"Librada Avelino"


11/ Feb/ 2001
Por Guillermo Gómez Rivera
Academia Filipina de la Lengua
Correspondiente de la R. A. E.

Francisco Varona and Pedro de la Llana wrote in their book ‘Ada’, (short for Librada) published, as we have pointed out, by P. de Vera & Sons Company ( Manila 1935 ) in both English-Spanish:
Spanish version
(Summary of spanish version)

      "The Centro Escolar which had just introduced the novelty of holding academic programs outside its halls, then insufficient to hold both students and the public, was having such a gathering at the Manila Opera House (at Avenida Rizal). The purpose was the inauguration of the course for that year (1913). The Secretary of Public instruction, Vice Governor General (Newton) Gilbert was naturally invited to attend. He accepted the invitation and seated himself in the presidential box". (P. 270, Op. Cit.)
      "Newton Gilbert was known all over the country for his exaggerated passion in forcing the implantation, as soon as posibile, of the English language. Forcing English upon the Filipino children was all the agenda he had emraced as the ecretary of Instruction of the U.S.WAP government in the Philippines".
      "The velada (graduation program or commencement exercises) began and the Vice Governor (General) took a look at the program. He fixed his eye-glasses to better read the Centro Escolar’s graduation program for that year. He discovered that it was written in Spanish! Among the twenty numbers , he saw that only two or three were in English, such as a declamation or a speech. The shift of paper that was the graduation program of Centro Ecolar began shaking in his hands. Gilbert was terribly disgusted. He was visibly angry..."
      "After the Symphony by the Orchestra, the curtain was lifted. Thunderous applause greeted the members of the faculty and of the board of directors of the Centro. They sat down in chairs forming a semicircle on the stage. Ada was seated in the middle of the group as the presiding officer of the occasion".
      "Professor (Josué) Soncuya was designated to speak on behalf of the institution. x x x Newton Gilbert tried to listen with anxious ears. Don Josué Soncuya’s speech was rather long. And what was worse for Gilbert still is that it was in Spanish. It was an academic dissertation, an able exposition, about the educational purposes of the Centro Escolar coming hand in hand with an impassioned appeal for the freedom and independence of the country. That was too much for Gilbert".
      "The Vice Governor General rose up in such a noisy and conspicuous manner so as to attract the attention of the public. He then descended from his box with his eyes flaming with fury and went out of the theatre.
      The following day, all the papers (in Spanish) of Manila printed in glaring headlines the sensational news regarding the indignation of Gilbert. They also printed the fact that the official recognition granted the Centro Escolar would be withdrawn on the ground that this private center of learning did not teach English as prescribed by the Department of Public Instruction". (Page 133, Op. Cit.)
      "Gilbert was hoping all along to receive a letter of apology and explanation from the Centro. And thus a note of warning would have been sounded for the rest of the people".
      If Librada Avelino were as servile and a slave in her character as in her language like the Englis-Ispokening owners and presidents of today’s commercialized diploma mills, she would have gone to her knees with tears in her eyes begging forgiveness from a sectarian and vile U.S. WASP invader like Gilbert, an act that would shame all the Filipinos of that era who knew what dignity and freedom really mean before an evil neo-colonizer.
      "But instead of sending this letter, Directress Librada Avelino addressed another communication to the parents of the girls enrolled in her school giving a detailed report about the incident thereby submitting the question to their judgement. X x x x hundreds of congratulatory letters poured into the office of the Directress. One of these letter said in part: “If I had a thousand daughters, I would enroll all of them in your Centro..."
      It is clear, by the foregoing citations, that Librada Avelino, the great Filipino educator and nationalist that she was, did not give the intolerant U.S. Vice-Governor General and Concurrently Director of Public Instruction assigned to the Philippines, the satisfaction of an expected letter of apology inspite of the threat of having her school ostracized by the withdrawal of the “recognized by the Government” imprimatum coming from the earlier counterparts of today;s subservient DECS and CHED to the U.S. WASP “educational agenda” for the Philippines..
      "Doña Librada’s act was heroic. Instead of allowing herself to be directly threatened, bluffed and bulldozed by an obviously intolerant American WASP neocolonialist, she went directly to the parents of her students and to the Filipino people in search for justice". (Page 134, Op Cit.)
      That was when the unjust and tyranical WASP regime, represented by Newton W. Gilbert, saw how the Filipino people voted, as in a real and spontaneous plebiscite, for the Centro Escolar where Spanish was the principal medium of instruction in all subjects.
      ---Their neocolonial, aside from their educationally unscientific, imposition of English as the medium of instruction was roundly rejected by the Filipino people to the risk of reviving their 1898-1902 armed struggle against the U.S. WASP neocolonialists that wanted to justify their economic and politico-military hold of the Islands under the pretext of having bought for $20 Million the entire patrimony of the Filipino people from Spain. This canard was never admitted by any right-thinking Filipino of that time.
      ---Filipinos knew that the Philippine Islands were already lost to Spain before any Spanish monarch could sell them. They also knew that the so-called $20-Million sale was an American propaganda ploy to which a defeated Spain was forced to agree with. ggr.

( Guillermo Gómez Rivera es Académico Coordinador de la Academia Filipina, Manila )


Ang identidad ng filipino... (tagalog) & Ang karahasan sa historia ng Filipinas (1) (2) (3) (4) (tagalog) & Influencia asiática en el chabacano (esp.) &
José Balmorí (English & esp.) & The Filipino State (English) & Estadísticas: El idioma español en Filipinas (español) &
El idioma criollo de Filipinas (español) & Mabuhay, Gloria Macapagal (español) & Literatura hispano-filipina (español),
by Guillermo Gómez Rivera from Manila.

Paulino Alcántara, the Pilipino-Spanish football player (English & esp.), by Ian Estenor, Filipino in USA.
La Academia Filipina (español), by Tony P. Fernández, Filipino in Canadá.

Book presentation: "Rizal According to Retana" (1) (2) (3) (Engl. & esp.), by Liz Medina, Filipina in Chile.
Why the Spanish has disappeared from the Philippines?, (Engl. & esp.), by Jess Mendoza, Filipino in USA.

Filhispanic Activism (Engl. & español) & El fenómeno hispano en Filipinas (español) ,
by José Perdigón, Spanish in Manila.
For the Jacques A. Schnabel (Filipino in Canadá) articles go to letters 2001

¡Hola! ¿Kumustá?   Philippines (1898-1946): The recolonization drama
Spanish magazines Spanish Newspapers Links/Enlaces What about Spanish? Have you lodge?
Letters 2001 (enero-junio)   Letters 2001(julio-diciembre)   Letters 2002
Spanish by jokes "Pilipino-castila" names Yo te diré (book) Cine
J. Rizal
kaibigan kastila