The real sense of what it means to WIN independence

It is an indisputable reality that the weak are allowed to exist by the much-evolved decency of the powerful. It’s a reality evident everywhere. Much of the world as we see it today was shaped by those victorious in battle. And much as we deny it, the independence granted to us on the 4th of July 1946 is a gift. And deny this reality arduously we do, to the extent that even this denial is given a political flavour by Randy David writing for the private publicist of our new President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III…

By assimilating Independence Day every year into a long vacation weekend, Ms Arroyo unwittingly reinstates the meaning of independence as a gift from the powerful rather than as the hard-won fruit of an arduous struggle by a people.

I’m not about to make something of the obvious highlighting of the Arroyo element in this year’s 12th of June “Independence” Day commemoration. We already are familiar enough with the true character of the to expect this to be made into a backdrop against which another one of the flaccid heroics of Noynoy will be highlighted. And true enough, the Editor does just that

We believe public opinion is on the side of President-elect Benigno Aquino III when he expressed the opinion that Independence Day shouldn’t be separated from the calendar date on which it actually took place [which is something that Arroyo had implemented during her administraion]. It is, therefore, not unreasonable to expect him to ask the next Congress to repeal the law making it and so many official holidays, once observed on fixed dates, moveable.

Having gotten that aspect out of the way, I come to the real point I want to make which has to do with the more fundamental character of Da Pinoy at work that is revealed in Randy David’s statement of claim to our 1898 “independence”. It is a claim made by virtue of this “independence” being “the hard-won fruit of an arduous struggle by a people”.

Indeed it was “an arduous struggle”.

But was independence really won?

The whole effort of the Philippine Revolution of 1898, as history does reveal, was simply poo-poohed by the global movers and shakers of the time as David himself concedes to…

At the point of our emancipation from Spanish colonialism, however, Spain ceded to the United States the fiction of its remaining sovereignty over the islands and its people. America seamlessly took over and scoffed at our claims to being a sovereign people. While we had become aware of our shared fate as a people, we were far from being sovereign in our own land. We remained subjects, a conquered people all over again.

The Filipino revolutionary war against America was short-lived. It was decisively crushed by American troops with superior arms. Total US hegemony was accomplished subsequently by the tools of public education. Mis-education, as Renato Constantino termed it, swiftly produced a docile population. But pockets of resistance remained, becoming the nurturing ground for new generations of anti-colonial Filipinos.

A few key words:

“scoffed at our claims to being a sovereign people”

“crushed […] with superior arms”

“Mis-education […] produced a docile population”

Why did they do it?


Because they could.

Why were we granted independence by America in the 4th of July 1946?


Because they had it in their power to do so.

It’s not too different from the reason why people in those Cordillera and Mindanao regions are considered “autonomous”. It’s because we, the Filipino Nation have it in our power to allow them to be so, much the same way as we allow the cultures of all indigenous people within the islands, and all other communities who wield arms vastly inferior to those held by our government, to endure within our sovereign territory.

So, for all the “moral” ascendancy expressed in what are really nothing more than pathetic boo-hoo words that assure us of our “right” to be independent in the world order of today, consider first that this world order was won in battle by the United States and its allies in that last Great War at the cost of millions of lives of their own citizens.

If there is a lesson to be learned here, it is that there is much the Filipino needs to learn about the real sense of what it means to win. Only when we learn this lesson can we truly honour Manny Pacquiao and other real fighters amongst us.

Happy “Independence” Day.


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32 Responses to The real sense of what it means to WIN independence

  1. ChinoF says:

    I wonder what is the percentage of countries in the world that were created through violent means. It may go over 50%. This includes the United States and our own country too. That should tell people how many lives were sacrificed (needlessly?) for independence.

    • BongV says:

      Violence is the nature of social evolution.

      It exists in nature. Territorial conquests – predators, the food chain, the wolf packs, the herd. Man is no different.

    • famous wolf says:

      The instinct of survival shall always be present, in a basic sense, the Darwinian principle of “Survival of the Fittest” is true right down to its core. Those that adapt, advance in evolution, those that retain traditional policies, shall face inevitable extinction.

