at UP Diliman, UP
Manila, UP Baguio, UP Cebu, UP Tacloban, UP Visayas and UP Mindanao
Posted July 18, 2010
Protest rallies at UP Diliman greduation rites and
other colleges in the UP System
Hunyo 20, 2010
Kung hindi tayo kikilos, sino ang kikilos! Kung hindi ngayon, kailan
UP Kilos na : Kilusan para sa demokratikong pamantasan ng sambayanan
Konsolidahin ang ating hanay, palawakin ang ating saklaw
Magbigay ng makabuluhang ambag sa paniningil sa kay Arroyo at sa
paghahamon sa kay Aquino
Igiit na ang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas ay pampublikong unibersidad!
Patindihin ang pakikibaka para sa isang demokratikong pamantasan ng
sambayanan at sa pagsusulong sa mapagpalayang edukasyon sa ating bayan
Pagbalik-Tanaw sa Kagyat na Nakaraan
Maaaring sabihin na ang naging pangunahing katangian ng lokal na laban sa
nakaraaan, partikular nitong unang limang buwan ng 2010 ay ang paglalantad
at paglaban sa anti-demokratikong pamamahala ng Administrasyong Roman sa
pagpapatalsik sa Student Regent at sa pagbawi sa appointment ng nahirang
at nakaupo nang director ng PGH. Naging masigla ang laban ng mga
estudyante at kaguruan ng UPLB sa patakarang large class ng
administrasyong Velasco. Umabot sa 5,000 ang napakilos sa UPLB para
tutulan ito. Gayunpaman, ipinagpapatuloy ang patakarang ito na nagresulta
sa pag-alis ng di bababa sa walong faculty ng UPLB. Naging tungtungan ang
mga ito para sa relatibong malawak at sustenidong protesta mula Enero
hanggang sa mga pagtatapos nitong Abril.
Mahigpit na naiugnay natin ang anti-demokratikong pangangasiwa ng
Administrasyong Roman sa patuloy na komersyalisasyon at pribatisasyon ng
unibersidad. Ang pagpapatalsik sa SR ay hindi mahihiwalay sa patuloy na
pagpapataw ng dagdag na mga bayarin sa mga estudyante laluna mga
laboratory fees at ang nakaambang pagkaroon ng bayarin ang mga PE courses.
Ang pag-alis sa nakaupo nang PGH Director na tutol sa proyektong FMAB ay
hindi mahihiwalay sa laban sa pribatisasyon ng PGH.
Ang kasalukuyng sitwasyon at ang laban sa susunod na anim na buwan
Sa pambansang saklaw, mawawakasan na ang paghahari ng rehimeng Arroyo sa
Hunyo 30 at uupo ang bagong pangulo na si Noynoy Aquino. Ilalangkap natin
ang ating boses at lakas sa pambansang kahilingang singilin si Arroyo sa
kanyang mga krimen sa mamamayan laluna sa usapin ng pandaraya,korapsyon,
paglabag sa karapatang pantao at pangangayupa sa Estados Unidos. Gayundin,
maging bahagi tayo sa paghahamon sa bagong administrasyon na tuparin ang
kanyang pangakong iprosecute si Arroyo at wakasan ang korapsyon. Dagdag pa
dito ay hamunin natin siyang palayain ang lahat na bilanggong pulitikal,
dagdagan ang budget sa edukasyon at kalususan, ipatupad nang buo ang SSL3,
taasan ang sahod ng mga manggagawa sa pribadong sektor, ipamahagi ang Hda.
Luisita, ibasura ang Visiting Forces Agreement at ipagpapatuloy ang peace
Sa Unibersidad, pumapasok tayo sa huling walong buwan ng Administrasyong
Roman. Matagumpay natin na nabigo ang naunang balak niyang magkaroon ng
ikalawang termino. Gayunpaman, nakikita natin ang kanyang pagkukumahog na
madagdagan pa ang lalong pagkomersyalisa sa Unibersidad tulad nang
iginigiit na kontrata ng Ayala Land para sa lupain ng UPIS, pagpataw ng
maraming dagdag na bayarin sa mga estudyante at ang tangkang
implementasyon sa paglabas sa SSL ng unibersidad batay sa probisyon ng
2008 UP Charter. Sa usapin ng demokratikong pamamahala, nakaamba ang
pagpasa ng bagong Student Code of Conduct na lalong naghihigpit sa pag-exercise
ng mga estudyante ng kanilang karapatan sa pag-oorganisa at pagkilos;
pagkaroon ng bagong Faculty Regent selection process na pinahihigpit pa ng
administrasyon ang hawak sa proseso; ang di pagpapatupad sa desisyong
maibalik na si Sarah Raymundo at mabigyan ng tenure at ang patuloy na
pagpigil sa pagbabalik sa naunang napiling Direktor ng PGH. Hindi rin nito
paborableng inaaksyunan ang matagal na kahilingan ng mga kawani at REPS
para sa dagdag na 10 day sick leave benefit at ang pantay na sagad award
para sa lahat ng sektor sa unibersidad.
Uumpisahan na rin ang search para sa bagong UP President. Magandang
pagkakataon ito para lalo pang mailantad ang mga anti-estudyante, anti-kawani
at anti-REPS, anti gurong mga patakaran at programa ng neo-liberal na
Administrasyong Roman at mahamon ang mga nominado para sa UP presidency sa
agenda para sa isang demokratikong pamantasan ng sambayanan.
Sa partikular dadalhin natin ang mga sumusunod na mga panawagan:
Kagalingan at Karapatan ng mga Estudyante:
1. Alisin ang awtomatikong pagtaas ng tuition ng mga estudyante na laman
ng inaprubahan ng BOR noong Disyembre 2006.
2. Ihinto ang pagpataw ng mga dagdag na bayarin sa mga estudyante tulad ng
laboratory fees, PE fees at kung anu-ano pa.
3. Ilabas ang financial statement ng kinita at pinaggastusan sa mga
tuition at iba pang student fees
4. Ibasura ang mga anti-estudyanteng probisyon ng panukalang bagong
Student Code of Conduct
5. Ihinto ang pagpapatupad ng large class para sa LAHAT NG RGEP at
foundation courses ng UPLB!
6. Itigil ang panunupil sa mga aktibistang estudyante tulad ng nangyayari
sa UPLB at UP Iloilo.
Kagalingan at Karapatan ng mga Kawani at REPS
1. Dagdag na 10 day sick leave benefits para sa mga kawani at REPS ng
2. Pantay na sagad award para sa lahat ng mga sektor ng unibersidad!
3. Ipatupad ang CNA laluna ang probisyon na dagdag na medical insurance.
4. Bigyan nang aytem ang matatagal nang UP kontraktwal!
5. Labanan ang pagsasara sa UFS!
6. Bigyan ng promosyon ang mga kawani at REPS na dapat mapromote. Hindi
kailangang antayin ang call for promotion para sa mga kawani at REPS.
7. Itigil ang panunupil sa lider-unyonista. Labanan ang pagtanggal kay
Freddie Sambrano, president ng All UP Workers Union, UPLB Chapter
Kagalingan at Karapatan ng mga Faculty
1. Ipatupad ang desisyong bigyan ng tenure si Prop. Sarah Raymundo.
Ipatupad ang pagbigay ng tenure sa mga faculty na naipatupad ang mga
akademikong rekisito para sa tunure.
2. Ipatupad ang patakarang umpishan ang mga search process para sa mga
dekano tatlong buwan bago matapos ang termino ng nakaupo. Ipatupad ang
maksimum na two-terms para sa mga dekano. Ipaliwanag kung ano ang ibig
sabihin ng “exceptional case” sa mga irerekomendang Dekano para sa ikatlo
o ikaapat na termino.
3. Ipaglaban ang dagdag na medical insurance para sa mga faculty at iba
pang probisyon sa CAN sa pagitan ng All UP Academic Employees Union at ng
4. Tiyakin na ang Faculty Regent ay rehente ng mga faculty at hindi
appendage lamang ng administrasyon ng unibersidad.
Itaguyod ang PGH bilang ospital ng mamamayan
1. Ibalik si Dr. Jose Gonzales bilang direktor ng PGH
2. Tigilan ang pribatisasyon ng PGH. Ihinto ang kontrata sa Daniel Mercado
Hospital kaugnay ng FMAB dahil paglabag ito sa probisyon ng UP Charter
3. Pagkakaroon sa minimum ng honorarium/allowances ang mga medical
consultants at WOC ng PGH at sa maksimum ay magkakaroon ng aytem
4. Ihinto ang mga dagdag na bayarin para sa mga pasyente ng PGH.
Labanan ang Komersyalisasyon
1. Itigil na ang komersyalisasyon ng mga lupain ng UP
2. Ilabas ang mga kontrata, kita at pinaggastusan kaugnay ng iba’t ibang
kontratang pinasukan ng UP sa mga pribadong negosyo partikular na sa Ayala
Techno Park, Ayala Techno Hub.
3. Tiyakin ang due diligence sa mga kontratang pinapasukan ng unibersidad.
4. Ilantad ang inihahapag ng administrasyong Roman na “guidelines for
compensation and classification plan” bilang panibagong iskema para
suhayan pa ang pribatisasyon at komersyalisasyon ng UP.
Ipaglaban ang mas mataas na UP Budget
1. Ipaglaban ang mas mataas na budget ng UP para sa 2010 at 2011.
2. Sa partikular ipaglaban ang sumusunod:
Additional Faculty Items P238.331 milyon
Regularization of Existing Casual 57.592 milyon
Lump sum for honoraria/ allowance/ for UP
Manila faculty (WOC) 26 milyon
Additional MOOE 693.356 milyon
Additional campus housing for faculty and staff
UPIS high school building 200 milyon
Patindihin pa ang pag-atake sa neo-liberal na pilosopiyang ipinalalaganap
ng Adminsitrasyong Roman na ginagawang negosyo ang edukasyon at ang
pamilihan bilang sukatan ng bayarin ng mga estudyante at kabayaran sa mga
faculty at istap ng Unibesidad. Ito ang nagbibigay suhay sa pagbura sa
pampublikong at serbisyong katangian ng UP bilang isang state university
at sa atuloy na pag-abandona ng estado sa responsibilidad nito sa
tersaryong edukasyon at serbisyong pangkalusugan.
Mailangkap natin ang mga lokal na pakikibaka sa mga pambansang pagkilos
laluna sa pagbubukas ng 15th Congress at sa laban para sa 2011 Budget.
Maging mahalagang bahagi rin an gating mga p;anawagan sa pag-engage sa mga
nominees para sa susunod na Presidente ng UP.
Ang ating mga panawagan:
Ihinto ang komersyalisasyon at pribatisasyon ng UP!
Ang Unibersidad at ang PGH ay serbisyo hindi negosyo!
Itakwil ang mga anti-estudyante, anti-kawani, anti REPS, anti guro at
anti-mamamayang patakaran ng Administrasyong Roman
Itaguyod ang demokratiko at konsultatibong pamamahala sa UP!
Ipaglaban ang UP bilang demokratikong unibersidad ng sambayanan!
UP ang galing mo, ialay sa bayan
UP Kilos Na : Kilusan para sa demokratikong pamantasan ng sambayana
On the Policy of the Use and
Implementation of the Tuition and Miscellaneous Fee Increases
This was the first policy paper filed by the Office of the Student Regent
to the Board of Regents during the 1256th Board of Regents Meeting. As the
title suggest, this OSR policy paper questions the issues regarding the
use of the Tuition and Other Fees Increase in a limited use by the Roman
Administration (using TOFI revenues for the construction of dormitories
alone), in relation to the current lack of funds for the improvement of
the campus facilities of each college and for more beneficiaries of the
STFAP. This forces college adminstrations to propose to have Laboratory
and Miscellaneous Fees Increase aside from the current TOFI which aimed to
solve these problems.
Also, the policy paper also addressed the cases of college administrators
bypassing or deviating the process of comprehensive consultation of
students for their proposals for Laboratory and Miscellaneous Fees
Increase. With this, the Office of the Student Regent motioned policies in
order to address the following problems stated above.
At the end of the meeting, the Board of Regents ratified and approved the
policies as motioned by the Student Regent Cori Alessa Co, in a unanimous
decision thus creating implementing rules and regulations regarding fee
increase proposals. In effect the concept of "comprehensive consultation"
stated in the Republic Act 9500 or the UP Charter of 2008, is now defined
as "50%+1 of the total population of the students that will be affected
together with the college and university student councils concerned" and
is a major prerequisite before a fees increase proposal shall even be
considered in the Board of Regents meeting.
Office of the Student Regent
University of the Philippines System
On the Policy of the Use and Implementation of the Tuition and
Miscellaneous Fee Increases
As Student Regent of the University of the Philippines System, my mandate
is to represent the students of the university system, whether they are
certificate, non-degree, undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate
students as stipulated in the section 12, sub-section 1-G of the Republic
Act 9500 or also known as the UP Charter of 2008.
For the past semesters there had been numerous petitions of the colleges
in the university system to raise miscellaneous fees, due to the lack of
funds. But, if your honours please, let us be reminded about the rationale
of the tuition and other fees increase approved by the UP Board of Regents
in December 2006.
