Saturday, October 20, 2007

THE CASE FOR THE FILIPINOS - Maximo M. Kalaw, 1916 (Introduction by M.L.Quezon)

What follows are the INTRODUCTION and PREFACE to the book THE CASE FOR THE FILIPINOS by Maximo M. Kalaw (Published in 1916):


INTRODUCTION (Manuel L. Quezon)
For more than one reason this book should be read by those who are interested in Philippine affairs. It accurately presents the different stages through which American public opinion on the so- called Philippine question has passed. It is moreover the first attempt of a young Filipino educated in American schools to write in the English language. Most important of all, it echoes the voice
of a generation of Filipinos that has grown to maturity
during the period of American sovereignty over the Islands.

Mr. Kalaw fairly represents the generation of Filipinos that is about to become an important factor in shaping the future of the archipelago. He, like other millions of boys who were of school age when the American flag became the symbol of sovereignty in the Philippines, has been educated in public schools taught by American teachers who have endeavored to instil into the mind of their pupils the belief that it is the destiny of the Filipino people to remain forever under the control of the Government of the United States and that with the realization of this destiny are bound up their well-being, their prosperity, and their individual liberty.

Up to the time that Honorable Francis Burton Harrison became Governor-General of the Philippine Islands, independence was a forbidden topic in Philippine public schools. In dealing with Philippine history American teachers were particularly careful to place emphasis upon the benefits accorded to the people of the Islands by the Government of the United States.

The merits of the American occupation were painted in the most glowing colors. No effort was spared to make American control appear almost as a gift from heaven. It was the belief among those who were responsible for this policy in the schools that the rising generation of Filipinos would advocate the permanent continuance of the existing political relationship between the United States and the Philippine Islands.

Mr. Kalaw's book makes it clear that this policy has failed. The Filipino youth is even stronger in its aspiration for independence than the generation that is passing by. It is therefore absolutely beyond question that the desire for national independence cannot be eradicated from the hearts of the Filipino people. Such being the case, every consideration of statesmanship goes to show that there is but one wise course by which the Government of the United States may govern its action with regard to the Philippine Islands; namely, that of granting them a' speedy independence. This follows not only from the American principle that " just governments derive1- their powers from the consent of the governed " but also from the invariable lesson of history that governments cannot endure unless they are based upon the consent of the governed.

Maximo M. Kalaw was born at Lipa, Batangas Province, Philippine Islands, in 1891. He attended the public schools of his native town, and later came to Manila where he entered the University of the Philippines. He is distinctly a product of the American system of education established in the Islands. In his second year at the University of the Philippines, he became editor-in- chief of the " The College Folio "— the University magazine. His management of this journal exhibited such marked ability as to attract attention.

He came with the writer to Washington in 1911 as private secretary and manager of "The Filipino People" devoted to the cause of Philippine independence. He has, therefore, been connected with the Philippine independence movement in the United States for five years. He was graduated in law at Georgetown University in 1914.

In 1912 he addressed the annual session of the Lake Mohonk Conference of the Indian and Other Dependent Peoples, Mohonk Lake, New York, and his presentation of the cause of his people elicited such favorable attention as to call forth favorable comment even from the opposition newspapers.

The " Boston Transcript," one of the most persistent enemies of Philippine freedom, had this to say of Mr. Kalaw's speech:

"This youth delivered an oration — it was not a speech — of such force and beauty of expression as has seldom fallen upon the ears of a Mohonk audience. He advocated independence for his people; he said they were all for it; he complimented our work and sacrifices, but he craved that boon of liberty. At the conclusion of his speech the applause was long continued. In contrast with the ' set speeches ' of many American travelers in the Islands this effort of the native orator carried refreshing frankness and force. Certainly, if the Islands can furnish such men to plead for them, the day of their liberty is not far distant."

Washington, D. C.,
March 23,1916.

PREFACE (Maximo M. Kalaw)
In this volume I have sought to present the so-called Philippine question as it appears to a Filipino and from an angle rather different from that at which other books on the subject have regarded it.

The ordinary course taken in the discussion of the Philippine problem is this:
If the writer be an advocate of Philippine retention, after hastily disposing, in his first few pages, of Philippine acquisition as an inevitable God-sent incident of the Spanish-American War, he usually devotes the rest of his work to an exhaustive discussion of American achievements in the Islands, the improvements in education, roads, and public buildings, the extension of sanitary measures, and the fostering of commerce and industry; belittling, ignoring, or denying the cooperation given by the Filipinos in accomplishing these results; often depicting them in the darkest colors, if not, indeed, flagrantly misrepresenting them, ridiculing their characteristics, exploiting their supposed ignorance, and exaggerating, if not entirely creating new, native vices and shortcomings.

He, too, often takes the greatest pains to expose the mistakes of some locality or the crimes of some individual, and, by adroit innuendoes, indicates them as the prevailing tendencies of the Filipinos. Nothing in such volumes is spared to prejudice the American people against the Filipinos, so that he may close the volume with the conclusion that American domination must continue indefinitely and that Philippine independence, if any such thing ever be possible, is yet a long way off.

