States: How Many is too Many?

Based on Joint Senate Resolution Number 10, there will be 11 states in the New Republic:

1. Northern Luzon (Hilagang Luzon)
2. Central Luzon (Gitnang Luzon)
3. Southern Tagalog (Timog Katagalugan)
4. Bicol (Bicol)
5. Mindoro, Palawan, Romblon (Minparom)
6. Bangsamoro (Bangsamoro)
7. Eastern Visayas (Silangang Kabisayaaan)
8. Central Visayas (Gitnang Kabisayaan)
9. Western Visays (Kanlurang Kabisayaan)
10. Northern Mindanao (Hilagang Mindanao)
11. Southern Mindanao (Timog Mindanao)

and one Federal District, Metro Manila

There have been previous groupings proposed, including one by Dr. Abueva from a draft Federal Constitution has 10 states (called Estados):

1. Bangsamoro
2. Central and Southern Mindanao
3. Northern and Western Mindanao
4. Eastern Visays
5. Western Visays
6. Bicol
7. Southern Luzon
8. Metro Manila
9. Central Luzon
10. Northern Luzon and Cordillera

A New Federal Capital is proposed in Clark (Similar, I guess, to Canberra, in Australia).

There are those who propose to convert the Super Regions designated by President GMA as the basis for the states in the Federation:

1. North and Central Luzon (Northern Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle)
2. Southern Luzon and Bicol (Metro Manila Urban Beltway)
3. Visayas (Central Philippines)
4. Mindanao (Mindanao Super Region)

So, as a citizen of the Philippines, and as a would-be citizen of a state, what’s your take on this?

How many is too many?

How will the divisions be made? (ethno-linguistic? economic? etc.)

Territories: On Sabah and the Kalayaan Group of Islands

In amending the constitution, we can re-assert our territorial claims on Sabah and the Kalayaan Group of Islands (some call it the Spratlys).

We can even invite the State of Sabah into our Federation, as a peaceful means by which we rightfully gain one of our lost lands. And the Kalayaan Group can either be a Special Administrative Territory or part of the Palawan state!

Should these be part of the constitutional amendments in our push for a Republikang Federal ng Filipinas?

Federal Cities: Only One?

What if we have 3 federal cities:

We can propose a vote via referendum on which of the three would be considered as the Federal Capital. But all three will have a Capital status.

Any other suggestions are most welcome!



To have an intelligent and informed forum to discuss the prospects of changing the form of government of the Philippines from a unitary-presidential-bicameral form to a federal-presidential-parliamentary bicameral form.


May 2018
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Many or most of the suggested states are artificial and do not reflect cultural or historical realities. Central Luzon, for instance, is an artificial entity to which no one would owe loyalty. The Tagalog and Ilocano portions should be transferred to their respective states, while the Kapampangan portion, 27% of the population, should be constituted into a separate state. According to Dr. Rene Azurin:”But, of the proposed eleven (or so) federal states, no more than a few – like the Cebuano state or the Pampangueno-Tarlaqueno state – would actually be able to stand on their own financially.”

(Azurin, Rene. On Decentralizing Government, p. 5. Paper presented at the Dialogues on Federalism. Center for Local and Regional Governance, NCPAG, UP Diliman, Quezon City, 3 August 2007. Originally published in the book Stationary Bandits: Essays in Political Power, also by Dr. Azurin. Platypus Press, 2007).

The Kapampangan Region has a sufficiently large area and population to become a region or federal state. Kapampangan-majority areas – Pampanga province, plus the highly urbanized city of Angeles, the Tarlac towns of Bamban, Capas and Concepcion, and the city of Tarlac – together registered a population of 2,398,144 in 2000 (it would be even larger if historically Kapampangan areas, like adjoining areas of Bataan and Nueva Ecija where Kapampangan is still spoken, are included). This is larger than that of the Cordillera and Caraga regions (1,365,412 and 2,095,367, respectively, in 2000) and nearly as large as that of the ARMM (2,412,159 in 2000). Its area (3,424.68 sq km) is much bigger than that of Metro Manila (636 sq km), a separate region and a proposed autonomous entity in a federal system. Moreover, it is larger in area and population than at least 26 independent countries, including Barbados, Grenada, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius and Seychelles, and in population than another 26 including Brunei, Cyprus, Estonia, Fiji, Gabon, Guyana and Swaziland. It is larger in area than both Singapore and the Chinese Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong.
Of the eight major language groups, only Kapampangans and

Pangasinenses do not have regions of their own, and consequently, only the two have not been given separate states in most proposals for federalization.

