Posts Tagged With: history

Never Hold Back, Youth Holds a Fight

A forum on STUDENT ACTIVISM Showcasing the Historic Role of Filipino Students on Nation Building and Genuine Social Change

Emergences of local and international issues that are vastly contributing to socio-economic political systems have been discussed by a speaker who seems professed on his discussions. Topics such as violation of laws (e.g. police brutality, campus repression, continuous plundering), Post-Martial Law, Human Rights, Militarization, ISIS on world order domination, societal divide, educational maturation of the Philippine electorate, bureaucrat capitalism, development on socialism, ruling classes, indigenous people, collective rather than monopolize leadership, and national democratic point of view are discerned through their interconnectedness with the current events happening in the society. An abundant historical knowledge of student movements are substantiated through myriad evidences that lead to a single stance: the youth has been serving as the nation’s catalyst for change in various ways.

Prof. Mykel Andrada has deliberated a comprehensive report entitled Role of the Youth in Nation-Building and Social Change. It has been said that with the assistance that the modern technology provides us, the youth is being challenged to establish more relevant concerns. This may enhance not only a person’s outlook towards a progressive perspective but the enrichment of an entire system’s functions as well. Quotations from familiar sources are cited for further illustration of what is being talked about. One of them is an excerpt from an article Youth on the March, 1968: “A nation that does not continuously renew itself through progressive-minded and militant youth cannot possibly advance. A world of timid and apathetic youth will merely feed all the regimes of injustice and exploitation with a constant flow of manpower for exploited labor and cannon fodder for unjust wars.” Here, to rebel is justified has its meaning emphasized.

Student activism is more than just a political agenda, more than just a flaunt of influence, more than just a physical presence- for it awakens the spirit of awareness among the citizens of a state whereas the moment that unity offers its aid, is the time of global empowerment. As how the usual saying goes Youth is the hope of our nation; through acts of involvement, comes a compelling discourse on how a person can inspire significant drive to transcend advocacies into success. It is through student activism where future pioneers are rooted from. It fuels larger possibilities and greater outcomes to finally take over the dogmatic realms which challenge the capacity of every individual to choose whether to remain stagnant or keep fighting.

            Social investigation, facts gathering, analyzing, critical thinking, making a stand, planning, and acting may sound simple. The complexity lies within how these terms are put into actualization. Once the purpose is realized, the passion for revolution burns with a brighter flame. Life is vital, as survival encourages risks. Life becomes more meaningful if spent in service.

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Faith that is Not Tested, is Not Faith At All

While the downpour of rain was heavy all day long last Saturday, I was able to grab my chance of clinging into my academic obligations. I did not fail, somehow, to comply with my to-do-list. Perhaps the weather was really gloomy and not everything inside our house had fallen in its proper place, I still tried to manage my schedule and my mood. That’s right; to manage myself and the actions I would take has always been necessary for a harmonious living- well, at least from my viewpoint.

Some readings I was trying to study that day is about the orientation towards being… something is about existentialism provided that the writer itself has this perspective saying Not that we believe that God does not exist, but we think that the problem of his existence is not the issue, and the other literary piece has been talking about this creatively ambiguous but witty format of what the persona aims to express; but justifiably, I got the gist of the articles I have read. Anyway, it’s all about how we’re to interpret the given symbolic entities which meanings invariably depend to our intellectual capacity and background. It’s up to me, actually, upon whose way of thinking I am made-up to affirm or deny, right?

We all know that in Philosophy, two major groups of people pave its path through the broadness and deepness of discussions- Christians and Atheists. I surely belong to the first one. I just can’t imagine how I was able to deal with the articles wherein atheistic viewpoints are technically considered. Each time I had to support my own ideology and never falter to what I have believed for more than a decade. I told myself that open-mindedness is not a bad thing at all. Essentially, it’s quite a brilliant means to transcend into reality without having to seem too arrogant, ignorant, conceited, and rude. Having an open mind to things doesn’t mean inability to decide for one’s self but maturity to cultivate the values that can eventually lead us to excellence and a better understanding of the world.

