The Nationalist View

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ALVIN D. CAMPOMANES Department of History University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P)

With the new men that will spring from her bosom and the remembrance of the past, she will perhaps enter openly the wide road of progress and all will work jointly to strengthen the mother country at home as well as abroad with the same enthusiasm with which a young man returns to cultivate his fathers farmland so long devastated and abandons due to the negligence of those who had alienated it.Filipinas Dentro a Cien Aos

Teodoro Agoncillo (History of the Filipino People, 1960; The Revolt of the Masses, 1956)

Renato Constantino(The Philippines: A Past Revisited, 1975; The Continuing Past, 1976) crucial period in our history is the 19th c. nationalist movement: The Philippine Revolution

Who defines the nationalist perspective?

Reform : Revolution Ilustrados: Masses Liga Filipina: Katipunan

RIZAL: BONIFACIObasic class antagonism

Pintura ni Carlos Botong V. Francisco

accepted Agoncillos essentialist characterizations masses possessed a revolutionary consciousness born of praxis under colonial oppression ilustrados provided a coherent political theory to the inchoate revolutionary consciousness of the inarticulate masses (European liberalism)

Katipunan efforts thwarted by reformism and collaborationist politics of the ilustrados Rizal as the prime example of this counterrevolutionary class Veneration without Understanding:

Filipinos misplaced veneration of Rizal as key factor in the lack of understanding and disregard of the Philippine Revolution

What are the historical facts? How was Rizal read in the nineteenth century and the Philippine Revolution?

Of all the nineteenth century heroes, why was Rizal the most venerated in the nationalist movement? What was it in Rizals life and work that struck a chord in the popular imagination? What was Rizals nationalist agenda? How was it received by the revolutionaries? Were the Liga and the Katipunan perceived as ideologically and strategically opposed organizations?

Did the revolutionaries perceive Rizal as an assimilationist and opposed to the Revolution? Did they perceive Reform and Revolution as opposed political agendas (the way the Left in contemporary times take them to be?)

Setsuo Ikehata: Iletos as a challenge to the dominant Agoncillo-Constantino paradigm Rizals opposite and irreconcilable texts: 1. Liberal reformist (modern, elite) 2. Tagalog Christ (peasant folk) Rizal assimilated into the realm of the familiar (in terms of the Pasyon idiom)

Ikehata: Constantino could not think of ideology or theory except in its Western European modern rationalized sense Ikehata: Katipunan suffused with a preexistent worldview that articulated liberation using the language and structure and logic of the Pasyon independence kalayaan Ileto reproduced Agoncillos dichotomy in a non-Marxist paradigm

dichotomization, homogenization Are there no conflicts within each of the classes? Ideological struggles struggle within classes, between power blocs (Gramsci) misconception: del Pilar, Jaena, Rizal had the same political agenda Rizal and Bonifacio

1861-1882 : Calamba, Bian, Ateneo, Gomburza,imprisonment of Teodora Alonzo, whipping incident

1882-1887 : European sojourn, Enlightenment education, medical studies, patriotism Noli me tangere1887-1888 turning point: Calamba Hacienda Case

1888-1892: second sojourn radicalization; historical, ethnological, and linguistic studies; Indios Bravos; break with del Pilar and Soli; El Filibusterismo 1892-1896: Rizal and the Revolution; Liga Filipina; Exile to Dapitan; Katipunan, arrest and martyrdom

Critical examination of his correspondences (1887-1892) show that Rizal was a subversive. A different Rizal from what the Americans and Constantino constructed and propagated Correspondences (Critical Hermeneutics): 1. Reform or Revolution? 2. Calamba Hacienda Case 3. break with del Pilar

as early as 1887, Rizal had

expressed that independence through peaceful struggle is impossible and that seeking assimilation was a mistake

The Filipinos had long wished for Hispanization and they were wrong in aspiring for it. It is Spain and not the Philippines who ought to wish for the assimilation of the


(Letter of 21 Feb. 1887; Rizal-Blumentritt, 52)

A peaceful struggle shall always be a dream, for Spain will never learn the lesson of her South American colonies But under the present circumstances, we do not want separation from Spain. All that we ask is greater attention, better education, better government, one or two representatives, and greater security for our persons and our properties. Spain could always win the appreciation of Filipino if she were only reasonable. But, quos vult perdere Jupiter, prius dementat! (Letter of 26 Jan 1887; Rizal-Blumentritt, 44)


I can assure you that I have no desire to take part in conspiracies which seem to me premature and risky to the extreme. But if the government drives us to it, that is to say, when there remains to us no other hope than to seek ruin in war, when all Filipinos prefer to die rather than to endure their miseries any longer, then I too shall advocate violent means. Letter of June 19, 1887; Rizal-Blumentritt

Campaign for reforms and the struggle for independence are not mutually exclusive. From 1887-1892: Rizal had no illusions about the Reform Movement though he appreciated its tactical value.

I believe that only intelligence can redeem us, in the material and in the spiritual Parliamentary representation will be a burden on the Philippines for a long time. If our countrymen felt otherwise than they do, they should reject any offer of such representation but, the way we are, with our countrymen indifferent, representation is good. It is better to be tied in the ankles than elbow to elbow, What can we do!(Letter to del Pilar of April 1890)

The propaganda for assimilation is necessary but separatist propaganda should be even more active for the practical thing is to seek adherents in shaking off the yoke [of Spain entirely] since we would not obtain [assimilation] and even if we did (which is almost impossible) we would work for independence, banding together, making ourselves into apostles to gain men and money(Antonio Luna to Rizal, Jan. 1892)

Rizal: the root of the problem was colonialism itself In the long run, independence, not assimilation Filipinos should work for the enlightenment of the Filipinos in the Philippines.

In the Noli, prior to 1887, he still hoped for an enlightened government.

Publication of the Noli Me Tangere (1887) Calamba Hacienda Case (1888-1891) Manifestation of 1888