Saturday, May 29, 2010

Philippine History Revisited

Aguinaldo and Bonifacio revisited

I have nothing against any leader of the United States. Personal attacks against anyone is not my cup of tea considering that I have always been a responsible writer . But I am sharing this article with those who know less of our past as a nation, or as a race struggling for our rights and nationality. Perhaps the Filipinos were not born patriotic but circumstances where we dwell in caused by so much injustice have provided the rebirth of our race to an aware constituency of a beleaguered country.

I shall make no attempt to put an opinion on who is the treacherous character in this piece, but I will give you some facts that will guide your own judgment to release you from your own ponders. The truth will set us all free.

Asian manager columnist Gertie Tirona wrote about Cavite as “La Madre de losa ladrones” or “Mother of Bandits”. This was the general perception of the people during the Spanish era.

It dates back to 1896 when the first elected Philippine President, General Emilio Aguinaldo, allied with the United States to defeat the Spaniards. Aguinaldo’s accomplice in the United States were Commander Dewey and Consul General Pratt. Aguinaldo’s alliance was “quid pro quo“—a partnership that risked Philippine independence in exchange for the liberation of the Filipinos from the oppressive Spaniards.

Aguinaldo was aware of the repercussions relative to his move. In fact, he brought this worry to the attention of his American allies but this was dismissed as "nothing" by his American counterparts. Those words proved to be false for the Philippines has become not only an ally of the United States to drive away the enemies of the Filipinos in the past--the "alliance" has also institutionalized in the form of providing grant for debt certification for the Philippines.

Our leaders maintain that Filipinos need the support of a powerful country like the United States to help sustain our foreign debt. A dependency that gives no leader a choice but to be subservient to the power that feeds the nation.

During Bonifacio and Aguinaldo's time, the consequential magnitude of all the participation done by the Americans to free the Filipinos from Spain’s control was indirectly making the Philippine government submissive to their demands.

Aguinaldo’s move overlooked the possibility that the USA could change their stance from protection to imperialism.

From 1898 to 1991, the US had bases here in the Philippines but not sans controversy for the Filipinos feared that the bases have left toxic chemicals that are life-threatening to the environment of the communities surrounding those areas.

Adding insult to the injury was the pending resolution of the much celebrated Subic rape case involving six (6) US marine soldiers and an innocent Filipina. Justice is yet to be served and the kins of the victims asked: "How long do we have to wait?"

Perhaps, if Aguinaldo knew that this could have happened, he must have shelved his decision to ally with the US government. Too bad and too late.

In fact, he admitted that the killing of Andres Bonifacio was necessary to restore order in the revolutionary government. Aguinaldo added that Bonifacio’s death would stop his popular following. The revolutionary government which was led by Bonifacio had a massive support which evoked fear in Aquinaldo.

Bonifacio earned a name coined by the Aguinaldo faction:treacherous. This was owing to the former’s public display of disobedience to the presidency of Aquinaldo.

However, looking deeply at the events surrounding both parties would lead one to deduce that the "treachery" thrown at Bonifacio was a double standard description. Many also alleged that Aguinaldo ’s alliance with the US government was also a treacherous partnership for it was unapproved by most sectors who wanted to free the nation from foreign intervention.

This brings me to more questions:If Bonifacio was allowed to live, would he stand in the way of Aguinaldo to establish such alliance with the Americans ? Was Aguinaldo aware that he was trekking that kind of partnership with the Americans?

Did Aguinaldo ignore the fact that his move was the start of an imperialism which the US will play as a monolithic role in the Philippines? It is fair to assume that Aguinaldo had the best intention in his mind when he made the partnership with the United States then, for he was not in control of the succeeding events in the history of imperialism in the country.

Well, we have answers to that. Read the Philippine history book.

This is the historical struggle of our forefathers in the past. Bonifacio stood for a non-interference from any foreign country and depended on his Filipino brothers to fight against Spanish invasion. His assassination was a testimony of his heroism for no less than Aquinaldo confirmed that his killing was done to stop his following which wanted complete independence for the country. A following that was totally opposed to Aguinaldo's pro-foreign intervention.

This is the common perception of the Filipino masses and I have hopes in my heart that the new president of the United States, President elect Barack Obama, would look into the welfare of the Filipino people, whose economic partnership with the Philippine government must promote our human dignity as a race and not be used for any purpose that is unjust to our rights and liberties as a nation.

(Photos: Aguinaldo in military uniform and Bonifacio in coat and tie.)
Source: Wikipedia


Raymond Teodo a.k.a. was_bedeutet_jemanden said...

Very informative article! :-) So, as a result of all of this, how has this event impacted on the current government system that exists in the Phillipines today? And exactly what sort of things would you like to see President Obama do to help the Fillipino people?


Honestly Ray, the truth is, majority of the patriotic Filipinos believe that the United States leadership has been causing a lot of political and financial pressures on the Philippines.

In the past, before the Obama administration, The USA has been regarded by most Filipino political analysts as the imperialist in the domain of Philippine politics and has adulterated the culture of the Filipino people.

That is one side of the coin, but to be fair in assessing the whole situation, I should say that everything is still dependent on the kind of leadership the white house has.

I believe in Barack Obama for I have been following his political stance with regard to his dealings with the Philippine national leadership.

Basically, his political tone is anti-war as his approach to helping solve the issue of Muslim rebellion.

One of the terms he used in his approach was to "SMART FOREIGN DIPLOMACY".

I also appreciate the recent survey conducted by POLITICO, a US based political agency, that Obama's collective message is more on HOPE and PEACE and not war.

I hope that Obama will stay consistent to what he upholds now.

marlene_howe said...

It has always been the position that if you are indebted to someone or country that you basically lose your freedom to be independent. Quid pro quo is only advantageous if you have a fair bargain but not when one has more to gain than the other. Our country can be independent from foreign influence if our leaders take to heart to do the right thing for the people and by the people. We need leaders like Bonifacio and Lapulapu who resisted foreign intervention.

rbleano said...

Philippine History as taught to Filipinos is sanitized and has a lot of omissions and half truths. I remember being taught that the reason Spaniards came to the Philippines was to spread Christianity which is true but that was not the main and the only reason. In the same way when the Americans came we were taught that they came to educate and prepare us to be a sovereign nation which is not true.

A good way of teaching history is following the manner the review was written, lay down all the details and facts and avoid conclusions and judgement and let the reader/student make his own conclusion. I have seen history classes where they involve the students in a debate. For example, in this case a group would expound the side of Aguinaldo and the other Bonifacio. In this way the students become more analytical of the events instead of just memorizing names, dates and places.

It's been said that the most unbiased history is written by a third party uninvolved in the events that took place. In our case history taught us is biased in favor of our colonizers if ever it should be the other way around!

Princess Maleiha said...

Thank you dear GM and Kuya Ben. I appreciate that both of you took time to comment on this article. The idea of sharing the truth, from any intention to obscure it, is to allow all people to see facts both in its actual and disfigured form.

Whatever was the intention to omit salient points that will speak truthful of the Muslims in the Philippines or just the insight on the Bonifacio-Aguinaldo controversy, is beyond me.

The most important thing is we can write the truth and share them for the readers to see the difference of a neutral and unbiased mind.