Linguistic imperialism and language amnesia


The Philippine flag flies alone in Philippine skies after it was raised on the country's Republic Day. – GovPH

PRESIDENT Emilio Aguinaldo may have declared independence from Spain on June 12, 1898, but the battle for Philippine sovereignty was far from won. Indeed, just six months later, behind closed doors across the seas, the Philippine islands simply changed hands from one colonial master to another.

Through the 1898 Treaty of Paris, the Philippines, together with Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam, were “ceded” by Spain to the United States. But considering the US$20mil price tag the US had to cough up as part of its treaty obligations, perhaps the more appropriate term is “sold.”

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