Monday, December 05, 2005

"What luck for rulers that men do not think" - Adolf Hitler

It is easy for us contented Filipinos, here and abroad, to simplify or imply that the arguments and presentations of our homeland’s history and current events by our nationalists as a blame game, i.e. use of “argument by victimhood” against America, the supporter (of our forefathers’ revolt against Spain) turned interventionist, new occupier and colonial master for 50 years.

To the thinking Filipino, he knows that among equals, to use the “argument of victimhood” is disgustingly moronic, irresponsible or immature.

But between the strong and the weak, the intelligent and the ignorant, victimhood is reality. It is as real as the Jewish Holocaust, or the forced displacement of Palestinians from Palestine (now mainly Israel) or the genocide of Armenians by Turks or the more recent ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia, etc. All their decades-old, if not centuries-old, ongoing conflicts borne out of real victimization.As I wrote in a previous posting:,

“Suffice it to say that the failure to solve our people's poverty is not strictly the fault of America or of foreign institutions (America has the strongest control and influence in them), and it is also not completely the fault of the so-called leaders of our homeland. It takes two to tango, to screw for so long and continually the country and our fellow countrymen.”

It urgently behooves the Filipino nationalists to educate the weak and the ignorant among us, that is, the impoverished majority and the miseducated in the homeland(many of us so-called educated), about the unknown hidden truths and the known untruths in our history; and to appreciate and see these recorded past as guides to internal and external factors which heavily and continually contribute and lead to our present, ever-worsening, national socio-economic and political predicament.

Only by educating and thus raising the national consciousness of the majority can a united, nationalistic citizenry be attained; who then will decisively work for the radical transformation of our homeland for the common good.

NOTE: To those who wonder "why dig the past": We engage in revisiting and revising our past, i.e. historical "revisionism", to develop new emphases and raise new questions on assumptions and explanations for key historical issues and policies --given by our former colonial master America, government officials and authors of history books, then and now.

In our homeland's case, we can not afford a "balanced" approach to history since in the past and present years, our homeland's history, as it refers to Philippine-US relationships, has been imbalanced in favor of the Americans, who as far as we baby boomers can remember, are only "the good guys" and "do-gooders" in history.

It is time for us, especially for Filipinos-in-the-Philippines to recover our history, a nationalist history, which necessitates uncovering the lies and myths about America; since the American arrival into and 50-year occupation of our homeland, the sweet nothings about "Philippine-American Special Relations", etc. perpetuated through our school textbooks, mass media, government pronouncements, Filipinos with Americanized minds, etc.

We Filipinos, here and abroad, past and present, relied and continue to use these official explanations that lead only to our ignorance of hidden truths and knowledge of untruths, thus perpetuating the post-WW2 neocolonial conditions that brought only ever-worsening impoverishment to the masses; foreign control of the national economy and the dwindling of our national patrimony.

“The HISTORY of an oppressed people is hidden in the lies and the agreed myth of its conquerors.” - Meridel Le Sueur, American writer, 1900-1996

"In all institutions from which the cold wind of open criticism is excluded, an innocent corruption begins to grow like a mushroom - for example, in senates and learned societies." - Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900

"To oppose the policies of a government does not mean you are against the country or the people that the government supposedly represents. Such opposition should be called what it really is: democracy, or democratic dissent, or having a critical perspective about what your leaders are doing. Either we have the right to democratic dissent and criticism of these policies or we all lie down and let the leader, the Fuhrer, do what is best, while we follow uncritically, and obey whatever he commands. That's just what the Germans did with Hitler, and look where it got them." - Michael Parenti


Rizalist said...

D.W. Brogan once observed that there is no greater emotional and psychological loss than that of an excuse for one's failures in the actions of another. I like that definition of VICTIMOLOGY which I didn't quite get, should we or should we not use victimhood to justify our own failure to create a strong and prosperous nation? You don't seem to be very sure.

But I should ask you: do you think Filipinos have any hand at all in anything that has happened to them that you would not blame on their colonial past? Anything at all?

tet gambito said...

Historical "revisionism"? what do you think of the following article?