  2. mel says:

    It is the deafening truth. The War Winners play the violins and keep the beat.

    I am doubtful that the Philippines will be a First World Country in 20 years, as envisioned by GMA.

    The World Order will not allow us to. They will keep us where we are now. They do not need another powerful nation, or a country who can deliver raw products to the world, or produce something that is more significant as their own. They will never allow that.

    At least, we have a day to celebrate. Prosit!!

    • BongV says:

      no one’s gonna give it to you. you gotta earn it.

      • Ryan Bosco says:

        I agree with BongV: “no one’s gonna give it to you. you gotta earn it.”

        Just look at South Korea, China, Taiwan…and of course, Vietnam (now rising to the same level as the Philippines). It’s up to us. The countries I mentioned were exactly where when the Philippines was experiencing economic prosperity?

      • killem says:

        vietnam is still way below the phil as of now, but 10 years from now, the situation might change….

    • Miriam Quiamco says:

      I disagree a little, the world order has been transformed tremendously after the two great wars that brought millions of deaths and suffering to the so called first world countries. It is precisely this world order that the Philippines can take advantage of only if it can get its act together and veer away from medieval catholicism. We need to build institutions, that will serve the 21st century interests of the country. Knowledge, technology, capital and human mobility could become our tools to move forward. Randy David and other Filipino intellectuals have been important social and political critics in the country, but what we need now are people who have realistic vision on how the country can move forward.

      Former colonials have proven their colonial masters wrong, they have been able to harness the things learned from their former conquerors to bring economic and human development to their people. Taiwan and South Korea are two such countries, they have made use of the Japanese way of promoting industrialization through active partnership between business and government. the Japanese way of managing business has been a boon to the Korean business model, of course, they have also used their cultural strengths to accomplish national goals. They have produced visionary leaders and despite corruption, they have been able to grow.

      The Philippines doesn’t always have to be a basket case in Asia, and certainly one way is for our media institution to help unify the country in pursuing national goals. They need to show the people that our goals are reachable, and what more should be done for the goals to be reached. We are already a country of critics, we need more visionary leadership in our public institutions pursuing common goals. Our government is under siege from constantly being criticized, and no positive reinforcement from society. The mass media as a democratic institution is dysfunctional, it thrives on controversies and thus care only about sowing public discontent, no real sense of mission of helping the nation pursue developmental goals.

    • J.B. says:

      The World Order doesn’t simply care whether we’re successful or not. The only care if we can serve their OWN interest regardless we’re poor nation or not.

  3. mel says:

    The First World Countries are behind those developmental success of South Korea, China, Taiwan, and
    of course, Vietnam (with the extreme help of France and The Netherlands). As these countries reached their desired economic peaks, the helping hands slowly but surely pulled out the then outsourced companies and developmental delegates, sending skilled and factory workers back to the countryside.

    The World Financial Crisis is not yet over. The First World Countries are struggling in their own. For our country to prosper, we need foreign investments, tourism and industries, etc.

    Perhaps we can still make it but not in 20 years.

  4. Miriam Quiamco says:

    And true to form, the mass media in celebration of our independence on June 12 has found yet another occasion to rev up public hatred against the current regime. It despises the show of accomplishments of the current administration as a show off for Gloria, again here, we see the focus on personalities rather than issues. Aquino was not there to the disappointment of the many poor families who trooped to join the parade only to have a glimpse of the new leader, it was disappointing that the Gloria-led celebration would not allow the rabble on the grandstand, only the Gloria VIPs, what moronic coverage of an Independence Day.

    The government is right in magnifying its accomplishments thus far, in other countries, this could be a source of national pride and an inspiration to work harder to achieve more. In our country, this has been turned into a battle of personalities, Gloria being evil and petulant new leader, being more popular and good. OMG, how are we going to move forward indeed with a moronic medieval media that we have. The people are just as ignorant and susceptible to the mass propaganda our mass media. Read the PDI article on it today, to my dismay. . .

