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Dec 07th
Home Sections Politics Is the Philippines the Prototype of the "Clash of Civilizations?" (Part III)
Is the Philippines the Prototype of the "Clash of Civilizations?" (Part III) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Politics
Wednesday, 05 September 2007 00:22

 

A ssuming arguendo that Prof. Samuel P. Huntington's hypothesis is right, he spoke, however, of the future. As the Los Angeles Times' Gregory Rodriguez wrote: "Some observers suspected that Huntington was actually projecting his anxiety over the future of the multiethnic United States onto the world stage." The reality is that the Philippines has been mired in Professor Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations (CoC)" for several hundred years now. The entry of the United States in Filipino domestic affairs during the Spanish-American War of 1898 added another "civilization" to the ongoing cultural clash. Yes, the Americans brought in 1898 to the islands the White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant (WASP) civilization in the Filipino CoC.

 

 


L et me explain the CoC's existence in the Philippines centuries before the arrival of the Americans. And certainly long before Professor Huntington was even born.

Before the Americans came to the Philippine Islands (PI), the Spanish colonial authorities (AKA Hispanic civilization) were actually engaged in a continuing clash with the Moros over the control of Mindanao. The Moros belong to the Islamic civilization. The Spaniards, like Professor Huntington, found the enemy and like what Mr. Rodriguez wrote, "they are arriving from the south." For more than 300 years, the Spaniards, together with their Mexican Creoles, could not subdue the Moros. The Spaniards, Mexicans and their Indio minions had to defend themselves against infrequent raids by the Moro pirates.

On the other hand, the Chinese had established also their presence prior to the arrival of the Spaniards. The Chinese residents and traders in the Philippines represented the Confucian civilization.

Even after the Americans had established their control over most of the islands, the other civilizations continued their conflicts. They clashed not only in matters of trade and industry but also in politics. Immediately after the American colonizers legalized political parties, some Filipinos organized the "Federalista" Party that advocated their assimilation into the American mainstream. These pro-WASP Filipinos were the forerunners of the now-called "Brown Americans." In the 1930s, the CoC found a compromise in politics. Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon was the pride of the Hispanic civilization. Vice President Sergio Osmeña, Sr., a Filipino Chinese, represented the Confucian civilization.

The American colonizers did not realize that the Philippines they conquered was a virtual melting but boiling pot. The PI did not only have the three competing civilizations but also had so many other ethnic minorities. There were the Lumads, Mindanao's non-Moro tribes. The Mangyans were in Mindoro Island. The Aetas (Agtas) in Zambales and Bicolandia. The Ifugaos, the Kalingas, the Igorots and other tribes in the Mountain Provinces. The Ivatans of the Batanes Islands are even related to the indigenous Taiwanese.

Advance the Philippine clock by more than 100 years and we find the same cultural clashes in the country. The four power blocks (civilizations) are still in a massive struggle for the control of the country. The Imperial Manila (TIM) took over when the colonizers left. But the Moro pirates are still raiding some of the islands. Remember the Abu Sayyaf raid in 2000 in Palawan Island that took people (including three Americans) for ransom? The TIM is basically a modus vivendi of elite HispanoFilipinos, Filipino-Chinese taipans and WASPs. The third group is anchored on the American Chamber of Commerce and its members who control multinational branches.

Mr. Rodriguez summed up Professor Huntington's concerns in regard to the growing presence of Mexicans in the Southwest. These are the refusal "to assimilate and belligerently assert their ethnicity . . . (and the) belief in cultural conflict leading to cultural behaviors . . ." Professor Huntington's concerns were the same worries of American colonizers in the Philippines in 1898 and early 1900s.

The U.S. blundered when they took over the Philippines. The Americans replaced Spanish with English as the language of government, education and commerce. If only the Americans had the foresight. Nobody among the WASPs thought that the U.S. would become bilingual and Spanish would be the second language. Perhaps if they started mastering Spanish then, now things could have been better for the Philippines and the American Southwest.

