Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ilocano Presidents - Ramon Magsaysay

Ramon Magsaysay is best remembered of his simplicity and humility, and his concern to the Filipino masses of their importance and dignity.

He was born on August 31, 1907 in Iba, Zambales to Exequiel Magsaysay and Perfecta del Fierro.

He took pre-law in the University of the Philippines but later shifted to engineering, working as a chauffeur to support himself. Due to illness, he did not finish the course. Eventually, he enrolled in Jose Rizal College and took Commerce. He graduated in 1931 and started immediately working in Try Tran Bus Company in Manila. At the time the company was losing money, but after Magsaysay had introduced new working methods and had taken measures against corrupt employees, the company started to be profitable and he became the general manager. He first met his future wife, Luz Banzon, at the office of Try Tran, when she was picking up the payment for a bus company that her father had sold to Try Tran. They married on June 10, 1933.

During World War II, he joined the motor pool of the 31st Infantry Division of the Army as a captain. He later formed the Western Luzon Guerilla Forces against the Japanese. He still maintained the rank of a Captain when the American forces liberated the Philippines in early 1945 although he commanded by then 12,000 men. He had refused to promote himself, but the American command made him a Major. At the end of the war he was appointed Military Governor of Zambales, inaugurated on February 4, 1945.

He entered politics and was elected to the Philippine House of Congress on April 23 1946. He was chosen by Pres. Roxas to head the Philippine Committee on Guerilla Affairs in Washington, D.C. to secure the passage of the Roger's Bill, that gave benefits to Filipino veterans. He was re-elected as a congressman on 1949.

During the administration of Pres. Quirino, Magsaysay was appointed as the Secretary of National Defense to deal with the communist guerillas. He used his knowledge in guerilla warfare and waged the most succesful anti-guerilla campaign. His methods included the utilizing the soldiers to outreach the outlying, provincial communities. It was during his term as Defense secretary that the military gained respect from the people.

Due to his good performance, he was convinced by many to run for presidency to continue his fight against the communist and to established a government for the people. He ran in 1953 against incumbent Quirino and overwhelmingly won. He wore Barong Tagalog during his inauguration, a first for a Filipino president.

As president, he was a close friend and supporter of the United States and a vocal spokesman against communism during the Cold War. He led the foundation of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization also known as the Manila Pact of 1954, that aimed to defend South East Asia, South Asia and the Southwestern Pacific from communism. He was also known for his integrity and strength of character.

During his term, he made Malacañáng Palace literally a "house of the people", opening its gates to the public. He believed the importance of the common Filipino people and their right to live in liberty and happiness. Thus he earned the title, "Champion of the Masses".

His term was aborted with his death. During his return from an official visit in Cebu, his plane crashed in Mt. Manunggal on March 17, 1957. During his burial on March 22, 1957, an estimated 2 million people attended.

As a legacy, the Ramon Magsaysay Award was formed in his honor. This is the Asian equivalent of the prestigious Nobel Prize. Many towns were named after him. These are the towns in Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, Zamboanga del Sur, Lanao del Norte, and Davao del Sur.

Ramon Magsaysay - an Ilocano pride. His great spirit, his shown dedication to the Filipino people, and his example of high quality leadership will continue as an inspiration.

Ilocano Presidents -Elpidio Quirino

Elpidio Quirino was the sixth president of the Philippines, the second of the third republic.

Born on November 16, 1890 in Vigan, Ilocos Sur to Mariano Quirino And Gregoria Rivera. He spent his childhood in Aringay, La Union. He entered Vigan High School and later transferred to Manila and worked as junior computer in the Bureau of Lands and as a property clerk in the Manila police department. He graduated from Manila High School in 1911 and also passed the civil service examination first grade.

He obtained his law degree in University of the Philippines in 1915. He was elected as a congressman from 1919 to 1925, then as a senator from 1925 to 1931. He then became as Secretary of Finance and Secretary of the Interior of the Commonwealth Government. He was a member of the Philippine Independence mission to Washington, D.C., for the passing of the Tydings-McDuffie Act in the US Congress that set the date of Philippine indepence in 1945.

When World War II broke, he became a guerilla leader and was captured by the Japanese and imprisoned him. He suffered the execution of his wife, and three of his five children.

After the Philippine liberation, he continued his public service. He became Senate President Pro-Tempore and later elected as vice-president in 1946. Quirino became president on April 17, 1948, two days after the death of Manuel Roxas and continued the latter's unexpired term. The next year, he became a president in his own right by winning the presidential election.