According to the Primer on the Proposal to Adjust Tuition and Other Fees
released by the Office of the UP President as per Memorandum Number PERR
06-036 in September 12, 2006 that the proposal to increase the tuition
“will translate into quality academic services (in terms of instruction
and supervised research) provided by highly qualified faculty members,
improved student-computer ratios, increased internet access,
well-maintained teaching and research laboratories with state-of-the-art
equipment, easy access to a wider and updated collection of textbooks and
reference materials (in various forms, i.e., online, print, etc.) in UP
libraries, and increased stipends and a larger number of recipients of the
Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP).”
However, an interview with the President Roman published in the March 22
Issue of the Philippine Collegian as cited below, caught the SR’s
“According to [UP President/ UP BOR Co-Chairperson] Roman, the funds
generated from the tuition increase will go to the incremental income
which will be used to build dorms.”
Limiting the use of the funds generated from the tuition increase to the
problem of the dormitories is limiting the capacity of the full
maximization of the funds, which is immediately needed by the college
administrations in order to upgrade the necessary facilities to benefit
their students or even benefit more beneficiaries of the STFAP.
With this track of administrating the funds on the Tuition and Other Fees
increase, it burdens even more the current and future Iskolars ng Bayan
and therefore, violates Section 9 of the RA 9500 which states that:
“The national university shall take affirmative steps which may take the
form of an alternative and equitable admission process to enhance the
access of disadvantaged students, such as indigenous peoples, poor and
deserving students, including but not limited to valedictorian and
salutatorians of public high schools, and students from depressed areas,
to its programs and services.” (emphasis mine)
Meanwhile, RA 9500 states in Section 13 that the Board of Regents has the
capacity to fix tuition and other fee increases after a comprehensive
consultation with the students concerned:
“Power and Duties of the Board of Regents – The administration of the
national university and the exercise of its corporate powers are vested in
the Board of Regents:
(m) To fix the tuition fees and other necessary school charges, as the
Board may deem proper to impose, after due and comprehensive consultation
with the students concerned. Such fees and charges, including government
support and other income generated by the national university, shall
constitute special trust funds and shall be deposited in an authorized
government depository bank. Any and all interest that shall accrue there
from shall from part of the same funds for the use of the national
and Section 21 states the role of the student council:
“Student Affairs - ... The student council shall serve as the primary
student body that shall advance the interests, welfare, and aspirations of
the students of the national university. It shall have the power to adopt
internal rules of procedure consistent with the provisions of the Act..”
With these provisions in the RA 9500, it is then rendered crystal clear
that the students affected by the proposed increases and the student
councils must be well-informed by the college administrations in order to
facilitate comprehensive consultations. However, this has not been the
practice in the recent miscellaneous and laboratory fee increases as
reported by the student councils to the Office of the Student Regent. Some
college administrations only give the details of the increase, a week
before the Board of Regents meeting. There are cases that some college
administrations, do not even consider even informing the college student
councils, university student councils and the supposed affected students
regarding these issues, arbitrarily saying that it is not the concern of
the students nor the student council because it is purely an
With these actions, the undersigned respectfully avers that the student’s
right to information and inquiry is being suppressed and that these
reports are gross violations to the UP Charter of 2008.
In line with the ideals of the UP Charter of 2008, the undersigned is thus
requesting the honourable members of the Board to support the following:
• 15 days before the proposed fee increase is set to be evaluated by the
College Executive Board, the students (or future students, if it will be
applied to the incoming freshmen/ transferees from other educational
institutions), the respective college and university student councils must
have a copy of 1.the whole proposal of the proposed increase (including
the justifications and the studies done by the college/university
administration) and 2. a notice of a comprehensive consultation, requiring
at least 50% + 1 of the total number of students affected by the fees
together with the college and university student councils as active
participants in the consultation;
• 10 days before the proposed fee increase is set to be evaluated by the
College Executive Board, the Office of the Student Regent must be copy
furnished of the complete proposal and an invitation to attend the
comprehensive consultation set by the college/university administration;
• if these provisions are not followed, any proposal to increase shall not
be entertained by the Board of Regents.
The undersigned is confident that the honourable members of the Board are
cognizant that the student councils are highly recognized as the
legitimate representation of the largest stakeholders of the university,
and are duly mandated to take a stand for our current and future Iskolars
ng Bayan. Thus, their right in forwarding students’ rights, interests, and
welfare should not be disregarded. Ultimately, we enjoin every sectors of
the University of the Philippines’ community in upholding this university
as a national and premier state university that caters to the people’s
right to quality and accessible education.###
Cori Alessa C. Co
University of the Philippines System
Ako si Matthew, isang estudyante ng BS Biochemistry sa Unibersidad ng
Pilipinas sa Maynila. Sa pulutong namin naipasa ang TOFI o Tuition and
Other Fees Increase. Sa amin nauso ang pagbebenta ng alagang baka at
kalabaw, lupang sakahan, at iba pang mga ari-arian upang makapasok lamang
sa Unibersidad. Sa madaling salita, kami, ang Batch '07 freshies, ang
unang nakaranas ng 300% na dagdag sa singil pangmatrikula. Kalakip dito
ang pangako sa aming mas gaganda ang mga pasilidad at kagamitan upang
lalong mapag-ibayo ang kalidad ng edukasyon sa Unibersidad.
Fourth year na ako. Ilang beses na rin akong hinabol ng bracketing ko sa
STFAP kung saan ako'y nakatali na ngayon. Ngunit, sa kabila ng masugid na
pagbabayad ng matrikula ayon sa TOFI nang walang mintis, wala pa rin akong
nakikitang nagbago sa paaralan. Kung mayroon man, may mas importante pang
mga pangangailangan ang dapat pagtuonan ng pansin bago ang mga iyon. Sa
madaling salita, apat na taon na akong nagtitiis sa masisikip na
silid-aralan, sira-sirang upuan, mga aircon na electric fan, mga Windows
'95 na computers at sumu't saring primitibong kagamitang pang-agham.
Mahaba ang apat na taon. At sa taas ng singil sa paaralan na dala ng TOFI,
dumarating ang panahong nauubos rin ang mga bakang mabebenta, lupang
sasakahan, at mga ari-ariang masasangla na walang kasiguraduhan na matubos
pang muli. Habang dumarami ang iginagapang ang pagaaral at pagbabayad sa
mataas na matrikula, dumarami rin ang nahihinto sa pag-aaral.
Iniisip ko na lang na kami ay mga manggagawa sa lupang sakahan. Sabi nga,
magtanim ay di biro. <i>And things like these don't happen overnight.</i>
At kung walang initinanim, walang aanihin. Umaasa na lang ako na, balang
araw, kung di man kami, ang mga susunod na henerasyon ng mga Iskolar ng
Bayan na ang makinabang sa binhing aming itinanim sa malaking sakahang una
Location: UP Manila
▲ UP Baguio graduation rites,
April 23, 2010, Photos by UP Outcrop ▼
▼ UP Cebu graduation, April 28, 2010
Leila de Lima gave an excellent
commencement speech which dealt with human rights, elections and struggle
against discrimination. First ever protest grad in UP Cebu!
Mabuhay ang mga bagong nagsipagtapos.
Mabuhay ang mga iskolar ng bayan!
PHotos courtesy of UP Cebu
▼ UP Diliman CSWD Graduation
Photos by CSWD students ▼
THE NEED FOR A CULTURAL REVOLUTION
by Jose Maria Sision
(Speech delivered at the U.P. Baguio
College, Baguio City, on September 30, 1966; sponsored by the U.P. Baguio
TO HAVE A SCIENTIFIC VIEW OF CULTURE as we should, we need to understand
first of all that culture is a superstructure that rests upon a material
The ideas, institutions and all cultural patterns are dependent on the
material mode of existence of a society. These change as all societies are
subject to change. There is no permanent society or culture.
The cultural balance, pattern or synthesis that exists in a society at a
given historical stage is nothing but the unity of opposites - the unity
of opposite cultural forces. This unity is always a temporary balance
subject to the dynamism of opposites. The progressive force always
outgrows and breaks the old framework which the reactionary force always
tries to preserve.
Just as revolution is inevitable in politico-economic relations,
revolution is inevitable in culture. A cultural revolution, as a matter of
fact, is a necessary aspect of the politico-economic revolution.
In the history of mankind, it can easily be seen that even before the full
development of the politico-economic power of an ascendant social class, a
cultural revolution provides it with the thoughts and motives that serve
as the effective guide to action and further action. A rising class
achieves what we call its class consciousness before it actually
establishes its own state power and replaces the old state power and its
Long before the liberal revolution of Europe dealt the most effective
political blows against feudal power in the 17th and 18th century, a
cultural revolution took shape in the Renaissance which asserted secular
thinking and freedom of thought. The men of the Renaissance questioned the
clerical hegemony over culture and learning and they clarified the ideals
and values that were still to become truly dominant later when the unity
of church and state was to be broken and replaced by the modern bourgeois
The successful revolution of the bourgeoisie in the West was prepared and
guided by a cultural revolution.
In our country, there had to be a propaganda movement - the assertion of
new ideas and values - before there developed the actual beginnings of the
Philippine revolution that fell under the class leadership of the
ilustrados or the liberal bourgeoisie that surrounded Aguinaldo.
In this Propaganda Movement, Dr. Jose Rizal made patriotic annotations on
Morga's Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas with the view of demonstrating that
before the coming of Spanish colonialism there was an indigenous culture
that the indios could be proud of. This was clearly an anti-colonial
attempt not only to show up the racial arrogance of those who belittled
our people but also to develop an awareness of a national culture.
Not to be carried away by chauvinism, Dr. Jose Rizal further presented the
crisis of colonial culture in the Philippines and the prospects of a
national culture in terms of the liberal ideas and values of Europe which
he believed could be applied in the concrete experience of his people,
inasmuch as there was already the emergence of the ilustrados like
Crisostomo Ibarra and businessmen like Capitan Tiago.
The two novels, Noli and Fili, and his essays, the "Indolence of the
Filipinos" and "The Philippines A Century Hence", were written in
furtherance of a national democratic cultural revolution. It was a
revolution in the sense that it contraposed national culture to the
colonial culture of which the friars were the chief defenders.
It was in this same spirit that the participants of the Propaganda
Movement wrote as Marcelo H. del Pilar did, orated as Graciano Lopez Jaena
did and painted as Juan Luna did.
All of them exposed the exploitation and brutalization of our people, thus
paving the way for the clear call for separation from Spain by the
The Katipunan, which was a vigorously separatist movement and which served
as the nucleus of a new national political community carried forward into
revolutionary action the aspiration for a national democratic culture,
integrating democratic concepts with the indigenous conditions.
From Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto to Apolinario Mabini and Antonio
Luna, the fire of cultural revolution rose higher and higher and shone
with the political ideas that guided the Philippine Revolution of 1896.
What came to be considered our national culture in the beginning was the
integration of modern political ideas and indigenous conditions. The
emergence of that national culture was essentially a political phenomenon;
a national culture arose in direct and necessary opposition to the
colonial and clerical culture which exploited and brutalized our people.
An awareness of national culture spread among the Filipino people as fast
as national sentiment and consciousness spread among them. The political
awareness of a national community reintegrated the cultural patterns in
the provinces, surpassing both the magical barangay culture of
pre-Hispanic times and the feudal Christian culture under Spanish
domination. The desire for a modern national democratic society outmoded
the feudal society developed by the conquistadores from the primitive rule
of the rajahs and the datus who submitted themselves as local puppets of
the foreign dispensation.
Our people's aspiration for national democracy and for a modern culture of
the same cast were, unfortunately, frustrated by the coming of U.S.
Taking advantage of the naivete and compromising character of our
ilustrado or liberal bourgeois leaders, the U.S. imperialists easily
insinuated themselves into our country by pretending to give aid to our
efforts to free our motherland. After all, did not the patriots of the
Propaganda Movement praise so much the ideas of Jefferson, the American
Declaration of Independence and the American struggle against British
Alas, little was it realized that the American revolution, which we still
remember today for its national democratic ideals, had taken the path of
monopoly capitalist development and had become an imperialist power greedy
for colonies in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Though it shouted loud its
slogans of bringing democracy and Christianity to the Philippines, as
required by a supposed divine mandate received by President McKinley in
his dream, it came to suppress the First Philippine Republic and the
Malolos Constitution which embodied our people's national democratic
As efficiently as the Spaniards were in suppressing the rich cultural
achievements of our ancestors, the U.S. imperialists went about their work
of brutally suppressing any manifestation of patriotism by the Filipino
people. Today, despite the current horror of the U.S. imperialist war of
aggression in Vietnam, many still have the illusion that the U.S.
imperialists are smart, subtle and smooth operators. But what is more
cruel and crude than the murder of more than 250,000 Filipinos to achieve
U.S. imperialist conquest of the Philippines, as was done in the
Filipino-American War of 1899-1902?
What is more rude and inconsiderate than the all-out imperialist attempt
during the first decade of this century to censor and suppress newspapers,
drama, poetry, and other cultural efforts which manifested Filipino
patriotism and national democratic aspirations? The mere display of the
Philippine flag was enough ground for a Filipino to be punished for
Until today, many of our youth and elders are deprive of the memory of the
national democratic struggle of our people. They have been made to forget.
