Because it is their conscience!!!

tags: de anda circle, dpwh, intramuros

“A person’s conscious thoughts, intentions, and efforts at every moment are preceded by causes of which he is unaware,” according to Sam Harris, the popular neuroscientist that argues that “free will” is nothing but an illusion.

In short, you are already wired. Programmed to think how you think, how you live–that you’re some kind of a meat machine. No free will.

While my Catholic belief rejects this clever theorem, I believe you’re the person you are today because of your past experiences. There’s some hard coding that happens when people undergoes harrowing or joyful emotional events especially during the formative years.

I’ve been trying to look for an answer as to why we Filipinos behave the way we do towards our heritage. This explains my sudden curiosity in Psychology. Are we committing these reckless destruction of our tangible heritage because we are wired to do it?

Just the other day, I read in my twitter feed calls to save a house (originally owned by the Madrids) in San Nicolas, Manila. It is now condemned to be brought down. This historic district has lost so many of its grand houses. Manila, of all places, has the worst record in protecting heritage.

The De Anda circle (photo from Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Yesterday a friend told me that the public works agency plans to remove the centuries monument erected to honor the Spanish Governor Simon de Anda (they plan to move it and make use of its circular space). These idiots probably did some research and found out he’s Spanish.

If that’s the case, we better start dismantling all of Gen. MacArthur’s monuments. That guy bailed out on us and left us to fend for ourselves when the Japs started to pound his forces. That De Anda fella, not only stayed on and fought—he unified natives and Spanish to fight the Brits to the bitter end!

Now that bravery, that intense patriotism is Filipino!

What weird world we all live in. My goodness, the people that are supposed to preserve and promote our history are the ones that are committed to destroy it!

I’m reminded of this scene from Nick Joaquin’s classic play, “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino,” where in the spinster daughters were arguing with the married siblings against selling their ancestral house.

“Suddenly—-¡cataplum!—the shadow of this house falls upon them!…their blood turns cold! And they want it destroyed! Then a guest asked “why?” to this the other sister responded “Because it is their conscience!”

 

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