Creative Writing:Towards the Enrichment of Pangasinan and Ilocano Literature by F. Sionil Jose

The University of Pangasinan, in celebration of its 84th Foundation Anniversary and the conferment of the Degree Doctor of Humanities Honoris Causa upon Prof. Francisco Sionil Jose (National Artist for Literature, 2001 & Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts, 1980), conducted a Writers’ Conference last February 11, 2009 at the University of Pangasinan Language Institute which was participated in by teachers and students of creative writing, journalists and other writing enthusiasts.

The activity was envisioned as an opportunity to promote the use of Pangasinan as a medium of literary / creative writing.

Prof. F. Sionil Jose talked about Creative Writing:Towards the Enrichment of Pangasinan and Ilocano Literature.

Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the seminar. Here is a copy of Prof. F.Sionil Jose’s speech during the occasion (downloaded from our yahoogroups, ulupannasaraytagapangasinan):

Rosales where I was born is close to the borders of Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. My forefathers were Ilokanos who migrated to this part of the province at the turn of the 19th century; they had intended to go to the Cagayan Valley but were enamored by the lure of the verdant plains of eastern Pangasinan and they decided to settle there instead. In the early thirties, as a boy, I witnessed this migration; the Ilokanos came in their bull carts with their plows the uprooted posts of their houses and weaving looms. They parked in the town plaza for the night. They were all Ilokanos; some of those who came in bull carts were Pangasinan traders with coconut candy (bocayo) dried fish, salt and bagoong to sell.

There was commerce and, of course, intermarriage and one of my cousins married a pretty girl from Calasiao.

I got interested in history, having read Rizal’s novels in Grade School, and concentrated on the Revolution of 1896 after I learned that my grandfather was in it. I came to know so many details, the building of the railroad to Dagupan, the flight of Aguinaldo’s aid Colonel Villa, the father of the poet Jose Garcia Villa, described the town of San Carlos as surrounded by jungle still. This was, mind you, in 1899. Such details were retrieved when I wrote POON the first novel in my Rosales saga. In the novel, too, there is a girl from Lingayen whose family was killed by pirates of the Ilokos coast. This heroic woman becomes the wife of Istak, the novel’s main character, who follows Aguinaldo to Tirad Pass.

I cite all these to impress upon you the importance of Pangasinan in my work, and of history to all of us. This province, aside from one of the richest and the largest in the country, is a focal point of history. It is here were Limahong was based, where Princess Urduja—whether real or not—reign, where Palaris fought the Spaniards. Close by is the beach where the Japanese landed in 1941 and where the Americans and MacArthur returned in 1945. Indeed, Pangasinan province occupies a precious niche in our country’s history.

I am sorry to note that Pangasinan as a literary language is waning. It should not and I am glad that there is an effort now to revive it. Santiago B. Villafania has just published a book of sonnets in Pangasinan. I hope that one of these days; this University will set up a Center of Pangasinan Studies to record the culture, the contribution of the people of Pangasinan to the national trove.

Having said these let me now thank the University for honoring me as a writer. Most Filipino’s, our leaders included, do not consider literature important— it is only storytelling and, therefore, mere entertainment. Moreover, although our national hero was a novelist, Filipinos do not read novels.

I will dispute these common assumptions if only to rationalize my vocation—for writing is indeed a vocation. Writers are historians, too. It is in literature that the greater truths about a people and their past are found. Perceptive scholars read the literature of societies they are studying for this reason, and more. A people’s culture is best dredged and understood from their literature.

Writers are also the ultimate teachers for it is only in literature that we learn ethics—not in classes in religion or theology. The literary depiction of life and its moral dilemmas compels us to use our conscience, to make those infallible distinctions between right and wrong.

Today, more than any time in our history, we need to be ethical. More than this vital function, literature anchors us tenaciously to the land in its evocation of time and place. It helps construct the sense of identity and preserve our racial memory without which there is no nation. Just remember this, what is England without Shakespeare, Greece without Homer, Spain without Cervantes. Great writers helped shape the identities of these equally great nations.

What is our history/ it is so many centuries of colonialism, of Filipinos oppressed by foreign powers? Colonialism subdues in many dulcet guises. It conquered under the pretext of spreading Christianity, civilization, law and order. To make the world safe for democracy. As an African writer said, “The European missionaries came and told us to close our eyes and pray. And we did, but when we opened our eyes, our lands were gone.”

To paraphrase this, I now say, the Americans told us to go to school to be educated, and we did but when we left school, we realized that we have lost our souls.

What is the logic of colonialism? It is very simple—exploitati on. The imperialist has no compunction about exploiting a people then sending his native land. When I visited Spain for the first time in 1955, I saw those magnificent churches, even the humblest chapels, and found their altars gorgeously gilded with silver was plundered by the conquistador from Mexico, from South America.

If colonialism, by whatever devious way it seduces is exploitation, therefore, colonialism is immoral.