Ako Pinoy, pinanganak na Kano

“All persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States are citizens of the United States.”
This Declaration of Right to U.S. Citizenship in the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Article of Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is a fundamental, self-executing constitutional mandate enforceable as it stands without the aid of enabling law or the performance of any act, save acts perfunctory, and invulnerable to dictates of convenience or expediency.
Aside from declaring this RIGHT, the Clause proclaims that: (1) Citizenship of the United States is National Citizenship, State Citizenship is secondary and derivative; (2) A person may be a Citizen of the United States without being a Citizen of a State.
This is the RIGHT to U.S. Citizenship seven Petitioners invoked in their letter of Jan. 19, 2004 (revised Mar. 10th) to the U.S. Embassy in Manila to issue to each of them a United States Passport as natural-born-Within-the-Realm citizens of the United States, having been born “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” before July 04, 1946 in the Province of Cebu, “Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands.”
U.S. Vice-Consul Laura Biedebach in her March 12th DENIAL said: Filipinos were “non-citizen Nationals of the United States.” In their Appeal of April 1st (no reply yet), Petitioners reiterate: The Clause is unbelievably MISREAD, officially and judicially; and their claim is not about what “in the United States” means, or the nuances of a “rule of law,” but is about adherence to a “rule of grammar.” Below are their arguments:
This RIGHT now asserted is unalterable by any act of ordinary legislation, unchangeable by “needful rules,” much less by any Treaty provision. For this RIGHT—embedded in the Supreme Law of the Land since 1868—is precious, irrevocable, and is impervious to “congressional forcible destruction” by statutory collective deprivation, unless voluntarily relinquished expressly by the citizen.
Thus, its inclusion in the Clause places this RIGHT “beyond the Legislative Power” (even the Judicial) and voids particularly such discriminatory Acts as those that classify the Philippines as “unincorporated” territory, NOT “in the United States,” to justify the Filipino status of “non-citizen National of the United States,” downgraded later to an “alien,” deportable if caught overstaying.
This RIGHT also nullifies laws invoking Art. IX, 1898 Treaty of Paris, which empowers Congress “to determine the political status” of Filipinos—as if the Fourteenth ratified 30 years earlier never existed. Besides, the Philippines was at that time already a declared Republic with a Constitution, yet was NOT (unlike those inked with Indian tribes) a party to the Treaty ending the War of Two Empires—over Cuba (which, under the Teller Resolution, got off the U.S. hook in 1902 yet). So, since Spain handed over Manila (after a “mock” battle arranged by Belgian Consul Andre) a day after the Protocol of Peace was signed Aug. 12, 1898, the U.S. could not demand the Philippines as a “War Conquest.”
And so, to legitimize (1) Spain’s cession of “Las Islas Filipinas,” the archipelago lying along the Papal Bull of Demarcation “Within the Realm” of the Spanish Crown under the 1529 Treaty of Zaragoza; and (2) Spain’s relinquishment of the Imperial Power of Dominion to exercise the Right to, among others, Anoint Filipinos, natives of the Realm, “subject to the jurisdiction” of the NEW sovereign; the U.S. was obliged to pay Spain’s bid of $20 Million, with Puerto Rico and Guam tacked into a BUY-ONE-TAKE-TWO-FREE DEAL. But once the Stars and Stripes unfurled over Philippine soil—the Doctrine of Dominion becomes inescapably the RULE—“The Constitution Follows the Flag.”
A. Congressional Globe CONFIRMS This Declaration of Right (
Although expressly defined in, and thoroughly discussed during the enactment of, the Fourteenth Amendment in 1866; this RIGHT remains, to this day, sadly unrecognized, perhaps, unintentional or overlooked, but hopefully not simply ignored or disregarded.
Sen. Jacob M. Howard of Michigan sponsored the original draft of the Clause on May 30, 1866 to be appended to Section 1 of House Joint Resolution No. 127, and it read (See Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, p. 2890.): “All persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” (Note the crucial Pair of Commas enclosing the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” with the first comma placed before the coordinating conjunction “and,” and the initial absence of the words “or naturalized” later to be inserted—see also Note A below.) In his sponsorship speech, Sen. Howard emphasized that the Clause “is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land”;hence, “all persons subject to the jurisdiction thereof” are “by virtue of natural law and national law citizens of the United States.” (See Ibid.)