His administration faced a serious threat by the communists Huks. He declared amnesty to the Huks and made some negotiation with the leader. The negotiation broke when the Huks was not satisfied of their demand of reforms.

Another problems his administration faced was the economy, poverty and declining credibility of the government. He constructed progrmas to resolved these. The Quirino-Foster Agreement in 1950 provided $200 million loan to the country from the United States. He also introduced the policy of economic nationalism to promote local products. To boost agriculture, his government created the Agricultural Credit Cooperative Financing Administration (ACCFA) which extended loans to farmers and facilitated agricultural equipments. To restore the faith of the people to the government, he conducted weekly broadcast at Malacañang to inform the people of the activities of the government. To help the poor and the needy, the President's Action Committee on Social Amelioration (PACSA) was created. The government also approved the Minimum Wage Law who set the daily wage of laborers, teachers and other public employees.

He ran for re-election in 1953, but lossed to Ramon Magsaysay.

He retired to private life after his loss. He died of heart attack in February 29, 1958.

As a legacy, the formed province carved out from Nueva Vizcaya was named after him. Towns in Ilocos Sur, Isabela and Sultan Kudarat (Pres. Quirino) is also his namesake.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Our Ilocano Presidents

Among the 14 Philippine presidents, five are of Ilocano descent. Four are Tagalogs (Aguinaldo, Quezon, Laurel and Estrada), three Kapampangans (Macapagal, Aquino, and Arroyo), one Cebuano (Osmeña) and one Ilonggo (Roxas). Some even claimed that Aguinaldo is Ilocano and is related to the Aguinaldos of Ilocos Norte but it was never proven.

The truth that five Ilocanos had run the country, we can see that Ilocanos has the capability to lead. As been proven and seen in Philippine history, many Ilocanos became great leaders of revolts and propagandas when the country was under colonizers. From unknown farmers in Dingras rebellion to the World War II guerilla leaders, from Pedro Almazan to Gregorio Aglipay,and from Gabriela Silang to Josefa LLanes-Escoda.

When the Philippines became independent, a new face came for the Ilocano leadership. Before, they lead people in advocacies, propagandas and battles. Now, its the country to lead against economic problems and toward unity and progress.

Ferdinand Marcos when he was first running for a seat in Congress said to Ilocos Norte people, "Elect me now as your congressman and I promise an Ilocano president in 20 years".

But before this was fulfilled, Elpidio Quirino of Ilocos Sur became the first Ilocano president in 1948 after the death of Roxas. He was elected as a president the next year in his own right.

When Quirino ran for reelection in 1953, he was defeated by fellow Ilocano, Ramon Magsaysay of Zambales.

Magsaysay died in a plane crash in 1957 and was succeeded by then Vice President Carlos P. Garcia of Bohol. Garcia is of Ilocano descent because both of his parents were from Abra.

Next in line was Ferdinand Marcos of Ilocos Norte when he won the presidential election in 1965, thus fulfilling his prophetic speech that an Ilocano would become a president after 20 years.

Fidel V. Ramos of Pangasinan became the fifth Ilocano president in 1992.

The terms of these Ilocano presidents bacame big marks in Philippine history. And a strong proof that Ilocanos are great leaders. In the past, today, and the future, Ilocanos were, are, and will be always be a good leader. A leader to himself, to a family, to an organization, to a community and to every part of society.

As GIs anf FBIs

In Pinoy slang, two acronyms refer or describe an Ilocano. GI and FBI. No. They are not to impose that Ilocanos are GI soldiers or FBI agents.
GI stands for Genuine Ilocano and FBI for Full Blooded Ilocano.Its usually the non-Ilocanos who tag an Ilocano with these acronyms.
Why genuine?
A jewelry is only precious when it is genuine. A money bill is only worthy when it is genuine. A machine is at its best operation when it has genuine parts.
Why full blooded?
A person who is proud of his race can be prouder when he is full blooded of that race. A royalty can be more majestic when he is of full royal blood.
Now, we get the implication why there is the emphasis that an Ilocano is a GI or an FBI. Are Ilocanos as precious as gemstones that they should be genuine to be considered worthy? Are Ilocanos can be proud to say "Royal is my blood!"?When is an Ilocano considered genuine or full-blooded? Perhaps when both of his parents are Ilocano. And even maybe when a person who has not a drop of Ilocano blood but was born and grew up as Ilocano. I think this is the right measurement of the genuinity of an Ilocano as Ilocano. His pride of carrying the Ilocano blood, his boasts of showing Ilocano traits and trademarks and his not forgetting his hometown wherever life may take him.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ilocano Trademarks - Saluyot

Saluyot (jute, corchorus olitorius) is a plant usually grown for its edible leaves. Its dried and skinned stem are also processed to make ropes and paper.

