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|int| - International

Discuss foreign culture and language here

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No. 172

Spanish guy here ¿hablais español?
bonito chan btw


no hablas español

but you're welcome here mr. spanish guy


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thank you sir.


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Hablen español !!!
English is for fags.


Philippines is hispanic
Viva las islas Filipinas


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Si amigo, Las Islas Filipinas is Hispanic and we're not Asian. ¡Viva!!!


I would say that the Philippines has a cultural and historical connection with Spain as well as with Mexico. Its underlying Asian culture never got totally wiped out as it was in Latin America and the Spanish friars and administrators did not endeavor to teach the Spanish language but instead chose to learn the local languages in an attempt to keep the various Philippine tribes and language groups divided and separate. Thus relatively few Filipinos learned Spanish but only as a lingua franca between the major towns and cities. However, many Mexican or Native American tribal words crept into the various Philippine languages. All in all, the historical connection and cultural background laid by Spain and Mexico should make it relatively easy for modern Filipinos to regain their affiliation and affinity for Spanish and Latino culture.

Once upon a time, there was once a Spanish creole called Ternateño spoken by the Spanish colonists and native islanders in Ternate, Moluccas Island (Spice Islands). “The Spaniards abandoned Ternate and Tidore in 1663, and some of the people accompanied the Spanish in their retreat to the Philippines. In the Philippines, they settled in Ternate, Cavite which they named after their homeland.” See the Wikipedia article on Ternate.

There were two Spanish creoles that developed, one in Zamboanga City called Chavacano, and the other one called Ermiteño (centered in Manila outside Intramuros in a district called Ermita). However, during World War II, the south side of Manila was almost totally destroyed when the Japanese Naval Infantry detachment massacred the residents of Malate and Ermita, including the resident Spanish speakers. The Americans compounded the destruction by massive artillery and aircraft bombardment to kill off the remaining Japanese troops. In the process, over 100,000 Manileños were killed, including the bulk of the Spanish speakers. The survivors migrated to various parts of Metro Manila and the rest of the country or abroad and the Ermiteño dialect died out. Meanwhile Chavacano remains the only Spanish-based dialect existing in the Far East, and it is very similar in style and structure to Mexican Spanish (except that it uses a lot of Philippine or Malay words).

The Philippines was well connected with the Manila-to-Acapulco Galleon Trade from 1565 to about 1812 when Mexico (Nueva España) successfully revolted against Spain and became independent. Prior to that there was an exchange of Native American tribe members from Mexico (North America) to Las Islas Filipinas and Philippine (Asian) natives to Mexico. Some of these expatriate natives never returned to their respective homelands and settled where they could—e.g., Filipinos were sometimes settled or exiled to Spanish Equatorial Guinea in Africa, and elsewhere. There was also an exchange of agricultural products, plant species, foods, and foreign words between the two colonies in what was the world’s first sustained intercontinental trade partnership. To this day the city of Acapulco has many residents with Asian or Oriental features even though they speak Mexican-style Spanish.

Anyway, Queen Isabella of Spain instituted Spanish language education in the 19th century for the Filipino natives who were then called indios by the Spanish pure-blood Castillan hidalgos and the half-blood mestizos. There was a slightly higher influx of Castillan-speaking administrators and retirees from Spain who were then labelled “Filipinos.” Those Spaniards born in the Iberian Peninsula were called the peninsulares while those Spanish who grew up in the Philippine Islands were called insulares. However, this outflow of Europeans to the Philippines was tiny compared to that towards Central and South America. Meanwhile, the wealthier indios who were rich enough to finish college education locally or abroad were labelled the ilustrados. Some of them settled permanently in Spain or died there (like Marcelo H. Del Pilar) while others like Jose Rizal and Antonio Luna returned home.

After the Americans defeated the Spanish Navy at the Battle of Manila Bay on 1 May 1898, there was a lull as the Americans waited for fresh American troops to be shipped across the Pacific Ocean. The isolated Spanish Army detachments were eventually defeated in various land battles by the revitalized Philippine Republican Army (using trench warfare, besieging tactics, maneuver warfare, and guerrilla warfare) under Generals Emilio Aguinaldo, Antonio Luna, and various local commanders throughout the northern and central part of the archipelago. The Philippine Republican Army’s uniforms were virtually indistinguishable (except for the badges and insignia) from the rayadillo (thin stripes or “small rays”) uniforms of the Spanish Ejercito (Army). The Marcha Nacional Filipinas that eventually became the Philippine National Anthem was initially given Spanish lyrics. The Philippine flag resembles in shape the flags of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Equatorial Guinea.

Eventually, after secret negotiations, the Americans engaged the Spanish colonial government besieged within Intramuros in a mock battle designed to give the Americans control of the bastion walls and to keep the Filipino Army out. The Spanish were allowed to ship safely out of Manila and return home to Spain with all the treasure and wealth they had amassed in the colony. Only the University of Santo Tomas and many Spanish friars and settled retirees remained behind as the colonial administration was taken over by the American military government. Unknown to the Filpinos, the Spanish had sold off their colonies in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Marianas Islands, and the Philippine Islands to the Americans under the Treaty of Paris for the sum of twenty million US dollars.

The Americans decided to teach the English language to the Filipinos using a transplanted modern educational system that reached down to the barrios (small villages). English replaced Spanish as the lingua franca and medium of education, governance, business, trade, industry, and entertainment. Modern American technology using microphones, telephones, radio, cinema, books, publications, vaudeville, and theater replaced Spanish culture. For a short time, there was also a surge in Spanish-language publications and usage but it died with the Battle of Manila in 1945.

Spanish language usage gradually declined as the English language became the official language of government, education, technology transfer, industry, commerce, and entertainment. The Tagalog language was also chosen as the official national language and successfully displaced Spanish (which only a few people used in daily life) as the other lingua franca in the islands and provinces. Cebuano Bisaya, Hiligaynon Ilonggo, and Tagalog also spread throughout Mindanao and kept Chavacano isolated within the tip of the Zamboanga Peninsula.

That is the reason why the modern Filipino no longer has any inkling or inclination to use the Spanish language and why Spanish is just considered an auxiliary language along with Arabic and Chinese (Mandarin, Fukienese, Cantonese). The grip of English and Filipino is so strong within Metro Manila that there is also little desire by the average Filipino to learn the Bahasa languages of its nearest neighbors Indonesia and Malaysia (Borneo).

So is the Philippines considered Hispanic? Yes, it was and still can be. However, only a tiny minority now speaks and understands Spanish and would have the chance to interact with Spanish nationals or Latinos from Central and South America. However, Latin American telenovelas are popular on Philippine television and Filipinos can still sing Spanish songs like “Guantanamera” or “La Bamba,” and dance the tango, salsa, and chacha along with the best international dancers. Given the chance, Filipinos can be equally adept at learning to speak Spanish (they know how to pronounce it properly and only need to learn the grammar and get an extensive vocabulary) just as they are with English. As long as the rest of the Spanish-speaking world will continue to connect with Filipinos, it will be easy for anybody in the Philippines to adjust to the Hispanic and Latino cultures.


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