Monday, November 24, 2008
Separate state for Kapampangans

DURING its general meeting on November 21 (its first in over 20 years) held at the Mayor’s Office Conference Hall, City of San Fernando, the Aguman ding Talasulat Capampangan (Agtaca), a League of Kapampangan writers, overwhelmingly passed a resolution supporting the establishment of a Kapampangan State separate from Central Luzon in the event of a shift to the federal system.

The writers expressed alarm that the growing shift to Tagalog, especially among the younger generation, will accelerate and become irreversible under a Tagalog-majority Central Luzon state.

There is an ongoing revival of the Kapampangan language and culture, which has seen the entry of the language into television, film, rock music, and the Internet, and gained the support of various sectors, and of local governments and the academe.

But writers fear that this cannot be sustained in a federal state where Kapampangans will be a minority (about 28 percent of Central Luzon, in contrast to the present Pampanga Province, where Kapampangan is the majority language).

Without state support (since Tagalog would almost certainly be the state language of Central Luzon, aside from being the national language of the Philippines), the steep decline that Kapampangan is experiencing could end in extinction of the language, and the disappearance of the Kapampangans as a people.

The resolution noted that Kapampangan is one of the eight major language groups in the Philippines (and only one of only two major groups which do not form the majority in any state in Senate Resolution 10 authored by Senator Aquilino Pimentel), and that Kapampangans have played a key role in Philippine history (the only non-Tagalog group represented in the eight rays of the flag, they have given the country two presidents, the first Catholic cardinal, and members of the Cabinet in each administration).

The proposed Kapampangan State is of sufficient size (it is larger in area and population than at least 26 independent countries, and in population than another 26), and can support itself financially, Pampanga being one of the most economically progressive provinces (it is third out of 80 provinces and 137 cities of the Philippines in assets, according to the latest COA report).

The state would be composed of the province of Pampanga, including the component city of San Fernando, as well as the highly-urbanized city of Angeles, as well as the city of Tarlac, and the Kapampangan-majority Tarlac towns of Bamban, Capas and Concepcion, and possibly adjoining Kapampangan areas of other provinces.

It would have an international airport (the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark), and access to the sea in Macabebe, Masantol and Sasmuan. At present, the Tarlac towns of Bamban and Capas are part of the Clark Special Economic Zone along with Angeles City and the Pampanga towns of Mabalacat and Porac. (Press Release)

What is the basis for the creation of such states?

I mean the states should be based on the ethnicities;

1.) The Katagalugan (Tagalog areas)
2.) The Kabisayaan (Cebuano, ILonggo, Waray, speaking areas)
3.) Bangsamoro Nation (Muslim areas of the present day ARMM; no more no less)
4.) Ilocandia (Ilocano areas)
5.) Bicolandia (Bicolano areas)
6.) Cordillera (Cordillera Tribal regions)
7.) Zamboanga (Chavacano-speaking/Creole-areas of Zamboanga city and its environs of Basilan, and parts of ZamboNorte an ZamboSur. Optionally Cavite City, and Ternate, as well as other Chavacano speaking regions of Cotabato and Davao may also join)

This is one point which most Chavacanos view about federalism. As we see federalism, each state will have a local official native language. Now picture this, How will we Chavacanos, a small minority compare to the Subanon-Cebuano-speaking Northern and Western Mindanao, survive? How will are customs be preserved by this program? How will our language be preserved, our heritage? We are no mere Spanish-speaking pretenders….We have a different language and customs distinct from SPanish and Filipino.

I don’t think we need separate state like that of the Bangsamoro……But I think we need autonomy (i.e. te right to bear our state/ethnic flag different from the flag of the proposed state, the right to mandate the teaching of our language in our schools, and also the right not to be forced to learn the Cebauno and Subanon language).