Ilocanos love saluyot more than any other groups. It's abundance in most of Ilocano household backyards and vegetable gardens make it very accessible. They cooked it as dinengdeng (lone or mixed with other vegetables) or pinakbet (cooked with garlic and vinegar). They say they love its slippery texture in the mouth.

Because of this, Ilocanos are called Saluyot. Even Ilocanos refer each other as fellow Saluyot. In fact, an Ilocano publication of an Ilocano group in Metro Manila is called Saluyot.

Truly, this vegetable has become an Ilocano trademark.

Ilocano Delicacies - Pinakbet

Pinakbet is a popular Ilocano dish and has became known in the whole Philippines. Pinakbet is a contracted form of the Ilocano word pinakebbet, meaning shrunked or shrivelled. Pinakbet is cooked with bagoong (fermented fish) with native vegetables like tomato, bitter gourd (ampalaya), eggplant, string beans, okra, lima beans (patani), chili pepper, and other Filipino vegetables like parda, and winged beans. The Tagalog version (usually called pakbet) includes calabasa. Pinakbet is best when cooked in clay pot. As its name suggests, it is usually cooked until its almost dry and the vegetables are ahrivelled. In Ilocano fashion, it is not stirred until its cooked and ready to serve. The taste is determined by the right amount of bagoong and tomato (sometimes tomato sauce is used). Pork (bagnet in most cases) is added.

Pinakbet - an Ilocano pride. This dish may describe the life of the Ilocanos. How a healthy and delicious dish can evolve from a harsh and rugged, yet fruitful region of Ilocandia.

Josefa Llanes-Escoda

Josefa Llanes Escoda as a teacher, a social worker, suffragette but more known for her services during the World War II and as the founder of Girl Scout of the Philippines.
She was born on September 20, 1898 in Dingras, Ilocos Norte to Gabriel LLanes and Mercedes Madamba. She finished elementary in Dingras as a valedictorian and high school in Laoag. She went to Manila and entered Philippine Normal School and finished as a teacher. She moved her family to Manila after her father died. She teached in Jose Rizal College, University of Manila, Far Eatern university and Philippine Women's University while studying at night for her high school teacher's certificate in the University of the Philippines.
After she graduated in UP, she became a social worker for the American Red Cross. She was later sent to New York, America in 1925 for an intensive social worker training. She was the Philippine representative for Women's International League for Peace. There she met her husband, Antonio Escoda. In the same year she received her master's degree in social work granted by the Columbia University.
When she returned to the Philippines, she teached in UP and in UNiversity of Santo Tomas while serving as the editor of the Health Messenger, the magazine of Tubercolosis Commission of the Bureau of Health.
She also became the executive secretary of the Philippine Anti-Leprosy Society.
She joined the suffrage movement for the Filipino women's right to vote. She became the secretary of the General Council of Women. In December 7, 1933 women's vote was given to the Filipinas through Act 4112.
She waslater sent again to America to study Girl Scout and upon returning in the country sheestablished the Girl Scouts of the Philippines in 1937.
As a social worker, she established the Boy's Town for street children and free nursery schools.
When World War II broke, she together with her husband joined the Volunteer Social Aid and helped the FIlipino and American soldiers. She was one of those who helped the prisoners of the Death March and the prisoners in UST and in Los Baños.
Her husband was captured by the Japanese in June 1944 andwasimprisoned in Fort Santiago. She was also imprisoned in August and was tortured and interrogated for information but remained strong and silent. She was cleared of any charges by the Japanese and was offered to be freed but chose to remain with her husband. When the greater American force arrived in Luzon to free it from the Japanese. Battles occured in Manila and Josefa was last seen in Far Eastern University still captive of the Japanese.It was believed that she was executedby the Japanesein Chinese Cemetery.

Josefa Llanes-Escoda - an Ilocano pride. Her brilliance, compassion and patriotism is an emphasis how a Filipina women can greatly contribute in the protection, welfare and progress of a society.

Fr. Jose Burgos - The Champion of Filipino Clergy

Jose Apolonio Burgos was the youngest of the three Filipino Priest Martyrs collectively known as the GOMBURZA (Fathers Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora).

Born on February 9, 1837 in Vigan, Ilocos Sur to parents Don Jose Tiburcio Burgos and Florencia Garcia.

