AmanungSisuan: Why Capampangan should resist traces of old bilingual program

Even if the only Capampangan I know is “cabalen”, I joined the AmanungSisuan Yahoo Group because I’m completely fascinated with the Capampangans’ history and their “emotional” choice to cling to a broad and open-minded orthography which I, an Ilocano, can only watch with envy. As happens, that “emotional” choice to stick to a rich orthography makes them less linguistically-challenged to intellectualize their language. Their 6-point main goals stated in their website are similar to my yearnings for the Ilocano language. And if you listen carefully to the above Youtube video, well, Capampangan should NOT ever be marginalized by the forces that have forced “Filipino” on the rest of us non-Tagalogs, that “isang diwa, isang bansa” was just as bad as being colonized by the colonizers, only this time by our Tagalog countrymen.

Take this one from Parnasong Capampangan poet Ernie C. Turla [ernieturla@yahoo.com]:


“Quetang Fourth of July misan iniang “mid-1970’s” atatandanan cung dimdam queng radio queni Portland ing greeting nang Paul Anka a nga na: “It is Independence Day for us here in the U.S. And it is Independence Day also for the people in the Philippines. Happy birthday to the U.S., and Happy birthday, Philippines!” nga na or to that effect. Asabi cu quetang caluguran cu ini, uling A-cuatru de Hulyu ngeni at atin lang picnic deng asusasyun Filipino qng Blue Lake Park at nga na, “Dindam cu naman sinabi na ita,” nga na. Casi, mecatatlu ne ata mig-perform qng Araneta magumpisa pang 1957 at atandanan na. E na balu qng iniang 1962 mipalitan ne queng June 12 a dating “Flag Day” iniang minuna.”

Turla adds:

“The Philippine Revolution started by Bonifacio and his Katipuneros on Aug. 26, 1896 with the Cry of Balintawak (later corrected to Pugad Lawin) and eventually continued by Aguinaldo did not bring about our present independence. All that our national heroes were able to do was to give us, present-day Filipinos, some inspiration. With their deeds, they were able to awaken in the Indio (that’s how our forefathers were then referred to) the spirit of nationalism and patriotism. So their efforts despite such failure was not done in vain in as much as it still rendered a lot of significance, and worth remembering.

“While it is true that our independence was proclaimed by Aguinaldo in 1898, it was only recognized in 8 provinces, the so-called “heartland”, not to mention that it was only short-lived. Moreover, such independence was questionable since we continued to be under foreign rule for the next 48 years after that, including 3 years of Japanese occupation. We should remember that the U.S. did not only take over the colony from Spain after becoming victorious in an ongoing global Spanish-American war. She paid her a certain amount of money in fulfilment of the Treaty of Paris that ended such a war and which gave the U.S. the right to govern her.

“So, if the Philippines was governed by the U.S. from 1898 onward, could we consider it as an independent country at that time? Should we be celebrating Independence Day in  commemoration of its proclamation by Aguinaldo in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898? It may look beautiful that way since the event would give us more opportunity and relevance when focusing on the deeds of Rizal, Mabini, Luna, del Pilar and other heroes.

“But is it realistic?

“What about the July 4th which is now observed as Philippine American Friendship Day? Is it heart-breaking to think that we did not get our independence through a glorious revolution or by overthrowing an oppressive foreign rule? Do we find it less impressive if it was just peacefully granted to us by a foreign government (the U.S.)?

“I am fortunate enough to have witnessed our true independence day. At least in flag ceremonies as a second-grader in San Roque Dau Elementary School. I distinctly remember singing two anthems during such ceremonies. First, we would sing the Star Spangled Banner (Oh “Jose”, can you see?). Then we follow it with the  Philippine Hymn (Land of the morning, Child of the sun returning, With fervor burning, Thee do our souls adore, Land dear and holy, Cradle of noble heroes, Ne’er shall invaders, Trample thy sacred shores….)  We had all the words memorized; English was the medium of instruction in all grades then. We would sing them as the flags were each slowly raised  — first the United States’ flag up  to the very top of the flag pole, and then the Philippine flag
underneath it. It symbolized the Philippines as being under the U.S. After raising the flags we would recite in unison the pledge of allegiance: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands. One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”  Then we would all go to our respective rooms. We would do that routine everyday, including the lowering of the flags every Friday during dismissal.

“But in the morning of that day, July 4, 1946, the order of the ceremonies suddenly changed. We only raised one flag and sang one anthem! For the first time that is, and everyday afterwards!  We saw our teachers welling with tears in their eyes and we did not know why!  Was it on account of our becoming independent? Or was it because a country beloved by so many was bidding us good bye?

“Happy Fourth of July to all of us here in the U.S. and to all those in the Philippines. Have a nice Independence Day celebration!”

And how do you find fault with the following sentiments on most emails from AmanungSisuan?

  • We must love Kapampangan, like a mother who lovingly breastfeeds her baby.-Gov. Ed Panlilio
  • Boycott ta ne ing Tagalug king Pampanga!-Rafael Maniago
  • Filipino is NOT our language. – Josie Henson & DILA
  • Sasapingilan ko reng mayayanimal a managalug kareng kalupa rang Kapampangan!-Don Pablo
  • We are indeed “Dugong Aso”! Pampanguenos'”K-9″ devotion & loyalty to friends is proverbial.- ECT
  • Speaking one’s own language with love and pride is the truest form of nationalism. Not even saluting the flag or singing the anthem can beat that. – ECT
  • The concept of “isang diwa, isang bansa, isang wika” is a death sentence on Kapampangan and should be dumped! – RBA, Ari Ning Parnaso

One thought on “AmanungSisuan: Why Capampangan should resist traces of old bilingual program

  1. It must be disconcerting to note that it was the late Pres. Diosdado Macapagal, a Capampangan, who fell victim to the revisionist “nationalist” fervor during his incumbency and declared June 12th as Philippine Independence Day. But gosh, you offer an excellent argument!

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