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Ang Pamana ni Lolo Ino
By Charry Ann Gadon Pasion

Sa Bukir
By Daryl Faderogaya Famisaran

How Pinoys Got Spanish Names
By Fred Natividad


How Pinoys Got Spanish Names

Fred Natividad

E-mail: frednati@yahoo.com


How did we get Spanish names?


Even the class idiot knows that the Spaniards, of course, gave them to us. But the story goes way back when Muslim missionaries from the Middle East were already active in what was then a non-Christian archipelago that became the Philippines.


At that time the world's maritime industry was the exclusive preserve of two powerful Iberian kingdoms, Spain and Portugal. Call them greedy if you will but

the two countries were at odds as to whose ships can sail into what oceans in pursuit of oriental goodies - silk, tea, porcelain, spices...


But being presumably reasonable people they agreed to ask some character named Rodrigo de Borja Y Doms - uh, let's just call him Rodrigo - to divide the planet between Spain and Portugal. If they paid Rodrigo handsomely, well, he needed the money to support his illegitimate children in his household.


Why Rodrigo? Because the guy was no other than the then very powerful world figure known as Pope Alexander VI. Whoa... a pope with illegitimate

children? Well, that's another story.


Anyway all parties sat down and signed in 1494 what became known as the Treaty of Tordesillas, arrogantly dividing the planet into two along longitudinal lines. But at the time there was no such thing as GPS that can accurately determine longitudinal lines. Sea captains were not really sure what newly discovered lands belonged to whom.  


As fate would have it, enter into this picture a lame Portuguese sea captain named Ferdinand Magellan. His country spurned him so he turned his coat from Portuguese to Spanish. He led Spanish ships out to sea going west to get to the east in search of the Spice Islands and got lost in the middle of nowhere in the Pacific. 


He stumbled into what is now the Philippines in 1521 and claimed the archipelago as Spanish territory. Of course, the natives did not appreciate this and the legendary native chieftain Lapu-lapu and his men killed Magellan for his arrogance.


But the folks in Spain considered Magellan a hero.  


What skipped attention was that the Philippines, according to the division laid down by Rodrigo, er, Pope Alexander IV, was supposed to be in Portugal's

half of the world!


But that didn't matter. Spanish colonizers poured into the archipelago. Friars, backed by guns, rammed Catholicism down the natives' throats. Might makes



And the friars baptized the natives. That accounts for the Spanish names of Filipinos today. 



Fred writes from Livonia, Michigan and sometimes Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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