His first teacher was his mother then finished elementary in Vigan. He went to Manila and entered the Colegio de San Juan de Letran where he finished the Bachiller en Artes at the age of 17. He studied priesthood at University of Santo Tomas and conducted his first mass at the Paroquia del Sagrario de Intramuros.

With his liberal and and nationalist views, he made a courageous defense on the Filipino priesthood for ecclesiatical reforms. He penned articles in response to some written attacks on native clergymen. Because of these he earned the title "The Champion of Filipino Clergy" but incurred the hatred of the Spanish friars.

He was busy seeking reforms when the Cavite Mutiny broke out in 1872. Because of an unjustified testimony of a captured mutineer, the Spanish authorities captured Burgos along with other priests Father Gomez and Zamora. After a mock trial on February 15, 1872, they were sentenced to death by garrot. On February 17, 1872, they were executed in Bagumbayan (now Luneta). Burgos, at 35, was the last to die.

The martyr priests' death was a seminal event in the life of Dr.Jose Rizal, who inspired him to write his second novel as a nationalistic movement.

Jose Burgos - an Ilocano pride. His works on the defense of the Filipino clergymen and his martyrdom had inspired and ignite the flames for nationalism.

Gregorio Aglipay - The Revolutionary Priest

Gregorio Labayan Aglipay was a priest, a nationalist, a patriot and a guerilla leader.

He was born on May 8, 1898 in Batac, Ilocos Norte to Pedro Aglipay and Victoriana Labayan. Orphaned at early age, he grew up with the care of granduncles and grandaunts. He spent his boyhood in the fields helping in the planting of tobacco. When he was fourteen, he experienced resentment against the Spanish when he failed to meet the required quota of tobacco. He was arrested and brought before the gobernadorcillo.

He had his early education in Batac and later moved to Manila and entered the private school of a lawyer, Julian Carpio. With the help of an granduncle, he enrolled in San Juan de Letran where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts. He then entered University of Santo Tomas to study law. He later decided to become a priest and went to Vigan Seminary in 1833.

He was ordained on December 21, 1889 in Manila and celebrated his first mass in January 1890. For eight years he was destined to different parish in Luzon.

His last assignment was in Victoria Tarlac. During the revolution in 1896, he helped the revolutionaries. There he was remembered as a hero and liberator. The chief priest of Victoria ordered the execution of all males due to the information that many were involved in the revolution. As a coadjutor, he intervened and appealed to the Spanish friar and vouched for their innocence.

Aglipay was appoiinted by General Aguinaldo on October 20, 1898 as a military chaplain of the Revolutionary Government.

Later that year, he represented Ilocos Norte to the first Philippine Congress and participated in laying the Constitution.

He was promoted by Aguinaldo as a military vicar general in October 20, 1898. He used his rank to continue the work begun by Father Jose Burgos - the Filipinization of the Church in the Philippines. He wrote several manifestoes urging the Filipino clergymen to unite and establish a Church government by them. Because of this, he was excommunicated by the Catholic Church and judged guilty of inciting rebellion against the Church authorities.

He permanently end his ties to the Roman Catholic Church when he became the first supreme bishop of the newly established church, the Iglesia Filipina Independiente.

When the Philippine-American War broke, he became a guerilla leader and engaged the Americans in several encounters. When Aguinaldo was captured, Aglipay surrendered in Laoag, a month after.

Aglipay's desire for independence did not lose its fervor even after peace was restored. In the next three decades, he was active in the Philippine campaign for independence from American regime. He ran for presidency in 1935 against Manuel L. Quezon but lossed.

He married Pilar Jamias of Sarrat, Ilocos Norte on March 12, 1939.

He died the following year on September 1, 1940 in Manilaand was buried first in Aglipayan Cathedral in Tondo, and later in 1945, in the Temple of Maria Clara in Sampaloc. His remain was later transferred in his hometown Batac.

Antonio Luna

Antonio Luna was a Filipino pharmacist, a propagandist and a military general during the Filipino-American war.

He was born on October 29, 1866 in Urbiztondo, Manila to Don Joaquin Luna and Doña Laureana Novicio, both from prominent families of Badoc, Ilocos Norte. He was the younger brother of Juan Luna.

He enrolled at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila where he finished Bachelor of Arts in 1881. At University of Santo Tomas, he won the first prize for his work "Dos Cuerpos Fundamentales de Quimica" (Two Fundamental Bodies of Chemistry). He left for Europe and entered the University of Barcelona where he obtained his Licentiate in Pharmacy. In 1890, he got his degree in Doctor in Pharmacy by the Central University of Madrid.

