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

Patriarchal or feudal life in the remote districts was still the order of the day. Authority, always of powerful influence in Malay history, was elevated to the rank of a religion. In the villages a modified form of self-government was permitted, though the local priest was always the power behind the throne and the court of last resort. Schools were maintained by the padres, and instruction given in the native tongue, -in rare instances in Spanish. These schools were, however, skilfully used by the Spanish to accentuate and develop the differences in local dialects. Theirs was the principle "Divide and rule." Originally all speaking the Malay tongue, the Filipinos were encouraged through these centuries to enlarge and enrich the local differences of pronunciation, until to-day the Ilocano, the Tagalog and the Visayan can hardly converse with one another except through English or Spanish. The grammars written by the priests accomplished their purpose. Writing was discouraged by them except upon the religious themes prescribed by the priest himself. Dr. Niewen, of theyouthful but rapidly growing Educational Department of Java, upon his second visit of inspection to the Philippines recently, told me that in Java, in twenty years, the people had broken down the differences between their five dialects and fused them all again into one Malay tongue; it was his opinion that we could, with our much larger public-school system in the Philippines, amalgamate the large number of local dialects into one tongue within five years of teaching in the primary grades.

Francis Burton Harrison, 1922