Thus, this RIGHT affirms the “Law of the Land”—the “Common Law of the Realm” on “birth within the realm,” which gives the rights of natural-born citizens—the ancient and fundamental Natural Rule of Nationality or Citizenship respected at Common Law, by the Law of England, and by the Law of the Territories from the time the Pilgrim Fathers settled the English Colonies in America.
Ratified July 28, 1868, this Resolution is now the Fourteenth Amendment, and Sen. Howard’s “prefix” to Sec. 1 is now the “Citizenship Clause.” Note that the Fourteenth is about “All persons,” while the companion Thirteenth (1865) speaks of “any place,” but both post Civil War amendments display oneness of intent—that is, so long as they are “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States.
Sen. James A. Doolittle of Wisconsin, apparently fearful that, in his words, “the very language” of the all-embracing definition in Sen. Howard’s Clause—“all persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States”—might unwittingly include, and ultimately confer U.S. citizenship upon, persons he calls “wild Indians,” proposes an amendment to be inserted after the word “thereof” the words “excluding Indians not taxed.” (See Ibid.)
The author, Sen. Howard replies: “Indians born within the limits of the United States, and who maintain their tribal relations, are not, in the sense of this amendment, born subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. They are regarded, and always have been in our legislation and jurisprudence, as being quasi foreign nations.” (See Ibid.) In fact, insofar as “quasi foreign nations” is concerned, Sen. Howard in his sponsorship speech stressed: The Clause “will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers x x x.” (See Ibid.)
Sen. Doolittle then directs this remark to the author, Sen. Howard: “My friend from Michigan will not contend that an Indian can be taxed if he is not subject to the State or the United States, and yet, if they are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, they are declared by the very language of this amendment to be citizens x x x Why, sir, what does it mean when you say that a people are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States: Subject to its “military power”; “political power”; “and who doubts our legislative power over the reservations upon which these Indians are settled?” (See Ibid., p. 2896.)
Finally, and this is the “clincher,” Sen. Doolittle poses this rhetorical question, asking the author, Sen. Howard: “Whether the language he uses, ‘all persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States’ includes Indians. I maintain that it does; and x x x I insist x x x that we exclude the wild Indians from being regarded or held as citizens of the United States.” (See Ibid., p. 2897.)
So, to the U.S. Embassy unbelievers, here it is, the “very language” of the RIGHT each Petitioner invoked to be issued a United States Passport—“All persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” are “citizens of the United States.”
Sen. Doolittle’s proposal to insert “excluding Indians not taxed” was roundly rejected that same day (May 30, 1866). Upon resumption of the debate on June 08, 1866, Sen. William Pitt Fessenden of Maine moved to insert after the word “born” the words “or naturalized” and immediately agreed to “by general consent,” sans any debate. (See Ibid., p. 3040.)
So, after the inclusion of Sen. Fessenden’s amendment and the passage of House Joint Resolution No. 127 also on June 08, 1866, having received the required two-thirds vote of the Senate with Ayes 33, Nays 11. (See Ibid., p. 3042.) Sen. Howard’s proposed “prefix”—now popularly known as the “Citizenship Clause”—reads finally: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”
B. The Unrecognized THIRD CATEGORY U.S. Citizens Born or Residing “Within the Realm” of the United States.
In the light of the foregoing debate—which revolved around Sen. Doolittle’s futile insistence to single out for exclusion, not anymore the “Dred Scotts,” but a similar defined class he described as “wild Indians,” which would certainly have delimited the far-reaching scope of “all persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States”—it is apparent that, aside from the TWO categories of “All persons” (1) “born” or (2) “naturalized,” both “in the United States,” there is, after all, a THIRD CATEGORY of “citizens of the United States,” and that category, still officially and judicially unrecognized, is: “All persons” (3) “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”:
1st Category - All persons born in the United States - Birth in the United States
2nd Category - All persons naturalized in the United States - Naturalization
3rd Category - All persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States - Birth Within the Realm of the United States