Last Friday night, when I am alone in our house and the storm was on its rage, I recorded my voice. This recording lasts exactly up to one minute as it plays. It is supposed to be an alarm which will of course motivate me to get up. Considering its inventive script and a bit proficient tone that speak in straight English, I honestly regarded this habit as some sort of fun. I’d have to adjust the volume to minimum so as not to frantically disturb others; though it’s fine if they’re interested in it.

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(Photo of me in Paoay Church, Ilocos Norte during our historical tour;

but Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral is where I constantly go every Sunday)

Today is Sunday, the start of the week, when I’ve written this. I truly deem that waking up early contributes to man’s productivity and success. So it’s a deal for me to start a day or even a week right enough to make me feel so guilty if ever I do not keep hold of consistency. I am persistent about my dreams, and this blog of mine can attest to that.

Going to church becomes the fundamental system running throughout my character. I’m not the person whom anyone can convince not to go out for mass attendance, especially since when I have started my routine here in the City of Pines. It is a breath of fresh air, a lift of soul, a beat of heart, and clarity of mind- for me as a being. Tell-me-you-can’t-go-but-don’t-tell-me-I-can’t type of attitude is what I got.

Before I could stand under a shed to wait for PUJs, I passed through rustling winds and flooded streets; but still, I could feel the banality of what I am doing. Excitement is expected of me as I fulfill what I want, what I need. There’s this vehicle that stopped in front of me. An old man got off. He is familiar; I always see him on his way to church. He’s passionate about it and I can thoroughly confirm the verity of his faith. Perhaps he’s not too normal (I guess he’s ill due to age-related sickness) and I just can’t say what it is that bothers him. I just know he needs someone to accompany him whenever, wherever, because there’s no safe place nowadays.

Just like at that moment, he didn’t have an umbrella and the rain was pouring hard. It’s cold and I could see he’s tensed. Magsaysay PUJs passed but I am taking the Bonifacio route. So the man was. It’s as if he’s in a hurry not to get late for the mass (though it repeats hourly, in different languages). He’s about to get in a PUJ but its signboard said Magsaysay. God knows how I wanted to offer my umbrella to that man but there’s a bit of force that insisted not. But, when this driver saw the people waiting, he immediately changed his route. So an old couple, I, and the old devoted man, were able to take the ride. I felt an ease that we’re finally on our way to church.

Traffic was not too heavy maybe because it’s still early and the weather wasn’t too good. The PUJ stopped in front of the Cathedral and the vehicle was suddenly more than a half empty. As I crossed the road, I saw this familiar old man taking his steps towards the church. This time, I couldn’t let go of the chance that I might help him. I offered my umbrella and we both took some meters. All of a sudden, I remembered my grandfather. Is he doing fine in our home? Does he feel sick? Does anybody take good care of him? Does he miss me the way I do? Can he still endure and wait for me to get back? Tears watered my eyes but I couldn’t let it fall. For the first few times in months, I heard again the word “apo” (grandchild), with a different high impact melody in my ears. The old man was shivering and a strike of blame landed on me for not doing it so earlier. His age marked those slow footsteps and a notion of helplessness and uncertainty from the environment where he belongs; but I could perceive his hopefulness and it fueled me to keep going.

I thought, I just thought, I am very faithful and this is so exceptional about me. But no, I’m somewhat wrong. There are a lot more people like this man that is full of love for his devotion to God and passion for life. He might be alone at a sight, but inside he’s so full of faith that he couldn’t even think that nobody is there for him. His power of belief makes him stand, walk, and offer himself everyday that until now, he’s able to live. At that very moment of his tight grip (signaling a pinch of gratefulness that someone is confirmed to be there for him even at the slightest point of time), I felt so empowered.

Kindness is contagious. It comes from this man, not from me. I am merely one of the many noble instruments to make people be reminded that The Holy still exists and will always persevere because God doesn’t really leave. God is always here. God is always with us.

A lot of times go by that our faith is being tested without actually the recognition; it just happens. This story of mine for today is just one among the myriad instances that the power of love, hope, faith, and existence itself is realized. Each day can be a miracle, that we all breathe, that we’re all residents of Earth. We discover ourselves in every drop of a second and we explore our lives further not through our own but through our fellowmen.

