Reintroduction of Spanish language in the Philippines

Queen Sofía of Spain together with young students during her visit in the Philippines. Credits to Fonso Velázquez.

This week, the queen consort and the wife of King Juan Carlos I of Spain visited in the Philippines with the purpose of inspecting the Spanish development projects in the Philippines through its development cooperation agency, Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarollo or AECID.

Her visit was coincided with the rising interest among the Filipinos to learn the language that made possible among all ethno-linguistic regions in the Philippines to unite under a single political sovereignty under the Spanish colonial rule from 1565 until 1898 and still continues to be united and not fractured into dozens of nation-states all over the archipelago.

For many years after the Spaniards left the country and successive governments of discouraging Filipinos from speaking Spanish through the intensive instruction of Tagalog aka “Filipino” to students all across the archipelago, the Philippines never achieved a real cultural, economic, political, and social prosperity because our leaders and the people themselves forgot on what their forefathers taught to them, but instead, they even destroyed it like for example, embracing anything American influences even though some of the influences will not work for Filipino setting while forgetting some of the Spanish influences being instilled to our culture.

Also, the abandonment of the Spanish language in favor of Tagalog language aka “Filipino” way back 1935 during the presidency of Manuel Quezón never fulfilled the goals of most Tagalog nationalists of uniting the archipelago under a common language of Tagalog but instead it only created resentment among non-Tagalogs even until today. The faulty language policies done by Quezón and his successors only created a favorable treatment among the Tagalog people over the non-Tagalogs at all aspects of development of the Philippines at the expense of other regions.

By restoring gradually the Spanish language into the mainstream, we can repair our damaged and distorted culture done by our founding leaders into what is the real face of our Filipino culture and also restoring Spanish language will enhance our knowledge of our Philippine history.

Replacing the Tagalog aka “Filipino” language with Spanish as our official and national language will unite the Filipinos regardless of religious and cultural differences from all over the archipelago as most Philippine language already contains 30 to 50% of Spanish lexicons and also most Filipinos shares cultural similarities with the Spaniards and the Latin Americans and further learning the Spanish language would enhance our full integration with them who are the real siblings of the Filipino culture.