Sunday, 20 July 2014

Post-July 4 ramblings

Post-July 4 ramblings

(or how this Philippines has to rethink clearly after what its 'best friend' did for years)

It was July 4 when the people of the United States had celebrated its day of Independence. This person, like all others, had seen reports mostly about the celebration if not protests against the present system and its cycle of exploitation against its people. But nonetheless, the celebration goes on in the nation self-proclaiming as a world police. 

Ranging from speeches, marches, to a series of messages from allies and neighbouring countries, the people of the United States takes pride in its showcase of power and greatness, as well as trying to describe itself as beacon of freedom and democracy around the world. News reports had shown the Statue of Liberty, the Capitol, White House, and the Washington Monument all with pride so as the stars and stripes with reporters saying "happy birthday America" to the audience.

And that includes Filipinos as well. In fact to some, if not most Filipinos, that same day also meant independence aside from June 12. Given by its once occupiers after the second world war, most Filipinos felt grateful to its occupier that other than providing modernity such as cars and electricity, it had "trained the nation" with its profound ideas such as life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that end people wasted and upon and justify its hedonistic inclinations, to the extent that anything American is good and the rest should been treated skeptically.

Quite awkward, actually that despite having a Filipino diaspora all over the world, the typical mindset remains the same that anything American means progress, modernity, even equating the nation itself as freedom and democracy regardless of its atrocity. Or even citing biblical passages in justifying wars like what Pat Robertson did in his 700 club.

However, despite giving anything beneficial doesn't mean not to remember the days when its forces nearly deciminated the entire population and justifying its benevolent assimilation a showcase of pride from an Anglo-Saxon towards an Asian whom at first mistaken for an African. That from the battle of Manila up to the massacre at Bud Dahu in Mindanao, the stubborn resistance of the Filipino people acted as an evidence how a nation is willing to die for the sake of its cause the way trying to show its capability of standing up on its own. That even General Douglas MacArthur and Britain's Winston Churchill had admired the valour of the Filipino as a fighter just like the Ghurkas and the Sikh warriors of Nepal and India.

But despite the admiration coming those of Imperialists, most Filipinos care less about the staunch resistance of its own countrymen, sometimes describing it as hopeless while favoring the white man and its civilizing mission with emphasis on anything that is modern regardless of what Europe, particularly those of Spain had been given to; for had provide American-style education, culture, anything that made Filipinos mimic most of the time, and eventually favoring English over Filipino and Spanish, Apples and Oranges over Atis, Basketball over Football and Sepak Takraw, and riding on the right on roads that was once used to be left. They would even disregard independence through struggle (such as those of Sakay and Malvar) altogether, preferring "peaceful" means (like those of Pacificados, Quezon or OsmeƱa) that as if that can make people's aspirations realize by scraps of paper with signatures of prominent personalities signed in it.

But did the United States seriously adhere to the wishes of the people? Perhaps what they did was and is to cultivate just materialism and tell the world that their colonization was humane, disregarding altogether the water cure, concentration camps, and massacres to justify their anglo-saxon victory over the half-breed. They had used Rizal's life and works, yet they fail to cultivate further what Rizal had said besides education as key for the future.
May as well it is also the same United States that prioritizes Europe during the Scond World War, leaving its own Philippines treated as a buffer zone for the Japanese invader. Manuel Quezon attests the fact how a so-called "friend" chose to defend its own interest while giving its colony minimal support:

"after nine weeks of fighting not even a small amount of aid has reached us from the United States. Help and assistance have been sent to other belligerent nations,... but seemingly no attempt has been made to transport anything here.... [T]he United States has practically doomed the Philippines to almost total extinction to secure a breathing space."

So was this, after listening to Roosevelt's statement supporting Europe while failing to support its own in the Pacific:

"come, listen to this scoundrel! Que demonio! How typical of America to writhe in anguish at the fate of a distant cousin, Europe, while a daughter, the Philippines, is being raped in the back room!"

