I was reading the opinion section of Philippine Star last Saturday. My day of reading would not be complete without Alejandro Roces’ Roses and Thorns. One of my favorite commentary in print. His article was entitled, The great US experiment – the Philippines. Although I happen to disagree with what was written, I was even more surprised by the comments when I scrolled down.
Bunch of people were talking about the good years we had with the US, and how we could have benefit as a nation if we were an American state – that we needed them, one even went far as saying that we should lobby to be part of the states today. When I signed in, and shared my view of how far fetch their ideas were, they made jokes out of it, in fairness to them they were funny.
It’s unfortunate that some of our young people would even spend time dreaming about the this so called ‘land of opportunity’. It’s a clear sign of desperate times, aspiring that we could go back in Americas good graces, that they could retake their prodigal son and help it regain past glory.
I’m reminded of the “federalistas” during the turn of the century, when America cut short Aguinaldo’s republic before it could even legitimize its existence. When US was already in power, this party was so eager to join the American states that they shamelessly threw themselves at the feet of the new rulers, untiringly lobbying for the poor Philippines to be assimilated to the great empire, to be with the great states in the mainland, only to find out that we were unwanted, that US does not need this country to be theirs, only its resources and its strategic location.
I love reading old notes, it reminds me of the reality – how we were treated as a people, like this one from Senator Albert Beveridge of Indiana in 1900, his take on Filipinos, ”not of a self-governing race . . .. Savage blood, Oriental blood, Malay blood, Spanish example — are these the elements of self-government?”
It was said that imperialism is always, racist. I think with that kind of statement from an American leader. It is.
American regards themselves for converting us to Christianity, when we already are Christians, thanks to Catholicism. We have stronger Christian values and beliefs than them when they came, that I am sure.
We are all happy to recall our deep relationship with the US, but we find it hard (almost impossible in most cases) to even visit relatives in the US mainland when we want to, while Japan, who once attacked them, killing thousands, not counting their soldiers who fought in the Pacific – enjoys the luxury of a pass, without restrictions. Its high time that we accept that America is a friend, when it can find good benefit, but if you’re the third world nation, the sick ol’ man of Asia, reminding them of history is fruitless.
I’ve come full circle in my political history studies; I have been an admirer as a young man of the American ideals for this nation of ours. Later on, when further study has shown that, the ideals that I once admired are but a façade of a more intricate plan, that of an ambition of an imperialistic super power, the “large policy” as it was called by its leaders.
And like Aguinaldo and his men, many people have been fooled by the cunning of the American leaders. For they have been after this lands long before the revolution has even begun, only using it to further their advance here and in the region, their real purpose can be understood by this letter of John Hay to his friend Theodore Roosevelt, referring to the war with Spain, “a splendid little war, begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit, favored by that Fortune which loves the brave.”