I say this emphasize this for there are so many among us who apologize for Spanish or American colonialism. As Rizal also said, slaves get to love their chains.

I come from a barrio where the agrarian problem still rankles. From the Spanish regime onwards, peasant uprisings were common all over Filipinas. My forefathers, unlettered Ilokano peasants who migrated to eastern Pangasinan were victimized by the mestizo ilustrados who stole the land my forebears clawed from the forest. In 1931 the colorum peasant uprising erupted in Tayug, Pangasinan close to my hometown. And in 1935, the Sakdal revolt engulfed parts of Laguna, Bulacan and Nueva Ecija. In the early 1950’s when I was in the old Manila times, the Huk uprising was its zenith. All these were lucid precursors of the New People’s Army rebellion which exacerbates and torments us to this very day.

In pleading for agrarian reform in the fifties, just as I still do today, I quoted the American social reformer; Wendell Philip’s who said, “If land is in the hands of a few, you don’t have a democracy. You have an oligarchy.”

Infused with the virus of colonialism, these elites have no loyalty to this country, they have no faith in the talent of Filipinos. And because they have no filthy to this nation, they send their loot abroad—the Chinese mestizos to China and to Taiwan, the Spanish mestizos to Spain and Europe, and the Indios like Marcos send their billions to Switzerland, to America, instead of keeping those moneys here to modernized this country, to create new industries, so that our women need not go abroad to work as housemaids and prostitutes- –so that the bulk of you will not leave your families in search for greener pastures.

I have stated simply our national malaise, the reason for our poverty. For so many decades, I have also suggested a solution—national ism directed to the upliftment of the common Filipino. This, the Filipino peasant understands instinctively Pedro Calosa who led the Colorum uprising in Tayug in 1931 explained it to me so succinctly, so simply. “God created land, air and water for all men, not just for one man or one family. It is against God’s laws for one man or one family to own all of it.”

Nationalism is to be lived, it is not just the flag, or the singing of the national anthem. The nationalist icons of my generation Recto and Tanada were merely anti-American; both opposed agrarian reform in the Fifties, the single most important political action that would have provided social justice for the millions who are oppressed.

Nationalism is education, the wisdom for us to elect public officials we can be proud of, not ignoramus movie stars and basketball players.

Nationalism means being rooted in this soil acting out the truth, which is justice in action. This justice is not an abstraction, for our very poor it is three meals a day. Are you aware that today so many poor Filipinos eat only once a day? Education for our children, medicine, and medical care for the poor who are sick. When government cannot assure these to its citizens, it commits violence. Who promote bad government? The crooked politician, the racketeering businessman, the traitorous oligarch.

Do we ostracize them? NO, we glorify them in front pages of our newspapers, we give them awards, we give them awards, we invite them to grace our social gatherings when we should spit at their faces, or at the very least, turn our backs to them.
How long will it take us to turn this country around? Look at Vietnam now; after it had resolved its internal contradiction and defeated the Americans in 1975 – it is well on the way to progress, it could even surpass us. Look at Japan after the Meiji Restoration in 1886-in thirty years, it had become a major power, defeating Russia in 1901. Look at Korea, Taiwan, even Japan again after World War II. After the rubble of the Korean War in 1953, or the flight of the Nationalists to Taiwan in 1949, in one generation they were able to develop into dynamic countries they are today. And Singapore next door- what was it in the 1950’s? No more than a backwater port not much different from Binondo.

It is not just the oligarchy then that is the enemy- it is us ourselves. And education will resolve our difficulties and catapult us towards prosperity and peace. My generation was influenced by barnacled ideas, by Marxism, by anti-Americanism which in some instances is legitimate, but these ideologies are not enough. I am glad that it has started, this long and tedious process of reexamination, of education and change that is so difficult and painful to achieve.

And this education is not just learning how to produce cheaper and better products as did Korea and Taiwan. It has to do with our insides, our guts. It involves imbibing in our blood stream iron confidence, deep and lasting pride in our sinews so that our very rich won’t send their monies abroad. They will then stop erecting shopping malls, fancy condominiums, plush resorts and golf courses; they will start building instead more factories, more research facilities, so that our brilliant young people will stay. How wonderful it would be our if our banks do not behave like pawn shops but as sources of venture capital, if our businessmen realize that money is like fertilizer, to do any good it must be spread around.

We are now 90 million- just think of this population not as a liability but as an asset, a mass market. Remember, too, that Japan was only 60 million when it challenged the United States in 1941. We don’t need to challenge a foreign power- all we have to do now is challenge ourselves.

Look deep within ourselves, and remember, that the indelible love of this earth and people is in the heart, that when it dies there, no constitution can ever revive it.