C. Who Qualifies Under This THIRD CATEGORY U.S. Citizens NOT Born or Residing in the United States”?
Filipinos born before July 04, 1946 (and Puerto Ricans, Guamanians, Hawaiians before 1959, Samoans, and those in Washington, D.C.) NOT born or residing “in the United States” but “subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” confirmed in Declarations, to wit:
(1) In his Proclamation of Independence (60 Stat. 1352) on July 04, 1946, President Harry S. Truman declared that: “WHEREAS, the United States of America has consistently and faithfully during the past forty-eight years exercised jurisdiction and control over the Philippines and its people x x x NOW, THEREFORE, the United States of America withdraws and surrenders all rights of possession, supervision, jurisdiction, control or sovereignty now existing and exercised by the United States of America in and over the territory and people of the Philippines and x x x I do hereby recognize x x x the Philippines as a separate x x x nation.”
(2) The Philippine Independence Act (48 Stat. 456), or Act No. 127, known as the Tydings-McDuffie Law, further provided “Mandatory Provisions” to declare that “the Philippine Constitution formulated and drafted shall x x x contain provisions to the effect that, pending the final and complete withdrawal of the sovereignty of the United States over the Philippine Islands: (1) All citizens of the Philippine Islands shall owe allegiance to the United States x x x (12) The Philippine Islands recognizes the right of the United States x x x to maintain x x x armed forces in the Philippines, and, upon order of the President, to call into the service of such armed forces all military forces organized by the Philippine Government.” (Appended as Ordinance to the 1935 Philippine Constitution.)
Thus, Filipinos born before July 04, 1946 were unarguably “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” (as upheld in several U.S. Supreme Court decisions); and, by recognizing the Philippines as a “separate nation” and underscoring the 48 years Uncle Sam overstayed one’s welcome, the Philippines was all along an “outlying possession” lying “within the limits,” or “within the realm,” of the United States. Filipinos were also mandated to “owe allegiance to the United States” and to be called “into the service” of the Armed Forces of the United States. The return for “Allegiance” is the “Protection” to “all persons subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”
“I do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the United States of America.” This is the oath—the loyalty pledge paid in blood—that the Filipino Youth, Rizal’s “Hope of the Fatherland,” swore to upon their induction to the USAFFE.
USAFFE is an acronym of no little significance, for it meant the ALL-FILIPINO “United States Armed Forces in the Far East.” By the Military Order of July 26, 1941, President Theodore Roosevelt directed “all military forces organized by the Philippine Government,” under a U.S. Army General, to be called into the service of, and incorporated into, the Armed Forces of the United States.
The December 08, 1941 U.S. Declaration of War with Japan legally involved the Philippines in World War II. This was the Crucible—the “Defining Moment”—that validated the “Allegiance” Filipinos owe to America and to the values, aspirations, and ideals both, to this day, revere and share. The courageous exploits of USAFFE Soldiers and Filipino Guerillas, bearing the Star Spangled Banner and commanded by U.S. military officers, are well-documented testimonials of the Brotherhood of the Filipino and American Soldier in War and Peace.
Recognition, therefore, of the THIRD CATEGORY U.S. citizens rectifies the INEQUITY of the Rescission Act of 1946—and its BETRAYAL of the Filipino Soldier—which declared that service in the USAFFE “shall not be deemed” service in the U.S. Military and cut off the $200 Million for the “Army of the Philippines” while “66,000 servicemen of 16 Allied Countries x x x were fully compensated.”
D. Contradictions and Redundancies in the Official and Judicial Reading of the Citizenship Clause
Officially and judicially read, the Clause confers U.S. citizenship only upon TWO—and NOT THREE—categories: “All persons” (1) “born”; and (2) “naturalized,” both in the United States, who must—at the same time—be “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”
This view, however, provokes a glaring redundancy, since “An applicant for naturalization, by his petition, institutes a judicial proceeding in a Court of Justice” and hence becomes “subject to its jurisdiction.” (Or is there “Collective Naturalization at Birth”?)
And by seeking to exclude the two classes of cases of children: (1) born of foreigners; and (2) born of diplomats, this reading creates another redundancy, since these are “recognized exceptions” to the rule of citizenship. In fact, the author Sen. Howard, in his sponsorship speech, already mentions these exceptions by saying that the Clause “will not, of course, include, persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.” (See Ibid., p. 2890.)
