Since the dawn of time, the Philippines had achieved fame for its rich history of heroics who would sacrifice their lives in the name of freedom and righteousness. They never would think twice and will rush in arms even if the odds are against them. After all, the blood that flows within the majority of the Filipinos came from warriors all over Asia which made our stock a mix of different heritages that would be the envy of any country that ever existed. However, one thing the Filipinos never had learned, and may never will, is to be a country that thinks and acts as one- we don’t have a united Philippines; instead, we have a discordant Philippines.
Ever since the Spaniards came to the Philippines half a millennium ago, our ancestors never acted as one in order to repel the invaders who disguised themselves as friends with the notion of actually colonizing the archipelago and its hapless inhabitants. Mesmerized by the religion they introduced that everyone is equal in the eyes of the Almighty, they submitted and swore allegiance to a foreign crown in exchange for their freedom that they indirectly tossed away. The only successful defiant act that actually ejected the invaders for the first time was during the famous Battle of Mactan in April 27, 1521, where Lapu-Lapu, the king of the said island, conquered a conqueror when his men gave Magellan the finishing blow that put an end to its career. What is also interesting that this battle was not a battle of two giants, but also through the intervention of another king of the island named Zula who wishes to slay Lapu-Lapu. Too bad his plan was thwarted miserably.
Fifty years after and the Spaniards were still on its invasion spree conquering the islands and intimidating the natives into submission though “peaceful ways” and yet the datus of the archipelago offered little to no resistance in order to preserve their virgin freedom from the oppressors. King Soliman fought the invaders but it proved to be useless after he died a valiant death after a fierce sea battle against Goiti. Perhaps this gave the natives the mentality that the Spaniards were indeed invincible and fighting them would only result to death but yet hope for freedom was never extinguished. Similar uprisings followed suit over the years but their motives were quite different from each other which ranges from the understandable state of being oppressed, striving to achieve freedom, and to the more flimsy concept of vengeance just because “his brother was not given burial by the mean and close minded priest” which led to Francisco Dagohoy very irate which started his revolt of 1744 which lasted for 85 years. Aside from Dagohoy, the leaders of these revolts never learned a single thing about history and the old saying about “united we stand, divided we fall.” And since they all acted like a single matchsticks instead of matchsticks bind together, they were was easily crushed by the mighty Spaniards. If only they combined their forces, I’m quite sure the Philippines may have been liberated a century earlier.
Fast forward to the execution of Rizal because of his so called involvement in the secret society created by Andres Bonifacio to finally use force and clash of arms to make mother Philippines be free from the bad Spaniards who have made hell for the timid and peaceful natives during the 1800’s, the Filipino race finally woke up as if someone smacked them awake from a delusion, and finally fought as one unit in the name of liberty- or so we thought.
The Great Plebian who started KKK was executed together with his brother deep in the mountains because of a dispute of power with another rising star in the liberation of the archipelago in the character of Emilio Aguinaldo. Whatever happened during that time, the people who surrounded, and most likely manipulated the feeble general like a puppet on strings, urged him to give the sentence of death to the Bonifacio brothers in order for their hides to be spared from being skinned, or maybe just plain paranoia that Bonifacio was after their hides. And so the fighting continued without the Great Plebian and Aguinaldo took sole command, the poor bastard. The merry Americans finally came and fought for our cause and drove the Spaniards away, only for them to extend their imperialistic rule in the pacific since the Philippines is such a prize too good to be given to the natives. Anyways, they paid the Spaniards during the Treaty of Paris for the acquisition of the archipelago so I guess they wanted to have a reimbursement on their spent capital. The weary Philippine army, still exhausted from all the fighting from the previous battles, still fought to repulse the new threat. However, as history repeats itself like a bad chronic bronchitis that comes and goes, our army were very much divided because not all of them like to follow orders from other generals and will only obey if it came directly from Aguinaldo. Either they were fiercely loyal to Aguinaldo or they lacked common sense and were very stupid at the same time, you’d be the judge, but because of the Philippine army during the Filipino-American war was very disoriented because of the insubordination happening from all sides.
General Antonio Luna, greatest general of the war during that time and the only general that can offer the Americans a good fight even though their arms were ancient and compromised, recommended to dissolve our army and result to guerrilla warfare in order to have an edge in battle. After all, a direct clash of arms against the Americans is suicide, but Aguinaldo disregarded it and worse of all, became a silent observer during the assassination of Luna which further crippled our dying army. As a result, the war ended with the capture of Aguinaldo which means victory to Uncle Sam, much to the dismay of the fighting public. Perhaps if only the Filipinos learned their lesson about unity, then the war may had been saved or even won, but it didn’t- because Filipinos like to be the boss of themselves, and don’t give a damn about what others think even though they are right. And even though the Philippines are free from American rule, each government regime is like an old song sung by a broken record player because history keeps on repeating itself due to the people opposing the government because they believe they are wrong, or evil, or their ways will lead the country to ruins. We experienced this with Marcos’ regime just because of the hundreds of human rights violation made his family and cronies; we experienced this with the Aquino government and the coup d’ é tat instigated by Gringo Honasan; we experienced this with the Estrada government when another lousy people power was made to overthrow the innocent president made by his cunning vice-president; and now we are experiencing yet another blow in our government as President Duterte is slowly falling prey to the people trying to crush his rule due to the allegations of unjust killings due to the long list of casualties on the war on drugs, not to mention the pincer attack made courtesy of his very own Vice-President and Senator Trillanes.
The Filipino people, should really learn the lesson of being united, because if we still continue to trudge on this path, then history will just keep on repeating itself forever, not giving a chance for the country to fully realizing, or even living the dream of what our ancestors dreamed before. We need to take action and have all the islands be as one in order to work together for us to resolve all our differences so that a prosperous era will finally come into fruition.Give the leaders a chance to show their worth in the government and do not always resort to coups, impeachment, or even another people power because you will also fall victim to your own deeds when the day comes. It’s never too late to rectify things until it is truly late.