Let me remind you-we have many things to be proud of, not just Manny Pacquiao. A corrupt leadership? Ramon Magsaysay, Jose W. Diokno, Manny Pelaez – Raul Manglapus –just a few sterling names to wash away the perception. Just think of our history – -of our recent past. Remember the Battle of Tirad Pass in December in 1899, where the young general Gregorio del Pilar and 48 of his men died defending against the invading American Texas Rangers. It is no different from the Battle of Thermopylae in ancient Greece, where King Leonidas and his Spartans died to a man defending that pass against the invading Persians.

We mounted the first Asian revolution against Western imperialism and set up Asia’s first Republic in Malolos in 1898. More than any country in Southeast Asia, we fought the Japanese bravely, in World War II. Not just in Bataan but in a nationwide guerilla war. All of thus is forgotten. And Rizal – what country has ever produced someone like him, a poet, a novelist, a linguist, a medical doctor, an anthropologist and a martyr at 35.

We go through life remembering those soothing bromides, those gladsome messages from the ancients and hope that we will be guided by them. Let us then hearken to Mabini’s Decalogue, the Ten Commandments.

In this rickety age of 84 and still writing, I recall how, when death was at his doorstep, Alexander the Great had asked that he be buried with his hand outstretched and empty to show to the world, half of which is his dominion- that he was not bringing anything with him to the grave, not even a clod of earth. If all rich Filipinos imbibed this truth in their bones, we will be a prosperous nation.

I need not tell you of all the brutal reality outside, that the air is foul, that the people are unkind, and that the powerful who hand out jobs can be finicky and callous. I hope that you are spiritually prepared, and iron hearted enough to face this reality of our unhappy country.

I pray, too, that you will remember always that you are not Pangasinan, Tagalog or Ilokano, but that you are Filipino, heir to an exalted past which tells us that in our genes are the eternal codes of what we truly are, a heroic people.

This is it. Prof. Sonny Villafania asked FSJ about this speech and indeed, there was an error. This is the correct version:

“I pray, too, that you will remember always that you are not only Pangasinan, Tagalog or Ilokano, but that you are Filipino, heir to an exalted past which tells us that in our genes are the eternal codes of what we truly are, a heroic people.”


About Ka Loren
Siak ni Florentino B. Lorenzana, maysa a Filipino, Ilokano ken Pangasinan. Naiyanakak innem a bulan kalpasan ti deklarasion ti Martial Law ditoy Pilipinas. Madama a makumikom iti tignay kooperatiba.

29 Responses to Creative Writing:Towards the Enrichment of Pangasinan and Ilocano Literature by F. Sionil Jose

  1. Jose Luzadas says:

    Leon Ma Guerrero, F Sionil Jose and Nick Joaquin are Rizalists who look at Rizal’s patriotism is shown every time he mentioned his motherland FILIPINAS. The Spanish writer, Retana cannot help but admire Rizal that altho Spain educated Rizal, the latter ALWAYS look unto FILIPINAS, his motherland!

    No wonder Guerrero called Rizal and titled his book “The First Filipino” for the man from Calamba, Laguna considered himself always first as a FILIPINO before personally identifying himself, a TAGALOG.

    It was Rizal who first commented that had Palaris did not dream to be “King” of Pangasinan, Apolinario dela Cruz, “King” of Tagalogs or Almazan aspire to be the “King” of Ilocanos, and instead harnessed their forces into one solid army of Filipinos the prospect and history of native uprisings against Spain should not end in dismal failure. In short, regional pride is worst as “divide et impera” or divide and rule that Spain used since Legaspi started colonization of native tribes along with Father Urdaneta.

    Jose Sison Luzadas
    Toronto, CANADA

  2. brainteaser says:

    Manong, patalastas man biit, hehehehehe!

    Agbirbirukak iti babai a mannurat iti Pangasinan (Pangasinense) a mabalinko koma nga interbyuen. Itaka laeng a napanunot a pagdamagan no adda am-ammom, yor, now that I am nearing my deadline. Waaaa! Adda kadi, Manongski?

    Padawat man email mo ‘la ta agimailak iti details. 🙂

  3. Ka Loren says:

    Hi ading, he he hehe.

    Kalkalpasko ti napan nagpatulong sadiay ayan ti yahoo group ti tagaPangasinan. Maymayat pay no pasiarem ni Sir Sonny Villafania sadiay Dalityapi. Adu ti am-ammona a writers ti Pangasinan. Siak? Feeling Pangasinan nak laeng, bwa ha ha ha.

    Ngem no adda ti sungbatda, i emailko a dagus kenka.

  4. ELIment says:

    hahaha… di nga oo ang nasa isip ko kase sabi nya, ilocano ka man, pangasinan o tagalog pinoy ka parin…medyo nagkawindang windang ata ang isip ko nung binasa ko ito at hindi ko gaanong naunawaan. parang call of unity kase ang naging dating sa akin. hehe i didnt able to read between lines. poor comprehansion minsan ang kabsat mo. hehe

  5. Ka Loren says:

    Ka Eli:

    Tamaka na!

    May pagbabago sa speech ni FSJ. Tinanong mismo ni Prof. Villafania si FSJ. May ‘only’ daw ang kanyang speech he he he.