As for me, I get inspired by you. Criticisms, adversity, loneliness, doubts, and emptiness get clearer every time. I am determined to face such struggles and fight for myself, fight for you, men of amazing faith; because you let me believe that I am not alone in this battle, that we can actually hold on to our beliefs, that we can actually carry on through our passion, that I naturally acquire this spark of love for humanity and that these testimonies trigger me to live. God is with us all the time at all places, in any condition. Impossible can be possible because we believe. God is whom we believe, that’s why we actually can.

Stronger, is how I call. Faith that is not tested, is not faith at all.

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Conspiracy Against the Spaniards (REACTION TO AN EXCERPT)

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13701/13701-h/13701-h.htm

CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE SPANIARDS

Testimony in certain investigations made by Doctor Santiago de Vera, president of the Philippines

 

            This article takes into an account of statements regarding such researches conducted by Doctor Santiago de Vera. Mandated by Thomas Perez, the testament is penned in Manila on May 20, 1589 and is eventually authenticated in the said city on July 13 of the same year. The document is then signed by the notaries verifying that Esteban de Marquina and his qualifications are reliable enough to report occurrences implying some issues.

“Conspiracy” according to an online reference dictionary is ‘a plot; an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons’. Also, it ‘usually involves a group entering into a secret agreement to achieve some illicit or harmful objective, especially with political motivation’ and is simply defined as “the act of making such plans in secret”.

If asked about the argument of this historical piece, one might definitely agree upon the written facts and evidences of the happenings in the past. Along with this reaction paper are proofs of cogent events based on the testimony written by the people who existed in the past and continually exist in the present due to the mark they had left in the Philippine society.

“In fulfilment of the command and decree of Doctor Santiago de Vera, governor and captain-general of these islands, and president of the royal Audiencia, I, Estevan de Marquina, notary-public for the king our sovereign, of the number [authorized] in the city of Manila, testify that a trial and criminal process has been conducted and is still pending before the said governor and captain-general.” – The first statement which introduces the claims that Estevan de Marquina is going to recount. It is on October 26, 1588 that Doctor Santiago de Vera found out that Don Agustin de Legaspi, Martin Panga, Magat Salamat, and other chiefs had stopped committing to the king of Burney who used to be presented with weapons and other articles. Often, these people had been gathering privately and had been selling land properties which added to speculations of betrayal. Witnesses came out during investigation. Don Agustin de Legaspi and Magat Salamat were discovered sending weapons to Xapon and to Burney’s petty king. They wanted these camps to be prepared because of the Spaniards’ plan of going there. They appear to be spies, notifying and warning people of the other side.

On November 4, Captain Pedro Sarmiento informed the colonizers about the three Indian chiefs Magat Salamat, Don Agustin Manuguit, and Don Joan Banal. His servant and encomienda chief, Don Antonio Surabao that the said Indian chiefs served as petty king of Burney’s ambassadors forming an alliance against the Spaniards when they attack. Amarlangagui had told this servant that all the chiefs of the colony “had plotted and conspired with the Borneans to rebel against the service of the king our sovereign, and to kill the Spaniards of this city, while they were off their guard. The plan was that when the fleet of Burney reached the port of Cavite, and the Spaniards trustfully called these chiefs to their aid, they would all immediately enter the houses of the Spaniards with their men, fortify themselves in them and thus take possession of them one by one. If the Spaniards took refuge in the fortress, Indian soldiers would follow them; and, being two to one, they would surely kill the Spaniards.” Don Antonio Surabao’s reason for knowing these plans is that “under the pledge of friendship and secrecy, he was made acquainted with all this, and was persuaded to join the said conspiracy”. After he confessed, it was immediately ordered that the chiefs involved be arrested.

Last year (1857), Captain Don Joan Gayo and Japanese merchandisers arrived from Xapon to Manila. Don Agustin de Legaspi showed camaraderie towards him and it was agreed with the Japanese interpreter Dionisio Fernandez, with Magat Salamat, Don Agustin Manuguit, Don Phelipe Salalila, and Don Geronimo Bassi, that the Captain should come “under pretext of peace and commerce” so the Spaniards would think of their peaceful intentions.

