During the Urdaneta lectures at the Cervantes, there was this man who kept on interrupting one of the guest speaker, Professor Andrade. That man was introduced as a national artist. So he must be a well-respected man, an expert in the past, since the speaker (not Andrade) was delighted to acknowledge his presence, even after he made a scene out of his loud objections.
Not that I’m rushing to side with Andrade because him being an Arellano figure, which happens to be my Alma mater but because I just find his behaviour as being rude, unprofessional, it was out of line. I see this all the time in town meetings in the US but not here in our land, not with our culture.
It was a lecture – an “open forum” is the event where you can address your question, in his case, his objections- not during the lecture. People are trying to listen, trying to learn from the speaker. The Speaker has the mic, he commands the program. The national artist must have confused the event as a debating challenge, he probably felt privileged, that he can interrupt the program because of his status.
While the professor was citing some of the friar contributions to the country, the national artist shouted, “Are you calling me a liar?” – the notes Andrade gave could’ve struck a nerve. Then he kept on shouting, “Are you apologizing for them?” I was intrigue to know why this man would act in such a way, it seems that he was offended by what was being discussed obviously.
Andrade being old man, was patient with the angry man, he simply smiled and told the person, “I have it here…” pointing to his folders and continued his lecture. It was odd; there must be a history behind this two people. But if the national artist was simply protesting that this man is paying homage to friar contributions, that is undeniable, in Urdaneta’s case successfully plotting the legendary sea’s for Spain’s ambitions for the Islands, he was in the wrong classroom. The event was for them,the friars, this catholic missionaries who gave so much only to be portrayed as demons in our history books!
There are still academes and students who believe that we would’ve made it out of the caves without Spain. I have encountered fellow students of history who believes that true Filipinos are the ones untouched by western influence and culture (meaning even he, is not Filipino), some insist that Spain retarded our progress as a true nation. Nationalism in the expense of our true past, as I see it. We can’t follow such flawed reviews of our past!
I encourage people to challenge what is being taught in the text books. We can’t annul what this friars gave and still use their contributions as if they would’ve existed even without them being introduced to us.
Culture is not static, is this not the truth?
We should all be objective and see the past as it was, there will always be good and bad, but seeing it that way gives us a balanced view of things. Making it appear all bad so we can feel good about ourselves and hope this would solidify our true identity, well, is not cool.
Who is this national artist?
He proudly walks amongst the crowd with his ala Indiana Jones leather hat, which is by the way also a Friar contribution, Sir. I’m referring to the hat and the leather, if one hated Friar contribution so much – why not wear a salacot?