  6. ELIment says:

    hahaha… di nga oo ang nasa isip ko kase sabi nya, ilocano ka man, pangasinan o tagalog pinoy ka parin…medyo nagkawindang windang ata ang isip ko nung binasa ko ito at hindi ko gaanong naunawaan. parang call of unity kase ang naging dating sa akin. hehe pero kung iisaisahin at babasahin between words, medyo hindi nga maganda. hehe.

  7. Akatongtong ko ira di Sir Frankie nen Sabado (15 Marso) no iner agawa so meeting na PEN Philippines ed Silidaridad Bookstore.

    Atepet ko ed sikara ima’y balikas da ed UPang tan say iba’t da nakal ed sipi ima’y salitan “ONLY”.

    Nia so duga: “I pray, too, that you will remember always that you are not only Pangasinan, Tagalog or Ilokano, but that you are Filipino, heir to an exalted past which tells us that in our genes are the eternal codes of what we truly are, a heroic people.”

    Labay dan ipaneknek so yaaboloy tan suporta da ed ibulaslas na nanduruman salita ed lapag a bansa laut la ed salita tan kuritan na Pangasinan.

  8. Ka Loren says:

    Sir Sonny:

    Salamat ed sikayo ta akapasial kayodya ed abongko, he he he.

    Tan salamat met ed sayan koreksion. Natan anta tayo la su tuan nunot nen FSJ.

    Pasyal kayo labat dia no walay orasyo sir.

  9. joepadre says:

    Whoa, that’s me Ariel aimed that Nobel torpedo at! Fair game, I suppose, but to disdain my unadulterated wish(ful thinking) for our Filipino writers to aspire to a level of excellence has the moral equivalence of dumbing down my, or maybe even our, lofty expectations. What’s wrong with hoping for the best? Hitching your dreams to a star?

    In “How the Nobel Laureates in Literature are chosen” [], there’s no requirement that a nominee writes in the language of his people. The alleged critics’ knock on FSJ’s use of English in his works, saying that “Jose would never make it in the Nobel because he never wrote in the language of his people; he wrote his ‘masterpieces’ in the language of other people…” is completely off the point considering that Section 7, Article XIV, of the 1987 Constitution [] provides that “For purposes of communication and instruction, the official languages of the Philippines are Filipino and, until otherwise provided by law, English…”

    I’m fully aware that there have been issues of how winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature had been selected in the past as mentioned in “Nobel Prize in Literature” [], but they have not succeeded in removing the polish off this international literary prize.

    As to the nit-picking on FSJ’s speech, well, when you come across “…they have no filthy to this nation…” [when it’s obvious he meant to use fealty] and a few other construction lapses elsewhere you begin to wonder if the piece was probably inadequately transcribed—you just have to try to get his message in context. That is not hard to do given the man’s extensive body of works and opinions.

    On the “Paulit-ulit daytoy a litania ni Jose” comment, I personally think that’s relatively not a serious flaw considering that it would appear that we even think God himself has a serious memory problem (how could we!) and so we structured our prayer, “Holy Mary…” and so many other prayers with so many “paulit-ulits”. The truth is FSJ’s litany on colonial mentality, which is at the root of a lot of our problems as a nation struggling to emerge from centuries of colonial past, rubs us the wrong way because we know we are guilty as hell and that’s why we tend to simply dismiss it like it was, um, slimy mucous.

  10. Ka Loren says:

    I already made the corrections you asked Kakang.

    In pauli-ulit, maybe FSJ keep on repeating his thesis because he is still not satisfied of the results.

  11. aurelioagcaoili says:

    This is the trouble when our notion of nation and state is still the one we copied, via the neocolonial project of Quezon (read the proceedings of the 1934-35 ConCon!) that relied on his misplaced reverence for what France, Spain, Germany and GB had done to their peoples and languages in the name of their centrist notion of nation-state. The idea of centrist nationalism in the Jose discourse must be exposed for its negative and negating instrumental (dis)value: we have to cease existing so that the Manila-Tagalog-centered nation will continue to exist for the greater glory of this Philippines that we love but has not learned to love us in return! Susmariojosef a santa maria a babassit a santa maria a dadakkel! Apo Dios a manangngaasi! Daytoy ti problema no ti kasasaom ket dagiti baniaga nga agsipsiput no mabalinka a pang-Nobel Prize iti Literatura wenno saan. Ah, those anecdotes from Republic of the Academy that we know very well. Some critics say that Jose would never make it in the Nobel because he never wrote in the language of his people; he wrote his ‘masterpieces’ in the language of other people, mostly those in the academe that produce, in an incestuous way, knowledge for the academe, for the elite. Where is Salvador dela Raza in this discourse, pray, tell me? He died for his people, remember? Or are we seeing the reproduction of Antonio Samson whose elite education in that useless history of the elite of the Philippines is serving as a template for your national conversation? Enlighten me!