  5. mel says:


    Twenty five (25) years ago, we were able to reach our economic peaks with the enormous help of Japan and United States. We were able to, allow me please to quote, “harness the things we learned from our conquerors” but our government leaders put us back down to our knees.

    And yes, you are right! The Catholic Church in the Philippines should not mingle with the political and economic matters of the state. Population control must be done now. We cannot wait any longer.

    In the World Economy, the Philippines is considered already as a Middle Income Country. The rest is left to us, to sustain and enhance economic growth.

    But with a “bubble economy”, with the huge amount of debts, with 100M Population, with the Catholic Church, and yes, with a vindictive President together with a manipulative Media, am a bit sceptic….

    • HalleluyahHymen says:

      @ Mel

      don’t write off the oligarchs who’ve colluded to drag noynoy to that seat… the Kamag Anak, Inc…, and other religious cults….

      … and I share your skepticism.

    • killem says:

      Twenty five (25) years ago, we were able to reach our economic peaks what economic peaks?? check your fact…

  6. ChinoF says:

    “It is an indisputable reality that the weak are allowed to exist by the much-evolved decency of the powerful.”

    OK, I don’t know if others will get a subtle but important message here.

    Decency of the powerful.

    Is everyone powerful evil?

    That’s the problem with some people. They think if someone is powerful or has power, they’re evil. This is one probable factor in the Filipino victim mentality. This often used in anti-foreign sentiments. But as Mel has said, Japan and America have helped the Philippines. We prospered because of foreign assistance. How stupid it is to reject it.

    While most people in power in the Philippines can be considered “evil”, there re some who remain “good.” Gordon is one of them. Yes, there are some powerful people who remain decent.

    Oh, don’t forget many of those who are not in power in the country who are also evil. Rapists, murderers and robbers from the poor sector.

    • J.B. says:

      The anti-foreign hegemony was actually right. Except that they’re anachronistic. The US and Japan they’re against were the ones which existed during the cold war and world war 2 respectively.

  7. mel says:

    Just curious….

    Why do the Filipinos still celebrate June 12, (1898), as Independence Day when neither USA nor Spain recognized the declaration made by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in Kawit, Cavite? Was it because a Filipino declared it or the lack of knowledge of history, or…?

    Spain, after losing the “Splendid Little War” from 25. April till 12. August 1898, under the Treaty of Paris, had to give up their colonies Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and The Philippines.

    Spain gave up the Philippine Islands to USA for USD20 Million.

    The ff. is an excerpt from

    “Gen. Arthur McArthur said: “Liberty – not money – is what we seek”, but in the new Global Power Game, America’s acquisition of the Philippines was a preemptive move against Russia, Germany, and other European Powers with colonial aims in the Far East.”

    • killem says:

      under the pubic international law, there are 3 accepted theories about state recognition and voluntary recognition is only one of those theories. Thus, even without the recognition of Spain or the US during that time(both of them is not consider as major powers at the time) a philippine state did exist already, which makes it proper to declare independence during that time…

      • Parallax says:

        i gotta ask a really layman question that might sound stupid: how is our “independence” different from the boys stuck in bilibid exclaiming to the world “we are free!” ?”

        they could yell to the heavens that they are free but they’re really still stuck in bilibid. philippine independence sounds like some dumb technicality that didn’t need any significant backing up.

  8. UP nn grad says:

    Pilipinas is quite unusual. Aguinaldo one of its national heroes known to have sworn allegiance to 3 different other countries — Spain, to USA, to Japan — as Aguinaldo asks Filipino soldiers to lay down their arms.

  9. mel says:


    Source of information: World Economic Outlook of World Bank/Der Fischer Weltalmanac 2009 von Dr. Mario von Baratta/Page1112/Entwicklung (Development) Oktober 2009, Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH, Frankfurt am Main, Printed in Germany

  10. Hyden Toro says:

    It’s sad to look at the true state of our country. South Korea and Vietnam were countries devastated by civil wars. Now, they even surpassed us. Our OFWs go to South Korea for employment for starvation wages.
    Independence means nothing to our country. What had we gained, after our indepedence? Incompetence leadership, partisan politics, flagrant graft and corruption, etc…Now, we have a new President elected on the reason of his parentage. With dubious competence and capability.

