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History of the Philippines

                The ancestors of the original inhabitants of the Philippines are commonly known as the Aeta. They were once spread throughout the Philippines but are now found only in the remote highland areas of Luzon, Palawan, Panay, Negros, and Mindanao.

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                Approximately 3000 B.C. clusters of Malays from Indonesia and Malaysia began settle along the coastlines if the islands, and eventually moving inland. Settlers from the Malay Peninsula arrived in the Philippines after the Indonesians between 300 B.C. and 100 A.D. They sailed from Borneo and Celebes.

                With the arrival of these new groups, the first migrants were driven to the highlands and mountains. 10 A.D. coastal villagers had welcomed Chinese traders and settlers, followed by Muslim traders from Borneo.

 

The Spanish Colonial Period

                It started in the year 1521, Naval Captain Ferdinand Magellan landed in the Island of Homonhon in his expedition search for the Spice Island. This was considered as the first European expedition to explore the Philippine archipelago.

                Ferdinand Magellan developed close relations with the Islanders and he was in determination to converting them into Catholicism, but he got involved in the political rivalries between various native groups. He died in one such battle in Mactan, that involved legendary warrior Lapu-lapu.

 

                Another group of Spanish explorers led by General Miguel Lopez de Legaspi soon followed, subsequently claiming the island for Spain. The territory was named Filipinas which now known as Philippines after Philip II of Spain. The Philippine economy grew rapidly when Spain opened the islands to foreign trade.

                Spanish imperial rule lasted until the USA gained possession of the Philippine territory following victories in the Spanish-American War 1898 and the Philippines-American War 1899 – 1901. The Philippines became a colony of the US under Governor Taft.

                In the early 1900s, Filipinos were allowed to hold positions in the government. The US eventually recognized the Filipinos desire for independence. The Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1943 established the Commonwealth of the Philippines.        

 

The American Colonization

                After more than 300 years, Spain gives over the Philippines when the United States began capturing Filipino cities under the Treaty of Paris in 1898. The means of America attack and assimilation was not on religion as the Spain had done, but by the medium of mass education.

                The Americans had established a public schooling system in which English was used as the main language of instruction. Moreover, English was used as the instruction in school from Grade 1 on. In the early stages, American teachers were recruited from all over the United States to serve in the new system.

                In 1939, the monolingual English policy has changed to a bilingual education policy and English still continues to be the main language of instruction. Primary school teachers were allowed to use the local languages as an additional tool for instruction. However, two years later Tagalog-based national language was declared as another official language.

 

Philippines English

                The history of Philippine English has started from the United States intervention. Philippine English was previously referred as Bamboo English or even a Philippine version of Pidgin English was well known as early as 1925 in the famous Monroe Survey on Philippine education under the American Colonial Government (Gonzalez, 1981). Nevertheless, it was referred as Standard Filipino English in 1969 by Llamzon.

                The best educated Filipinos on English do not speak like Americans and the British. The features of Philippine English were initially described as the special stylistic features of mass media English in the printed medium (Gonzalez and Alberca, 1978).

                 The variety of Philippine English propagated by the mass media was likely to be the most influential. Hence, it was use by the elites and influential of Philippine society who receive the most exposure in the mass media.

                Indeed, this variety shows the beginning of creolization (Gonzalez, 1981). In a very small segment of Philippine families from the elites in Metro Manila, the children grow up bilingual, using a Philippine variety of English, alongside Filipino in the home.

                Thus, this will then qualify Philippine English to be no longer a second language but a first language. Below are the phonological, lexical, and syntactic features of Philippine English.

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