Sunday, December 21, 2014

Why Do We Repeat History? By Erick San Juan

Why Do We Repeat History? By Erick San Juan

"If TRUTH be the key to FREEDOM, then TRUE history must be the key.", my friend Elias Crisostomo commented.  It has been repeatedly said that: 'Those who do not know history are bound to repeat it.' (George Santayana) And true enough, this country has been going round and round the vicious cycle, unable to go beyond and above the turbulence of economic, political, social, religious and other aspects of national life.

Social diagnosis would reveal that too few of our citizens know our history, if at all, the distorted version of our history.  Among the many are the politicians and government officials who were hired on the basis of recommendations rather than qualifications.  And speaking of qualifications, knowledge of history of the very country and people that we are to serve is an imperative; otherwise, one wouldn't know what to do, the appropriate methods and approaches that would suit the need of the constituents and the country as a whole.

Unfortunately for us, the commonly prescribed books of Philippine history are not only biased, slanted and maligned but likewise short-cut to serve the requirements and interests of the past colonizers who continue to be present despite their physical absence but through their local agents known as the oligarchs. Through the existing textbooks of history,  education becomes the giant brainwashing machine of foreign interest.

History books that highlight the defeats  which we celebrate nationally rather than the triumphs of those who died in defense of our land, people and dignity.  History materials that contain nothing more than the What, the When, the Where and the Who. They describe the events but not the reason why the event happened.  They talk of the who’s who, but only the names and excluded the description of the character, the motives, the interest and the attitudes of the personalities.

While character assassination is common in some local books, a plenty can be found in books of foreign authors, mostly American authors who viewed the Filipinos with contempt and discrimination.  The use of “little brown brother” connotes, at the very least, a demeaning of the greatness of our race even long before America became a nation. Nonetheless, this imperial language was treated with passing grace by the majority of the Filipinos unmindful of the insults lodged against our people and country.  This was made possible by the American model of education that shaped the mind and molded our character, especially our scholars and even military officials trained in the US. In the language of Stanley Karnow, an American journalist cum historian, author of IN OUR IMAGE: America’s Empire in the Philippines, and to quote: “most of the Filipinos I met spoke Americanized English, they knew more about the United States than they knew about the Philippines, as if they were some kind of lost American tribe that had somehow become detached from the U.S. mainland and floated across the Pacific”.

With this scenario, therefore, would it be logical to conclude that the reason why we cannot progress nor evolve as a nation is because we remain ignorant of the past, the true story of our history?  Shall we not examine repeatedly and try to derive deeper meaning in the old adage: “Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan”.  While we are aware of the immediate past, we must likewise look into the remote past because that is where the comparison and the secret of our greatness can be found. “Ang kahapong lumipas ay ugat ng walang katiyakang bukas”. (Quotes given to me by Elias)

However, if in the present we would distill the lessons from the past and make of them as inputs in charting our future, then, I am almost certain that we could attain our destiny as a great nation; greatness, not in terms of economics alone, but great in terms of moral, cultural, and human aspects of life. Yet, this cannot be done, nor it can happen, if we just do lip service. This journey to greatness requires unity of purpose and unity of action.

The polarization of our society is triggered by our myopic perception, devoid of view-point and stand-point. To arrest therefore this endemic character, Elias hereby proposed as early as of 1985, to re-write our history from our own perspective.  A historical convention that would reconstruct the bits and pieces of our historical footnotes obscured and obliterated by writers and authors to sway the Filipino psyche away from his true identity. Let alone an official version of Philippine history crafted by the genius of our illustrious nationalist scholars.

Idealistic young Filipinos and the more mature patriotic citizens developed through time a reservation, if not hatred, to the Americans.  Yet, somehow, many realized that not all Americans, particularly some authors and writers, deserved a suspicious look and a cold treatment. There are, as a matter of fact, disappointed and even criticized negative writings about the Philippines and the Filipinos. They themselves abhor the misconception, the discrimination, the 2nd grade treatment, and even foreign policies of the American government affecting the Philippines.

