The consequence of independence

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By Ver F. Pacete

As I See It

Saturday, June 14, 2014

MANY Filipinos have accepted already that our Philippine Independence is not a product of June 12, 1898 proclamation of Aguinaldo but a result of American “diplomacy” of colonization by U.S. President Harry S. Truman. That independence was given to us for a price (to be paid until now).

Forward-thinking historians like Christine L. Diaz, who wrote about Philippine history beyond textbook facts and figures, believe that the Americans befriended (really?) the Filipinos and won their trust, then proceeded to manipulate them. (You can disagree on this, if you wish.) The Americans made their rule of the Philippines a “walk in the park.” Unfortunately, the Filipinos then were the park, and the Americans walked all over them.

Are the Americans successful? What do you think? As a proof, we are the product (that includes me). Education (American style) has been a very powerful tool in the reshaping of our minds, hearts, attitudes, actions, dreams, aspirations, hopes and wishes (for better or for worse). We cannot simply deny that. We all enjoy the blessings of American education….not bad, not that bad.


History is telling us that Gen. Arthur MacArthur recommended that a bigger slice of the budget be given to education. “This appropriation is recommended primarily and exclusively as an adjunct to military operations calculated to pacify the people and to procure and expedite the restoration of tranquility through the archipelago.” It sounds very convincing, indeed.

We gradually fall in love with Uncle Sam and we also gradually develop our American dream for the Big Apple. The Thomasites who came to our shores taught the Filipinos the American culture, language, history, symbols, sex, religion, entertainment that our parents (or great grandparents) have almost forgotten their own indigenous culture, languages, history, values, virtues, and self-esteem.

This is colonization through education. We learn our English (American) alphabet. Apple is for letter A (not Atis). For sports, we have basketball, football, etc. We have forgotten our native “sipa,” ”pabugsay” and “pangayam.” We focused on the heroes and inventions of America in our history and literature. We were made to forget the human rights violations of the American soldiers during the Philippine-American War.

The Filipino ladies have Americanized their attire and have learned to improve their pelvic gyrations to attract the boys. That seems contrast to the Maria Clara of Jose Rizal. The gentlemen put on their “Americana” even during the humid days of March and April because of their love for anything American. We have educated ourselves to eat hamburger and hotdogs at the expense of our health. The American soda (softdrinks) gives us overdose of sugar and caffeine.

To make us believe that we are really Americans, the movie producers gave us films that showed American superiority. Santa Claus is made in America. Only Frank Sinatra can drive the blues away. Elvis Presley taught us to kiss dozens of girls. Rambo showed us how to win a war alone. The Vegas girls expose the thighs and what is beyond the thighs. We become American captives in our homes. Uncle Sam knows what is best for us.

The Payne-Aldrich Act of 1909 imposed no restrictions on the American goods coming to the Philippines but imposed restrictions on Philippine goods entering America. Is that brotherly? Only very few Philippine products (during that time) were sent to America (Negros sugar included). The American goods flooded our market….chocolate, lotions, canned goods, shoes, clothes.

Filipino manufacturers lost the enthusiasm because the Pinoys from all walks of life would simply love what is “made in America.” Our economy came to be dependent on US economy. Because of that, we also became victims of the Great Depression of 1929, in which America decided to cut short agricultural imports from the Philippines. In the past, we were handcuffed to Uncle Sam.

Can we rejoice now? Our independence is hard to explain. We now have trade relations with other countries but we believe that America is still there as part of the independence menu. I don’t say it’s that bad. Many will get angry. I would just like to say that our independence should also mean Filipinizing the Philippine Government. Are we doing it? Let us see the results.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 14, 2014.


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