How is this possible even if there seems to be no more open coercion to
prevent us from reviewing our national history?
The history of mankind shows that state power and any appearance of
stability in any class society are sustained by the force of arms and
other coercive means. However, in so far as forgetting one's history is
concerned, control of the means of cultural development is necessary to
get such a result. A state, such as one that is imperialist, does not only
have the instruments for coercion but also the instruments for persuasion.
The first decisive step taken by the U.S. government in order to develop
its cultural and educational control over the Philippines was to impose
the English language as the medium of instruction and as the official
language. On the national scale, a foreign language became the first
language in government and business. English merely replaced Spanish as
the vehicle of the foreign power dominating us.
A foreign language may widen our cultural horizons, opening our eyes to
those parts of the world expressed by that language. But if such a foreign
language is forced on our people as has been the case with Spanish and
English consecutively, it undermines and destroys the sense of national
and social purpose that should be inculcated. Within our nation this
foreign language divides the educated and wealthy from the masses. It is
not only a measure of class discrimination but also one of national
subjugation. It means a cultural constriction represented a long time ago
by a Do¤a Victorina.
The two most significant results of the adoption of English as the first
language in the practice of the educated are: first, learning and the
professions are alienated from the masses and only serve the ruling class
in the incessant class struggle; and second, the Filipino people are
actually cut off from other peoples of the world and become victimized by
Some persons might argue that the U.S. government had really intended to
spread English among the masses by establishing the public school system.
They might, with extreme nostalgia, recall the coming of the Thomasites
and what had developed from their work; they might recall how American
teachers taught their language better than many Filipino English teachers
do today. Foolishly, they are liable to find justification in this for the
Peace Corps and other cultural devices meant to perpetuate U.S.
imperialist cultural influence among the people.
Those favoring the dominance of imperialist culture at the expense of our
developing national culture are treading treasonous grounds. It is already
well exposed by history that the public school system has served
essentially as a brainwashing machine for cleansing the people's minds of
their national democratic aspirations.
The colonially-tutored children came to know more about Washington and
Lincoln than about Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto. The national
democratic concepts of our national heroes were forgotten and only
innocuous anecdotes were told about them. U.S. imperialism became in their
eyes the liberator and not the oppressor of the people in fact.
U.S. imperialism has found more use in our learning of English than we
would have found for ourselves if we developed our own national language.
We have about three generations of Filipinos spewed by the imperialist
brainwashing machine. The general run of these Filipinos have an
intellectual orientation, habits, and consumption attitudes subordinated
to the so-called American way of life.
In self-criticism, let us accept how much so many of us have become
acculturized to U.S. imperialism. To propose that we embark on a genuine
program of national industrialization and agrarian revolution is to become
extremely "subversive." We are eyed with suspicion by some just because we
had dared to challenge the colonial character of the economy and,
therefore, of the prevailing politics.
We must propose the Filipinization of schools, the press, radio and other
media which are decisive in the conditioning of minds. Because in the
hands of foreigners, these constitute direct foreign political power and
intervention in our national affairs. These media of education and
information immediately direct public opinion and, as it has been since
the coming of U.S. imperialism, they have served to keep permanent our
cultural as well as our political bondage.
The cultural aggression of U.S. imperialism in our country continues
unabated. It takes various forms.
The U.S. Agency for International Development has a decisive say on
educational policies at the highest governmental level. Textbook
production and procurement are directed by it in the Department of
Education. Multifarious projects designed to execute directly U.S. foreign
cultural policy are actually supported by the counterpart peso fund which
we provide. To a great extent, the Philippine government is actually
subsidizing USIS and other forms of "clasped hands" propaganda.
In a strategic place like the University of the Philippines, General
Carlos P. Romulo, continues to open the door to foreign grants from such
foundations as Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundation. He has sought
loans from foreign financing institutions like the World Bank for the
purpose of his so-called five-year development program. The naive teacher,
student and administrator in my Alma Mater might think that Romulo is
doing a fine job for us. But actually, he is doing a fine job for the
cause of a cultural imperialism which is in the service of U.S. monopoly
We have examine closely the present proliferation of institutes and
research projects in the U.P. which are meant only to accommodate the
cultural agents of the U.S. government, both American and Filipino. We
have examine closely how much U.S. imperialist advice and actual direction
has affected and will affect the curricula and materials for study. We
have to examine closely what is the whole idea behind the $6 million World
Bank loan to the U.P. How, for instance, is this related to present plans
and operations of Esso fertilizer, International Harvester, United Fruit
and others? We should inquire more critically into the increasing physical
presence of U.S. imperialist personnel in the U.P. The U.S. government
plans every step it takes in consideration of the monopoly interests it
must represent in its foreign policy. Unlike the Philippine government,
the U.S. government takes its action in the cultural field on the basis of
The pensionado mentality among our brighter students, teachers and
professors have become so instilled that to promote their career it is a
"must" for them to take one American scholarship grant or another. We must
be critical of their mentality and we must pursue a new cultural
revolution that should put in order the values of those who have fallen
prey to this mentality and we must pursue a new cultural revolution that
should put in order the values of those who have fallen prey to this
mentality. They go to the United States only to learn concepts and cases
that do not apply on the concrete experience of our people. Their thinking
is completely alienated from the masses and at most they become
There is a worse kind of Filipino professional than the one who finally
returns to his country. He is either a doctor, a nurse or some other
professional who prefers to stay in the United States as a permanent
resident or who tries to become an American citizen. This type of fellow
is a subtle betrayer of his country and, in the most extreme cases, a
loud-mouthed vilifier of the Filipino people. He goes to a foreign land
for higher pay and that is all he is interested in. He does not realize
how much social investment has been put into his public schooling from the
elementary level and up, and he refuses to serve the people whose taxes
have paid for his education. We criticize him but we must as well condemn
the government that allows him to desert and that fails to inspire him to
work for the people.
While there is an apparent exodus of our bright young men and women to the
United States and other lands under the direction of the U.S., the U.S.
government ironically sends the Peace Corps and encourages all sorts of
projects (many of which are CIA-directed) intending to send young American
men and women abroad. Whereas these young Americans are going to our
countryside guided by the foreign policy of their government, our bright
young men and women are abandoning the countryside to crowd each other out
in the city or to take flight entirely from their country.
We refer to the Peace Corps here as a challenge to our youth. These agents
of a foreign government are here to perpetuate their government's
long-standing policies and cultural influence. They are agents of renewed
U.S. imperialist efforts to aggravate their cultural control; thus, they
are described as the new Thomasites.
The presence of U.S. imperialist agents of one sort or another in our
countryside poses a threat to the development of a national democratic
movement among us. Beyond their role of showing pictures of New York and
Washington to impressionable children is the counter-insurgency rationale
behind their organization.
While these sweet boys and girls in the Peace Corps are now immediately
creating goodwill (which is a euphemism for political influence) and
performing intelligence functions, these same sweet boys and girls can
always come back with new orders from their government. This
counter-insurgency aspect and psywar and intelligence value of the Peace
Corps are what make it subversive to the interest of a national democratic
The Filipino youth should go to the countryside to learn from the people
and to arouse them for the national democratic revolution.
▼ UP Diliman Graduation
Photos by UP SILIP ▼
TOWARDS A NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC TEACHER'S
by Jose Maria Sison
(Delivered at the National Teachers'
College Recognition Day, March 30, 1968.)
TO SPEAK before the fellow teachers and future teachers is always a
welcome opportunity for one involved in what has come to be called the
Second Propaganda Movement, a movement that takes after the first efforts
of the anti-colonial patriots to establish a national democratic regime.
We are in the midst of renewed efforts to push forward the national
democratic revolution to its completion and fulfillment in accordance with
the terms and requirements of our exploited masses in the present era.
The first propagandists like Rizal, Del Pilar and Lopez Jaena were the
first teachers of the nation. Beyond the walls of the churches and
clerical schools, they tried to spread enlightenment among their own
people. Being good teachers in their own time, they learned at the later
stages of their movement that the first reformist demands that they had
made had to be transformed into revolutionary and separatist demands. Thus
the sense of nationhood ultimately gave form and direction to their
movement for public enlightenment.
The propagandists that followed, like Bonifacio and Jacinto, combined
their ideas of independent nationhood and freedom with revolutionary
practice and directed their movement against the colonial enemy. They drew
their wisdom from social practice and from familiarity with the problems
of the masses and tested their knowledge in the struggle against the
The mobilization of the Philippine revolution was a process of converting
political ideas into a material force against the colonial power structure
whose oppressiveness had stimulated national democratic enlightenment.
The process of awakening the masses from centuries of frustrations and
suffering was basically a process of education. To be more precise, it was
a process of re-education. The colonial system had held the mind of the
indio through a system of "brainwashing" performed mainly by a theocracy
under conditions of feudal stress and with the pedagogic principles of the
rod and rote.
Against colonial mis-education, a national democratic re- education
movement had to be waged under the extreme dangers of being called
"Communists" and "subversive" that today national democrats are harassed
and restricted in their present movement of enlightenment.
A whole system of thought and prejudices induced by the colonialists was
based on the material foundation of a feudal society. For this system of
thought regimentation to persist and prevail, there had to be a system of
educational institutions and processes, which were increasingly parasitic
as their teachings became more and more irrelevant to the actual needs of
the masses of the people. There were the Church and its catechetical and
higher schools which were limited by the scope opportunity that could be
provided by a feudal mode of production. The literacy achieved by a feudal
mode of production. The literacy achieved by a few was needed chiefly for
religious purposes -- for reading prayers, novenas and hagiographies.
Higher courses were available to the children of the principalia so that
they may be endowed with enough apologetics, Latinized pedantry and
fluency in the Hispanic language that would set them apart form the native
masses. The colonial feudal system was
merely in need of a thin buffer line between the foreign elite and the
colonized peasantry. As an all-encompassing instrument, comparable in
scope to the mass media of today, the pulpit and the confessional box were
used to keep the masses of the people in a feudal grip.
As rebels of their own time, the first propagandists disputed the system
of thought control that put up mental blocks rather than taught scientific
knowledge. The intellectual rebellion sought new content and new methods
of education that suited the needs of the people. The Noli and the Fili
and the essays of Dr. Rizal exposed principally the mis-education and
brutalization of the Filipino masses, dispelled misconceptions about the
supposedly natural indolence of the indio and advocated a system of public
education free from the control of the friars. It was through the prism of
liberalism that the first propagandists perceived the people's needs and
aspirations. The most progressive educational outlook and methods that
they were able to grasp at the time was of a liberal frame which concurred
with their own middle class aspirations in the historical period of old
type colonialism and feudalism. Unable to merge themselves right away with
the masses in a practical revolutionary
way, they were under extreme dangers from the Padre Damasos and Padre
Salvis and so they sought the freer atmosphere of Europe.
It was men like Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto, men closer to the
Filipino masses, who would bring the national democratic movement to a
higher stage that sought the realization of national freedom through
revolutionary struggle. It was the higher stage of combining the concepts
of sovereignty and freedom with revolutionary practice, necessitated by
popular demand and by the intransigence of the oppressor. It was the
higher stage of using both the sword and the pen in confrontation with an
enemy that had long been using his sword and pen.
The revolution of 1896 continued to issue pamphlets and manifestos and
hold mass meetings to arouse the masses. Under the aegis of a
revolutionary government, they set up the Academia Literaria as the
spearhead of formal educational system.
The national democratic objectives and the educational plans of the
Philippine revolution of 1896 were to be frustrated, however, by the
successful aggression against Filipino sovereignty perpetrated by U.S.
imperialism. Using the gun to defeat the Filipino revolutionaries, they
subsequently used to pen that wrote the slogan of "benevolent
assimilation". A public school system was deliberately wet up by the
Thomasites and the alien soldiers who turned teachers, not so much to
endow the local people unilaterally with the boons of science and
democracy, but to convert the Philippines into an Asian outpost in
America's "manifest destiny" of achieving world hegemony.
There are the simple-minded among us who restrict educational history to a
static comparison of the Spanish record and the U.S. record in setting up
public schools. To cultivate a pro- imperialist mentality, they
deliberately discount the plans of the Philippine revolutionary government
to set up a public school system as a necessary instrument for citizenship
training and progress. They obscure the fact that the imperialist conquest
of the Philippines was not so much directed against a colonial power that
was already losing out to the forces of national liberation but mainly
against the national sovereignty of the Filipino people; and whatever
educational system the U.S. imperialists would establish would have to
serve and "justify" the purposes of their imperialism.
For the thought-control of a colonized people, U.S. imperialism is not
exclusively reliant on a system of churches and cleric-run schools. On the
other hand, it is mainly reliant on a widespread educational system and on
the modern mass media to achieve its capitalist purposes. Concretely, in a
country like the Philippines which has come to be semi-colonial and
semi-feudal, U.S. imperialism has its own system of thought-control and it
also compromises with the old paraphernalia of colonial thought- control.
Here, feudal culture and education have served as the base for the
super-imposition of imperialist culture and education. The integration of
feudal and imperialist culture and education is best demonstrated by
sectarian schools run by foreign clerics who defend both feudal and
imperialist values; these are schools that serve the native oligarchy and
their children -- an extension of the privileged schooling of the
stalwarts of the colonial principalia.