“It was also agreed that the chiefs of the neighborhood would help them to kill the Spaniards, and would supply the provisions and everything necessary. The said Don Agustin de Legaspi was to set out to meet them; and, in order that they might recognize one another, he would carry some of the weapons which the said captain had given him. After they had conquered the Spaniards, they would make him [Don Agustin] king of the land, and collect the tribute from the natives, which would be divided between Don Agustin and the Japanese. They swore this after their fashion, by anointing their necks with a broken egg.” – This just indicates that these people during the Spanish colonization were really arranging some plans that might help them escape from the tyranny of the people whom they wouldn’t allow into their governance. Don Agustin organized this plan with Amaghicon and kept it as secret. For them to recognize one another, Amaghicon must give Don Agustin de Legaspi weapons that the Japanese gave him.

Based on Dionisio Fernandez, Don Phelipe Salalila, Don Geronimo Bassi, Magat Salamat, and other witnesses attending the meet-ups, it appears that Don Martin Panga, Don Agustin de Legaspi, Don Gabriel Tuambaҫan, Don Francisco Acta, his son, and Pitongatan should help each other “with their person and property in all matters- be it concerning the liberty of their slaves, or in any other difficulty.”

Leaders would always come together privately in order to discuss some matters regarding their plans against the Spaniards. They must execute strategies gracefully so as not to widen the gap of curiosity that the colonizers had already been eyeing for them. “During this time they resolved to act in harmony and with one mind in everything. If their slaves demanded liberty, they were to help one another against them; for already they were not regarded or obeyed as before. They possessed neither slaves nor gold, and found themselves poor and cast down, ready to go to prison any day. Their sorrow was very keen because their wives were being taken away from them, and given to others to whom, they claimed, they had been first married. For all these reasons they were very sad, and they discussed and plotted, and took oath, according to their custom, that if an enemy came to Manila to attack the Spaniards, they would unanimously and with one mind aid the enemy against the Spaniards. Thus they would once more become masters, as they had been before, and exercise the old tyranny over the common people—who now were much favored by the Spaniards, being promoted to superior places by them. The said Don Agustin de Legaspi proposed to them the plan and compact which he had made with the said Japanese Don Joan Payo [Gayo]; and the other chiefs declared that they were ready to help him and to accede to his wishes.”

The ship “Santana” seemed to sail across the islands on February 1589. So the chiefs prepared. Another meeting was set to discuss the plans held at the former one. They made it a point that leaders would form connections and arrange their activities in strategizing. A move could bring them afar. They tried not to be quite obvious but as time passed by, suspicions got wider; and worse, they were caught.

These leaders of conspiracy were investigated and examined. They confessed separately. Charges filed to the crime they commit depend upon the intensity of their violations, such as: payment in taes, years of prescribed/ unconditioned exile, property confiscation, and death penalty. Lea Alonso was the only person who was acquitted on the trial while the sentence in the case of Amaghicon is yet to be passed. The following persons received punishment/s: Don Agustin de Legaspi, Don Martin Panga, Dionisio Fernandez, Don Pedro Balinguit, Pitongatan, Don Phelipe Salonga, Don Phelipe Amarlangagui, Daulat, Don Joan Bassi, Dionisio Capolo, Don Francisco Acta, Don Luis Amanicalao, Don Gabriel Tuambaҫan, Calao, Omaghicon, Don Geronimo Bassi, Don Phelipe Salalila, Don Esteban Taes, Magat Salamat, Don Agustin Manuguit, Don Luis Balaya, Amarlangagui, and Don Joan Banal.

Beyond these texts are the struggles of our fellowmen as they continuously fight for their principles. It might have taken off their lives battling for power, for freedom; but what keeps the fire burning is the love for our country that will undoubtedly conquer the colonizers and defeat the opponents who take advantage of the wealth of the nation- its people.

SOURCE:

Blair, Emma Helen and James Alexander Robertsons, eds. The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898. Mandaluyong, Rizal: Cacho Hermanos, 1973.

DS 653 B63 1973 v. 7-9: pp. 95- 111 Volume VII 1588-1591

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/conspiracy

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