Top 5 Things To Thank Spain For

Let’s face it. Bad as they were, our Spanish conquerors did not spend all day dreaming up ways to make us miserable. They made us miserable by their very existence, milking our labor and resources to feed their empire. Still, we have to admit that their centuries as our overlords left us some good things too.

Here are five things that may just wash the bitter taste of subjugation from our mouths.

5. The Battle of Mactan

Alright, they didn’t really give this to us, per se, but it’s on the list anyway because it’s one of the few military victories we have.

Our war chiefs were not the best in the world, relying more on passion than any actual strategy or tactics, but this time, natives armed with spears, blades and bows won the day against one of the most formidable fighting forces of the age. Sure, they raped us for the next few hundred years,but on that day, we laid the smack down and made the Spanish our bitches.

4. Education

Spain did not really feel the need to educate us indios, but they did need to teach our elites a bit of literacy. After all, there was no sense in having collaborators who couldn’t send you written reports of native uprisings and friar gossip, or couldn’t read orders demanding more slave labor.

This came back to bite them in the ass when our educated elites started the propaganda movement, and began agitating for equal rights and representation in the Cortes. It was all done politely, to be sure, but it planted the seeds of revolution, and taught us to write the Spanish equivalent of fuck you.

3. Beer

Fermentation is a natural process, and it doesn’t really take a rocket science to make hooch: our ancestors were getting drunk on rice wine and coconut toddy long before Magellan’s dad had his first wet dream. Anyone who has had tapuy, lambanog or basi knows, though, that novelty aside, they’re pretty vile drinks that trade potency for flavor.

Beer brought us to the threshold of civilization when the first brewery in Southeast Asia was established 1890, promptly taking us away again within hours. If there’s any doubt that beer is the manly man’s drink, consider that Bonifacio and his band of brawlers ignited the Philippine Revolution six years later.

2. Siesta

Come on, it’s a cultural excuse to be unproductive after lunch. What’s not to like?

This Spanish habit of taking a midday nap is such a part of our psyche that parents enforce it every afternoon, threatening their children with spankings with various implements like rubber slippers and leather belts.

Nobody ever whipped a kid to force him to attend Sunday Mass, but parents will readily flay a child within an inch of his life if he doesn’t lie down and pretend to be asleep for at least an hour after lunch. That is how important siesta is.

1. Puta

Not prostitution, obviously. We’d have figured that out for ourselves, but the word itself is a thing of beauty.

No word can resonate across our hundreds of ethno-linguistic groups and convey so many different emotions than puta. It’s the glue that holds our society together. When at a loss for words or unsure how to react, this is generally a safe route to go (in terms of expressing emotion, though, and not actual safety.)


  1. You forgot one very important contribution of Spain to the Philippines:
    MESTIZOOS. Unlike Latin America, the MESTIZOOS of the Philippines are mostly descended from Chinese immigrants (called “sangleys”) who founded the Filipino Nation (with U.S. help).

  2. true, true on #2. I will attest to being on the receiving end of a regular afternoon thrashing for not being able to pretend sleep during afternoons. I was a bad actor even then. Evidently, shutting your eyes as hard as you can does not constitute sleep. It only makes you look constipated.

    My punishment: hanger-whipping (iron ones, mind you) ; kneeling on salt while balancing encyclopedias on outstretched arms (because in our home, that’s what encyclopedias are for).

    good times.

  3. I feel your pain, Anonymouse. I mean, it makes sense doesn’t it? Closing your eyes should make you look like you’re asleep.

    But I guess parents are smarter than that. Not smart enough not to beat their kids, perhaps, but pretty smart anyway.

  4. Yes you forgot mestiszo food-paella, adobo, chorizo, tapa, pan de sal, quesong puti, lechon, caldereta, galantina, leche flan…It has made us what we are, beer is a beverage, merely elevates what you missed.

  5. The Iranian connection, and with it Cumont’s inartpretetion of the tauroctony, came under concerted attack at the First International Congress of Mithraic Studies, held at the University of Manchester in 1971. Several scholars, chief among them John Hinnells of Manchester and R.L. Gordon ofthe University of East Anglia, suggested that Mithraism had in fact been created as a completely new religion somewhere in the Greco-Roman world and that it had merely adopted the name of the Iranian god to give itself an exotic flavor and an aura of antiquity. [THE MITHRAIC MYSTERIES.The icons of this ancient Mediterranean cult can be deciphered only in terms of a worldview that placed the powers controlling human destiny not on the earth but in the stars. by David Ulansey.Scientific American, December 1989].Το Πανεπιστήμιο της East Anglia, πρότεινε ότι ο Μιθραισμος είχε πράγματι δημιουργηθεί ως μια εντελώς νέα θρησκεία κάπου στον ελληνορωμαϊκό κόσμο και ότι είχε θεσπίσει απλώς το όνομα του ιρανικού θεού για να αποκτήσει μια εξωτική γεύση και μια αύρα της αρχαιότητας.Leonard Patterson, in his book Mithraism and Christianity, concluded there is no direct connection between the two religions either in origin or development. Patterson, Leonard, Mithraism and Christianity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1921), 94, cited in Strobel, 170.Δεν υπάρχει καμία σύνδεση ανάμεσα στις δυό θρησκείες ούτε στις απαρχές τους ούτε στην ανάπτυξή τους.Yamauchi obtained a doctorate in Mediterranean studies, has studied 22 languages, and written 17 books including Persia and the Bible, which includes his research involving Mithraism. Edwin Yamauchi addressed each of the alleged similarities between Mithraism and Christianity and his conclusions are listed here:1,2,3,4,5,6 7.Any possible sacramental meal in Mithraism is unrelated to the Lord s Supper because it was initiated much later, in the second century. Furthermore, the Christian meal is based on the Passover, begun during the time of Moses. Strobel, Lee, The Case for the Real Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007), 170-173.Το γεύμα των οπαδών του Μίθρα δεν έχει καμία συγγένεια με το Μυστικό Δείπνο επειδή χρονολογείται MUCH LATER κατά τον δεύτερο αιώνα.

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