As a pharmacist, he made researches such as his El Hematozoario de Paludismo which was a scientific treatise on malaria. He then tour the Europe, in countries like Belgium and France and work together with famous bacteriologist like Dr. Latteaux and Dr. Laffen. He was appointed by the Spanish government to study tropical and communicable diseases.

As a propagandist, he contributed to La Solidaridad and used the pen name Taga-Ilog. He wrote an article, Impresiones, that described his observation on Spanish customs and idiosyncrasies. He returned to the Philippines on 1894 and became an advocate in making the Philippines as an Spanish province and the Filipinos enjoying the rights and priveleges of an Spanish citizen. Because of his advocacy for liberalism, he was arrested and deported to Spain. He then left for Belgium where he studied military strategies under General Geral Leman.

In 1898, he returned to the Philippines, and was appointed by Gen. Aguinaldo as Chief of War Operations, and was assigned as a brigadier general. He then established a military academy in Malolos and recruited former generals of the 1896 Revolution as trainors. A Red Cross Chapter was also established. Luna proved to be a strict disciplinarian. For instance, Gen. Pedro Janolino was relieved when his Kawit batallion refused to fight during the battle of Kalookan. Because of his disciplinary measures, he created enemies among officials and civilian troops.

At the Fall of Marilao on March 29, 1899, he was crushed not only by the defeat but by the lack of discipline among Filipino troops. He tendered his resignation but Aguinaldo refused to accept it. He continued to fought gallantly against the Americans in Pampanga, Tarlac and Pangasinan.

On June 4, 1899, he received a telegram from Aguinaldo for a conference in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. When he arrived the next day, he found out that Aguinaldo had moved in Pampanga. He cursed the president and the guards which were the same men he relieved during the Battle of Kalookan. As he was leaving, he was treacherously shot and stabbed by Aguinaldo's men. He was hurriedly buried in the convent.

Antonio Luna's death was a great loss and a deciding factor on the campaign against the Americans. With the most capable general dead, Aguinaldo's troop suffered great losses that lead to the capture of the president.

Antonio Luna - an Ilocano pride. His brilliance as a scientist, his advocacy in liberalism, and his military genius.

Artemio Ricarte

Artemio Ricarte was a general during the Philippine Revolution against Spain and during the Filipino - American War.

He was born on October 22, 1866 in Batac, Ilocos Sur to Faustino Ricarte and Bonifacia Garcia. He took his early education in Batac then enrolled at Colegio de San Juan de Letran and finished Bachelor of Arts. He studied for teaching profession at the University of Santo Tomas and then at Normal School. He was sent to supervise a primary school in San Francisco de Malabon (now Gen. Trias, Cavite). There during the dawn of Philippine Revolution, he joined the Katipunan and adopted the code name Vibora (viper).

He lead the attack of the Spanish garrison in San Francisco de Malabon and crushed it on August 31, 1896. He was apponited by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo as a brigadier general and was elected as captain general during the Tejeros Convention. He lead the battles in Cavite, Laguna and Batangas. He was then appointed by Aguinaldo to supervise the surrender of arms in Biak-na-Bato, San Miguel, Bulacan.

When the Filipino-American War broke in 1899, he was the Chief of Operations of the Filipino forces in second zone along Manila. He was captured in 1900 and was deported to Guam together with Apolinario Mabini.

They were returned to Manila in 1903 and was supposed to be released if they took their oath of allegiance to America. Mabini confined, because he was ill. Ricarte refused so he was again deported, this time to Hong Kong. He secretly returned to Manila with the hope of rekindling the revolution but he was captured because of the prize money allocated by the Americans for his capture. Again he was deported to Hong Kong. He and his wife later moved to Yokohama, Japan in self-exile. They lived there until the start of World War II when the Japanese flew him back to the Philippines to help them pacify the Filipinos.

He died on July 31, 1945 in Kalinga.

Artemio Ricarte - an Ilocano pride. His bravery and tough stand of his nationalism is a good example.

Gabriela Silang - The Philippine Joan of Arc

Maria Josefa Gabriela Cariño Silang was the first Filipino woman to lead a revolt against the Spaniards. She joined the movement of his husband Diego when he started the revolt to free Ilocos.

Born on March 19, 1731 in Caniogan, Santa, Ilocos Sur. She was adopted by a wealthy businessman Don Tomas Millan who later became her husband at her age of 20. He died three years after without a child. She remarried at 1757 with Diego Silang.