This erroneous sense of the Clause engenders lingering contradictions with unconstitutional ramifications, particularly the status of “all persons”—already declared citizens of the United States—yet NOT born, or residing, in any state “in the United States,” such as those in: (1) Washington, District of Columbia; (2) Puerto Rico; (3) Guam; and even (4) Hawaii before Statehood in 1959.
This reading error is a classic example of how unconstitutional precedents or opinions of authority create the semblance of unquestionable constitutionality. So, the Clause now cries out a little louder to be read grammatically as intended by author Sen. Jacob M. Howard and the Legislators of the 39th Congress and to be applied indiscriminately without regard to race, color, creed or purse.
Recognition, therefore, of the THIRD CATEGORY U.S. citizens reconciles and unravels at one fell swoop the knots of redundancies and contradictions above and resolves the status of “all persons” (1) in the 11 Confederate States awaiting readmission to the Union; and (2) in the 12 ceded territories pending admission (later admitted).
NOTE A: Grammatical Analysis (See Robert Edward Brittain, A Pocket Guide to Correct Punctuation, Barron’s Third Ed. 1997)
01. The subject of the Clause, is the noun “persons,” modified by the indefinite pronoun “All,” or “All Persons.”
02. The subject, “All persons,” is also modified by the two phrases: Phrase (1), “born or naturalized in the United States”; and Phrase (2), “subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” connected by the coordinating conjunction “and,” which joins the two Phrases (1) and (2) together into one element, acting as a compound modifier of the subject “All persons.”
03. The coordinating conjunction “and” along with Phrase (2) is enclosed within a PAIR of commas which means that Phrase (2) is “non-restrictive”—defined as a “non-essential” element that can be omitted without changing the logical or grammatical meaning of the clause or sentence formed by, in this case of the Clause, Phrase (1). (See 1st sentence in Item 08 below.)
04. For the sake of brevity and style, the coordinating conjunction “and” allows the omission, or avoids the repetition, of the subject “All persons,” or its pronoun “those,” in Phrase (2), which means that Phrase (2) was written to be actually read and understood rather than stated as: “and [all persons or those] subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”
05. The subject “All persons” as modified by the two Phrases (1) and (2), and joined by the coordinating conjunction “and,” thus reads: 1st Subject—All persons born or naturalized in the United States; and 2nd Subject—All persons subject to the jurisdiction thereof.
06. The object of the linking verb “are” is also a compound element also joined by the coordinating conjunction “and,” consisting of: Object (1), “citizens of the United States”; and Object (2), “[citizens] of the state wherein they reside,” with the object “citizens” in Object (2) understood rather than stated—which is what was applied in the compound subject for brevity’s sake.
07. The common predicate of the compound subject thus reads: “are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
08. The two sentences formed by the compound subject and the common predicate thus reads: 1st Sentence—All persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside; 2nd Sentence— All persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
09. The subject “All persons” is modified by the two participles (1) “born”; (2) “naturalized”; and the adjective (3) “subject to.” These THREE modifiers of “All Persons” define the THREE CATEGORIES of U.S. CITIZENS in the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth.
10. Only two months earlier on April 09 1866, the same 39th Congress passed the 1866 Civil Rights Act, Sec. 1 of which reads: “all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States.” Note that the conjunction “and” in the words “and not” is used as the conjunction “if.” And, having omitted the Pair of Commas to enclose “and not subject to any foreign power,” the author, Sen. Lyman Trumbull, is conveying the intention that the phrase is “restrictive,” an “essential” modifier to the main phrase “All persons born in the United States”—unlike the “non-restrictive” phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” in the Citizenship Clause above, which acts as one of the compound modifier of the subject “All persons.”
11. Oddly enough, this official and judicial sense effectively recasts the Citizenship Clause to read instead as: “All persons born or naturalized in, and subject to the jurisdiction of, the United States are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