  12. Ka Loren says:

    Ka VF:

    Saanko maawatan ti kayatmo nga ibaga, he he he, iti daytoy: “….ngannganidak kinilaw a sibibiag idi kadagitoy a pammati.”

  13. Ka Loren says:

    Sir Fred:

    First of all, I would like to express my apology because I dangled the sentence “our enemies are ourselves”. It was out of topic in my previous reaction.

    Anyway, your points are one of the best and specific interpretations of the sentence “our enemies are ourselves”.

    However, before we could say that “ourselves are our enemies”, we must first come into terms of who we are. In FSJ’s discourse, in his last paragraph, he said:” …remember always that you are not a Pangasinan, Ilokano and Tagalog but you are a Filipino.” He was reminding us that we are heroic peoples.. As if he was saying: “Hey, this is you, Filipino heir to exalted pasts (the true self) but now, you are colonized, in your mind and in your deed, Filipino (the enemy). Can I use the term “people” with “s”? Of course, he sees the bigger picture and talks about that bigger picture.

    But, Filipino nation is composed of many nations. The nation here is defined as a group of people who astrive for self-determination in culture, in language and in history. So, before becoming “the bigger we”, we must first come into terms with our “specific we”, that is, becoming a Pangasinan and/or an Ilokano. We are “socially engineered” to becoming a Filipino that is why we left the “specific we”, our Pangasinaness, our Ilokanoness, the essence of who we are. We left behind the aspiration of self-determination of Pangasinan culture, language and history because we wanted to become part of the aspiration of the “bigger we”, our Filipinoness.

    At any rate, all I was looking was the word “only” and the “also” after the but. I supposed it was only mistyped or miscopied or just left behind during the copy and paste procedure. But, if that was intended by FSJ, then, his whole piece was full of contradictions.

    Lastly, can I have the permission to copy your comments on F. Sionil Jose’s speech and paste it in my blog? A site also named “Ilocano Onlline” is constructing a piece anchored with this topic. We hope to create a forum with this topic and we want also include Pangasinan reactions.

    Thank you.

  14. Fred Natividad says:

    “… he [F. Sionil Jose] negated the whole point he built in the middle of his piece. He said: the enemy is ourselves.

    Antoy labay ton ibaga: We must forget that we are Pangasinan? And that we always remember that we are Filipino?

    For me, we must be Pangasinan first before becoming Filipino.”


    When F. Sionil Jose said we are our own enemies I thought he was referring to the undesirable state of moral values in the country; that the problem of graft and corruption stems from the general population that elects crooks, that the population prefers entertainers as leaders ostensibly without regard to real leadership or public administration capabilities. People who used the example of US President Reagan as an entertainer who ably led the free world ignored the fact that Reagan majored in political science and had extensive management experience.

    Erap’s predecessors may be a lot less popular than make-believe hero Erap but it does not take even a semblance of research to show that Erap is a lot less qualified. Better qualifications, of course, may not necessarily translate into actual achievement and I say this to avoid any presumption that I am biased in favor of current president Gloria Arroyo since there are issues against her that, justified or not, may cast some negativity to her supposed economic programs loudly ballyhoed by her supporters.

    I do not feel that F. Sionil Jose wants us to forget our regional selves as Pangasinenses or whatever. He probably feels that IN SPITE of our regional origins we are all still Filipinos. I must say, however, that my interpretations of his thoughts in that speech are merely my personal conjecture because it is not within my capabilities to know what is in his mind.

    Whatever is in the mind of F. Sionil Jose, I, personally would leave it to an individual whether he/she wants to be Pangasinense first and Filipino second or vice versa. I am not sure – and I would consult Rizalist Jose Luzadas on this – if Jose Rizal felt himself as Filipino first and Tagalog second or vice versa.

    In any event this can be in the background behind the matter of preserving the Pangasinan language because in this latter endeavor it would seem that we must be Pangasinan first and Filipino second.

    But in the interest of overall national pride, our collective, multifacted culture dictates that we should be Filipinos first and our regional selves second. And if unrealistic extremists in Pangasinan pride are aiming for our Pangasinan language to become our national language they are expending their energies uselessly in pursuit of a quixotic dream.

    Regrits ko ya mairap kon exprisen ed Inglis irayan thots ko ta anto ey saray Amerikano et pinasoot da itayon idyokiten ed Inglis nen nanrol irad Pilipinas… Akseptabel la kasi so Panglish ko? hehe..

  15. Ka Loren says:

    To all:

    >”I pray, too, that you will remember always that you are not
    > Pangasinan, Tagalog or Ilokano, but that you are Filipino,
    > heir to an exalted past which tells us that in our genes are
    > the eternal codes of what we truly are, a heroic people.”

    That piece was the last paragraph of Prof. F. Sionil Jose’s speech.

    I just would like to be clarified if this was copied or pasted correctly. This was originally posted by Sir Sonny under this thread.

