I would just like to take the time to say belated Happy Birthday to one of this country’s greatest statesmen, Jovito Reyes Salonga. I remembered him when I saw this picture from GMANews.tv.
For those who do not know, former Senate President Jovy Salonga was among the leading anti-Marcos figures before and during the Martial Law. He was imprisoned by Marcos only months after he was injured at the Plaza Miranda bombing for protesting the Martial Law. I think he still has some of the shrapnel of that bombing in his body. After his release he defended other political detainees in court against the accusations hurled by the Marcos dictatorship. He was imprisoned again after the PICC bombing for suspected involvement. But he was later allowed to leave for the US with his family.
Later, Salonga, as Senate President during the Aquino administration, would be remembered as casting the deciding vote in the rejection of the extension of the US Military Bases Treaty in 1991. Although celebrated by nationalists as a hero for Philippine sovereignty, his support for the closure of the bases eventually resulted to the withdrawal of support from friends in the corporate world. This withdrawal later affected his chances in the 1992 elections, where he ran for president and lost.
I heard Salonga speak at a gathering for student leaders at the Ateneo de Manila University in 2000. He was already old and frail back then, but when he took the microphone and spoke about service to the country and fellowmen, his words by themselves are filled with so much strength, idealism, and enthusiasm that you forget that it was an old man speaking in front of you.
Salonga, though considered by many to be a TRAPO or traditional politician, owing to being a remnant of Old Guard of Philippine politics, is actually one of the few good traditional politicians. His vision for the country and the people, as he shared with us, was a vision which dates back to the dreams of Rizal, and the hopes of many in Pre-Martial Law Philippines.
I end this tribute with Salonga’s lines after the extension of the US Military Bases treaty was rejected by his deciding vote:
I have been warned by well-meaning friends that my stand on this treaty may hurt my chances of becoming President. No matter. That is an insignificant consequence. In times of great crisis, our martyrs and heroes offered their lives that our people might become truly free.
I have said it before and I will say it again. After walking through the valley of the shadow of death twice in my life, titles and positions do not mean that much to me anymore. What is more important is to be of real service to our people, with or without any position in government.
To one of the few with whom this country can be proud of, Belated Happy Birthday Senator Jovy!
Outgoing Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo waves to the crowd during the Philippine Coast Guard testimonial parade and review in her honor in Manila, Philippines on Tuesday June 29, 2010. Arroyo ends her term as President-elect Benigno Aquino III is set to be inaugurated during ceremonies Wednesday, June 30.(AP Photo)
After posting the link Why People Stop Blogging, I had a few likes and a couple of replies to the post. One of which was this:
superboink said: i remember netscape :) i’d tag along my mom when i was a kid. hmmm i stop blogging or i delete posts because sometimes i feel i may be revealing too much of my private life.
So you are among the few who remember Netscape @superboink! Yep, I would have to agree. While blogging may offer a psychological release for a person from an emotional state, whether positive or negative, the implications of the blog, once posted online, should also be considered. Blogging is after all publishing, only that the medium is no longer of paper and ink. So it is still incumbent upon all of us to exercise prudence when writing on something or about someone. Lest we suffer the consequences of a blog wherein we attacked someone or something. Or we would be attacked because of the post we have made in our blogs.
Prudence in blogging is all the more important these days because prospective employers tend to Google applicants up, even before an interview. And do not be surprised if they know your favorite movies, your passions, and your frustrations. They also tend to ask applicants if they blog. Add to this, I have also observed that interviews nowadays are conducted before a pre-employment exam. Not anymore the other way around as it was when I started working. Your chances of getting the job of your dreams might just slip off your hands just because you wrote more than you should in your blog.
Another reaction to the link was this;
nottoocloseintimacy said: seems to be true. maintaining a conversation’s a big motivation.
I agree! A big motivation in maintaining a blog are conversations. Having this one with you and @superboink sir truly resulted to another post. And yes replies from the blogging community you are in motivate you more to write and post more. In my months here in Tumblr, interactions with some of the bloggers here e.g. @iwriteasiwrite, @mohandasgandhi, and @mokidoki to name a few, have produced additional entries which have allowed me to express certain thoughts and understand some topics which I have little knowledge about.
I have to admit, conversations in Tumblr help enrich your knowledge in many things. Exchanges with people who know much about the things they blog about helps one learn new things and understand views which would have otherwise remained beyond our usual spheres of educational or life experience. Exchanges widen your perspective of things and gives you a bigger view of the world.
I do hope though that there are more people on Tumblr who are actually here to blog and not just perpetuate errors and false assumptions. Conversations with some of the people here might help correct these errors and undo these assumptions. Still, the revision and deletion of these distorted views of the world and its problems start with the posting of a blog and the later interaction with other bloggers. Truly, conversations give bloggers the drive to continue blogging. But meaningful conversations can only come from blogs made with prudence.
@iwriteasiwrite I was reading the exchange between you @marocharim on being Indio and reclaiming the supposed Indio pride and I must say that I have nothing more to add but this: the discussion focuses sharply on the experience of the Filipino in relation to other races.
When discussion on pride of our being Filipino is limited to our relationship with other races, we fail to see the fact that within the country, discrimination occurs at a scale often ignored but very much widespread. I would have wanted to expound on this but I do not want to go to great lengths anymore explaining why we non-Manilans and non-Tagalogs feel discriminated against when we are in the Capital. It’s already a cliche sob story so I might as well keep those to myself. People here don’t care about it anyway.