Bert M. Drona said...


Thanks for your comment.

It depends on how far we want to go back in our homeland's history.

Thus, during the Spanish colonial times, the native indios (us) were pure victims as all colonized people are.

Similarly, we were victims during the brutal intervention and occupation, and subsequent colonization by America; up to the granting of political independence in 1946.

We were victims regardless of how much chocolates the US gave us. Throw in the efficient and effective "cultural imperialism" which subtly inculcated on our minds via the public education system, mass media, etc. to this day preference for and dependence on America in almost everything.

We were again victimized through the Agreements, i.e. Parity Rights, which was practically imposed as preconditions to the granting of independence and post-WW2 reparations. President Roxas and the bicameral Congress, given their conditioned response of dependency, signed on.

With our so-called independence, we continued to be victimized by America because majority of the native members of the moneyed/landed class,who also are the power elite in our socioeconomic-political arena, continue to support such Agreements(corresponds to what you call Filipino hand).

Fast forward today, the pressure from the America government and its transnational corporations, fellow Filipinos with Americanized minds in academia, government and business in our economic and political lives are still very present and strongly influential. All these OUR fault.

All these, thanks to the lack, if not absence, of nationalism on our part. All these, our fault. For a nationalistic leadership and people will unite and not allow foreign domination and control of our economic, political and cultural lives.

Bert M. Drona said...


That was a comprehensive and interesting exposition. I had to read it twice to get some understanding.

Anyway, your position, based on your deep and well-researched documented facts, seems to really merit an appeal not to the local US Embassy in Manila, but to the US Federal Courts.

However, I am no lawyer and am not sure of how the federal appeal process would be.

Maybe a letter to a liberal US Senator or Congressman, i.e. Sen. Edward Kennedy, might be worth a try and a start.

Rizalist said...

Bert -- I guess your answer is YES we are a nation of victims, our nationalism should be an ideology of victimology and resentment. I wish I were wrong about what you wrote. Am I?

But let me ask another question. Is there such a thing as American Nationalism that you would put as equal to Filipino Nationalism and endow with the same resentments?

You seem to ignore the fact that America invented nationalism and started the global democratic revolution by giving EMPIRE its first push into the grave of history when the 13 Colonies declared national independence from the British Empire. Should they adopt your attitude, you might be calling for the destruction of the PHilippines AND the United Kingdom.

But correct me in my impression of your Nationalism, which reminds me more of NIHILISM actually. In fact, your leftist ideas are AMERICAN LEFTIST ideas, the worst kind of colonial mentality in my opinion.

Anyway thanks for the lively conversation.

Bert M. Drona said...

YES, your guess was wrong when you asserted that Filipino nationalism should be an ideology of victimology and resentment.

First, we need to clearly define or characterize the terms we use because we may be playing with semantics and thus wasting our time.

On Nationalism: There can be several meanings to nationalism, but to me nationalism is the strong political emotion expressing loyalty to the nation-state. Thus, Filipino nationalism is that sentiment that make us Filipinos feel that we belong together, that we recognize a common heritage and common destiny. If embraced by the majority, it becomes a force for national unity, for fraternity, and for national independence, i.e. anticolonialism of yesterday or the anti-neocolonialism of today.

Unfortunately, I admit that to this day the majority of our fellow countrymen have not reached such recognition and therefore, strictly speaking, we are not yet a nation. When the majority raise their nationalist consciousness and learn to shake off the feeling of awe of America as some nationalist Filipinos have, then we will truly become a nation, a community of a united people.

On your victimology: By analogy, to me I would qualify by saying that a victim is one who is unwilling and/or forced whether violently or by threat of violence, censure or any unwelcomed consequence; otherwise, in the absence of such qualifications there is no victim.

Your quotation of DW Brogan which you seem to buy and allude to regarding our homeland is based on my latter qualification. Thus, Brogan's and your implication about our Filipino nationalists do not apply.

As I wrote in my previous comment, we are indeed victims per my definition; but, we are not anymore victims -per my definition-after our so-called or formal independence in 1946.

On resentment: virtually all formerly colonialized countries had/have vehement rejection of alien imperial rule. This feeling is especially true for those colonized citizens who appreciated and understood the socioeconomic and political advantages of, or exploitative conditions imposed by, the colonizers. Is that feeling unexpected? what kind of feeling would one expect?

As to American nationalism vis-a-vis Filipino nationalism, you lost me here. I do not see any relevance to the present discussion.

I disagree that America invented nationalism. Well maybe the term "nationalism" was coined by them, which is again irrelevant. But the characteristics of nationalism, of belongingness as I explained earlier, were already in existence; maybe not with reference yet to the concept of nation-states but to a larger community, call it kingdom. Bottomline though, to me the issue of who invented nationalism --to use your phrase--is at best, academic, moot and irrelevant.

