Friday, June 3, 2016

Duterte's concepts of "Manileno" and "probinsyano" bares centuries-old Pinoy social strat concept

When Mayor Duterte was distinguishing himself apart from "Manila-based media", he has, wittingly or unwittingly, opened the centuries-old concept of socio-cultural divide expressed in that statement. As a consequence of our historical actions, our fellow Filipinos based in the provinces have this long-held view about "Manilenos" and " us, probinsyanos"which equates location as a social status.

In this dichotomy, when you say "Manilenos", we quite often lump them as those who came from Manila, regardless of wherever city he belongs to or lives, or the that person's real economic state. If you are a stranger and speaks only Tagalog, you are tagged as "Manileno" while those who live in the provinces are basically called "probinsyanos"

If one is tagged as a Manileno, there is that presumption that that person is rich or at least more economically ascendant than the person living in the provinces. Location therefore, has become a basis of determining social status. Weberian ethmology however, dictates that social status is determined by power relations. In our case, the farther you are from the center of economic activity, the more you are presumed to be a "probinsyano", which bears a somewhat negative connotation.

Even now, the term "probinsyano" is a disparaging remark for many people because it means "backward, unintelligible, even stupid"---a throw-back from Spanish times when those living outside towns and cities were deemed far from civilization; hence, living a dark, brutish, hellish existence.

of course, the truth is far from what he perceived. Over time, development has infected even the provinces and to say that those living in the provinces are of poorer and unenlightened is not just an understatement but a false one.

I am reminded really of the concepts of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft (loosely transliterated as "community" and "society") as defined by Weber, Schumpeter and Hobawms. This social stratification should eventually be extinguished by economic development. In the end, as we change the superstructure of the state, and we demolish traditional institutions of Thought, we will arrive at a state where every single one is a member of an impersonal state, and thus the divide which have infected our minds for so long and have caused us tremendous anguish and has been a hindrance towards our unity as a Nation, will forever be relegated to the dustbin of history.