"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
"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.