She was an active member of his husband's force against the colonizers. When Diego was killed, she reorganized the troops and continued the will of his husband to drive the Spanish off from Ilocos. She lead the attacks against the Spanish for four months. The Spanish made big efforts to capture her. Because of this, she retreated to Pidigan, Abra and established some headquarters. She also convinced the Tinguians to help her fight.

On September 10, 1873, the fierce battle between Gabriela's troops and the Spanish occured in Vigan. They faced a larger army of the enemy with the help of Tagalogs, Kapampangans and some Ilocano conspirators. Many was killed on her side. She escaped along with her Uncle Nicolas and seven remaining members. They were later caught in Santa on September 29, 1763. They were summarily hanged in the plaza of Vigan with Gabriela being the last to die.

Gabriela Silang - an Ilocano pride. Her bravery and ferocity signifies the role of the Filipino women in the liberation of the Philippines during foreign colonization.

Pedro Ambaristo and the Basi Revolt

Pedro Ambaristo lead one unique revolt against the Spanish colonizers on September 16, 1807. It was called the Basi revolt as it revolved in the love of the Ilocanos in their native wine basi (sugarcane wine).

This was to protest the Spanish expatriation of the production and sale of the wine basi by the natives on 1786. The Spanish administered the production of basi and Ilocanos were forced to buy from their stores. But on September 16, 1807, Ilocanos from Piddig, Ilocos Norte lead by Ambaristo rose in revolt. The movement quickly spread in nearby towns. The troops move southward toward Vigan which was the central government of the Spanish in Ilocos at that time, capturing each town they passed by from Spanish authorities. On September 28, 1807, the final battle occured in Bantaoay River (now an area in Gongogong, San Ildefonso, Ilocos Sur). The revolutionaries were defeated because the Spanish troops were well-prepared to defend Vigan from them. Ambaristo and two other leaders were captured and they were hanged in the plaza of Vigan the following day.

The bicentennial celebration of the Basi Revolt was commemorated this year in the site of the revolt's historical last battle in San Ildefonso, Ilocos Sur.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ilocano Trademarks - The Rolling 'R'

Q: What is the Ilocano for helicopter?
A: Chopperrrr!
Q: How about traffic?
A: Bumperrrr to bumperrrr!

Of course this is a joke. It tries to humorize how Ilocanos rolled the 'r' in the end of a syllable. There is also this song "Bumper to Bumper" by Bituin Escalante which exaggerates the rolling 'r' in words like passenger, flyover, etc. This has became an identity of Ilocano pronounciation. Ilocanos were not aware about this but non-Ilocanos often notice it and try to exaggerate it when they mimicked the heavy 'r' accent.

They say, Ilocanos were identified when they speak because of the rolling 'r' pronounciation. I was amazed when Deo Macalma, an Ilocano anchorman of DZRH in Manila once identified a caller as a fellow Ilocano when the caller spoke the word importante.

The 'r' is really a trademark of the Ilocanos and how they speak it. It can be found in many words of the Ilocano vocabulary. Comparing to other ethno-linguistic groups in the Philippines like those natives of Cordillera which can not pronounce 'r' and the Tagalogs which has a very few 'r' in their vocabulary (when the borrowed foreign words are not included). It maybe considered that the Spanish has a heavy influence in the Ilocano language. The Spanish has the rolling 'r' accent. Spanish verbs (which all ends in 'r') is very numerous in the present Ilocano language. Words like abandonar, kuntar (contar), kortar (cortar), labar (lavar), proponer, pundir, eksplikar (explicar), desidir, komprar are some of the derived Spanish verbs which are now part of the present Ilocano vocabulary.

And yes! Ilocanos always stress the 'r'...

Ilocano Heroes - Juan Luna, The Great Filipino Painter

Juan Luna was a patriot, but he was more known as the great Filipino painter if not the greatest. He was born on October 23, 1857 in Badoc, Ilocos Norte to parents Joaquin Luna and Laurena Novicio.
He received his first education at the Ateneo de Manila Municipal. He became an apprentice officer at the Escuela Nautica de Manila on 1873 and received his certificate as a seaman at age 17. While pursuing this course he took painting lessons at the Academia de Dibujo y Pintura of Fr. Agustin Saiz.

Later in 1877 he left for Barcelona for advanced painting lessons as he was encouraged by Don Lorenzo Guerrero, his first painting tutot. He entered Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid where he received the school's only academic prize at that year. He also took private lesons under Alejo Vera, a famous contemporary painter in Spain. Vera took him in high regard and brought him to Rome to undertake certain commissions.