Recently, there is a resurgence of nationalism in Zamboanga. Brought about b the controversy on the singing of the Lupang Hinirang in Chavacano. People say it’s not allowed to sing it in a language aside from Filipino…..But aren’t we Filipinos too?, We are not Spaniards, we are Pinoys!!!! Look at us, we are no Spanish

After all we were once an independent country (im not sure if you have heard about the ZAmboanga Republic which was independent almost at the same time as Aguinaldo’s state did). Some people advocate for the creation of an “ethnic flag” that would represent the six tribes of the Chavacano-speaking peoples.

And also, a never dying movement for the preservation, popularization as well as the teaching of the Chavacano language throughout Zamboanga an its environs have always been a dream which we want to attain.

We are hoping that this federalist system would help us and guarantee our survival as a race and the preservation of our language and culture. We have seen how federalism works in multi-ethnic Russia wherein all native languages are official languages in their respective states along with Russian.

We really hope that Zamboanga be maintained so we can guarantee our nationhood (that is being a separate cultural minority)…..It’s our only home…

Viva el Raza Chavacano! Autonomia y libertad! Adelante Zamboanga!

I honestly do not mind a foederalist form of Government in the Philipp0ines, and I do agree with giving more prominence to the Bangsamoro entity. It is, however, necessary to dispose of ALL incumbent government officials if we are to transition into the aforementioned form of government (when I say “dispose”, I will leave that to open interpretation). I totally agree as well with the division of the country into states, but

(sorry, pressed enter by accident! ^_^ )

I honestly do not mind a foederalist form of Government in the Philipp0ines, and I do agree with giving more prominence to the Bangsamoro entity. It is, however, necessary to dispose of ALL incumbent government officials if we are to transition into the aforementioned form of government (when I say “dispose”, I will leave that to open interpretation). I totally agree as well with the division of the country into states, but that it should be according to our current regional divisions, albeit with minor changes such as the enlargement the Bangsamoro state and including provinces which are poor in resources into states with a higher potential for a rich intrastate economy. The proposal above of Mr. Saavedra is also interesting, as it sets boundaries in accordance to what defines us; people already identify themselves as coming from any of these groups, so why not indeed base the notion of being from that state upon that principle? The name should also be something else; “estado” is too Spanish. But I do, however, also subscribe to the idea that the capital be split-up into three as per the branches of government and scattered to the principal cities of the land as you have mentioned. Other nations with multiple capitals which I would like to cite are South Africa and Bolivia, as well as the Netherlands to some extent. Manila should still remain a prime city, but all three should be special foederal districts.

We may all be from the Visayas.. But really, we need to separate the Ilonggos from the Cebuanos and Warays.

As Zamboangueño Native Speaker, it is also my dream or any Zamboangueño Speaker’s dream that someday, we’ll be having our autonomia y libertad where we can fully declare our language as official, where our language can be develop further.

“Languages is Culture and Culture is Identity”

and i would like to call our state as “ESTADO DE LATINO ZAMBOANGUEÑO” it is a Chavacano-Speaking State.

Viva La Raza Chavacana!

Viva Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar de Zaragoza, la patrona de los Chavacanos, Zamboangueños y de la Hispanidad!

Further thereto, i think the present Zamboanga Peninsula should break down and create two state out of it.

we the Zamboangueño Native Speakers are really native of Zamboanga. we were once the LUTAO PEOPLE of Zamboanga who evolved into a new tribe/race/ethnic group called “Zamboangueño” thru adoption of Hispanic Culture, Conversion to Catholicism and inter-racial marriage between the Lutao, Subanon,Tausug, Yakan, Mexican Spanish and España Spanish.

the Subanon are one of the original native of Zamboanga, especifically in the Zamboanga del Norte, Sibugay and del Sur Provinces.

the Cebuanos of Zamboanga Peninsula are just migrant coming from the Visayas region.

therefore, for our survival, for the survival of the Subanon People and Zamboangueño People (the ancient LUTAO TRIBE)..then it is only right and justifiable to create TWO State out of the present Zamboanga Peninsula and i.e.

1. State of Jambangan (for the Subanon People)
with their territory which comprises the present Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and part of Zamboanga Sibugay.