    I think there is a missing word “only” in this line:” …remember always that you are not [only] Pangasinan, Tagalog or Ilokano….” . That line maybe correct but it lessens the essence of the whole piece. F. Sionil Jose in his speech led us to who we are, that is, being a Pangasinan or Ilokano, taking on the evils of colonial mentality, and prodding us to revisit the essence of nationalism.

    However, in that last lines, he negated the whole point he built in the middle of his piece. He said: the enemy is ourselves.

    Antoy labay ton ibaga: We must forget that we are Pangasinan? And that we always remember that we are Filipino?

    For me, we must be Pangasinan first before becoming Filipino.

  16. Fred Natividad says:

    One line that heavily impressed me in a speech by F. Sionil Jose is:

    “It is not just the oligarchy then that is the enemy- it is us ourselves.”

    Fred Natividad
    Livonia, Michigan

  17. VF says:

    I hope Mr. Sionil’s listeners understood these lines:

    “Infused with the virus of colonialism, these elites have no loyalty to this country, they have no faith in the talent of Filipinos. And because they have no filthy to this nation, they send their loot abroad—the Chinese mestizos to China and to Taiwan, the Spanish mestizos to Spain and Europe, and the Indios like Marcos send their billions to Switzerland, to America, instead of keeping those moneys here to modernized this country, to create new industries, so that our women need not go abroad to work as housemaids and prostitutes- –so that the bulk of you will not leave your families in search for greener pastures.”

    ….ngannganidak kinilaw a sibibiag idi kadagitoy a pammati.

  18. Ka Loren says:

    Kaluyagan ya Erwin:

    he he he. Agmo ak la tatawagen ya kuyang ta mid 30 ak la bat ne, he he.

    Duga may rebisionyo ed sayan utit na linya nen Sionil Jose. Sayang sirin ta abukwal aramay pundasionto ed sayan konklusionto.

    Ed sayan pasen met na akinta aramay arum niran tagaPangasinan et agdala makapansalita tan pakapankurit na Pangasinan? Siak la su ehemplo. Tuan Dasol su baleyko tan nan-aralak na elementaria tan high school diman balet aramay atengko tan kananayonko balet ilokano ira. Agda mansasalitay Pangasinan. Kuan ko ed sarilik, akinta agko aralen met su Pangasinan. Manlingawlingawak nen saman ta agko natalusan su Pangasinan. Mas lamang su too no mas dakel su amta ton salita kuanko. Ed pasenko, say salita et abong na kultura.. Kanian sinalsalik su nanmiembro ed sayan ulupan piano nakukotko su kapalduay nonotko.

    Sayang kuanko ed sayan diskurso nen Sionil Jose no agtayo pan aralan. Binisitak may dalityapi nen Sir Sonny, maer ermen. Anggaponi sakey ya nankomento kanian inpostekla ed blogko diad aya na diskurso.

    Labayko komon ya manpatanir ed sikayo ya aramay komentoyo ed sayan thread et ipalapagko ed siteko baka kuanko no wala met su arum niran labayton mankomento.

    Dimad siteko, nankomentola si Ariel Agcaoili tan anengnengto layan lingo. Sayang kuanto.

    Ibagakla lamet: I am a Pangasinan and an Ilokano that is why I am a Filipino.

    Sakeyne ya komentok: Agtayo komon pansan aneyen say salitan Pangasinan tan Pangasinense. Siak, agkola usaren su salitan Panggalatok na para ed sayan lengguahe, agko met la usaren su Pangasinense na para ed totoo, tan Pangasinan na para ed luyag. No Pangasinan kuanto komon et saksakeyla su esensyato: salita, kultura, totoo, kurit tan historia na nasion na PANGASINAN.

  19. ESFernandez says:

    Aya komon so labay kon ibaga. Maung ta apansin met nen Kuya Florentino. Para’d siak balet, talagan anggapo may “only” diad saman a binitla nen Sionil Jose. Ipaneknek to labat ya anggano bimmaleg ed Rosales, wala’d Manila so kanonotan to.

    No siak so mansalita onia ay: “We must always remember where our roots, our loyalty and our sense of being lie. Although we are Filipinos, first and foremost we are Pangasinenses, Ilokanos, Cebuanos heirs to a multicultural and multiethnic nation.”

    No singa onia so inbaga to, akatolong ni komon sikato ed pamabulaslas na kanonotan na saray tubunbalon mandedengel ed sikato.

    Sayan binitla nen Sionil Jose so sengeg no akin ta saray Pangasinense labay da ni mansalitay Tagalog anggano’d kaabungan da. Nononoten dan Filipino ira, katon mansalita ira ed Filipino/Tagalog. Tuan balbaleg so pamapasal na sayan “social engineering” ed eskuelaan diad intiron pamakaaran na edukasion tan midia.