It is not enough to have schools and to have literacy. What is even more
important is that these must be made to serve the purposes of the nation
and the masses. It is not enough to have the bottle; it is more important
to determine its content. If the Philippine revolution had triumphed, we
would have had the bottle and we would have also determined its content.
U.S. imperialism is fond of making the condescending assertion that it
taught us self-government and democracy. That is a big lie that actually
denies the value of the revolutionary efforts of our people. When the U.S.
imperialists came, it was precisely to suppress the revolutionary national
democratic regime that had been made possible by the struggle of the
U.S. monopoly-capitalism, it its functions of exporting surplus products
and surplus capital, has been compelled to train a more extensive local
bureaucracy and technocracy in the Philippines unlike the old colonial
system which was bases on a lower form of social development and which
needed a thinner layer educated puppets. The illusion of free exchange is
maintained under imperialism, say free trade relations in raw materials
from the colony and finished products from the capitalist metropolis or
free wage contracts between capitalists and workers within a society. This
structure or relations requires a more extensive local bureaucracy and
In our educational system today, students are indoctrinated in the
concepts and methods of an imperialist culture and feudal culture. The
typical student in the present educational system at every level has a
sophisticated split personality that suffers from a double constriction of
outlook. A docile feudal mentality is mixed up with the avaricious
mechanical mentality of the bourgeoisie so typical of career men in every
The national democratic movement, as a movement for re-educating those who
have been mis-educated, is now twice difficult. If the First Propaganda
Movement had to contend with a clerical structure of thinking, the Second
Propaganda Movement still has to contend with it and, in addition, with an
imperialist-oriented system of education. And yet we are already in the
era of the global triumph of national democratic and socialist
Asserting the true purposes of education, asserting its national and
social purposes, is now a challenge that all of us must face. This is no
longer just the time for stating hypocritically that we are already free
and independent as a nation. This is now the era when the underpinnings of
the semi-colonial and semi-feudal Philippine society and also the
underpinnings of the master state in the "free world", U.S. imperialism,
are disintegrating. Revolutionary forces here and abroad are arising so
rapidly to replace the old with the new. The toiling masses and the
intelligentsia in our country are definitely clamoring for a national
democratic revolution to free them from foreign and feudal domination.
The movement of events in this nation and in the whole world is so rapid.
We who presume to be teachers must be constantly alert students or else
our schools will become isolated purveyors of outmoded thoughts and
illusions. If the teacher fails to update the content and quality of his
teaching, he will surely fail to prepare his students for a fruitful and
practical struggle. The surge of the national democratic revolution will
certainly expose their ineptitude and inadequacies. The teacher who
doggedly allows himself to be bound by traditional relations, methods and
illusions becomes an instrument of reaction. It is now our duty to
re-examine and repudiate the structure of thinking that exploiting nations
and exploiting classes have built into our educational system.
All teachers and future teachers who place themselves on the side of
truth, justice and progress should band themselves into the Second
Propaganda Movement and become a definite force in the national democratic
movement. They should reject every kind of nonsense taught in school;
grasp the theory resolutely in concrete Philippine conditions. It is not
enough for them to consider their walled-in classrooms as the incubators
of revolutionary movement. It is also necessary for them to exert without
delay efforts to convert the entire country into a huge classroom for
revolution. In the Second Propaganda Movement, teachers and future
teachers should join the workers, peasants, the urban petty bourgeoisie
and other revolutionary elements in their mass activities of
▼UP Manila Graduation
Photos by Carl Marc Ramota and Judy Taguiwalo ▼
THE TASKS OF THE SECOND PROPAGANDA MOVEMENT
by Jose Maria Sision
(Speech delivered at the St. Louis
University, Baguio City, on October 12, 1966; sponsored by the St. Louis
University Student Council.)
The Second Propaganda Movement
IT WAS Senator Claro Mayo Recto who first expressed the need for a second
propaganda movement. It was his intention in 1960 to engage in an
intensive and extensive anti-imperialist campaign tour after coming from
his journey abroad. He was never able to do what he intended, but his
anti-imperialists legacy remains with us.
This anti-imperialist legacy consists of the body of ideas and principles
which he defined in the course of his nationalist crusade which he
launched in the early 1950's. There was really no need for him to make any
formal announcement that he and other patriots would embark on the Second
Propaganda Movement. He started it the moment he began to relate the
struggle of the present to the struggle of those who had successfully
fought and isolated the first colonial tyranny, but who did not quite
succeed in preventing the coming of a new foreign tyranny, U.S.
It is important to speak of the Second Propaganda Movement because we need
to recall the unfinished tasks of the Philippine revolution. The Second
Propaganda movement is required to arouse our nation anew to the struggle
for the fulfillment of the national democratic tasks of the Philippine
This Second Propaganda Movement occurs as a resumption of the First
Propaganda Movement and of the Philippine revolution even as conditions
are far different from those obtaining during the time of the first
nationalist propagandists. While odd problems have been carried over to
the present, new ones have also arisen to make our national struggle more
difficult and more complicated.
The Second Propaganda Movement must therefore be more vigorous and
resolute. It should be a propaganda movement of a new type, with a new
class leadership and a new alignment of forces and with a new ideological
and political orientation more advanced and more progressive, if we are to
be on the tide of a higher stage of historical development and if we are
to win the struggle against an enemy far stronger and far more clever than
the old type of colonialism. In other words, the Second Propaganda
Movement, are strategically weak as these are confronted with the
anti-imperialist and anti-feudal unity of the people under the leadership
of the working class. Furthermore, on a world scale, U.S. imperialism and
feudalism are fast losing out before the surging forces of national
democratic and socialist revolutions. The present tasks of the Second
Propaganda Movement are huge but conditions for its success are also good.
The Second Propaganda Movement is first of all a political movement. It is
an educational movement with political aims; for after all there is not
type of education or culture that is detached from politics. It aims to
replace the old type of education and culture while retaining only its
progressive elements. It aims to prepare and guide the people for struggle
against their foreign and feudal exploiters. It aims to effect results and
it proceeds from a particular political standpoint. Class interests,
whether of the exploited or of the exploiters, generate political ideas,
values and attitudes that inspire and guide men to action.
Learn from the Masses
In order to move the people to obtain certain results by their collective
action, one must first determine their motives based on their concrete
conditions and class interests. It is necessary for the Second Propaganda
Movement to learn from the masses their conditions, problems, interests
and aspirations before it dares tech them what to do. The Second
Propaganda Movement is a mass movement in the most genuine sense with the
mobilization and victory of the masses as the main objective.
The principle of learning from the masses should never be forgotten even
if at this point we are able to take advantage of a fund of general
knowledge gathered from past experience.
General or second-hand knowledge is important but what is always most
important is the first-hand knowledge of the masses or learning from the
masses because it assumes being constantly with them and merging with
them. Learning from the masses and being with them will make our
generalizations for action and formulation of solutions more correct and
more dynamic. We become immediately one with the masses in their
The Second Propaganda Movement should never be a campaign to command or
dictate above the heads of the masses. One should not throw big theories
and big slogans without first learning the concrete conditions and
problems of the people. A knowledge of these from first-hand observation,
from practice with the masses and from listening to the masses, would
enable us to test and verify theories, enrich them and explain them to the
people in the most concrete terms that they immediately understand.
We must advance from the behavior and performance of the First Propaganda
Movement which unfolded as a movement of exiles in a foreign city while it
was supposed to be concerned with Philippine conditions and problems. It
will not also do now for the ilustrados or the petty bourgeoisie to assume
leadership by simply brandishing their formal or artificial classroom
knowledge, or by impressing the people with their bourgeois education.
The agents of U.S. imperialism, the landlords and religious sectarians
themselves are trying to mingle with the masses, under the cover of the
powerful mass media that they own and control and under the cover of many
pretexts with the sole objective of confusing and deceiving the people.
The activists of the Second Propaganda Movement have no alternative but to
take the mass line, merge with the masses and learn from the masses. It
does not suffice now even to issue manifestoes and proclamations from the
cities and big towns where the lazy "leaders" are fond of sitting out a
revolution. The success of the Second Movement will be determined by those
who choose to go to the masses and be with them.
In the Second Propaganda Movement, it is necessary to determine whose
politics or ideology should lead the people.
There is a presumption on the part of the bourgeoisie and the landlords
that only those with high formal schooling are fit to lead the people.
They talk of the people disdainfully as illiterate and uneducated. By
asserting that only those educated in the bourgeois or conservative
fashion are fit to lead, they wish to entrap the masses within the system
The Second Propaganda Movement should reject this dangerous and
undemocratic presumption as a lie intended to mislead the masses. We have
given to the products of colonial and neo-colonial education more than
three centuries and many more decades to solve the problems of the masses.
But what have they done? We have given the bright boys or the technocrats
of the bourgeoisie and the landlord class more than enough time and yet
they are either too dull or too dishonest to see the basic problems that
are U.S. imperialism and feudalism.
What a pity that educated elite does not see clearly the basic problems
that are U.S. imperialism and feudalism which the masses, with lesser
formal education, can see and feel most acutely as they are the ones most
adversely affected. The masses are in a position to perceive not only
their own sufferings but also the benefits that accrue to a new from U.S.
imperialism and feudalism.
What the masses experience they can immediately grasp. They can also
easily grasp the correct solutions based on the correct analysis of their
problems. It is the self-satisfied statesmen, educated men and publicists
of the bourgeoisie and the landlords who will consider such terms as
imperialism and feudalism too high above their heads, not so much because
they are dull but because they are dishonest and are afraid of exposing
the negative character of the system that benefits them.
The national and social liberation of the masses will come only from the
masses themselves. Only they themselves can understand their problems most
profoundly. The activists of the Second Propaganda Movement can only
generalize and formulate solutions from the experience of the masses.
The Scientific and Democratic World Outlook
Reliance on the masses and rejection of bourgeois and egotistic education
can be understood only if one has a scientific and democratic world
This scientific and democratic world outlook should be even more advance
than the liberal-democratic outlook that the First Propaganda Movement has
as a matter of political posture. The proletarian world outlook is today
the most scientific and democratic outlook. It is superior to the narrow
viewpoint of the "enlightened" liberal bourgeoisie. It sees clearly the
entire range of the opposing class forces operating in society today with
their respective viewpoints. It comprehends their basic relations and
contradictions and it so masters the situation as to be able to change it
through revolutionary practice.
It recognizes the progressive force in any contradiction and at this stage
of world history it recognizes the proletariat as the progressive class in
the struggle between the U.S. monopolists and the proletariat going on all
over the world and in our country. It does not only recognize every
progressive force but it takes sides as a matter of commitment. A man who
has a scientific and proletarian outlook knows that no man or no small
group of men can be detached or excluded from basic social struggles.
Outside of one's consciousness, this class struggle is objectively
occurring; one can only side with the progressive or the reactionary force
in the moment of crisis. To assume the posture of neutrality is actually
to become an appendage of the stronger force.
The class struggle is objectively going on in the Philippines but it has
taken the form of a national struggle, with patriotic classes -- the
working class, peasantry, intelligentsia and the national bourgeoisie --
aligned against the U.S. imperialists, compradors, landlords and
bureaucrat-capitalists. The working class is the leading class, with the
peasantry as its most reliable ally, and it conducts its struggle against
the U.S. monopoly capitalists and the local comprador bourgeoisie,
supported by the landlord class.
The Second Propaganda Movement should advance a modern scientific and
democratic world outlook that rejects the religio-sectarian culture of
feudal times, the decadent imperialist culture and the egotistic
petty-bourgeois mentality. The schools as they are now in the Philippines
are the purveyors of these that we must reject.
Alienation in the Present Culture
There has to be a complete overhaul of the entire educational system. But
the initial necessary step to be taken is to advance a national democratic
culture of a new type. This national democratic culture is a part of our
political struggle to achieve national democracy.
Education must serve our national struggle to gain independence and
self-reliance in every field of endeavor, whether political, economic,
social, cultural, military and diplomatic.
As a whole, the present educational system in the Philippines is in the
hands of forces inimical to the principles of national democracy. its
control is shared by the agents of an imperialist culture and those of a
regressive feudal-sectarian culture.
Its an educational system which actually shields the ruling class and
alienates the formally educated from the masses. it does not at all
propagate a healthy scientific and democratic viewpoint; even the
exceptional children of the poor who manage to acquire a high degree of
education inevitably adopt the decadent and corrupt values of the ruling
class and abandon the cause of national and social liberation. This kind
of education is a device by which the betrayal of the masses by a few of
its own children is assured.
In a period where the ruling class has stability of power, the educated
middle class serves as the transmission belt of the ideas and values of
the ruling class to the lower classes. Before it is won over or
neutralized by the organized masses, the middle class functions as the
instrument of the exploiting classes.
As clear manifestation of the alienation of our educational system from
the cause of national democracy, it does not perform the function of
teaching the students to merge with and mobilize the people for, say,
national independence, land reform, national industrialization or any such
The activists of the Second Propaganda Movement should patiently arouse
and mobilize the masses, win over the intelligentsia and develop an
alliance with the national bourgeoisie, on the basis of its self-interest,
under the banner of national democracy.
