We were asked to write an essay about the growth and devlopment of nationalism here in the Philippines...so here it is xD
Growth and development of Nationalism in the Philippines
Nationalism, as defined by many, is the love for one's country and the act patronizing its products. It is something that every man has; an emotion that one feels every time he thinks for his country.
However, nationalism is more than just that; an ideology that involves groups of individuals identifying themselves as a nation; a community having the same historical experience, traditions, culture and way of life. As said by the late senator Claro M. Recto, It is a banner of freedom proclaiming the national interests of the people that is to be promoted and to be safeguarded by themselves.
There was a time when nationalism did not exist in the Philippines. That time was when the country was ruled by Spain: The period of Spanish colonialism. The people were all under the control of Spaniards. They would not be given the hope and will to gain freedom. It was also because of this suppression of freedom why nationalism developed in the country .It did not had a government for the reason that it was an archipelago, but the people had the lingering sense of nationality when the Spaniards came.
Lapu-Lapu, who is known as "the first hero of the Philippines", only fought to defend his own territory and pride but he loved his motherland. We can say that this was a minute form of nationalism.
Mercantilism was the economical system during that period. The power of a country was measured by the amount of metals it had. Spain was already one of the world's largest kingdom back then. It was currently in search of spices and the discovery of Magellan made it interested in the Philippines.
Before the Spaniards came to the country, it was composed of several regions. People had their own lifestyle. Paganism was widely observed and natural spirits were believed to exist. Traditions from various ancestral cultures such as Chinese and Arabic were adapted. There was no sense of what we call nationalism back then because they were clustered in what we call "barangays". They had the freedom to do anything as long as it followed their datu's rules. Nationalism served as an instinct for self-defense and for the protection of each of their own community's welfare. The people back then did not act as a nation and there was not yet the identity of being a modern "Filipino". This made it easier for the Spaniards to set up a colony in the country.
This was the start of a period of change for the people. Because of Spain's colonial policies, towns were built, taxes were collected, and Christianity was spread throughout the country, all for Spain's conquest for God, gold and glory. However, the Spaniards treated the people as slaves. Social Classes were made, defining the gap between the rich and the poor. These were the peninsulares: those who were born Spain, insulares or Filipinos: those who were born in the colonies of Spain. Mestizos, those who were of mixed ancestry, and the Indios. The people were called Indios meaning "low quality individuals". Forced labor was imposed on the people making them suffer. Only the rich people were given a little fair treatment back then.
Friars were the most influential people, as they were the ones responsible to spread Catholicism. Their greed anguished the people. A centralized government was formed; those who either did not pay their taxes or simply went against the Spaniards were to be given severe punishments. The gun-wielding guardia civil invoked fear throughout for the people had nothing to use in fighting against them.
Since the start of the Spanish regime, there had been rebellions throughout the Philippines. The only problem was that these rebellions were sporadic and were made because of personal reasons and the Spaniards easily dealt with these .However, this was a signal of nationalism, as the people wanted to be free and to be released from the colonial rule despite the fact that the Spaniards, in all ways, looked superior to them. There seems to be a missing link to what will invoke the minds of the people in and shape their views into one common goal.
It was in the year 1872 when nationalism greatly developed in the country. A mutiny was made against the current governor general Izquiedo, who removed the salary raise given by Carlos Maria de la Torre, who was the one who came before him. Meanwhile, three priests; Mariano Gomez, Jose Apolonio Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora, were asking for the Filipinization of the parishes but church refused to implement the said matter because they considered the Filipinos unfit to undergo priesthood. Other reasons were that of their skin color, lack of education, and their inadequate experience.
The Spanish government implicated the three priests with the Mutiny, which was unsuccessful. They were executed in public, which brought a significant effect to those who witnessed it. The people saw this as an example of grave injustice as they thought that the three were innocent. This is what sparked the spirit of nationalism into the minds of the Filipinos. It was that time when they realized that the Spaniards were too abusive and they now have one common aspiration to follow: Force the Spaniards out of the country.
Up until now, the evidence that involved the trial of the three priests is nowhere to be found.
Years later, Jose Rizal had just finished writing Noli Me Tangere, a novel portraying the lives of Filipinos living under the present colonial rule. He wrote this in dedication of the three priests who died an unjust death. The novel was written in Kastila, it was to be read by the Spaniards for them to learn how are Filipinos are racially discriminated.
The most common misconception about Rizal is he was regarded as "The Brains of the Revolution" which in fact, he's not. He wanted a reform, which involved making the Philippines a province of Spain so that there will be equality among the peninsulares and the Filipinos. This idea was to be scorned by the Spaniards because it is the nature of colonialism to rule over their colonies, not benefit them.
The time came when the KKK was formed, it was one of the most prominent groups in the Philippines and that the idea of spirit of nationalism was spreading through the whole country . Rizal was currently in prison for writing another novel, El Filibusterismo, a sequel on his previous novel. It is about a man, Simon, planning a revolt against the Spaniards as his vendetta for the suffering of Crisostomo Ibarra, who was the main character in Noli Me Tangere. Andres Bonifacio, who was one of the leaders of the KKK, thought of Rizal as one of them, a Filipino fighting for freedom even though this was not what Rizal wanted. He sent a messenger to Rizal, asking for advice if they would start a revolution, or specifically, an armed struggle against the Spaniards. Rizal asked in return where the KKK would get their weapons to fight, implying not to go in war with the Spaniards as they had guns. Bonifacio respected this decision and waited for the right time.
December 1896. The moment when Rizal was executed, the Filipino rebels could not take it anymore. They declared an all out war against the Spaniards. Blood was shed, lives were lost. All of these would result to the declaration of Independence of the Philippines in 1898. By this time the Philippines has then become a nation itself, wherein its people have the feeling of what we call nationalism.
Listening to: Nujabes