The Filipino homeland is worse than the worst nightmare of Professor Huntington, who feared that the United States would be divided into two peoples, two cultures and two languages. The Philippines is practically divided into tens of groups of people, each with their own culture and speaking a cacophony of languages.

For instance, there are also fears that even if the Muslims in Mindanao were to be given quasi-independence or outright independence, they would also be plunged overnight in Moro wars, as the Muslims are divided into various clans -- from the Tausogs, the Maranaws, the warring clans in Maguindanao and the even the distinctly-different in lifestyle, the Badjaos. The Sultanate of Sulu cannot force all the Muslim forces in Mindanao to unite under one flag of convenience. And there are the different armies: the MILF, the MNLF, the Abu-Sayyaf bandits linked with the Al Qaeda terrorists and those maintained by regional or provincial warlords. In fact, the reason the Muslim separatists cannot win their war of independence against The Imperial Manila is that they are so fragmented into ethnic groupings and unable to unite under one military command . . .

 

(To be continued . . .)

 

E ditor’s Note: To read the earlier articles of this series, please just click on these hyperlinks:

 

The Filipino and the Clash of Civilizations, Part I

 

The "Clash of Civilizations" Now Brewing in California?

 

Is the Philippines the Prototype of the "Clash of Civilizations?" (Part III)

 

Overseas Filipinos Can End the "Clash of Civilizations" in RP (Part IV)

 

Illiteracy Fuels the Ongoing “Clash of Civilizations” in RP, Especially in Mindanao (Part V)

 



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Last Updated on Saturday, 09 January 2010 13:10
 
Comments (2)
1 Wednesday, 17 February 2010 21:59
Sad to say, this one day will hardly come, not unless, the Moro nation will unite as one nation, one aspiration and one goal for Mindanao Independence, God willing, otherwise, the Moro struggles are all in vain. As long as there are Moro leaders, that are willing to kiss the ass of the malacanang..and there are MNLF who keep struggling for self recognition locally and Globally.. and there’s MILF who fight on and off in bargaining of a piece of agreement from the government..the wheel of Mindanao fate is still in the hand of the imperial Manila. And the one day we are waiting is only an elusive dream.
2 Thursday, 08 April 2010 10:44
I cant disagree with your assertion more:




"The U.S. blundered when they took over the Philippines. The Americans replaced Spanish with English as the language of government, education and commerce. If only the Americans had the foresight. Nobody among the WASPs thought that the U.S. would become bilingual and Spanish would be the second language. Perhaps if they started mastering Spanish then, now things could have been better for the Philippines and the American Southwest."


we might have blundered? ahhahahah!
maybe in taking the Phils, but NOT in teaching English which is, was and will always be the language of the business world.
can you imagine had we never been there? Filipinos would be worse off for it, not knowing the English language!


I live in Texas and believe me. the whole "spanish is great" argument is BS.....
you must have never lived here, friend.

it costs the states and the federal gov't millions a year to teach bilingual classes and these kids arent better off for it. not to mention, hispanics in the Southwest are only holding themselves back by not learning the english language.
the majority of them are stuck in dead-end jobs with no hope of climbing the ladder of opportunity and have no benefits.

thier children are stuck in a cycle of poverty and crime since they are left behind in classes since they only speak Spanish at home.
they incorrectly believe that "assimilation" means forgetting your roots....no. it means speaking the majority language of the land that our laws, constitution and country was founded in.



plus in a moment of crisis, the less English that is spoken by said individuals, the harder it is for law enforcement and EMS to do their jobs.

so, sorry pal.

The US SAVED the Philippines by kicking Spain out.

look at all the countries that were under England......look at them now with the exception of India and Burma; they are almost all 1st world and have huge stable economies.

now look at the ex-Spanish empire in Latin America and the Philippines....
almost all 3rd world and backwards.

CASE CLOSED....

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