Filipinization of the Educational System
One immediate step that can be taken with regard to the present
educational system is its Filipinization. This should be taken with the
view of replacing foreign ownership, control and influence over the
schools with that of Filipinos imbued with the spirit of national
Teachers educated in the old way should themselves be re- educated. The
process of their education will accelerate as the political situation
consistently develops in favor of the revolutionary masses.
The adoption of textbooks and other study materials that are Filipino
oriented and progressive should be used to counteract the hundreds of
years of our colonial, imperialist and neo- colonial mental subjugation.
Filipino authors should struggle to replace the materials and textbooks
now being used which are alienated from the conditions and problems of the
The Filipino students and the people should be alerted to the foreign
agencies and devices by which the colonial and feudal mentality is meant
to be perpetuated. The imperialist and subversive character of the
activities and influence of the AID, USIS, the Peace Corps, U.S.
scholarships and grants, the ALEC, IEDR, the research grants extended by
U.S. corporations, Asia Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford
Foundation and the Congress for Cultural Freedom should be thoroughly
exposed. These agencies have been exposed before as imperialist agencies
or as CIA fronts and conduits.
When your enemy makes you think the way he does, he becomes your friend
superficially even if he takes advantage of your interests and exploits
you. As Senator Recto said in a message addressed to the youth, a
"brainwashed" generation followed the military defeat of the Philippine
revolution. The result has been the abandonment of national democratic
As proof of the abandonment of the historical tasks of the nation and the
betrayal of the Philippine revolution, it has been deemed "subversive" for
the youth and the people now to recall the Philippine revolution and to
strive for national democracy.
The Second Propaganda Movement should likewise be alert to the friar
enemies of the First Propaganda Movement. They are now, in collaboration
with the imperialists, fast expanding their ownership and control of the
educational establishments. The religious hypocrisy of a Padre Salvi and a
Padre Damaso should not deceive the people again.
As we all believe in the freedom of religion, they are free to preach in
their churches, but they should not oppose the struggle for national
democracy and try to discredit us as heretics and filibusters by abusing
the credibility that they have among their faithful. religion should not
be used as a cover for the people's enemies. Both the church and those
striving for social change should avoid the conversion of a national and
social struggle into a religious one. Otherwise, those who claim to be
concerned with the spiritual welfare of their faithful will only be
exposed as tools of those who want to perpetuate the political power of
the exploiting classes. It is the prevalent imperialist culture and the
decadent feudal values of the exploiting classes which create the monsters
and demons of this society.
A scientific and democratic type of education should be fostered by all
means and should not be run down by the expanding schools of foreign
friars. The national democratic movement, that is, the Second Propaganda
Movement, should demand that the clerical type of education should not be
allowed to prevail over a scientific and democratic type of education.
Clerical schools have only become bastions of class discrimination,
authoritarianism and anti-secularism.
National Democratic Scholarship
Within and outside the schools, progressive scholars and researchers who
consider themselves part of the Second Propaganda Movement should work
assiduously for the replacement of those historical writings and social
researches which unilaterally misrepresent the colonial and imperialist
aggressors as great conscious benefactors of the Filipino people.
There should be an objective presentation of our historical development as
a nation. The struggle of social opposites must be objectively presented
with a clear appreciation of our national efforts and with the clear
understanding that the revolutionary masses make history.
Our colonial-minded and bourgeois historians and scientists have even gone
to the extend of obscuring the most important historical documents of the
Philippine revolution in their attempt to play up their colonial heroes
and their intellectual subservience.
The step taken by an increasing number of scholars in taking the Filipino
orientation in the writing of Philippine history is a positive step which
does credit to the national democratic efforts of our people.
The most progressive step to be taken by our Filipino scholars now is to
present objectively the struggle of the nation and of the various
patriotic classes in our society for democracy and progress.
A National Language and Revolutionary Arts and Letters
In language, literature and the arts, vigorous efforts should be exerted
for these to serve the interests of the masses.
While we should preserve the culture of localities and minorities as part
of our cultural heritage, we should develop a new and truly national
culture by propagating and making use of a national language that is a
cognate to all our local languages and can therefore, unlike English, be
easily grasped by the masses everywhere. Vigorous steps must be taken to
make Pilipino a language ascendant over English. The main reason for this
is to have a medium for the rapid promotion of national democratic
understanding among the people of the entire archipelago. The educated
elite has made use of a foreign language as a language of conceit over the
heads of the masses. The laws are still in Spanish and English; this is
one sign of how alienated are the laws of the ruling class from the
In literature and the arts, the process of raising aesthetic standards and
popularization should go hand in hand. For the masses who constitute our
biggest audience can appreciate our literature and art only if our writers
and artists make use of the life and struggles of our masses as raw
material. If we adopt this raw material, it can be given the form that our
artistic talents are capable of making.
Our heroes and values must change if we are truly for revolutionary
progress. The workers, peasants and revolutionary fighters should prevail
in our representation of life. the content and themes of our literary and
artistic efforts must shift from a pseudo-aristocratic and petty bourgeois
concern over a narrow and limited portion of our national reality. The
task of our writers and artists now is to turn to the great drama of the
struggle of the masses for national and social liberation.
Those creative writers and artists who fail to use the life of more than
90 per cent of our people for their raw material must be pretty
narrow-minded. Or, they are too misled by or absorbed with getting travel
grants and other concessions from the Rockefeller Foundation, the USIS and
other imperialist institutions which have calculatedly planned to make our
writers and artists flighty and escapist.
The petty bourgeois writer or artist should realize once and for all that
there is no such thing as being declasse, above classes, apolitical or
detached from politics. An honest analysis of the work of the people who
take this presumption will show their real objective partisanship on the
side of the ruling classes which give them the crumbs and the plums. They
are actually reactionary through and through, either praising the
regressive values of the primitive or feudal life or presenting the
helpless or the self-indulgent individual who is trapped by a system which
he does not care to understand or which he deliberately mystifies.
Those who write for the proletariat or the masses and for their cause are
regarded by the imperialist, feudal or petty-bourgeois writer as being
gross and utilitarian. But look at the works of our supposedly refined and
arty writers or artists: the presentation of their egotistic obscure
concerns actually represent a narrow-minded grossness and incapability to
grasp the basic tensions of life. They are capable only of presenting a
narrow part of reality, the alienation and psychology of the individual
alienated from the more dynamic forces of society.
The Second Propaganda Movement should be pushed forward by cultural
workers who can surpass even the tradition of critical realism of Dr. Jose
Rizal in his novels, the Noli and the Fili, and Juan Luna in his painting,
Literature and the arts are a concentrated expression of reality. In the
present era, one must unswervingly take the proletarian standpoint in
order to achieve the greatest progress in art and literature. Literature
and the arts would reflect the revolutionary struggle and point towards
Science and Technology for National Industrialization
Let us consider science and technology. It is not true that science and
technology are free from political or class dictation. The feudalists and
imperialists have a particular way of using them or restricting them and
for definite reasons.
The feudalists wanted to restrict science and technology because they did
not want their religious dogmas to be challenged, and exposed. today,
imperialists use science and technology to make weapons of destruction for
their wars of aggression and they also restrict production for the sake of
maximizing their rate of profit.
In the Philippines, we wish to make use of science and technology for our
industrial progress and for producing more for our people. In intellectual
perspective, we have advanced far from that period when the friars opposed
scientific knowledge as "heretical" and mishandled "A Class in Physics" in
order to subvert our intellectual development. When U.S. imperialism took
over the Philippines, it first showed, in comparison with the friars, some
desire to share science and technology to pursue national
industrialization and effect economic emancipation, we find the American
capitalist society, with its own scientific and technological progress,
inimical to our progress.
U.S. imperialist politics do not permit us to make full use of the science
and technology within the grasp of our scientists, technologists, and our
people because the economic development we would create will set us free
and cut down the market and profits of U.S. industries.
It is wishful thinking, therefore, to consider that sciences and
technology have no necessary connection with politics and with class
Science and technology and production in socialist countries are within
the realm of politics, that is to say, of satisfying the needs of the
people. But, in capitalist countries, despite the high level of
development in science, technology and the forces of production,
altogether these are made to serve the profit- making and political power
of the monopolies against the interests of the masses and nations abroad.
In the Philippines, we should pursue a thoroughgoing program of increasing
our scientific and technological knowledge for political and economic
purposes; that is, for our political emancipation and economic welfare. We
want to have the skills for national industrialization and agricultural
development. In order to ensure the participation of the masses of our
people in production and in accelerated social development, we should
popularize the most advanced skills; but, before we can put these to use,
the masses must first arm themselves politically, liberate the nation and
themselves from the political forces that restrict our economic growth and
our scientific and technological progress.
Filipinization of the Mass Media
Let us consider the newspapers, radio, TV, movies and other like media of
information, opinion and entertainment which are now powerful instruments
of either progress or reaction in this era of the Second Propaganda
We know that these are not controlled by the masses. The masses on the
other hand, are reduced to passivity in relation to the emissions of these
Because of the fact that most of the corporations owning these media or
sponsoring the programs are imperialist and imperialist- oriented, our
mass media at present cannot be used for propagating national democracy,
on the other hand, it is through the mass media that the glorification of
sex and violence, characteristic of imperialist culture, is propagated to
the detriment of our youth and people. Just take note of the James Bond
cult and the cowboy fare and the rat-race mercenary kind of justice dished
up by the imperialist-controlled mass media. They are the vehicle for
imperialist propaganda and likewise for anti- Filipino and anti-democratic
prejudices. Because of commercial advertising the tastes, attitudes and
consumption habits of the Filipino people are anchored on the products of
As a whole, foreign control of the mass media their content (ranging from
local sensationalism and slanted reports of U.S. press agencies like AP
and UPI) constitutes intervention in our political life; and in the most
subtle way, it actually conditions the minds of the people to accept not
only the commercial products in the form of political agreements and fair-
haired boys of U.S. imperialism
In the field of mass media, let us recall the glorious tradition of
Kalayaan and La Independencia, which were the genuine journalistic
instruments of the national democratic movement. In the spirit of these
publications, let us convince our journalist that the truth does not lie
only within the framework of imperialist and landlord political power.
Many of them have realized this; and they are bound to widen their freedom
of expression more and more.
There is no such thing as freedom of the press in the abstract. Only a
liar or a dull person would make that claim. The reporters are bound by
editorial policy; the editorial policy is in turn bound by the publisher's
policy or that of the company board of directors; the publisher or the
board is in turn bound by the advertisers' policy. It is foolish to make
the liberal argument that by having different or several advertisers, none
of them would be able to control the paper. The advertisers are well-
organized in their chambers of commerce and national advertisers'
association and in many more business groupings. If the press depends on
them for survival, it is bound never to violate the basic class "truths"
of their interests.
It is common knowledge how U.S. companies have tried to quell the
expression of national democratic vies in the press. The patriotic and
progressive members of the press should struggle for greater press freedom
by siding in so many ways with the forces of national democracy.
Professionalism in the service of the exploiters means political
subservience to them; inasmuch as it serves to shape and foster opinions
in the service of the exploiters.
One concrete step that can be taken by the Second Propaganda Movement is
to fight for the Filipinization of the press so that direct ownership by
foreigners of such anti-national and anti- democratic media like
Philippines Herald, Manila Daily Bulletin, DZBB, DZHP, DZBU and others can
be removed. If we succeed in Filipinizing the press, the popular support
we shall have generated will automatically serve to back up national
democratic publications. At present, we should consistently expose and
isolate all those anti-national and anti-democratic media directly owned,
supported or controlled by foreign monopolies and compradors.
If our newsmen should wish to play a role in the national democratic
tradition of Jose Rizal, Lopez Jaena, Del Pilar, Jacinto and Luna they
should organize themselves as militantly progressive journalists and
workingmen who wish to broaden their freedom of expression. Their unity
should serve to counter the power of decision of the publisher who is
tightly bound by financial compromises with the anti-national and
anti-democratic advertisers and stockholders.
Within and outside the field of journalism, the Second Propaganda Movement
can vigorously call for the nationalization of the economy and for
national industrialization so that ultimately the foreign advertisers can
no longer have the press at their mercy.
What the Second Propaganda Movement can do now by itself in widening press
freedom is to establish a publication where there is the untrammeled
freedom to express and advocate national democratic views.
This publication, as was envisioned by Sen. Claro Mayo Recto, should
articulate and organize the resurgent forces of the Philippine revolution.
It should therefore be guided by the patriotic style of our revolutionary
forefathers and the true revolutionaries of the present.
The Second Propaganda Movement should use this publication to help break
down old ideas, old customs, old habits and old attitudes and help the
Philippine revolution advance.
The Second Propaganda Movement should be a thoroughgoing cultural
revolution. It should shatter the present semi-colonial and semi-feudal
superstructure. A new national and democratic culture is crying out to be
born. Mass organizations, especially of the youth play a great role in
promoting this new culture under the leadership of the proletariat.