    Lalo lad saray wadman ed biektaew. No saray Intsik pasalen day anak da anggano wadman la rad arom a baley singa US, saray Pangasinense (nayarin walay arom ya ag onia so kipapasen da) ipasal dan onbaleg so anak da ed Inglis. Katon saray Filipino Americans ya bimmaleg ed Amerika, makapaermen tan makapakaskasian ta sikara et abagot ed nanlapuan da ya duaran beses: ag nipasal ed sikara so inkaPilipino da tan say importanti, so inkaPangasinan da.

    Anggano saray matataken, diad saray yahoo groups da, labalabay day man-Inglis ta say baraan da atan so dilan amta dan mamaung. Obligasion na saray Pangasinense ya amtaen so dila da, usarenda ed inagew agew ya bilay. Ngiras labat so manbaraan ya naiirapan iran mansulat ed Pangasinan. No say Inglis inaral da, akin ag nayari so Pangasinan ey?

    Nipaakar ed si Urduja, alingo ni si Sionil Jose. Immunay Limahong san to intombok si Urduja ya aliwa ta pigan lasus a taon ya si Urduja mabilay la sakbay ed si Limahong. Si Limahong simmabi nen unan taon na saray Espanyol.

    Diad tua, sayan binitla nen Sionil Jose, say esensia to, inolit to la ya ed arom ya talumpati to. No basaen so intiron corpus na sinulat to, agi agaylay inkakolit to yan masiken. Maung ed “intellectual masturbation” ya kuan. Katon makapasawa la.

    Erwin S. Fernandez

  20. Ka Loren says:


    Wen. Sayang.

    Sayang kuna met laeng ni Erwin Fernandez ti UP. Paulit-ulit daytoy a litania ni Jose kunana. Kunana pay: numanpay naiyanak nga agpayso ni Jose sadiay Rosales, saanen a maikkat iti nakemna ti kinaManilana.

  21. Ka Loren says:

    Kakang Joe:

    Ha ha ha. Pinagkatawanak iti daydiay maudi a parapom. Agyamanak gayam ti pammalubosmo.

    Wen, adda met padasko idin. Narang-ay ken addaanda ti bukod a panagdayaw dagitoy a kakabsat tayo. Isu daytoy daytay kunak: the dominant class owns the truth. Ket dayta “kasla ka igorot” a sao ket kinaignorante ti nagsao. Nahusgaran dagiti igorot a saan a nadayaw iti bukod a pannirigan dagiti, should I say, colonialized peoples. Ket no iti biang met dagiti kabsattayo, kunada: “Ania met dayta sawsawem sika a tagababa. Kaskala asinno.”

  22. aurelioagcaoili says:

    One word: sayang!

  23. joepadre says:

    Whatever you have in here is yours and yours to dispense. I just wish you could straighten out most of the crooked rhetoric and the spelling errors (e.g., “central them”, the terminal “e” in theme decided to be left out above).

    I had the opportunity to attend a caniao somewhere in what used to be Mountain Province years ago and I was quite appalled by what I found: they are some of the most civilized people and deeply religious in their own way. It was a real affront to remember being called “casca la Igorot” when lacking in the Spanish-imposed expressions of fawning, er, respect.

    I was reading this thing about the Ifugaws and Igorots one evening and I mentioned to my wife how the youthful “inexperienced” young men and young women were given a go at the pre-marital stuff and how there was so much concentration of power in the menfolk over the womenfolk, and the wife, without batting an eyelash, said, “Bangaden canto pay, lacay…” Needless to say, that particular evening was significantly miserable for me…

  24. Ka Loren says:

    Ka Eli:

    May mali nga yata sa prayer nya e. Tignanmo. Sabi nya: “…remember that you are not Pangasinan, Ilokano and Tagalog but you are a Filipino…”

    Buti pa ganito: “…remember that you are not “only” Pangasinan, Ilokano and Tagalog, but you are also a Filipino…”

    Idinagdag pa nya: “…the enemies are ourselves…”

    Parang sinabi: alalahanin ninyo, hindi kayo Pangasinan, etc.. ngunit o datapuwat mga Filipino kayo…

    Ano ako hilo? Pangasinan muna ako, Ilokano muna ako bago maging Filipino. Kung hindi natin matanggap na tayo’y Pangasinan o Ilokano mas lalong hindi natin magampanan ang pagkafilipino natin. Hay…

  25. ELIment says:

    clap….clap..clapp.. galing naman! gusto ko yong prayer nya…sana nga..sana at sana….

    laking rosales pangasinan ang father ko at medyo nakakaintindi rin ako ng pangalatok.

  26. Ka Loren says:

    Kakang Joe:

    Daytoy a komentom ditoy ket nabagas. Mabalin kadi nga ipostek sadiay ngato tapno mabasa met dagiti dadduma a pumaspasiar ditoy?

    Maayatanak iti daytay “yapayaws”. Wen, pudno amin nga inbagam. Kuna ngarud dagiti nataengan no nakurang ti panagdayaw a kas iti panagusar iti dayta a ‘po’ ken’opo’: “kasla kayo igorot, awan as-asinyo.” Hay, diaske ketdi.