Maybe its undeniable that America made the first push to the grave of the British empire; and another 150+ years for the other Europeans to lose their empires. But America started its own quest for empire, for hegemony, by its expansion in the continent and by proclaiming the Monroe Doctrine, the Roosevelt Corollary in the western hemisphere and the Manifest Destiny line(as in their coming to our homeland), to name a few.

On Nihilism: Now you are getting personal and going someplace else by getting philosophical. If I were a nihilist, I would not give a hoot as to what is going on with anyone, of any people, anywhere including those in our homeland.

On labeling: And you are getting more personal and ruining the discourse by labeling, i.e. I having leftist ideas.

You do not know me. Anyway,I tell you that I did not get all my ideas from America.

Most important though, if speaking of and/or for the impoverished majority, or exposing the neocolonial relationship with America or against the influence and control by TNCs, WTO, IMF/WB/ADB,etc. makes one a leftist, according to your label, then I am one. Is that your main objective? Does it make you happy now?

From what you have stated so far, you obviously are not a leftist, what do you label yourself, may I ask? And who are you for? Are you for the foreigners and their local partners who profit much from the present conditions at the expense of the majority in the homeland? And do you profit from it too?

At this point, by getting personal and using labels, you just killed my desire to further our discussions. I thought we could maintain a respectable and reasonable exchange of ideas. But I assure you that I do recognize and respect your right to state your own opinions.


Kulapnit said...

I disagree that the "indios" were pure victims of the Spanish colonizers. I read a book called "A Country of Our Own: Partitioning the Philippines" by David C. Martinez which I ordered from, and it described how the Spanish, who never had more than 5,000 troops during their entire colonial period, would not have been able to colonize the archipelago had they not had the allies - native allies - to help them in their conquest. They found these allies among the Tagalogs and Pampangos of Luzon. It was actually this alliance (Spanish-Tagalog-Pampango) that went on to brutally colonize Ilokos, Bikol, and the Visayas. This alliance attempted to conquer the Cordillera, Mindanao, and the Sulu archipelago, but failed. After the conquest, the Tagalog and Pampango elites became the first principales of the archipelago; the elites of the other regions eventually became Hispanized and mestizo-ized. The pre-colonial lowland societies were somewhat hierarchical; not rigidly hierarchical like in the "Indic kingdoms" that existed in Java or Thailand, but they still had class differentiations. The lowland elites of the pre-colonial Philippines were able to obtain new forms of power when they became the powerful brokers between the Spanish colonial government and the indigenous "indio" population.

Throughout the Spanish colonial period, Pampango and Tagalog troops were used by the colonial government to crush the numerous rebellions waged by the indigenous people, such as Diego and Gabriela Silang's rebellious attempt to create an independent Ilokano nation, or the Boholano Francisco Dagohoy's rebellion. Pampango and Tagalog manpower was often the source of the Spanish colonial government's military power.

The native elite was not the sole creation of the Spanish; this elite pre-existed Spanish contact (many of them were known as "datus". What was new was how the elite managed to create new forms of power through their powerful position as mediators between Spain and the indigenous. Eventually, Spanish (and eventually Chinese) married into this elite, becoming a "mestizo" class. This now culturally Hispanized/Catholicized elite came to be extremely powerful economically and, after the United States brutally intervened, also manipulated the democratic political structures introduced by the Americans to exercise greater political power. When the Japanese invaded, the elite then collaborated with the new imperialists, and after the re-conquest by the United States, the elite then turned back to them, where it has remained ever since.

I don't believe that this nasty elite was purely a creation of Spain and the United States. The Filipino elite must be understood in the context of the continuity of its power. Moreover, I don't believe that the native people were purely victims of Spain/United States, especially since many of them were allies of the colonizers (i.e. the Tagalog and Pampango relationship to Spain). The many different peoples of what is now the Philippines were not united prior to colonization; they were different peoples who traded, formed alliances with, and waged wars on each other. The Spanish exploited these rivalries, while the Tagalogs and Pampangos enhanced their own power/position vis-a-vis their regional neighbors, such as the Ilokanos, Bikolanos, and Cebuanos, by subjugating them.