▼UP Mindanao Graduation
Photos by Teena del Mundo ▼
KABATAANG MAKABAYAN FOUNDING
by Jose Maria Sison
(Speech delivered before the Founding Congress of Kabataang Makabayan
at the YMCA Youth Forum Hall on November 30, 1964)
x x x Itinuturo ng katwiran ang tayo'y umasa sa ating sarili at huwag
antayin sa iba ang ating kabuhayan. Itinuturo ng katwiran ang tayo'y
maglakas na maihapag ang naghaharing kasamaan sa ating bayan.
Panahon na ngayon x x x dapat nating ipakilala na tayo'y may sariling
pagdaramdam, may puri, may hiya at pagdadamayan. Ngayon ay panahong dapat
simulan ang pagsisiwalat ng mga mahal at dakilang aral na magwawasak sa
masinsing tabing na bumubulag sa ating kaisipan; panahon na ngayong dapat
makilala ng mga Pilipino ang pinagbuhatan ng kanilang mga kahirapan. x x x
Kaya, mga kababayan, ating idilat ang bulag na kaisipan at kusang igugol
sa kagalingan ang ating lakas sa tunay at lubos na pag-asa na magtagumpay
sa nilalayong kaginhawahan ng bayang tinubuan.
NO MORE PROPITIOUS day than this can be chosen to found Kabataang
Makabayan. Today is the 101st birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio, a
great hero from the proletariat, who in the vigor of his youth led the
secret society of Katipunan and mobilized the patriotic forces that
generated the Philippine revolution of 1896 - the revolution which smashed
Spanish colonialism throughout the archipelago.
Andres Bonifacio was the disciplined revolutionary activist who sought and
found in revolution the only process that could give full expression to
the national and social aspirations of our people which had so long been
suppressed by a foreign power prettified by the soft and evasive terms of
Andres Bonifacio was the uncompromising leader who was not only inspired
by the cogitations and formulations of the Propaganda Movement but was
also ready to act in concert with his people in armed struggle against
tyranny the moment peaceful and legal struggle reached the white wall of
Thus, Andres Bonifacio today stands as a model of revolutionary militance
among the Filipino youth and among the advocates of national democracy.
His revolutionary courage is a beacon to us all. If Kabataang Makabayan
succeeds in its patriotic mission, one important requirement it shall have
met is to be imbued with the revolutionary courage of Andres Bonifacio,
the courage that gives life and force to the principles that we now uphold
in this epoch.
We recall the memory of Andres Bonifacio not only because we happen to
meet on this day but more because we understand his continuing historical
relevance to our present situation and we perceive the leading role of his
class in this epoch during which our national efforts at basic
industrialization and overthrowing feudalism are constantly frustrated by
U.S. imperialism and its local reactionary allies.
We remember that, after the death of Bonifacio, the revolutionary
initiative of the peasants and the workers in the Katipunan and the
anti-colonialist struggle in general was undermined and debilitated by the
liberal compromises made by the ilustrado leadership. The compromises came
one after the other: the Pact of Biak-na-Bato, Aguinaldo's trust in Yankee
confidence-men in Hongkong, the bourgeois-landlord upper hand in the
Malolos Congress, and the ultimate surrender of the ilustrados and
collaboration with the U.S. imperialist regime.
Though we are aggrieved by the fact that the Philippine revolution has
been interrupted and that U.S. imperialism has grabbed the triumph of
revolution from our hands, we must take a scientific view of our national
history. We recognize such objective historical conditions as that no
matter how sharply anti-colonial and anti-clerical were the ilustrados
they did not yet have the ability to comprehend fully modern imperialism;
that the working class was still in the embryo stage of its development;
that the peasants in the provinces were misled by the equivocating
demagoguery of both native landlords and liberals; and that U.S.
imperialism was not only superior in industrial might but also well-versed
in a liberal jargon which could easily deceive the newly-emerged Filipino
U.S. imperialism came to the Philippines and succeeded in imposing its
sovereignty upon our people by military violence and by liberal guile.
Whereas our people were already capable of crushing Spanish colonialism
within the archipelago, they were still incapable of crushing a new type
of colonialism, the imperialism of the United States of America.
Dr. Jose Rizal himself in his essay, "The Philippines A Century Hence",
had predicted that the United States of America would come to conquer us.
It was a necessity for a capitalist system, reaching its final stage of
development - monopoly capital - to seek colonies for its sources of raw
materials and a dumping ground for surplus products and surplus capital
and to pass on to other peoples the exploitation and disequilibrium that
would otherwise be suffered by its own people alone.
Rizal saw the United States of America as a covetous and expansionist
power, no different from Great Britain, Germany, France, Czarist Russia
and Japan. It was out to rob the world, especially the peoples of Asia,
Africa and Latin America. A newly-risen imperialist power with its
ultra-national capitalist objectives, the Unites States would be
determined to take over the colonial possessions of a decrepit Spanish
power in Latin America, in the Pacific and in the Philippines.
The Philippines was specially important to the imperialist planners of the
United States as it could very well serve as the staging area for the U.S.
venture to participate with the other Western powers in the despoliation
of China. Until now, the Philippines serves as a staging area for U.S.
imperialism to attack and subvert Southeast Asia and the rest of Asia.
By all means, therefore, as a matter of "manifest destiny", the United
States would beguile the credulous Emilio Aguinaldo in a maneuver to
capture Manila and arrange the Treaty of Paris whereby Spanish colonialism
ceded the Philippines to U.S. imperialism upon the payment of $20 million,
and thus provoked the Filipino people into a war where 250,000 Filipino
lives were snuffed out as the cost of trusting imperialism.
U.S. imperialism is deceptive and violent. The violence it unleashed
against our people was justified in terms of Christianity and democracy.
U.S. imperialism wanted to "Christianize" the Philippines after 350 years
of Spanish clerical rule and to teach us "democracy" even after it had
crushed the national democratic movement tested in the fire of the
revolution of 1896 and which bore the first Philippine republic.
After suppressing the first Philippine Republic through the most brutal
military operations, the U.S. government started to employ a semantical
cover for its scheme of domination and put up such hypocritical slogans as
"benevolent assimilation" and "education for self-government" to justify
its unwanted presence. During a full decade of the most damnable
suppression of any public expression of nationalism and bribery of the
native bourgeoisie, U.S. imperialism started to glamorize certain
political figures as "nationalists". These were the nationalists who
comprised and accepted the U.S.-imposed limitation that they go to
Washington and beg for Philippine independence. The Americans conveniently
used these figures to prove their self-proclaimed benevolence and to steal
the fire from the revolutionary anti-imperialists who preferred to take to
the hills and prepare for a more meaningful struggle for national
Until now, the Americans try to misrepresent Filipino nationalism. They
would rather have what they call "positive" nationalism - a positive force
in the "special relationship" between the Philippines and the United
States. Compromise with U.S. imperialism is what is called positive
There is only one nationalism that we appreciate. It is that which refers
to the national democratic revolution, the Philippine revolution, whose
main tasks now are the liquidation of imperialism and feudalism in order
to achieve full national freedom and democratic reforms.
The Filipino nation has been formed through struggle against Spanish
colonialism and, soon after, U.S. imperialism. As U.S. imperialism
triumphed by brute force in the Filipino-American War, it must be
vanquished by the resumption of the Philippine revolution of 1896. There
can be no genuine national democracy in the Philippines without U.S.
imperialism being done away with first.
There is a constant attempt of imperialist propaganda to impugn Filipino
nationalism and communism together. The communist bogey has always been
raised with the view of frightening our people. But, little do the
reactionary propagandists realize that through their own efforts the
people are getting to know that it is the imperialist strategy to destroy
communists first to destroy the nationalists. In the strategic thinking of
the U.S. imperialists which has been tested in their counter-revolutionary
practices in Asia, Africa and Latin America, the most relentless anti-
imperialists - whether communists or leftwing nationalists - must first be
destroyed for any imperialist scheme of exploitation to succeed.
Thus, in the Philippines, we have seen the communists as the main target
of massive attacks against civil liberties by the U.S. colonial government
in 1931, by the Japanese after their successful landing in 1942, and again
by the U.S. imperialists in their attempt after the Pacific War to
If we study closely the ratification of the Bell Trade Act and the Parity
Amendment, we will discover that the communists had first to be harassed,
imprisoned, assassinated and provoked before the bourgeois nationalist
leaders in the Nacionalista Party and in the Democratic alliance could be
discouraged and would compromise.
What the U.S. imperialists and their local cohorts, the compradors and big
landlords, do not want to happen is the alliance of all anti-imperialists
as has oftentimes happened in many Asian countries with fatal
effectiveness against imperialism.
With the continuing triumph of U.S. imperialism in the Philippines and the
stability of its control, it is the chief task of the Filipino youth to
resume and complete the unfinished revolution under the banner of national
democracy, to expose and oppose the national and social iniquities caused
by U.S. imperialism and its local reactionary allies.
If the Filipino youth should relent in this task, then their people shall
continue to suffer the direct impositions of U.S. imperialism as well as
feudalism which the former protects for its own selfish profit.
The youth today face two basic problems: U.S. imperialism and feudalism.
These two are the principal causes of poverty, unemployment, inadequate
education, ill-health, crime and immorality which afflict the entire
nation and the youth. The youth do not only suffer with their people the
iniquities of U.S. imperialism and feudalism but are also the first ones
to suffer them.
It is the task of the Filipino youth to study carefully the large
confrontation of forces between U.S. imperialism and feudalism on one side
and national democracy on the other side. To know the nature of this
contradiction of forces is to know the dynamism and internal motion of our
semi-colonial and semi-feudal society.
For the youth to know so much as for them to act more effectively and
cooperate more thoroughly on the side of progress in the historical
process of change.
Kabataang Makabayan, in its historic role as the vanguard organization of
Filipino youth, should know the balance of forces between imperialism and
feudalism on the one hand and national democracy on the other. On the
other side of U.S. imperialism are the compradors and the big landlords.
On the side of national democracy are the broad masses of our people,
composed of the working class and peasantry to which the vast majority of
the Filipino youth today belong; the petty bourgeoisie, composed of small
property-owners, students, intellectuals and professionals; and the
national bourgeoisie, composed of Filipino entrepreneurs and traders.
From the present scheme of social classes in the Philippines today, we can
easily observe that the forces of national democracy - the motive forces
of the Philippine revolution - are now far stronger in the 1960's than
they were in 1899-1902 when U.S. imperialism first trampled upon our
national freedom with the most brutal success.
From the same scheme of social classes, we can derive a new and powerful
combination of youth - the students, young professionals, labor youth and
the peasant youth. Above all, the Filipino youth should integrate
themselves with the masses in order to achieve victory in the fight for
national freedom and democracy.
Kabataang Makabayan, as the vanguard organization of the Filipino youth,
should assist in the achievement of an invincible unity of all national
classes and forces and to push further the struggle for national and
social liberation in all fields - economic, political, cultural and
military - against the leading enemy, landlordism, both of which have
frustrated the national democratic aspirations of the Philippine
revolution of 1896 and have made the suffering and exploitation of our
people more complex and more severe.
This generation of Filipino youth are lucky to be at this point of history
when U.S. imperialism is fast weakening at all significant levels of
conflict; that between capitalism and socialism: that between the
capitalist class and the working class; and that between imperialism and
national independence movements in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Even as the Philippines today is the scene of frantic U.S. imperialist
re-adjustment and it appears that U.S. imperialism would succeed in
controlling the country more thoroughly by destroying our national
industrial base and by shifting it back to a plantation economy dominated
by the U.S. agro-corporations, the Filipino youth would find it easier
than they expect to overthrow U.S. imperialism provided they are inspired
and guided by the new national democratic objectives of the Philippine
The October 2nd demonstrations against U.S.imperialism in front of the
U.S. embassy and Malaca¤ang Palace, whose participants and sympathizers
Kabataang Makabayan should now consolidate, has already manifested the
rising wave of national democracy among our people. Such a mass action has
shown to us the changing balance of forces in our country.
The objective national and world-wide conditions favor a national
democratic movement of the Filipino youth. It is high time for the
Filipino youth to raise and carry forward the red banner of Andres
Bonifacio and the Katipunan, with the new emblem of the worker-peasant
Kabataan Party-list yesterday said
students and faculty members of the University of the Philippines Mindanao
(UPMin) met the arrival of UP President Emerlinda Roman and other Board of
Regent officials with a lightning protest during the 13th commencement
“Graduates waved black ribbons in
clenched fists as students and members of the Student Council flashed
streamers against the tyranny of the UP President and Chancellor Gilda
Rivero while singing the ‘UP naming mahal,’” Kabataan coordinator Karlos
Manlupig said in a statement.
Manlupig said Roman “ran in her
attempt to evade the protesters. She was chased by angry students who
eventually blocked her car.”
Manlupig also quoted Student Council
chair Rosel Susan Serrano as saying the intention of the lightning rally
was “not to disrupt the graduation exercise but to condemn the ‘Roman
Empire’ particularly on the issue of unseating Student Regent Charisse
Bernadine Banez in the Board of Regents last January 2010 and to reaffirm
the struggle in upholding the democratic rights and welfare of every
student in the fight for free and quality UP education.”
The protesters also condemned the
200-300 percent tuition fee increase initiated by Roman in 2006.
Manlupig said students and the
Kabataan Party-list will intensify their struggle “to attain higher budget
allocation for education.”