On the other hand, if the writer be an advocate of independence, he takes the opposite view, and after making a much more appreciative study of the Philippine Government, established at Malolos, he enumerates in detail the unmistakable signs of capacity manifested by the Filipinos dur ing American occupation, and then urges the grant ing of independence without any further delay.

This discussion has been going on for well-nigh seventeen years, volumes enough to fill a library have already been written on the subject, and yet through this very confusion of authorities the American people are perhaps more hazy now as to Philippine conditions than ever before. It is not, however, necessary for the American nation to know — and she can never thoroughly know — the minute details of Philippine conditions, in order to be able to settle, once and for all, the Philippine question.

She did not have to know the characteristics and the skulls of the people of Santiago de Cuba, or whether the city of Havana could honestly use the Australian ballot, before she declared that Cuba should be free and independent. It was enough to realize that an entire people were desperately fighting for liberty and that for that cause thousands were starving in reconcentrado camps.

Without stopping to learn the racial differences separating the inhabitants of the Island or the great ignorance of the masses — much greater than in the Philippines — and even before they had been rescued from tyranny, the principle to be adopted toward that people had been proclaimed to the world — that they were and of right ought to be free and independent.

One fact must be conceded in studying the Philippine question: the Filipinos are a people, like the Cubans or the Irish or the French — a distinct political entity, with a consciousness of kind and with national feelings and aspirations, no matter how poorly developed they may be in some directions. Once this fact is conceded, the real issue to be dealt with then becomes not the success or failure of American experiments in the Islands or the fitness or unfitness of the Filipinos to establish American institutions, but the relations that should exist between the American people and the Filipino people.

(following paragraph is damaged, will do further research - Bert)
What is the present political status of the Philipines- ae purpose of the present volume to r n ?relations with the Filipino people- on of the Philippines by America, the underlying that acquisition, the frame of mind of the American people at the time, the vaii the Filipinos against their forcible s refusal of the American Congress to ition of its purpose towards them, th( mpaign carried on by the advocates the appeals of the Filipino people, an hat have brought about the recent le mpt to liberate the Islands. The pa uate of the United States of a bill gra !ence to the Philippines within four very interesting chapter in the history of American relations, took, however, is not intended sole! as. It is hoped that through this volume the Filipino people may have a glimpse of the___d their national freedom, and the concessions that are being made to the Filipinos themselves.

Such knowledge is necessary not only because it is a part of their history as a nation, but also because it is indispensable to them in their present task of developing their country and preparing it for the ever-widening opportunities of the future.

M. M. K.


“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

"It's a forgotten war. It's actually a hidden war. There was an active process of suppressing this war from American memory, especially by labeling it as an 'insurrection' or an 'insurgency.' - Paul A. Kramer, Historian

WHAT WE FILIPINOS SHOULD KNOW: (Note: Bold and/or underlined words are HTML links. Click on them to see the linked posting/article. Forwarding the postings to relatives and friends, especially in the homeland, is greatly appreciated).

We Filipinos grew up and were schooled in books, including those on Philippine history, written primarily by American and Americanized Filipino authors. History, come to think about it if seriously studied, provides one an understanding of a people, a place, a culture. A history to understand ourselves: why are we what we are? what brought us here - to our current predicament?

Thinking about what transpired in the past provides a history buff or a critical student of history a way of linking isolated, if not apparently unrelated events or historical milestones and therefore gives meaning and direction to the “who, what, when, where, how and why” questions concerning such past events.

Learning and understanding history help provide a fresh perspective, the identification of a common thread, on recent and current events. Such obtained knowledge when applied to society can help formulate some and fundamental, even radical but necessary, approaches to problem solving of society’s current ills.

As to our Philippine history, I believe and think that the 50-year
American intervention, occupation and colonization of our homeland need a deeper rethinking if one wants to understand the seemingly confusing and incomprehensibly perennial predicament of Filipinos in the Philippines. The restudy of Philippine-American History by us Filipinos should aptly begin with the unknown and underlying rationalization and/or justification by Social Darwinism; the ignored and glossed over shift to expansionism -a euphemism for imperialism- by the formerly anti-imperialist and isolationist America.

Most especially its dominant
racist mindset for both market- and military-driven expansions explained away by the so-called Manifest Destiny towards the Pacific Rim during the later decades of the 19th century. Note that decades before, America declared and warned the Europeans, through its Monroe Doctrine, that the western hemisphere -all the Americas- was its sole domain, its "backyard."

The gradual shift at the turn of the 20th century from American isolationism to American
imperialism, joining the exclusive imperialist club of England, France, Spain,etc. as the new global bully in the block, was again demonstrated with the arrival of American armed forces in the Philippine islands, the latter's political trickery towards the Katipuneros. The native Filipinos who had (have to this day) naïve sentimentality thus faith in the American revolutionary heritage led to their failure to perceive the fading of so-called heritage and the rising new American reality.

The new American reality of imperialism, the ordinary American does not recognize/realize it due to his ignorance, imposed its subsequent brutal war against the Filipino natives, and with the subtle
Americanization (cultural imperialism) of the Filipino natives -through public education--a new, more efficient and effective method, i.e. cheaper and not requiring American occupation troops in foreign soil (with native military substitutes beholden to the American military) and long-lasting way of re-colonization, i.e. neocolonialism aka neoliberalism aka globalism, that strongly persists up to the present.

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