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Memories from EL GALEON DE MANILA (Part 2) --Filipinos in late 19th Century Breaking with European History & Language

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Wishing to replace the Spanish concept of history, which had been simply dichotomous as far as the Filipino natives were concerned, i.e..

(1)   prehispanic history = bad or evil , and

(2)    Spanish & Mexican colonialism &   occupation = good ,

Artemio Ricarte had proposed a modern or revolutionary calendar system, incorporating pre-Hispanic astrological traditions as well as many modern dates and cues for national identity.    Some of the many calendar proposals he fielded had included, for example, days that reflected when it was best to harvest and not to harvest particular sea foods. These new calendars included days to go to the sea, months to plant, etc.

Other suggestions for the new Filipino calendar and national identity incorporated changes in time, place, and space.   There was, for example, to be a new epoch.   That is, the above-mentioned Spanish and pre-Spanish dichotomy in history would be ended.   no longer a dichotomous history    The new calendar would include an age of new birth or rebirth.   Henceforth, Filipino history would entail studies for and of   pre-Hispanic, Hispanic, and New Age history.

            Similarly, a new artistic world was certainly to be encouraged in this dawning of a new Filipino age.   This particular   new age of art would incorporate   and engage ancient, Hispanic, and new art forms as they took shape in various Asian and distant realms.

  As well, there would be a resurrection of the pre-Hispanic race (la raza) or identity in culture as well as a metamorphism beyond the biblical divisions enforced and then reinforced by the conqueror and conquered roles as lived out on the Philippines Archipelago.    There would or could be a paradise on earth to look forward to as, for example, the Spanish culture fell, or ancient identities were resurrected.   Moreover, new metamorphisms would be anticipated and promoted by the revolution or their offspring.


            Veneracion explains that, in all, there were three main transcendental concepts which had driven and too some degree caused frustration for the leaders of the ill-fated revolution of the 1890s.   These concepts are:   Kalayaan, Bayan and Filipinas. Veneracion notes that typically these terms might simply be translated as liberty, fatherland (or country), and the Philippines.    

Most notably, these definitions are still very ingrained in much of the Filipino identity today--in 2011 (just as they were in 1997 when Veneracion's article came out).   On the other hand, Veneracion let's the reader know that this was not always the case.  

            According to Veneracion, neither of the terms   "Bayan"   nor "Kalayaan" existed prior to the 19th century in any of the Filipino isles common vernaculars.    On the one hand, there is the word Barangay,   which meant either the community (barrio) or the municipal government.   On the other hand, the first written use of "bayan" appears to have been in a poem by Francisco Balagtas Baltazar.    The epic poem was called "Florante y Laura" (published in 1830).  

The exact line that the term "bayan" first arises is the line referring to ancient heroes:

"Ang bayan kong sawi," (My unfortunate bayan)

In his poem, Baltazar "refers to the reign of lost heroes", i.e.   those who worked for no compensation at all.   [p. 178]  

Likewise, in the context of this same epic poem, Baltazar refers to the heroes as Bayani.    In this sense, a bayani is part of the Bayanihan.   [4]   A Bayani is in some-ways simply to be understood as a one who is being good neighbor in one's own community.   However, in future years, Bayani at times came to be interpreted at times to imply "la raiz" or the race.

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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global (more...)

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