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Sandiko and Sanity, September 3, 1910

September 3, 1910

Sandiko and Sanity

 

IN ALL this independence agitation with its tempestuous mutterings of revolution it is refreshing to hear above the discord one clear, clarion note summoning the leaders of the Filipino people to reason and a frank and fearless facing of the facts. The call issues from the lips of Teodoro Sandiko, formerly governor of Bulacan.

In a lengthy communication to La Vanguardia, the former governor discusses, with a clarity and dispassionateness beyond the ordinary politician, the situation as it presents itself. Taking exception, as we do, to some of the strictures he passes upon the administration and some of the imputations he lays against it, we nevertheless find ourselves in general sympathy with the broad policy he urges upon his people: cessation from any senseless and suicidal talk of revolution, concentration on Washington of the agitation for independence and at home a practical and persistent effort to initiate and effect administrative reforms.

To such extremists as Ricarte the program of Sandiko doubtless appears pale and anemic. But Sandiko’s feet are planted on the ground and he is carried away by no delirious visions and deluding dreams. There may be those who believe that Japan would go to war with the United States for the sake of the Philippines—there may be those who believe that in the event of war Japan would be victorious and that despite her recent annexation of Korea, she would turn over to the Filipinos, with a generosity unparalleled, the only prize she might hope to gain, the Philippines—there may be those who believe that Japan, almost bankrupt, stands ready to sacrifice the American market which consumes one-third of her exports —there may be those who believe such things but evidently Sandiko is not one of them.

It is time that the leaders of the Filipino people were urging more of the Sandiko sanity upon their people, that they were getting their feet on the solid ground and facing the facts, however unpleasant they may be. Only by a frank recognition of the things that are can there be any hope of a realization of the things that might. Ideals need to be mixed with brains or they will forever remain ideals, and mere sentiment in itself never yet accomplished anything. The man who agitates aimlessly is not a reformer; he is only a disturber.

 

The future language of these islands, March 13, 1909

March 13, 1909, Saturday

The future language of these islands

That, according to Dr. Barrows, the director of education, is English. He says that “if we may judge by what is taking place in all parts of the globe, the Philippine languages will disappear from use”. Nor is the day far distant, in Dr. Barrows’ opinion, when the Spanish language here will have to yield the scepter it has so long held. He says: “The new generation, which will be foremost in the affairs of the Islands in another ten years, will not use Spanish for ordinary purposes and their influence will be decisive. It is rapidly ceasing to be the medium of administrative correspondence. Probably its longest official use will be as the language of the Legislature”.

To those who believe the spread and dominance of the English language in the Philippines anything but a “consummation devoutly to be wished”, and who favor a Philippine language, the director of education holds out some comfort but no hope. The only two “supposable ways” by which a Philippine language might be produced, he asserts, is first, “by selecting one and suppressing all the others” and second, by “thoroughly fusing all these (native) dialects retaining the best elements of all”. And both of these methods he dismisses as “visionary”, the first because Tagalog, which has been considered by some as the probable “ultimate Philippine language” is spoken by only 21 per cent of the Christian inhabitants of the archipelago and because there is no considerable expansion of the Tagalog people into new regions, and the second because fusion is impracticable. Amplifying this latter reason the director of education refers to the “shortsighted policy” adopted by Filipino scholars interested in the development of the Tagalog language. To quote: “In a chauvinistic effort at linguistic purity, they are trying to eject all words of foreign origin and to substitute circumlocutions or words of new invention. The policy adopted by Tagalog scholars for ‘purifying’ and perfecting their own speech spells its ultimate sterilization and death”.

The conclusions reached by the director of education may not be relished by those who should prefer to see either Spanish or one of the native dialects the general language of the archipelago, but they seem convincing and unavoidable.