The Philippines is a federation that hasn't yet been. For an archipelago originally home to a collage of rajahnates, sultanates and barangay chieftaincies, if this were to end up as one nation without imperialists coming to capture and carelessly consolidate the different tribes into a single colony, the Philippines would have been a federation.

If you take a look at the ethnic composition of the Philippines, you see that it is heterogeneous, not homogeneous: It is made up of a number of ethnic groups. And this fact is not only a matter of social or cultural differentiation, but of political as well: the earlier political systems of the Philippines, before the Spaniards arrived, reflect this diversity. Separate rajahnates and sultanates ruled the archipelago, from Maynila, Tondo and Mait in the north, to Cebu, Butuan, Maguindanao and Sulu in the south. If these states, if these ethnic groups, unbroken by Spanish and American colonization, have come together, it would have been a federation.

When the United States of America yielded and handed over their republican system of government to the Philippines, they did not put in with it federalism, which was already coexistent with their democracy at the time. Logically because their original motive was to assimilate "benevolently" the Philippines into their country, as an entire federal state like they did with Hawaii, which would have made America a union of fifty and one states.

Yet in the early elections after the establishment of the unitary Philippine republic, federalism was a campaign issue: proof that there may be a need for it. But this noise was drowned by concerns over keeping the national sovereignty intact, as evidenced by the system of picking running mates, where either the presidential candidate or the vice-presidential comes from Luzon, and the other from the Visayas or Mindanao. Wary of dismembering the fledgling republic, leaders put federalism to the sidelines.

It was not until April of 2008 that a formal motion was made in Congress to switch to a federal system of government. Authored by Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. (the very same author of the Local Government Code, designed to empower the regions, but apparently proves inadequate), Joint Resolution No. 10 sought to convene Congress into a constitutional assembly that would transform the Philippines into a federal republic of 11 states. With the 2010 election fast approaching, however, and the suspicion of Filipinos over a scheme of incumbent officials to stay in power by means of the change of charter, the move was eventually shelved.

The campaign for a shift to a federal Philippines goes on, nonetheless. This blog makes another channel for the call. And this blog goes beyond calling for federal states. In the Federal Republic of the Philippines, we call for ethnic states, to empower every ethnolinguistic group in the country.