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>Thanking the master for the chain


    • By Pet Melliza

    • The colonized mind thanks the colonizer for the bondage. We have seen it in the Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo which depicts the native, the Indio, to be pathetically helpless without the White Castillan friar and colonizer.
    • This sado-masochist world view is expressed in the street performances of the festival that skirt the oppression and exploitation suffered by the indio in the hands of the Spanish colonizer for 300 years. The dehumanization of the colonized is veiled under the veneer of gratitude to the colonizer for teaching it the “true” religion.
    • Theme of Spanish superiority and native inferiority recurs and is reaffirmed again and again: the native community is stricken by illness; the native seeks indigenous healers; the disease worsens and results to deaths. The native turns to the Spanish friar who raises up the statuette of the child you-know-what, and viola, the entire village miraculously bounces back to life.
    • In 1900, revolutionaries ambushed American troops in Igbaras, Iloilo, 40 kilometers south of the capital Iloilo City. The Americans, under Gen. Howard Hughes retaliated by scorching the entire poblacion, marched off to detention and tortured over 100 men, among whom, Jovenano Ealdama, head teacher of the muncipal elementary school.
    • Hughes stayed in Iloilo after the Fil-Am war, amassed wealth and acquired prime real properties that are still today subject of court battles among his progenies.
    • Unfortunately, a street in Iloilo City is named after Gen. Hughes. The Iloilo Nation Movement, according to Agorang Benjie Estuche, is lobbying to put an end to the indio’s stupidity of thanking oppressors and tyrants, by removing the name of Gen. Hughes from the street and rename it instead after his victims, notably, Joveniano Ealdama.
    • I remember, one time, I wrote an opinion piece hitting the glitteratti of Iloilo for thanking the devil instead of casting it into the dungheap of history. I was referrig to Nicholas Loney, the British consul in the 19th century who held office in Iloilo City. 

    • Iloilo was the country’s premier producer of fabrics and cloths, and major exporter of “Panay dye” wood known in kinaray-a and hiligaynon as “sibukaw”.  
    • An apparathnik from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), wrote a letter to the editor angrily denouncing my write-up.
    • Nicholas Loney ruined the gurgeoning textile indutry of Iloilo. He lobbied and succeeded to flood the Philippines with Manchester cotton. 

    • The monument of this devil stands tall at the river wharf area unofficially called “Molley Loney”.
    • Native healers (above) are summoned to heal the sick. They all failed.
       The village bounces back to life by a single stroke — 
      when the sick saw the statute of the child raised by the friar
    • Aren’t we thanking the master for the chain?

    The presentation of Lambunao town (left photo), “Binanug” is an exception. The dance and chanting appears authentic in reflecting the culture of the indigenous, pre-hispanic culture of the Sulod-Bukidnon of Panay. It doesn’t have the Santo Niño and the friar in tow.


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