    Unlike other countries who have gained independence from colonization. We have’nt progressed. Instead, we regressed. Our forefathers had visions for a “Utopia-like” Philippines. We have created a “Dystopia-like”
    Philippines. We are not a Democracy, as we believe. We are a Feudal Oligarchy, controlled by the Aquino-Cojuangco-Lopez families. Family Dynasties went into our country; after China had overthrown its own family dynasties. No wonder they wear “yellow”. Only the Chinese Emperors wore “yellow” during the dynastic era of the Chinese.

  11. killem says:
    plus if you go to vietnam, you see we are much better now, i dont know if that will be the same situation 10 years from now..

    • mel says:


      My respect. I find it good that you are doing research. A few days ago, you asked me about the Philippines economic peaks :mrgreen:

      In fairness to our economists, they have been doing a great job after WWII to date. The world is helping us ever since but we have to deal with the factors affecting the stagnancy of our economy or else…

      no more credit, no more developmental funds for the Philippines!

      • killem says:

        the world is not helping us, but only themselves… lets cut this crap that some states will honestly help other states, thats b**lsh*t!. .. Only filipinos can save the phil., not the american, japanese or even chinese…

      • mel says:


        Heard of the world’s solidarity against hunger and poverty? I think you missed your train!

        It is a commitment of the War losers to shoulder costs of the repairs and damages they have caused as early as after the WWI! Read the Treaty of Versailles! The same principles are applied today (well, a bit modernized). In WWII, there was no Peace Treaty but Germany who caused the damages pledged to the world that they will help the world as compensation to the harm they caused. After WWII, the United Nation was organized to implement and issue guidelines for the betterment of global community. From there existed numbers of World Institutions like World Bank, IWF, UNESCO, WHO, etc. etc.

        Sorry to say this, but your ignorance, boils my blood.

        Think of it – many of the citizens of those countries who care for the development of our country, yes – THE PHILIPPINES, the country you are so proud of – sacrifice by giving a part of their hard-earned money to help other countries uplift their economy thus alleviate poverty!

        I think that is the main problem with us Filipinos – we only think of ourselves. We do not think global. Actually, most of us do not think at all.

  12. killem says:

    those boys in the bilibid did not have effective control of place, in fact they dont have any control…

  13. killem says:

    Sorry for boiling you blood, hope it does not cause heart attack . =)

    Un is a successor of the league of nations., it is founded on “hypocrisy” principle of equality of states. It is form to to maintain the world order( that the us, France, England, Russia and China) should have the monopoly of nuclear, biological, chemical weapon.

    That every states who aspire to acquire such weapon should be sanction economically,politically but those states mention above are allowed to piled up said weaponry( remember cold war?)..

    The UN is committed to the world peace, but will not lift a finger to condemn the arms sale of those states mention. they only condemn sale of arms if it is made by other states..

    They send humanitarian support on conflict areas of the world and also the arms used to create such conflicts..

    The UN outlawed invasion of other states by another states except only if the invasion was done by th 5 states mention.

    The UN condemn the human right violation of some states, but turn the blind eye if the violation is committed by the Big5.

    oh. the World Bank and the IMF, they dont give a damn if the citizen of a state is dying from lack of basic needs and govt support, as long as the principle and the interest of the loan is being paid. even if the loan is used for corruption…

    I think that is the main problem with us Filipinos – we only think of ourselves. We do not think global. Actually, most of us do not think at all..-

    if thinking for ourselves will mean a massive reduction of poverty, and economic sound and peaceful phil,then even if the world came crashing down, so be it.. we should think for ourselves, but the problem was and still is some think only for themselves and not the Phil as a whole and majority never think at all….

  14. Aaron Green says:

    Nice job, it’s a great post. The info is good to know! Thank You;).

  15. Pingback: Philippine ‘Independence’ Day on June 12: a desperate claim to a false achievement « Get Real Post

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