In Rome, Luna was exposed to the immortal works of the Renaissance. In here he painted his "Daphne e Cleo" where he received a silver palette from the Liceo Artistico de Manila. He exhibited several works at the National Exposition of Fine Arts in 1881 where he received silver medal with "The Death of Cleopatra".

While in Rome, Luna worked on the Spoliarium. It was said that the scene in this painting was based on the situation of the Filipinos under the Spanish government. He entered it at the National Exposition of Fine Arts in 1884 where he won one of the three gold medals. Because of his growing fame, he received several government commissions. With these commissions that he produced his many great canvases like the Peuple et Rois, Espa Filipnas and the Battle of Lepanto where he won his second gold medal at the Barcelona Exposition.

In 1885, he moved and established a studio in Paris. His studio became a gathering place of the Filipino community there. It was here that Jose Rizal together with other Filipinos organized the Indios Bravos. The following year, 1886, he married Maria de la Paz Paz Pardo de Tavera, a prominent Filipina, with whom he had a son, Andres.
"Parisian Life", also know as "Interim d'un Café" was painted in 1892. It won a silver medal at the St. Louis Exposition (World Fair) held in 1904.

At the center of the delicately painted masterpiece is a young and pretty woman languidly sitting in sofa. But more important, historically, is the scene at the side of the painting which shows our national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, Dr. Ariston Bautista-Lin and Dr. Juan C. Luna in a vivid conversation.
Luna`s marriage ended in tragedy. In a fit of jealousy over his suspicion of infidelity on the part of his wife, he killed his wife and her mother and wounded his brother-in-law, Felix, on September 23, 1892. He was acquitted of the charge of parricide and murder by the French court on February 7, 1893. He was subsequently convicted in 1893 and sentenced to pay the victims' immediate kin but one franc each for their loss, as the court had deemed the murders a crime of passion. Later he moved with his son to Madrid, where he finished few paintings.
After an absence of 17 years he returned to the Philippines on April 27, 1894. While in Manila, he finished some Philippine scenes. Early in 1896, he again departed, this time for Japan. He returned a few weeks after the Cry of Balintawak. On the evening of September 16, 1896, he was arrested and confined for complicity in the Katipunan revolt and imprisoned at Fort Santiago. He was among those pardoned during the birthday of King Alfonso XIII on May 27, 1897. The following month, he left for Spain to work for the release of his brother Antonio.
In 1898, after the United States defeated Spain in the Spanish-American War, the executive board of the Philippine revolutionary government appointed him as a delegate to the Paris convention, working for the diplomatic recognition of the Philippine Republic. When the Treaty of Paris was signed on December 10, 1899, he was named a member of the delegation to Washington, D.C. to press for the recognition of the Philippine sovereignity and independence.
Upon hearing the death of his brother Antonio, Luna hurriedly returned to Hong Kong from Europe. He suddenly died on December 7, 1899, because of heart attack. He was buried in Hong Kong. His remains were exhumed in 1920 and were kept in the house of his son, to be later transferred to a niche at the Crypt Chapel of San Agustin.
Among his last paintings was El Pacto de Sangre which won a first prize in Paris and at the St. Louis Exposition, USA in 1904, five years after his death.

Juan Luna - an Ilocano pride. His genius in painting showed the Ilocano artistry and his love of the country.

Ilocano Heroes - Diego Silang

Perhaps he was the greatest Ilocano revolutionary leader during the Spanish colonization.
Diego Silang y Andaya was born in Aringay, Pangasinan (now an area in Aringay/Caba, La Union) on December 16, 1730.
He was a messenger of a Spanish priest in Vigan, Ilocos Sur and travelled to Manila from Ilocos in line of his work. During these travels that he saw the many colonial injustices and these lead him for rebellion. He then wanted to end these abuses and to overthrow the Spanish government in Ilocos and establish an independent Ilocos nation.
When the British came and captured Manila from the Spanish, he conspired with them by offering his help to lead Ilocano forces against the Spanish in the North. In turn he was appointed as governor of Ilocos in their place and promised him military reinforcement.
He lead the attack of Vigan and imprisoned the priests when they resisted his demand to leave Ilocos and transfer the government to Ilocano natives. He victored many more battles over Ilocos.

But Ilocos was not freed as he wanted under his leadership because he was killed on May 28, 1763, by an Spanish-Ilocano mestizo, Miguel Vicos, who was one of his friends.
After his death, the revolt was continued by his wife Gabriela.

Diego Silang - an Ilocano pride. His shown bravery and patriotism is an inspiration to every Filipino.