The ruins left by the invaders and the so-called liberators  had left just loans long years to be paid in pursuit of reconstruction, that they had ruined Manila not just because of uprooting the Japanese but to force people to have loans as a new republic. Most of the infrastructure made during the Spanish period as well as "peace time" were perished, and thus eventually forgotten save memories of the old,  and the old moralities that became a part of Filipino identity had been forgotten as well, as the materialism of the west had been emphasised afterwards.

Sorry if to revisit history as most chose to disregard altogether and "move on", but to "move on" is a two-way road. It may lead to progress or to misery, it may also lead to deficiency if not wellness. The Philippines had bannered patriotism most of the time, but they fail to justify struggle as a nation thinking that anything the United States of America had given as enough to pave way for Independence therefore no bloodshed to set upon. They had forgotten the tortures given by the WASPs against patriots like water cure, the concentration camps that resulted to starvation, of branding patriots as thieves and murderers, the attempts to industrialize itself during the commonwealth and the young republic, while seeing the illusions of progress that tries to hid the obvipus reality such as a feudal state with all its modern trappings yet seeing farmers carrying scythes if not machetes in Hacienda Luisita; land reform haven't been realized all despite papers and pseudo-grants made for publicity purposes, while industrialization as all but disregarding those from the factory and focusing in the service sector and redescribed as 'industry'.
Come to think of this, the Americans had glorified battles like Lexington, Concord; and individuals like Paul Revere, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and George Washington, they had shed blood and idea in order to achieve independence from the British colonialists, but how about Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Macario Sakay, and the men whom in the end being tried as bandits than as revolutionaries? Perhaps the people had been gone "castrated" through time regardless of its valour being shown, a eunuch that chose to assist the white-skinned cacique whom they think as benevolent and paternalistic. They chose to "rejoice" the passive actions like two-faced lobbying and negotiations, as if can guarantee independence and "abhor" the resistance such as protest actions, armed struggles that resulted to deaths, such as what this writeup being stated. For sure they would abhor the battlefield as they favor the negotiating table and the assembly that represents the ruling classes than the people itself.

No offense to most readers, but despite the United States recognize your independence in 1946 after a series of negotiations, limited "self-rule", and valour at the battlefield and ruins, did guarantee the nation's really right to self-determination? Of really standing up on its own? The earlier agreements proved otherwise including those of limiting the desire to industrialize itself and taking an independent foreign course. The United States, in its past, present, and future ventures had benefited greatly in its tributaries actually, citing raw materials and cheap labor to justify their actions, they would even justify exploitation as development, of reaction as renovation, of repression as justice. Those whom are diehard Americanists would even cry China and its imperialism especially after Spratlys and Scarborough, not knowing that those whom waving the stars and stripes can't guarantee protection, nor immunity from bullets and missiles of the fading "red flag" of the far east.
So are those whom likely to oppose this kind of writeup such as this, as they would even tell that the tablet, computer, cellphone, even electricity are products of the United States, and if so then damn these people without self-consciousness! For it is man, first and foremost who has the will to use those tools rather than the tool that is being used. They should even remember that in every spare part that assembled from the United States or any other first world country comes from the nations being exploited, that the soap being used in their laundry comes from the coconut trees from Bicol and processed in the factories situated near Pasig river, yet owned by foreigners (especially American, if not Anglo-Dutch) instead of those whom had tilled, processed, and distribute every product to its customers. So were the microchips being processed in the economic zones, cars being assembled in factories near south superhighway. Much more that those people whom afford to criticize are ignorant about those whom selling ropes are the ones whom are willing to hang those who sell.

And if gained consciousness about social realities and patriotism like the ones whom leaned so much, would ask: "why the contentment? Why not at least try to stand up and look after ourselves?" The United States, in its few years of being independent has to justify standing up on its own by focusing on its own produce, so should be the Philippines that actually end failed to realize the innermost aspirations of the people. Alexander Hamilton provide foundations, while the Philippines, with its rotten system chose to be dictated by neoliberal interests while at the same time keeping feudal "traditions" alive the way it flies its own flag and promoting celebrities and tourist spots.

This writeup may had been made very late, but this person knows that both Americans and Filipinos share the same expression of being against an exploitative order and willing to do a Lexington, Concord, Balintawak and Balangiga.

That's all for now.

Thank you.