The group also challenged the
graduates, students, and faculty members to “uphold the patriotic
tradition of the university.”
▼The UP Tacloban Red Shoes Protest
Photos by a UP Tacloban red shoe protester ▼
From a UP
Tacloban graduate who was part of the red shoes protest
"We decided to wear red shoes as a sign of protest against the degrading
UP Educational System (specifically our case against Abolencia) and
against Roman's Administration including the issue about TOFI.
Sa pamamagitan ng maliit na protestang ito, ipinapa-alam naming hindi
bulag ang ibang taga UP Tacloban sa baluktot ng systema na pinangungunahan
ni Roman..Nais naming mabuhay ang dugo ng mga tunay na Iskolar ng Bayan.
We stand for fair and high quality education. Ibalik ang dating UP!"
▼The UP Visayas Graduation
Photos by Rizza Joy ▼
THE ROLE OF RECTO
by Jose Maria Sison
(Speech delivered at the 11th Claro M.
Recto Lecture-Dinner sponsored by the Student Cultural Association of the
University of the Philippines on February 21, 1969, at Eugene's, Cubao,
We pay our respects to the memory of Recto, that is to say, his
anti-imperialist memory. We accord him the proper honor by recapitulating
the value of his political thinking as used principally by the SCAUP at a
time that we were making the initial breach on the conservative walls of
the state university.
When we founded the SCAUP early in 1961, it was then our obsession to
leave behind the fifties as a period of reaction. In doing this, we
carried over to the period of the sixties Recto's political thinking but
at the same time resolved not to be restricted by its limitations. It was
then our clear intention of utilizing the ideas of Recto to attract the
intellectual constituents of the university to what was then derided as
the side of "subversion". It was then our goal to translate the narrow
debate between the liberals and the religious bigots into a more
comprehensive struggle between Left and Right, between the forces of
pro-imperialist liberalism and regressive medievalism on one side and the
forces of a revolutionary national democracy which is both
anti-imperialist and anti-feudalist on the other side.
The political thinking of Recto on the problem of U.S. imperialism has
since then helped polarize the university anew. It served as the effective
medium for bringing a significant number of young intellectuals to the
progressive side at a new level of intellectual and political
confrontation that emerged in the campus at the beginning of these stormy
Barely two months after the establishment of the SCAUP, accusations were
flung by reactionary quarters inside and outside the university at faculty
members and students for studying and discussing not only Recto but also
Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Tsetung as allegedly manifested by
progressive articles appearing in campus publications. On March 14, 1961,
the SCAUP had already a hard core of militants who could spearhead a 4,000
strong demonstration of students that literally stormed the halls of
Congress and broke up the comedy of errors that was the witch- hunt
initiated by the Committee on Anti-Filipino Activities (CAFA). While the
campus liberals feebly raised the banner of academic freedom in the
abstract, the SCAUP found the conditions of ferment favorable for
utilizing academic freedom to espouse the ideas of Recto and of others
previously tabooed. After all, the controversial articles were being
sniffed at for their Marxist-Leninist content, and much to the delight of
campus progressives it was proving futile for the reactionaries to stop
the intellectual rebellion.
After so long, we can assess how much we have achieved in the propagation
of new and progressive ideas. We find that these have been transformed
into a material force to some extent, in the form of nationwide mass
organizations and bigger and more frequent urban mass actions on a wide
range of issues. Within the university, as far as we have spoken out and
acted during the last nine years, we have come to be known most
prominently as opponents of U.S. imperialism through our publications,
conferences, seminars, teach-ins, reading assignments and other forms of
instruction. The mass media have not failed to take notice of our
demonstrations against the U.S. embassy and what it stands for. Our
exposure of the Americanization of the University of the Philippines has
also caught the national attention it deserves. We have also succeeded in
achieving something as dramatic and unprecedented as the shut-down of the
university for about a week and attempts on the part of the reactionary
authorities to stop and then co-opt the student strike could not succeed
completely. Yet while it seems that power among students themselves is
rising to some extent, we find ourselves short of some stable power. That
is because a lot has yet to be done in terms of building up the correct
orientation and engaging in political action towards our integration with
the broad masses of the people in more significant confrontations with the
semi- colonial and semi-feudal order. It is becoming more urgent for us to
re-examine the general influence of Recto among our ranks and to recognize
the limitations of anti-imperialist activity which is exclusive of
If we are truly and comprehensively committed to the struggle for national
democracy, for that is the pressing need in our semi- colonial and
semi-feudal society, we have to be anti-imperialist and anti-feudalist in
our words and deeds.
Was Claro Mayo Recto an anti-imperialist and anti-feudalist to make
himself a well-rounded national democrat? He was not, Recto was
essentially a mouthpiece of the progressive anti-imperialist wing of the
national bourgeoisie. Without a proletarian standpoint which could have
given him a vantage view of all social classes involved in the struggle
for national democracy, he underestimated the value of a peasantry
revolutionized by the working class and overestimated the self-willed
programme and actions of the national bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia
in what he assumed to be a peaceful constitutionalist process of
progressive change. He spoke of nationalist industrialization and the
riddance of U.S. imperialism but failed to see the necessity of agrarian
revolution as the basis of a movement towards the achievement of a
self-reliant economy which is in turn the basis of genuine political
He was quite naive in assuming that nationalist industrialization by
itself would result in agricultural development. As a matter of fact, he
believed that nationalist industrialization is the starting point of rural
development and every other kind of development. In his well-meaning
endeavor to discredit the particular kind of rural development advocated
by U.S. imperialist agents like Ramon Magsaysay, he went to the extent of
dismissing the general question of rural development, which should include
the matter of agrarian revolution as a prerequisite for genuine rural
development, as being of secondary importance to nationalist
industrialization. If Recto were a revolutionary, he could have debunked
Magsaysay's rural development programme as false and pretentious in that
it could not actually disturb the landlord's stranglehold over the lives
of the peasant masses. Instead, Recto did admit that he was not actually
opposed to Magsaysay's rural development programme per se but that
he was against it only in so far as it was a measure to deflect national
efforts at Filipino-owned industrialization.
Yet in the same breath Recto cited the classic example of industrial
development in capitalist countries as the optimum course that the
Filipino nationalist movement should take. Ironically, he did not put much
importance on the anti-feudal upheavals of old that inaugurated capitalist
development in the West and the fact that the creation of agricultural
surpluses played a vital role in the primitive accumulation of capital.
Recto scoffed at the general idea of making agriculture the basis and
industrialization the leading factor in economic development. He simply
batted for nationalist industrialization one-sidedly.
If we in the new type of national democratic struggle were to limit
ourselves to a strict adherence to the Recto line that national
industrialization without a corresponding agrarian revolution at the
social base would result in a well-rounded economic development and the
realization of real political independence, we would encounter two serious
First, we fail to arouse and mobilize the most numerous oppressed class in
this semi-colonial and semi-feudal country, the peasantry, as the main
force in the national democratic struggle; and
Second, we fail to achieve the transformation of the present state into
one that is truly national democratic and that makes possible a
self-reliant programme of industrialization.
By overlooking the question of agrarian revolution, which is actually the
main content of our struggle for national democracy, we would not acquire
the massive support of the peasantry and as a result we would fail to
create a big fighting force against U.S. imperialism and its local
reactionary cohorts and we would also fail to bind all progressive classes
into an effective national front against the same. Either or both the
working class and the national bourgeoisie cannot free themselves from the
clutches of U.S. imperialism and from the mire of feudalism without the
peasantry under proletarian leadership being engaged in a revolutionary
movement against their own exploiters.
U.S. imperialism can persist in this country because feudalism also
persists as its social base and as the cause of our internal weaknesses. A
passive peasantry bogged down in feudalism can only be manipulated by the
exploiting classes until such time that the working class can arouse it
and provide it with revolutionary leadership. It has been precisely the
objective of Magsaysay's palliative of land tenure security and
resettlement programme and Macapagal's inadequate and multi-loopholed
Agricultural Land Reform Code to assuage the peasant masses and keep them
passive. It will not do the peasant masses any good to obscure their
crying need for agrarian revolution.
One reason that makes the national bourgeoisie in the Philippines
vacillate so much in the national democratic struggle is its attachment to
feudalism. The national bourgeoisie has been able to borrow capital from
the banks because it is wont to use land as collateral. Furthermore, its
credit and other business connections actually tie it up directly or
indirectly with U.S. monopoly capitalism. The weaknesses of the national
bourgeoisie here in the Philippines are due to the fact that Spanish
colonialism and U.S. imperialism have profoundly disrupted what should
have been a normal pattern of capitalist development.
What made Recto a non-revolutionary and, indeed a bourgeois
constitutionalist and parliamentarian, was the fact that the logic of his
advocacy of nationalist industrialization exclusive of agrarian revolution
made him fail to see the necessity of a revolutionary transformation of
state power. He spoke of the need for state economic planning without
questioning the nature and character of the incumbent state which had so
far failed to assume the task of economic planning and which he impliedly
expected to do so.
The thinking that the nationalist industrialization can be achieved and
genuine land reform can follow under the present state leads some
degenerates of the so-called Old Left, together with their bourgeois
masters, to pontificate that the use of the powers of the present state
for purposes of pooling and allocating resources through planning is a
common ground for political agreement between the working class and the
national bourgeoisie. So they want a nationalist government without the
joint revolutionary mobilization of the masses of workers and peasants.
This line has actually been propagated for quite sometime in Indonesia,
India, Burma, Pakistan and other underdeveloped countries. Prematurely,
this line is even described by muddle-headed and opportunist elements as
the "socialist" line or the "non-capitalist" line applied on semi- feudal
conditions. But what has actually occurred in these places is the
perpetuation of the rule of the imperialists, the compradors, the
and the bureaucrat capitalists. The phenomenon of bureaucrat capitalists
or corrupt government officials is a striking feature of regimes that
pretend to undertake "socialist" planning without the actual
transformation of state power and ascendance of the masses of the people.
What the modern revisionists have supported as "non-capitalist"
development in a number of Asian and African countries provide us plenty
of negative lessons.
Though in such countries, foreign direct investments are already under
some amount of restraint, U.S. Imperialism can still manipulate loan
capital to keep them as puppet-states and keep open the paths for a
significant amount of direct investments. Recto expressed preference for
foreign loans to foreign direct investments but he himself still cautioned
that when these are put under restraint the foreign monopolies may still
manipulate foreign loans to get their profits.
There is nothing better than to grasp agrarian revolution as the key to
the radical transformation of political power and the deposition of U.S.
monopoly capitalism and landlordism in our country by all progressive
classes. It is narrow-minded economism to consider the line of nationalist
industrialization as the key to the achievement of economic development
and subsequently of genuine political independence. Politically, it can
only mean constant begging for peace and civil liberties for harassed city
radicals which at most is for the benefit of an anemic national
bourgeoisie, Economically, it can only mean begging for crumbs from the
table of the big bourgeoisie and the landlord class. Militarily, it can
only mean arguing feebly that since there is no automatic retaliation
clause in the military treaties with U.S. imperialism these should be
abrogated at the mutual pleasure of the master government and the puppet
government. Culturally, it can only mean postures of anger about hurt
pride and lost dignity between acts of self-flagellation and unjust
expressions of contempt for the masses.
It is agrarian revolution, on the other hand, that can agitate and release
the most massive support for that revolutionary leadership which only the
working class is capable of providing in this era of imperialism or more
precisely, the era of its total collapse. If agrarian revolution is left
out or obscured in what purports to be a national democratic programme,
nationalist industrialization itself would not grow amply and genuine
political independence with a sound democratic basis in the revolutionary
unity of the working class and peasantry would not be realized. Agrarian
revolution is the process that can set into motion tens of millions of the
Filipino people as the main force of the national liberation and national
The reason why the late Claro Mayo Recto was described as the political
aristocrat, either to place him above his vulgar colleagues or to
denigrate him, was that he did not or he never had the chance to merge
himself with the masses of the people in a revolutionary movement. At this
late, it would be unfair to demand of him the achievement of a Mao Tsetung
or a Ho Chi Minh. It is fair enough for us to recognize the limitations of
his political thinking and of his class standpoint. We, the youth who have
extremely favorable chances in this era of the total collapse of
imperialism, should maintain a critical respect for Recto while we strive
to surpass his achievements. A national democratic revolution is still to
be won in our country.
Recto when alive was our ally. Even now, his political thinking is still
allied to our thinking in certain respects and to some extent. But those
who can surpass Recto's political thinking should do so now as we find
ourselves in a rapidly developing situation. Those who honestly hold on to
Recto's line because of their actual class basis we may still consider our
allies. It is anomalous, though, for some persons to think that they are
the most revolutionary even as they continue to limit themselves to being
mere echoes of Recto or being mere shadows of the national bourgeoisie.
The need to surpass the political thinking of Recto is made even more
urgent by the fact that now the reactionaries are trying to cover up their
basic allegiance to a system of foreign and feudal exploitation by using
the language of Recto. Take note of the latest official verbal progress
about the "New Filipino" being made by Ferdinand E. Marcos and Carlos P.
What is beginning to develop in the political scene in the Philippines is
mildly reminiscent of Sukarno's heyday of oratorical anti-imperialism.