Ilocano Heroes - Pedro Almazan, King of Ilocos

He was known as the leader of the first Ilocano revolt against the Spaniards. He was the rich leader of San Nicolas. Along with the leader of Bangui, Juan Magsanop, they planned secretly to free Ilocos from the Spaniards. When the Pangasinense revolt led by Andres Malong in 1660 and the Spaniard troops left Ilocos to fought the revolt in Pangasinan they find the best time to . They contacted another leader, Gaspar Cristobal, the chief of Laoag. Cristobal burned the church of Laoag as a sign of his support. They also sought the help of the Kalingas also to kill the Spaniards.

The Ilocanos and the Kalingas crowned Pedro Almazan with a stolen crown of a statue from the burned church. They proclaimed "Long live Manong Almazan, the King of Ilocos". The people waved banners in the street.
The revolt reached the towns of Cabicungan (now Claveria) and Pata (now Claveria) in Cagayan.
On February 1661, the revolt was known by the Spaniards in southern part of Ilocos who were then celebrating the victory over the Zambals and Pangasinenses. They sent a large troop led by Lorenzo Arqueros along with some natives of Cagayan and Southern Ilocos and attacked Almazan's troops. They were taken in sudden so Almazan retreated his troop to the forest. The Spaniards followed them with the help of the natives. Juan Magsanop's group were the first to be captured. Before the Spaniards captured Magsanop, he killed himself with a knife.
When Almazan's group was surrounded next. Filled with rage, Almazan attacked the enemy and died while fighting.
With the two leaders dead the rest of the troop escaped and the revolt ended.

Pedro Almazan - an Ilocano pride. His love of his native land that lead him fighting the enemies until his last breath is a good picture of patriotism.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ilocano Language

The Ilocano language is the third largest in the Philippines according to the number of native speakers. Approximately 10 million people speak it around the world.

Like other Philippine languages, it is predominantly Malayo-Polynesian significantly mixed with large Spanish words. Some Chinese and English words were also mixed to which is now the modern Ilocano language.

Ilocano is the lingua franca in the Northern Philippines. Other ethno-linguistic groups in the area like the Igorots, Itnegs, Ibanags etc. can speak the language more than the national language Tagalog.

The migrated Ilocanos in other places preserved their native tongue.It is so widely used that in Hawaii and California, there are schools who teach the language. This is due to the Ilocanos who live in these places in large number.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ilocano History

The present Ilocanos are descendants of mixed race predominantly of the Austronesian (Malay) race. Chinese, Indian and Spanish bloods are significantly mixed.

The early Austronesian ancestors of the Ilocanos arrived in the Philippines through barangays (boats) and settled the coastal side of northwestern Luzon. When the Spanish conquered the Philippines, an exploration led by Juan de Salcedo led him to the coastal towns of now Vigan, Currimao and Laoag. He find the people living in coves and described them as more barbarous than the Tagalogs in Manila.
When he conquered this place he established a province called ILOCOS which originally comprises the now provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and parts of Abra and La Union (shown on map).
During the Spanish colonial era especially in 1800s, migrations were initiated to other parts of Luzon due to some reasons aside from increasing population. Others who look for more fertile land went eastward to the wider plains of Cagayan Valley and down to Central Luzon. One of the more significant reason of the migration was that Ilocanos were chosen by the Spaniards to help them colonize the other parts of Luzon and evangelize the people.
Later migration was during the American period. When the Americans penetrated the Cordillera, Ilocanos were asked for help and were encouraged to settle just like the establishment of the city of Baguio. It was also during this era that migration in Hawaii and later in California was opened because of the needed Filipino labor in these American territories.
After the World War II, governement sponsored migration invited the Ilocanos to migrate in Mindanao especially in Cotabato, Davao, Sultan Kudarat and Zamboanga. Other migration led the Ilocanos in Mindoro, Babuyan Island and Palawan.
Today, the Ilocano diaspora has reached the whole face of the globe.

Ilocano Pride Site Begin's Today!

October 10 will be marked red in the calendar as this blog is officially started this date.
This site is called Ilocano Pride as it will tackle how proud the Ilocanos are with their pagka-Ilokano. It will contain different topics that will show the Ilocano ancestry, culture, language and most of all the people. Great Ilocanos in the past and at present will be showcased, history, present and future events and everything that will relate to this blog theme will be rendered.
Yes, Ilocano Pride, but why not the language itself will be used in this site? Simply because this site is not only for Ilocanos but for everybody who will visit this site. Anyone who is not Ilocano will learn how proud is the Ilocano race. For the Ilocanos, it will teach them more why they should be always keep the flame of this Ilocano pride.