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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Filipinas or Pilipinas? What is in a name?

Filipinas or Pilipinas?
While this issue has kept the social media abuzz and has given the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) the attention they want, changing the name without the proper understanding of “What is in a name?” will promote nothing but another superficial change.
The proposed name change is said to help invoke a better sense of history.  If that’s the case then BASIC History lessons should also tackle the etymology of “Filipinas” and how much of a despot Philip II was and how his LEADERSHIP OF ARROGANCE AND BLIND FAITH led to the defeat of the great Spanish Armada and eventually to the bankruptcy of Spain.
Hmmm, doesn’t Philip II remind us so much of many of our political leaders since our perceived independence?
If we really want to give Philippine History the much needed relevance, then ingrain in our people our Prehispanic history, when our islands were romanticized as Ma’i, Mai, Ma-yi or Mayi in the Chinese Imperial annals Zhu Fan Zhi and the History of the Song Dynasty. Our land was known as the nation of Maidh in the Sultanate of Brunei’s royal records.
Laguna Copperplate Inscriptio
If we really want to give Philippine History the much needed relevance, then ingrain in our people our Prehispanic history…
That is the name of our islands before 1521, it is the land of a people who knew not of subjugation, who freely and fairly traded with many foreign merchants. Of a people who had their own spoken and written language as well evidenced in the Laguna Copperplate Inscription (900 AD). Of a people who had a system unbounded by politics.
Maybe if each Filipino will have a clear understanding of that rich and proud heritage maybe then, can we seriously take RESPONSIBILITY and take PRIDE of our citizenship, not through the temporal and worse not through lipservicing “Proud to be a Filipino.”
The first thing that grade schoolers are taught is that our country was discovered in 1521 by Magellan, 1+1+Magellan, glorifying the vanquished in Philippine History. What about the glory that came before that and I’m not talking about Lapu-lapu, that historic glory lives in our indigenous tribes and that is THE history that should be instilled in young Filipinos. So that we can all look beyond the temporal and value what is really important.

Until then,  many will continue to conform to a  society that looks down on those who truly uphold freedom, and those are our Muslim brothers and sisters and our indigenous tribes while they are the ones who remained steadfast in the fight against oppression and that fight is not only of the war brought upon by the foreign Imperialists but by the war waged by Imperial Manila that until now they suffer yet they continue to prevail.
SOCIAL RE-ENGINEERING can only happen if our citizens are willing to break free from the IGNORANCE.
Image courtesy of www.mts.net: “…the inscription was a pardon from the Chief of Tondo that erased the debt of a man named Namwaran. His debt was one kati and eight suwarna, or about 926.4 grams of gold. Today in 2006, this is equal to about $18,600 Canadian. The document mentioned a few towns that still exist today: Tundun, which is now Tondo in Metro Manila and three towns in Bulakan; Pailah or Paila, Puliran or Pulilan, and Binwangan. A town in Agusan del Norte on Mindanao called Dewata or Diwata also appears in the text. Diwata is near Butuan, which has been a rich source of ancient artefacts. A place called Medang was mentioned, too, which is possibly Medan in Sumatra, Indonesia. Also, the name of Namwaran’s son was given as Bukah, a name that may have some relation to the town of Gatbuka in Bulakan. Gat is a title similar to “Sir” for a knight.”http://www.mts.net/~pmorrow/lcieng.htm
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