This is not to excuse the Spanish for their truly oppressive behavior, nor the United States for its brutality and exploitation-disguised-as-benevolence. However, I think that painting a picture of the indios as pure victims is not accurate either. The colonization of the Philippines is much more nuanced and complex than such a portrayal.

Finally, I am skeptical of portraying nationalism as some heavenly solution to the Philippines. Nationalism has been invoked to justify Indonesia's repression of East Timor, Aceh, and West Papua, to justify Burma's brutal repression of its ethnic groups, of Columbia's repression against the indigenous people there, of China's invasion and genocide in Tibet. Has Filipino nationalism really benefited, for example, the Cordillera? These people, who were not Christians, not Hispanized - why did they have to become "Filipinos" when they didn't want to be and when the Americans didn't even ask them what they wanted? The Cordillera has endured torture, environmental degradation, exploitation, impoverishment, and dispossession from their land by rich Filipinos as well as foreign exploiters. Often, the Filipino elite invokes "nationalism" and "national development" to justify this exploitation. Moreover, the Muslims certainly did not see themselves as "Filipinos"; the Spanish and their native allies had been waging attempted invasions of the Moros for centuries. It is according to the logic of Filipino nationalism that the Muslims (who have faced brutal dispossession of their lands, resettlement, genocide, and so forth by Spanish then American then Filipino coloniaism) MUST be a part of the Filipino nation-state.

At the same time, Filipino linguistic nationalism is promoting the Tagalization and homogenization of the population, leading to the destruction of ALL of the non-Tagalog indigenous languages of the Philippines (

The people of the Philippines are proud of their regions. They are proud of their languages, their own cultures, and so forth. It is in this local/regional pride that should be tapped in for its power to make people want to make a difference. People should not have to go to Manila for a world-class university education; like in other countries that have quality colleges in many parts of the country, the Philippines should not have all its major universities in one city. There should be world-class universities in Ilokos, Bohol, Bikol, Tawi-Tawi, the Cordillera, and so forth, where people are studying and nurturing the Ilokano, Visayan, Tausug, Waray, and Kapampangan languages. I believe that a local/regional perspective is the key to making the Philippines work, as opposed to a national (i.e., centered on Manila) perspective. It seems like Manila is jealous; it doesn't want to spread the power or opportunities around, otherwise you would have the rest of the non-Tagalog languages being developed, as well as the regional cultures and economies. In general, I believe that most people in the Philippines are more proud to be Ilokanos or Ifugao or Bikolano or Maranaw or Cebuano than to invoke their connection to the murderous, racist, and bigoted King Philip II of Spain. I think decentralization is the key, not a centralized state based on a homogenizing form of nationalism.

Bert M. Drona said...


Thanks for your response.

Regarding our divisiveness, among several factors, it is mainly due to precolonial tribalism and reinforced by the typical "divide and conquer" strategy by any conquering power, as any serious student of history knows.


I define nationalism as limited by territorial borders. To me, Filipino nationalism will be protective within our borders, and will not deny the national interests of foreign countries in their own borders (firstly, we do not have nor will have that capability to mess with theirs within their borders).

Our Filipino nationalism will have us live in harmony with other nationalists because all nationalists can work out a plan of co-existence.

Those who have carried out their nationalism beyond their borders, i.e. Japan and Nazi Germany in recent history, or the USA in post-WW2 era, China in Tibet, were/are ultra-nationalists; more aptly, imperialists. I suggest you need not worry about and equate our nationalism being so, we can not be their equal, if we ever become united.

Of course, the resentment and/or animosity you or others have expressed is understandable. The central government has, greviously and historically, failed and still fail to do what it was supposed to do,i.e. serve "the people", wherever they are in the homeland.

A serious look at the nations of the world will show that they individually have a dominant dialect/language, which usually becomes its national language. Since a national language is a sine qua non for a people to be united and be a nation. In our case, it only so happens it's Tagalog. And it does not stop anyone from using one's dialect. (At the Don Bosco seminary in Negros where I schooled, we were not allowed to speak in the various vernaculars/dialects before dinner, but only in English to avoid "tribal" or regional thinking/friction.)

As to federalism, whether each region can go it alone economically, whether the powers-that-be or whether the majority of the electorate will allow it to happen remains to be seen.