However, the high pitch of a relatively safe anti-imperialism, will still
have to be reached in some future year in the country. For more than ten
years already, every administration has found it suitable to use such
slogans as "Filipino First", "Unfinished Revolution" and "New Filipino",
with a seemingly national democratic content but actually devoid of any
determination to achieve national democracy. This charade that has not at
all affected the essence of the incumbent reactionary state power is going
to be played until the people get tired of the local versions of Sukarno,
Nehru, Ne Win and other such "anti-imperialists" in the same way that they
are already getting tired of bare-faced puppets of U.S. imperialism and
At a time that the United States is trying to save itself from its own
crisis and is shifting the burden to its puppet governments, those at the
helm of the Philippine government would increasingly assume a false
posture of independence in a repeat performance of Quezon's asininely
begrudging oratory made during the American Depression about the
Philippine government run like hell (by puppets) being better than one run
like heaven by American themselves.
▼The UP Mindanao Opening
Photos by Karlos Manlupig ▼
RIZAL THE SOCIAL CRITIC
by Jose Maria Sison
DR. JOSE RIZAL was the outstanding representative of a numerically small
middle class that developed during the nineteenth century. A complex of
historical circumstances, such as the marked acceleration of commerce and
intellectual contact between the Philippines and Europe and a certain
amount of concessions made by the colonial regime to the principalia, made
it possible for that small middle class to develop under the shadow of the
white colonial elite composed of friars and lay officials, which
simultaneously exploited the masses more. In other words, while the
colonial regime gave some concessions to some indios through such
objective processes as limited participation in trade, leasehold grants on
friar estates, a limited amount of university education available locally
and travel and study in Europe which pro-colonial historians readily admit
as signs of good intentions on the part of Madrid for its colony, the vast
majority of the colonized people were increasingly exploited
and politically repressed. These were the futile attempts of Spain to
accelerate its capital accumulation in a fast modernizing and competitive
Europe, to contain the rapid advances and expansionism of modern
imperialist powers which had succeeded in developing capitalist societies
and to frustrate the raging revolutionary movement of continental scope.
In other words, Spain found its basic foundations irrevocably weak while
being over-extended, its anti-democratic authoritarianism unable to
contain the rise of modern imperialism in Europe and the national
independence movements in the colonies. The situation of Spanish
colonialism then parallels that of U.S. imperialism today, over-extended
and unable to cope with the advance of the world socialist revolution and
the more vigorous national independence movements of the peoples of Asia,
Africa and Latin America.
As a leading representative of the enlightened stratum or "left wing" of
the middle class, Rizal easily adopted the liberal point of view and
developed his own national sentiment and consciousness. What actually made
him a progressive and a radical of his own time was his ultimate
recognition that the liberties of the individual could be realized only if
the nation as a whole, particularly the masses whom he spontaneously
observed, would be uplifted and enjoy more freedom from an overwhelming
system of clerical authoritarians and anti-liberals who represented what
had long been considered backward in the northern parts of Europe. He saw
in the European development that the nation-states arose with the concept
of popular sovereignty and republicanism. He pointed out that if no better
colonial policies were to serve the Philippines there would be the
increased likelihood of a movement for separation from Spain. For this
suggestion of Filipino nationhood, he was called a filibuster or a
subversive in the same manner that the advocates of national democracy
today are being witch-hunted for asserting the sovereignty of their
Rizal belonged to a middle class family that could provide him with a
university education here and abroad. But he had seen that where colonial
authoritarian rule existed even the native middle class was insecure and
subject to arbitrariness and racial discrimination. The fate suffered by
Fathers Burgos, Gomez and Zamora profoundly influenced his thinking. The
humiliation of his mother at the hands of the colonizers came to signify
the colonial injustices done to the motherland. The Calamba Affair in
which both the middle class and peasantry suffered as a result of their
just petition against the increased land rent and other arbitrary
impositions of the friars had the most profound effect on him as a
Filipino. In retaliation for the petition penned by the youth Rizal
himself seeking justice for the tenants of Calamba, General Weyler burnt
their homes and effected their imprisonment and deportation. Here was a
concrete yet symbolic instance of colonial oppression of the masses
ultimately resulting in oppression of the middle class.
As Spanish colonialism could no longer hold back the advancing forces of
liberalism and nationalism and it became wracked with the internal
struggle between the friars and the liberal quarters, it became more and
more despicable to the Filipino people; and religion could no longer be
used as an ideological weapon of the ruling elite of friar and lay
absolutists. The argument that the Filipino people should be perpetually
indebted to colonialism for Christianity was answered effectively by the
more powerful argument of social reality and its revolutionary forces. Dr.
Jose Rizal had so well exposed the fact that during the previous more than
three centuries the friars failed to uplift the people spiritually but
only succeeded in causing the brutalization of the people. In scientific
terms, we say that Christianity through the unity of church and state had
had its day in the feudal regime.
When we consider the anti-colonial and anti-clerical writings of Rizal, we
immediately perceive that national democracy of the old type, that is to
say, of the now outmoded liberal cast, developed in the process of
struggle. The struggle was in the direct personal experience of Rizal as
well as in the collective life of his people. The Propaganda Movement was
reflective of the struggle of the Filipino nation; and the Philippine
Revolution of 1896 that followed it was the irrepressible continuation of
social reality and the people's struggle even if Rizal's life had already
When as a small boy Rizal wrote a poem advocating a national language, he
was spontaneously struggling against the Spanish language as a tool of
foreign domination. When he felt compelled to annotate Morga's Sucesos de
las Islas Filipinas, he wanted to fight racial discrimination by asserting
that a national culture could develop without colonial culture. In writing
his satirical essays against the friars and their absolutist cohorts, he
was expressing the collective will of his people against authoritarianism,
arbitrariness and brutality. He was thereby asserting the democratic
capacity of man to solve his problems without the intervention or
mediation of the clerics and other alien powers.
When he wrote "The Indolence of the Filipinos", he debunked the colonial
argument that Filipinos were inherently lazy and exposed the fact the the
colonizers lived gloriously on the labor and blood of his people. When he
wrote "The Philippines A Century Hence", he demonstrated in full the
vicious process used by the colonizers to subjugate the people by
corrupting them and taking advantage of their virtues. Furthermore, he
indicated the direction that events would take in favor of the Filipinos
if they were to achieve national consciousness and national unity. For
writing these two major essays, Rizal was called a "subversive: and, in
the phrase of today's defenders of U.S. imperialism, a "negative" thinker.
Yes, he negated colonialism. He contributed a certain share to
anti-colonial propaganda and incited the people to mobilize themselves for
their own welfare.
When Rizal wrote his masterworks, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo,
he explored the possibility of reform first and, upon exhausting that
possibility within the colonial framework, he also explored the
possibility of revolution.
In the Noli, he presented Crisostomo Ibarra as an extremely well-
intentioned reformer who thinks that the solution to the suffering of the
motherland, signified by Sisa, would be a new type of education for her
children along the lines worked out by the Schoolteacher, the anti-thesis
to the brutalizing system of thought control maintained by the friars.
But what is done to him, the well-intentioned reformer who does not even
hold a grudge for the persecution of his own father? He is attacked from
all sides and by various means by the hypocritical Padre Salvi and the
crude Padre Damaso, who represent the basic institutional aspects of the
most numerous church. In the end he is framed up by the clerical
conspirator, Padre Salvi, as the "mastermind" of a foolish attack on the
barracks. And who are the tools of this foreigner, this source of violence
and corruption? Indios, like the sacristan who is chief executor, and
petty mercenaries like Lucas and Bruno?
What social system are the enemies of Crisostomo Ibarra in defense of? A
friar-dominated society signified by the weakling and hybrid Maria Clara,
the colonial product of a questionable relationship which makes of Capitan
Tiago, the symbol of the newly-risen corrupt Filipino bourgeoisie, a
cuckold of colonial power. The bastard culture is further signified by
Sister Rufa and Sister Pute, whose thinking consists of a systematization
of superstition which includes airy stocks of plenary indulgencies,
bundles of candles and sacks of girdles and scapularies. In clearer
secular terms, the social system being defended is one dominated by the
curate and the alferez, assisted by a docile and stupid gobernadorcillo
and principalia, whose main activities are holding fiestas, and by the
corrupt trader, contract-maker, influence peddler and cuckold Capitan
Tiago and by Do¤a Consolacion, the vicious symbol of the Civil Guards'
mentality, and by Do¤a Victorina, the paragon of a colonial mentality
which always manages to adopt what limps in the alien culture.
What alternative is left after the vicious frustration of Don Crisostomo's
hopes for reform? Pablo tells Elias in the forests that the oppressed are
ready to fight the oppressors. Pilosopong Tasio, the idealist cynic, has
told Crisostomo Ibarra that change will ultimately come with the coming in
of fresh ideas from abroad.
In El Filibusterismo, Crisostomo Ibarra reappears in the guise of Simuon
the jeweler. His character is a clear study of the liberal reformer who
swings to being an anarchist. The author frustrates him at every decisive
step of his plot but succeeds in presenting him as the symbol of
desperation and personal vengeance. Simuon is the archetype of putschism
and contravenes the Marxist- Leninist concept of a revolutionary; he
thinks of the masses as a mere manipulator and conspirator would,
commanding them from the city. He hold the illusion that by one blow at
the palace the whole structure would crunmble.
Nevertheless, Rizal presents Cabesang Tales as the peasant victim of
feudal oppression and he transforms him into a peasant rebel with a mass
following, waging guerrilla warfare, after finding out that the redress of
grievances and justice are not possible in the system. The development of
Cabesang Tales as a character indicates Rizal's own recognition that the
question of land was of basic importance in the colonial question. The
Calamba incident was unquestionably a big matter to Rizal. What is most
engaging about the story of Cabesang Tales or Matanglawin is that it was
left unfinished by Rizal. It is an unfinished story in the sense that
Simoun's story is finished or, equivalently, in the sense that the class
leadership of the ilustrado in the Philippine Revolution is incapable and
frustrated. Did Rizal leave the story unfinished because he, as a liberal
thinker, was incapable of following it through? Nevertheless, by keeping
the story unfinished he merely left it to be continued
like the Philippine revolution.
The story of Crisostomo Ibarra as a reformer is actually continued in the
attempt of Isagani, together with many other students, to establish the
Castillian Academy. This student reform project is frustrated by the
hypocritical friars after giving them false hopes. What is worse, they
suffer persecution and brutal reaction afterwards. They hold a pancit
party at a restaurant in mock honor of Don Custodio who has been entrusted
by the authorities with the duty of making a sham investigation and study
of the project of the students and of disapproving it. As it is being done
today by our intelligence agencies and by the agents of American
imperialism, the government authorities misconstrue the pancit party of
the students as conspiratorial meeting where subversive matters have been
taken up. The authorities are agog over the pasquinades posted on the
university walls against the friars' system of education and these are
linked with the pancit party. The students are arrested and
imprisoned and the university is closed in reprisal.
Even Basilio, the son of Sisa, who has always refused to join student
groups, is implicated by the authorities. His arrest leads to a series of
misfortunes for him and his sweetheart Juli whom Padre Camorra tries to
rape when she seeks his help for Basilio's release. The misfortunes of
Basilio serve as a lesson that opportunism does not always pay in critical
times. It has been foolish for Basilio to think that the business of a
student is only to earn a diploma and become a prosperous man afterwards.
He has been thinking only of personal advancement without thinking of the
oppression of the masses from which he comes.. And, thinking that he would
inherit Capitan Tiago's property, he feeds him opium even against the code
of the medical profession for which he is studying. The careerism and
amoral technocracy represented by Se¤or Pasta, are a bane to the masses
along the lines of Capitan Tiago's corrupt money-grabbing activities. The
evil source of these weaknesses of the middle class
is the colonial ruling class and its exploitative system.
In the Fili, Rizal exposes thoroughly and systematically the decadence of
the system as the beginning of a revolutionary situation. He exposes the
rotting body of the corrupt Capitan Tiago, the sham character of Se¤or
Pasta and the devilish viciousness of Padre Irene and Padre Camorra, Don
Custodio and many ugly features of the colonial domination, including Don
Tiburcio de Espada¤a's misery.
After writing the Noli alone, Rizal was already a marked man. His novel
was immediately denounced as subversive and heretical. The foreign rulers
of his native land started to slander him and call him an agent of another
alien power. After the more forward novel, Fili, he was practically bound
for Bagumbayan. But just the same he came back to the Philippines from
abroad with the naive hope that he would work for the cause of his nation
in the open and in the city.
Upon arriving at the port of Manila, his baggage was thoroughly inspected
and all written materials were confiscated from him. Nevertheless, Rizal
persisted in his efforts to seek reforms in the open and in the city. He
visited some provinces and subsequently organized La Liga Filipina. That
was the last straw, the colonialists said, and they apprehended him.
On December 30, 1896, after his exile in Dapitan and after the Cry of
Pugad Lawin had been made, he was led like a lamb to Bagumbayan to be
UP Manila Operning
UP Visayas Opening Exercise Protest Iskolars ng Bayan welcome the new school year by protesting
continued commercialization of UP and the entire education sector. Photos by By:Karlo Mikhail Mongaya