Since 2005 the political situation has been kept at an impasse by the skillful playing off of the provinces versus “Imperial Manila,” and yet Metro Manila (more properly: the expanded NCR) has an opinion quite similar, politically, if not outright identical, to the other large urban centers with the possible (though not certain) exeption of Cebu City.
Yet the reassertion of the provincial basis of power of the administration was done by pandering to, but keeping from achieving anything tangible, of two parallel urges emerging from the provinces: Federalism and a Bangsamoro Commonwealth (minimum) or future State (maximum aspiration).
Hence,entrenching the impasse.
If instincts of the political class is to preserve baronies, could it be the provincial barons are themselves finding their old powerbases fading? Former answer was to gerrymander; but that possibility is running out of territory to further subdivide? While in essence, Federalist urge would reconsolidated subdivided territories, under broader regional-ethnic-linguistic lines?
Assumptions of Federalists and Bangsamoro are themselves challenged by demographic changes due to massive internal migrations taking place, and shifts that in turn are not only changing landscape built up over past 75 years (to consolidate the national territory as much narrowly defined by Filipinos and Americans both), but over centuries. But this could also be a return to the much more fluid approach of prehispanic times, before the definition of provinces and their component peoples as fixed, by the Spanish.
But the return to a more fluid flow of people also challenges the political challenges and advocacies of those calling for Federalism, etc.
Essentially, then, Federalism, Bangsamoro are challenges/proposals from Civil Societies themselves increasingly decimated by both internal and external migration; the political class prefers territorial supremacy for its membership but the cultural/political mechanisms for control are challenged by new residents not bound by old fealties, traditions, even language or economic activity.
The clear contrast between national political opinion and practice and provincial/local opinion and practice suggests the emergence of a truly national approach and cohesion of mores for the first time and it may be on the ascendant.
I. Organic versus Artificial Identities
See The Voyage of the Balangay. Possibility this experiment could have Pan-Malayan cultural impact on par with voyages of Hokule’a.
From Tracing the Migration of Our Ancestors.
Refer WMP area to Spanish “Greater Philippines” map and
II. Regional orientations
Blue: discoveries of prestige goods, suggesting cultural orientation/trade:
1. Luzon = China
2. Visayas = Thailand
Red: Eric Casino on main trading routes, Manila-Moluccas-Malacca.
1. Luzon-Palawan-Mindanao-No. Borneo = Malacca
2. Luzon-Bicol-Leyte-Samar-CARIAGA-Eastern Mindanao = Moluccas
3. Northern Mindanao-North Borneo (Dapitan, Butuan hub?)
Yellow: theoretical cultural orientation of main geographic devisions.
1.Luzon = China
2. Visayas = Polynesia/Oceania
3. Mindanao = Brunei/Indonesia
III. Organic Identity versus Defined Borders
Spanish definition of the Philippines (“Greater Philippines”):
Rough approx. based on discussion with Spanish historian, on Spanish territorial conception/definition of the Philippines. See my notes in A Primer on Philippine Territorial Claims.
IV. Potpourri polity versus Territorial Definition
Definition under Malolos Constitution:
Article 1. The political association of all Filipinos constitutes a nation, whose state shall be known as the Philippine Republic.
Refer to Blumentritt’s ethnological map:
Moro areas in green; Christian/lowlander areas in pink; Uplander/”Non-Christian tribes” (today’s IP’s) in yellow. Areas in green declined to be inegrated into Philippine Republic; areas in yellow claimed as integral by Pink areas, nucleus of emerging nation-state. Note: American political arrangements would merge yellow and green but segregate from pink. See Abinales: Re-constructing Colonial Philippines: 1900-1910.
V. Territorial Consolidation and Expansion versus Regional/Ethnic Autonomy
“New World Order Map.” Potential post-war reorganization of region. Note expansion of Philippine territory to include Moluccas, etc. Refer to Quezon efforts to negotiate an “Indonesian Empire,” map above (1943) corresponds to dates of such a proposal eventually vetoed by Dutch and British (find reference in Who’s Who in World War II edited by John Keegan which mentioned it); see Harrison diary entries.
VI. Centrifugal forces
A. Moro Nationalism:
B. Ethnic Chauvinism: A Country of Our Own: Partitioning the Philippines by David Martinez (vide: Destroying Our Nation Through Federalism)
VII. In contention: Internal and External Migration
The old territorial-linguistic identities are challenged by:
1. Migration abroad
2. Internal migration
Of these, the former much more studied than the latter; also, the former is far more in the public consciousness as a phenomenon than the second.
I. Impact of migration
-Quezon: Ilocos/Bicol migration, exodus of Tagalog population
-Depopulation of Ilocos
-Inquire from Dodong Nemenzo:
*changes in linguistic map of Visayas: shifts in Cebuano/Ilonggo speaking areas.
*Cebu now 10% Muslim
*Mindanao: increase in Ilonggo-speaking vs. Cebuano-speaking areas
*ARMM: dispersion of Muslim groups to other areas of Cebu, Manila, Baguio, Pangasinan; dimunition of Bangsamoro image among Moros who fled violence and fellow Moro warlords
B. external, i.e. OFWs and permanent migrants
*depopulation accompanied by cultural/ethnic chauvinism or efforts at linguistic preservation
-Pangasinan language concerns of Popoy de Vera
-U. of Hawaii Ilocano language advocacy
-Observation of priests at U. of San Carlos Recoletos: Cebu has 1st generation of primary Tagalog speakers
C. Urban vs. Rural Divide
-Rigoberto Tiglao 1980s Marxist critique: country’s now fundamentally urban
-Yoly Ong: Urban centers/cultures, Luzon-Visayas-Mindanao: fundamentally similar in political opinion
-Expanded NCR: represents amalgamation of all ethnic groups, with large Visayan component particularly in Metro Manila itself (see Nemenzo comment that Visayan influence is best seen in changes to Filipino/Tagalog grammar in Metro Manila and hence, national media); ironically, this has triggered, as much as a national public opinion has been created, the political consolidation of provincial political leaders and their machines in 2004-2010.
Tie this in with Carino map, and Spanish historical map of “Greater Philippines.”
Are we returning to fluid, geographically-dispersed organization?
Is Federalism proposed organic reflection or not?
Is unitary insistence/resistance reflection of modernity or anachronistic?