I am one with Mr. Bobit S. Avila of Philippine Star who, in his recent article, mentioned about a book entitled: Imperial Cruise written by James Bradley, an American.  I have not read the book yet, but Bobit seems to lead us to what the author exposed about some truths about how the Americans treated us during and after they set foot on our archipelago as well as the motives and the policies as far as colonization is concerned. Another American author by the name of Stanley Karnow, gave us a glimpse of the past in his book IN OUR IMAGE: Americas Empire in the Philippines. To add another, is an antique writer of humorous stories which romanticized America’s rural past. This man is Samuel Langhorne Clemens--better known as “Mark Twain”, who, by his conviction is more Filipino than an American.  He wrote his thesis, a landmark in anti-imperialist writing, “To The Person Sitting in Darkness”, published in North American Review in 1901.  Twain wrote: “Shall we?"  That is, shall we go on conferring our civilization upon the people that sit in darkness, or shall we give these poor things a rest? His  writings reveal a fierce anti-imperialist, likened to Teodoro A. Agoncillo or Renato Constantino.

Twain wrote in favor of Aguinaldo and the infant republic taken from the Filipino people. He was against the tricks of Funston in trying to capture General Emilio Aguinaldo, as well as the atrocities committed by the American soldiers in the Philippines.  He reacted to the cable of President Theodore Roosevelt to Gen. Leonard Wood, (who later became Governor and a bane to Manuel L. Quezon) and congratulated Funston for winning a battle with Moros in Mindanao, saying that the campaign lodged by Funston was a “brilliant feat which upheld the honor of the American flag”.

Twain wrote: “. . . with 600 engaged on each side, we lost 15 men killed outright and we had 32 wounded—counting nose and elbow.  The enemy numbered 600—including women and children—and we abolished them utterly, leaving not a baby alive to cry for its dead mother.  This is incomparably the greatest victory ever achieved by the Christian soldiers of the United States  . . . (Roosevelt) knew perfectly well that to pen 600 helpless and weaponless savages in a hole like rats in a trap and massacre them in detail during a stretch of a day and a half, from a safe position on the heights above, was no brilliant feat of arms even if Christian America, represented by its salaried soldiers, had shot them down with Bibles and the Golden Rule instead of bullets.  He knew that our uniformed assassins had not upheld the honor of the American flag, but have done as they have been doing continuously for eight years in the Philippines – that is to say, they had dishonored it”.

Moreover, he wrote that the American flag must be changed – its white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and crossbones.  Reading Mark Twain is to discover that America is not-- never benevolent at all.

By the way, this ignoble acts of the American soldiers were not in history books nor read and taught in school. What we have read were the acts of benevolence, their superiority of values and political as well as military power, their friendship . . .  minus the betrayal.  Another instance that was omitted in our textbook was the Balangiga  massacre; the harassment they did to the villagers, that in retaliation, the local massacred no less than 51 American soldiers.  And in the ensuing counter-retaliation, they erased the village population and took the bell of the church—now in their custody at Ft. Wyoming, USA.

During World War II, we lost more one million lives in a war that is not ours; but because of their (American) presence, we were dragged to become second-class heroes of the USAFFE.  Many of our HUKBALAHAP guerillas were likewise betrayed by the Americans. Up to now, many were not given the benefits what's due them. Yet, hardly you will find accounts of these tales in our history books, if at all, in loose articles and monographs.

So, with all these omissions and obscurantism, Filipinos of today continue to revere the Americans; continue to trust and depend upon, however, short of understanding.  Truly to be anti-American is be classified as Communists. To be patriotic is to be an insurgent.

Most Filipinos are not really anti-elite nor Anti-American or racist, but we have to put everything in the right perspective to correct our distorted  history always beholden to the victors.

We also have to be wary that wars and conflicts stage managed by the evil geniuses have destroyed historical artifacts, relics, manuscripts, old maps and books, thus, destroying the culture and ideology of a nation and replace them with their mind conditioning agenda. The so called 'Animal Farm' where  nation-states were taken over by the globalists through proxy and fronted by their puppets in the government,military and the church.

Let's get our act together to achieve a new unified Philippines  in the offing. Merry Christmas to all!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder why there are no commenters in any of your articles. I've been reading and following your posts. I am for re-writing our history. Thanks and keep posting.