872 after the Cavite revolt..That garotting happened at Luneta park close to the site of Rizal’s execution

    3 Rizal was executed by being shot in the back by a group of Filipino scouts on the orders of a Spanish occupier officer….( Now why didn’t those Filipino scouts shoot the officer instead ? Just following orders I guess. )

    4 : The Philippines now has a population of over 100 million. Many of these 100 million don’t want to live in slums or isolated villages out in the boon docks where there is no work. and where disease and ignorance abound. The Philippines is becoming an urbanised country.That’s why there are so so so many people living in Tondo, In Qiappo, In Intramuros back allyes or sleeping on the city pavements or begging or blocking the side walks with vender stalls trying to earn some pesos.

    The newly urbanised Philippines needs high rises to accommodate all the new people moving into the cities..There is not the land here to do it with low story buildings.So high rises it will be. Unless of course the idea is to not ever provide even basic housing for the poor. But doing that will encourage more violent change later on…

    • Joe America says:

      It sits half up, half down, stuck in the courts. Who pays for demolition? It was properly permitted, even if mistakenly so, according to critics?

      There was a line of Spanish soldiers behind the Filipino soldiers, to shoot them, if they failed in their “duty”.

      You ask good questions, make good observations. Me, I would have moved on long ago. There are many important things to do rather than worry about artistic purity or peoples’ personal version of what is pretty.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      > The newly urbanised Philippines needs high rises to accommodate all the new people moving into the cities

      Problem is, most of these high-rises start at half a million pesos per unit, intended for professionals, expats, retirees, those in the upper-middle class. Unless the next president is mindful about genuine mass urban housing for the ne’er-to-do, or someone insists on making growth centers other than Manila.

      • Joe America says:

        I’ve been shopping for condos in Manila and Cebu. The prices of most units are in the P1.5 to P8 million range in both cities. Condos have VAT applied, plus parking slots are expensive . . . as much as P1 million. The lower priced units sell fast, it seems to me. The loans are strange, short-term, not 30-year like you’d see in the US.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        There is a long tradition of building high rises as part of low cost housing programs in the US, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, In fact areas with these type of buildings can be socially problematic if they have too many floors – more than 6 -7…But they are better than the pavements and Tondo like squatter favellas..

  18. Bill in Oz says:

    High rises can be built on earthquake prone ground. They just need good deep strong foundations .Tokyo is am major example There the high rises sway when an earthquake happens and it happens often

  19. Bill in Oz says:

    @Sonny, Glad you are back online Sonny !!
    re “Irian Jaya+New Guinea” Ummmmm definitely not part of the malay world Sonny..Melanesian..But since 1964 when irian jaya became part of Indonesia, -600,000 Javanese & maduranese have transmigrasi’d to irian Jay..AS for Moari…definitely polynesian..The languages of the Moaris are close to those of Tahiti and Tonga etc..

  20. karlgarcia says:

    I already shared that I am Ro-Trill
    Mary Grace even messaged me to change my mind and go RORo,at first I said that Trilla might lose anyways so why not but if that would be my reasoning then that is believing in the surveys,and not the candidate,so win or lose I am going to stick with Trllanes.
    and I already shared my folks and sis are for Grace and most of my relatives in Davao are for who else.
    My solution less fb.

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