    Nakitam gayam daytoy orihinal daytay daniw a sapsapulemon Kakang. Adda komentok sadiay abongmo, he he he.

  27. Ka Loren says:


    Nakitak met daytoy a rirona Maestro. Pinaminpatko a sinirpat sadiay ulupan ken uray sadiay Dalityapi ket awan a talaga ti balikas nga “only”. Kunak ngarud iti bagik idi ipostek ket tapno makita met ken imutektekan met dagiti padak a nagisit ti sikona ti anag man daytoy diskurso ni F. Sionil Jose. Nagliteng a dagus ditoy nakemko dagiti sursurok kenka: Ilokano is a nation, Pangasinan is a nation and Tagalog is a nation.

    Saanko nga ammo no typographical error laeng ngem no kasta a talaga, kasla man narpuog a naminpinsan ti temana a ‘nationalismo’ ken ti anek ekna kontra colonialismo gapu laeng iti daytoy maudi a parapo. Numanpay kasta, iruarko man ketdi daytoy sadiay ulupan bareng no riro laeng ti pannakopiana.

  28. joepadre says:

    I went to to investigate any reaction to the central theme of F. Sionil Jose’s speech and even as I could feel the pink elephant’s presence after reading the piece, I was absolutely disappointed that up to this point, the elephant has been conveniently ignored.

    For goodness’ sake, the thoughts, the memories, the first-hand experiences of this remarkable 84-year-old phenom are still raw and his take on colonial mentality is so accurate and alive–and he practically told everyone that that was the central them of his speech. I couldn’t feel more proud for the man! From where I am, he practically stoked the fire, bless his soul, and I could feel the rage. All these years, the man has not mellowed in his take on how colonial mentality has so enervated a whole nation, dissipating its numerous opportunities to rise from the ashes.

    “…Colonialism subdues in many dulcet guises. It conquered under the pretext of spreading Christianity, civilization, law and order…” To illustrate: My niece spent 6 years in Madrid to pursue an advance degree in medicine and now speaks fluent Spanish. I asked her from her observation and conversation with the Madrid locals if there are any equivalent expressions in Madrid for our own expressions such as “‘Po”, “Mano ‘po”, “Imbag a bigatyo, Apo”, “Naimbag nga aldawyo, Apo”, “Naimbag a rabiiyo, Apo”, “Mangantayon, Apo”, “Lumabas cami pay, Apo”, “Agpacada camin, Apo”, “Dios ti agngina, Apo”, [or when some bus passenger can no longer control his/her bladder, “Umisbotayo man, Apo”] and she said there was absolutely no fawning expressions like ours. She said there was absolutely no Spanish equivalent of our “‘Po” or “Apo” as expression of respect or deference.

    My theory is that the conquering Spanish colonialists had to impose those expressions as part of the Filipinos’ speech just to make the Filipinos know who the conquerors and the conquereds were.

    Oh, when I was just a boy, I used to pass by this house of an old relative on the way to and from grade school. I didn’t usually see her from outside her house, but if she was inside and I just passed by without saying a word, she’d say out loud and without even looking out her window, “Lumabas cay pay, Apo” just as soon as I passed her house. That completely irritated me. My theory behind this custom was that the Spaniards had to require the locals to make known wherever they were so that they, the Spaniards, were constantly aware where the locals were for the conquerors’ own safety. And for good measure, the Spaniards required the locals to use the word “‘Po” or “Apo” just to make the locals knew who were the masters.

    I am probably right about this theory because we used to have mountain people (they were called Yapayaws–the menfolk wore G-strings where they tucked their aliwa and the womenfolk usually wore colorful clothes and they sometimes were topless) who sometimes came down to our neighborhood if they needed rice, gawed or bwa, or they just passed by to join fellow tribes living across town. These mountain people were never under the rule of the Spanish, Japanese or American colonizers. They spoke some subset of Ilocano (Amman a gawed, amman a bwa, amman a bagas, etc.) and I never heard them use “‘Po” or “Apo”. If they didn’t need anything from us, they just passed by our place without saying a word even when we were outside within the mountain people’s view.

    You know what, that simple expression of our colonial mentality is so ingrained in our language, our culture, our religion, even our literature, in fact, in our every day lives. And it even makes us perfect busabos for the entire world.

    And sadly, I’m no exception.

  29. aurelioagcaoili says:

    Either that the concluding statement of F Sionil Jose is not properly copied and pasted–or the whole essay is a bundle of contradictions. With just one word, ‘only’ in the phrase ‘I pray that you are not “only” Pangasinan…” missing (intended?), the whole argument becomes a contradiction of his robust and vigorous concept of ‘nationalism’ in the mid part of this discourse. Go, see for yourself. This whole-scale logic of forgetting that that last line insists needs revisiting.

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