I have to say though that the points raised by both you sir and @marocharim are very enlightening and very much relevant to our search for identity. But while we may have all those things to unravel, understand and take pride in later, we fail to see that the discrimination we experience from other races, we also perpetuate among our own countrymen and just because they speak a different language, accent, or come from the province. As it was during the time Judge Malcolm handed down a ruling which considered non-Christian and non-Muslim tribes as non-Filipino, the obstacles a provincial has to jump over by being in Manila are so numerous that it takes a long time before he is considered a full Filipino by those who were only born in the Capital due to favorable circumstances.
This is a sad reality which often goes unnoticed and without reproach.
Thank you @ellobofilipino. This is a much needed addition to the discussion. Thus, your thoughts are much needed!
We have discussed in the past that divide that remains between the Islands. A divide that must be bridged. And it does dovetail with the point that we were driving at: accepting and enhancing the regional uniqueness of the Philippines as part of the whole.
In reviewing our history, and understanding the regional histories and how they played into the national body politic, is something that must be addressed. The multi-cultural aspect of the Philippines is one of our strengths. And it should be understood as that.
The problem, as I would see it, is that this acceptance or understanding of the regional history of the Philippines is just not well done, or well taught. A cohesive history (which by its nature would be superficial but would touch on all corners of the country) is much needed.
For a cursory example (and likely only in part applicable), just look at the United States. The 13 original colonies could very well claim that they are the true United States. Texas is the only state, I think, that was its own country before it entered the Union. Yet, they maintain their regional differences and their personal histories, while understanding that it adds to the uniqueness of the United States as a country. Even as they celebrate their cultural and historical differences, they know they are a nation. With some small caveats of course (as is always the case). For Jose Rizal, he didn’t understand how loving your “province” excluded loving the nation (or empire). I think I posted a comment along those lines before. But celebrating the culture of Catalonia does not in any way detract from Spain. He considered this a wrong-headed type of nationalism. One that is applicable today. If we do not figure out a way to bridge the regional divide, well then, we don’t deserve (nor will we long be) a peaceful and prosperous country.
Quite honestly, my stance is that race (and the gradient of color) must be eliminated from the conversation of understanding our history. The focus must become culture and history, since those are what actually create who we are. The culture and history of Mindanao add a breathtaking complexity to who we are as a nation.
I hope to hear more of your thoughts on the subject.
Addendum: Judge Malcolm was, to put it mildly, wrong-headed. Within the context of American history those are echoes of Dred Scott and the whole 3/5ths argument that they were advocating just a century prior. I still maintain that much of the issues we are faced with today are a result of some of the misguided American policies that embedded and reinforced issues in our society, as opposed to addressing them. Taft chief among them with his deal making with the elites. I know I know, I am often highly critical of the US period. And much good did come out of it, but so much went wrong as well. There was something I read (I’ll have to find it) where a historian said, the reason why we fell in love with the US was because they weren’t the Japanese.
Judge Malcolm was on the Supreme Court from 1917 to like 1936 and he came out of that same school of thought that Teddy Roosevelt did. As with many of the early American era policies his take on the Mangyans was based on experiences with the Native American Indians.
Is decision was an echo of this idea of benevolent assimilation, of Filipinos from all walks of life being wards of the Americans. Within the views of the era (and the framework in which the US approached the Philippines), his logic was faultless. Filipinos were not capable of self-determination and thus needed to be grouped together and taken by the hand.
True! Like your earlier statements proposing that we do away with physical as well as lingual proofs of our being Filipino and the acceptance of our colonial, albeit mostly shameful, history. We will never be a united country of varied ethnicities and tongues so long as we emphasize the superiority of one regional group or ethno-lingual group over another. The perpetuation of a select group of people as the basis of a what the nation should be will only also perpetuation the divisions which were created by the Spaniards and the Americans.
I would like to add that the conquistadores, who eventually became the encomenderos, gained control of the whole archipelago by using one ethno-lingual group against another. I think the first proof of this divide and conquer strategy was the Battle of Bangkusay where the Spanish used the allies they have won in Cebu against Rajah Sulayman of Manila. Those Sugbohanons are described to be tattooed a.k.a. Pintados. Later the Spanish would use Pampanga-based, Cavite-based or Cebu-based troops against Muslims in Lanao, Zamboanga and the rest of Western Mindanao as well those tribes in North Luzon.
During the American Period, I know you know as well as I do how the US forces formed the colonial militia, eventually becoming the PC, the precursor of our PNP, as a force against, first, the revolucionarios, then later the Muslim juramentados.
In the pursuit of the colonial aims of both colonial powers, they created and played up discriminatory differences between various ethno-lingual differences between various groups in the Islands and elevated the Christianized mixed-race groups in the Capital. Both powers know they can maintain their hold on the territory by pitting one group against another, while holding the half-breed elites by the noses.
The perpetuation of these ethno-lingual differences through regionalism is nothing but a hold-over from the Spanish and American periods for the purpose of maintaining their colonial rule. To discriminate against a Cebuano-speaker for his mangled Tagalog actually perpetuates these divisions. To poke fun or laugh at an Ilocano or a Bicolano for their stiff accent in Tagalog does not elicit laughter from the rest of the country, instead it instills anger. To make fun of the accent of a Muslim when he or she sells is wares in Quiapo further drives him or her to fight for a separate Bangsa Moro.
We must bridge these differences not by berating one ethno-linguistic group while elevating another. Rather, we all should strive to learn the unique nature and beautiful history and language of the other ethno-lingual groups. We have a country with more than 80 languages. Each language comes with a unique history, a beautiful culture, and is used by a proud people. The Philippines is not one nation in thousands of islands rather it is thousands of islands forming one nation.
P.S. On Catalonia and Spain, I read an article in TIME Magazine’s June 21 issue that the Spanish World Cup team actually has problems regarding the feelings of some Catalans on their talents playing for the Spanish national team.