2. Estado de Latino Zamboangueño (the ancient lutao people who were thoroughly hispanized and christianized)
with their Territory, the present Chartered, Independent and Highly-Urbanized City of Zamboanga, predominant Zamboangueño Chavacano areas in Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Lamitan & Isabela who’r Majority Zamboangueño Speakers.

other parts of the Country like Ternate and Ciudad de Cavite, parts of Cotabato and davao who speak the Dialect of Bahra, Caviteño, Cotabateño and Castellano Abakay respectively, may or can be part of this state.

Mi nombre es Ronan Paul D’ayot y Bulahan, es un Arquitecto Filipino Profesional y un nativo Zamboangueño Hablante!;-)

Mi Lenguaje es mi Identidad!

Zamboangueño es mi idioma natal, mi riqueza y mi orgullo, que hasta na mi muriendo el mi lengua nunca yo hay cambia y olvida porque este idioma mio es unico, amoroso, amante y precioso na mi corazon, pensamiento y na mi vida!;-)

Viva la raza Zamboangueño y viva los seis tribos del raza y herencia Chavacano!;-)

Viva Estado de Latino Zamboangueño, Republica Federal de Las Filipinas!

another thing, why Zamboangueños deserves for her own autonomia y libertad?

Ciudad de Zamboanga, was formerly a Republic, a separate Republic and distinct and different from the Republic that was created by Emilio Aguinaldo.

Reppublica de Zamboanga (1899 – 1904)
* Official language: Zamboangueño Chavacano, other dialects of Chavacano language.
* Co-official: Español
*it has its own Bandera, Cultura, Tradicion, Musica, Artes y Arquitectura, Bailes y Viandas y Identidad.

Soy Orgulloso de Ser Zamboangueño

@ PoySugbo:

I agree with you, 100%

Cebuano is a distinct Filipino Ethnic Group, who has their own language called “Sugbuanon/Binisaya/Bisaya”, Culture and Identity. same goes with the;
Ilonggo, Waray, Masbateño, Aklanon and Capiznon are also a “DISTINCT” Filipino Cultural Ethnic Group who has their own respective Language, Culture, Tradition and Identity.

same goes with ARMM… ARMM has to be divided into Three Cultural Ethnic State as follows: State of Sulu and Sabah for the Tausug and Sama, State of Maguindanao for the Maguindanao and State of Lanao for the Maranao.

Although, each State can further promulgate their own laws, e.g. creating a sub-state within their own State.

