Spanish to be reintroduced as school subject in the Philippines
The website elcastellano.org/noticia informs that Spanish is to make a return to the Philippines’ school system. It says that the announcement was made by President Gloria Arroyo in a visit to Spain at the beginning of this month.
The news item gives a historical detail of the main aspects related to the Philippine’s connection with Spanish language and culture.
It says that the decision to reintroduce Spanish to the education system of the Philippines will contribute to bring back this country to the historical roots it shares with the rest of Spanish speaking countries of the world, in particular those from Latin America.
Since the time it was discovered and colonized by Spain in 1521, Spanish became for 350 years the official language of this nation. The Philippines was part of the last colonies of Spain which it lost in 1898 in the Spanish-American war. After independence in 1946, Spanish was reinstated in the school curriculum but it was withdrawn from it during the Marcos’ era and has since then lost its place in the educational system of the Philippines.
Despite the fact of being a Spanish possession for such a long time, the Castilian tongue didn’t become the main communication vehicle for the majority of the the Philippinians, who remained using their vernacular languages, which were nonetheless permeated by Spanish especially in the lexical area.
The historical details for the Spanish language not to have taken a firm hold in the Philippines are too complex to be examined in a short post like this.
It’s worthy to note that this news item also mentions that eighty percent of the Philippines’ historical documents are written in Spanish. This is a fact that I didn’t know until now.
Spanish is a language closely connected to the history and culture of the Philippines. The teaching of this language at all levels of the educational system in that country will make a great contribution for its people – among other things – to know, to study and research in their original source more than three and half centuries of its past which is written in Spanish.