The eradication of Spanish, the revolutionaries' language. American-promoted Filipino. II

On the other hand, I met no one, American or Filipino, teacher or layman, who believes that English can become the vernacular of the country, and the authorities do not seem to expect that it can or will. On this account, I paid close attention to the dialects of the several provinces, compared their books, and gathered phonographic records of them. These seven or eight dialects are not essentially different: they are only variations of Tagalog, and whoever knows one can easily acquire the others. The recently published exhaustiveTagalog grammar of Lendoyro says: "The similarity between Tagalog and the other dialects is such as to make it easy for natives from different parts to understand each other by using their respective dialects for general conversational topics."
I roughly calculate that half the words are identical in all and many of the other words have some resemblance, while the grammatical forms are the same. The mutual unintelligibility arises from variation in intonation and accent and from the difference in perhaps 40 per cent of the words.
I made an appeal through my teacher, Mr. Lope K. Santos, Tagalog editor of El Renacimiento, to all native editors and writers to hold a conference and make an attempt to fuse these dialects into a uniform or common one; first, by agreeing on the alphabet and spelling of words; second, by eliminating all Spanish words where a native substitute could be used; third, by collaborating and unifying the vocabularies of the dialects. This conference was held on September 3, 1903, and will doubtless result in some good. As strongly as I can I appeal to the Government, both in Washington and in Manila, to aid in this work of fusion. The editors to whom I spoke in Luzon and in the Visayas approved the movement. The publishers of the numerous popular books which are found for sale in every market place in the islands can easily be induced to cooperate. Men like Tolentino, who is in Bilibid prison pending his appeal on the charge of writing a seditious play, ought to be employed in such work. The constabulary can imprison such men, but I would win them and use them. Which is better politics?

Govt. print. off., 1904] David Jessup Doherty