Soy Orgulloso de Ser Zamboangueño

I am a native of Zamboanga City and I like the proposals and ideas of other fellow Zamboangueños in this idea of federalism. We Zamboangueños and so as other distinct ethnic tribes should have our own and each federal state and autonomy. We the people of Zamboanga have a distinct culture of being like partly Filipino and partly Hispanic or Latino. We dance Spanish-inspired dances, we in majority practice Catholicism, we speak a Spanish creole language different from the “so called” dominant Bisaya language of Mindanao, we eat food of mixed influences from Spain, the Philippines, and Malaysia or Indonesia, we have foods like “Estofado”, “Endulceao”, etc., we call caramelized banana as “rebuzado or rebuzao” and not “banana cue” which is for us grilled banana coated with margarine and sugar, we celebrate Hemosa festival due to our culture, we have the capacity to easily learn and understand Spanish because of our 80% of words are from either Castillan or Mexican Spanish, we are different from other ethnic tribes in almost other aspects like food or cuisine, language, customs, traditions, history, and even some of us are in reality descendants of actual Spanish people.
We are not Spanish, we are not Latinos, we are still Filipinos, but we are kind of unique on our own just like Cebuanos are different from Warays and Ilonggos, and just like Kapampangans are different from Ilocanos and Tagalogs.
We are also open, and I am also open personally to other Chavacano speakers (Caviteños the people of Ternate and Ciudad de Cavite, nd other Chavacano communities in the country) and like as what other Zamboangueño’s comment here, we are open to work and build our own state with them as we are all related by language and even by history and ancestry.
It’s not that we dislike the migrant Bisaya people in our city, but we are just trying to think of the protection, promotion, identity, and foundations of our culture. We do not want Bisaya language to overcome our unique native language of Chavacano and for me not even Tagalog language. We also want Chavacano to be totally standardized and be official language and be used in par with Filipino and English or even Spanish languages. I envision someday road signs, street signs, products from Zamboanga and establishments and brands will be written in Chavacano language that instead of calling Rizal Street we we call it and rename it as Calle Rizal. I also envision students in elementary will have a separate Chavacano subject from Grades 1-6 not just up to Grade 3 like in K-12 currently, and they can continue to learn Chavacano in high school as mandatory language subject that will meet 2 hours weekly and even have Spanish, Malaysian, and Indonesian as elective subjects based on what foreign language the student wants to learn being that we are Hispanic in culture and close to Malaysia and Indonesia as well. I also envision students learning the culture, politics, geography, and history of Zamboanga from Pre-Colonial time to the Republic of Zamboanga and up to present, to tackle the history of vintas, history of La Virgen del Pilar de Zaragoza in our city, to tackle Republc of Zamboanga, to tackle the tribes comprising Zamboanga who lived alongside in harmony and unity, to tackle the unique language, to tackleour folk songs, music, literature, stories, folk and urban legends, to tackle our politics and economy and the struggles we faced and the victories we have in making our identity stronger as an ethnicity, and to tackle our role as a federal state in coordination to the federal nation or republic and to other states of the country as one nation of the Federal Republic of the Philippines or La Republica Federal de las Filipinas.
We just want our identity to be cultivated, inculcated, strengthened, and not to get lost or get inferior to other ethnic tribes who also have their own special and unique ethnicity, history, language, and culture. Our identity is still working on right now, as we are gradually having research on Chavacano and Zamboangueño culture and history with the K-12 Mother Tongue education of DepEd, but we are still kind of really trying it so hard, but we Zamboangueños will really do our best to keep Chavacano heritage alive amidst on what happened to our fellow brothers and sisters in Cavite City and Ternate, Cavite and other Chavacano communities in the country where Bisaya and Tagalog already dominated their language and culture. We don’t want that to happen to us in Zamboanga City and we still want to help Caviteños, Ternateños, and others to keep this language and culture thriving and prospering. I met a lot of speakers of Caviteño Chabacano and Lenguaje de Bahra of Ternate and their experiences and present situation with the kind of imperialism and rule of Tagalog people and their Tagalog language that kinds of gradually dominating and killing the language and culture of Caviteños and Ternateños, and their problem that the language and culture is not being passed down by elders to younger generations. We don’t want it here in Zamboanga, and we will still do our best to save fellow Chavacano speakers in the entire country.

It’s not about pride but about our very own identity. Because if we will be inferior or surrender to other ethnicity’s identity, language, and culture, then we will also lost our identity, the very nature of who we really are as people. The feeling would be then, like we are born without families and without names . We don’t want that to happen.

🙂 Viva la idioma Chavacana y nosotoros hay continua hace todo esfuerzo para promove preserva, y hace mas vivo la nuestra cultura, lenguaje, y las artes, tradiciones, practicas, y especalmente la nuestra identidad.

Autonomia y libertad! Adelante Zamboanga! Adelante el pueblo Chavacano en entero pais!

Sorry for a lot of spelling errors and grammatical mistakes I had in my previous comment. I am typing a bit fast with my previous comment and a lot of ideas in my mind are making me do so. I just hope you’ll get my position and points right there.

If ever ( and we Zamboangueños really wish it to be reality) that Zamboangueños and Chavacano-speaking people in the entire country will have our own state, then we , like other states of federal countries around the world should have our own state flag, our own official languages, our state song, state symbols like seal, state tree, state bird, state flower, state animal, state motto, and state nickname too.
I am thinking that our official language and state language would be Chavacano only and only as co-official languages would be English, Spanish, and Filipino,and just as auxilliary or sub-official languages would be Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia, and other ethnic languages or foreign language we want to incorporate.


Estado de Zamboanga Hermosa proposal where Zamboanga City, together with Isabela and Lamitan cities of Basilan shall unite to form its own state:

Zamboanga City needs its own state.

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