The Philippines, like many nations with a history of oppression, has experienced a checkered history.
The Philippines have had to fight for their independence, fending off the invasions of numerous powers. Desperate as this struggle was, there was also beauty in it as selfless heroes tried to defend their motherland and ensure its happiness. Fascinated with these courageous attempts, I would like to have lived in the period when the nation made a turn in the course of its history, breaking away from the Spanish rule. Although this turn proved to be just a transition to another colonial rule, I believe it was overall positive for the development of the Philippines as a state, if one sums up all the negative and positive aspects.
My choice is explained by the desire to participate in the struggle for liberation that ended with an impressive revolution in 1896 that became the first successful liberation effort in Spanish-controlled Asia. I would want to be old enough to take part in the events, perhaps at least 20 years old at the time Dr. Jose Rizal was killed by musketry. I am positive that it would have been great to be there on June 12, 1898, and listen to the proclamation of the Philippine sovereign state headed by General Emilio Aguinaldo. The Spanish rule was oppressive to the country. For centuries the Spanish rulers abused the Filipinos. Even Spanish priests engaged in sexual abuse, which led to the appearance of the term “’Anak ni Padre Damaso'(Child of Father Damaso) meaning the illegal child born of a priest. Liberation from the Spanish rule left Filipinos with more chances to develop their own culture and traditions.
Revolutionary events always produce a unique feeling of unity in the nation, fostering a sense of fraternity in people united by a common cause. From what I have read on the 1898 revolution, I believe that such enthusiasm was burning in the hearts of the people of the Philippines. Eager to see their nation a sovereign and prosperous state, they did not hesitate to go to war with the US that sought to replace Spain as their colonial ruler. Even though the US captured Aguinaldo and suppressed the resistance, they could not pacify the rebellious islands for a long time. Those who lived in that epoch must have had a very freedom-loving spirit and passionate love for their motherland.
Speaking of the US occupation of the Philippines, this was certainly a sad sight to anyone longing for justice and fairness in global politics. It was definitely sad to see a nation with millions of human lives sold to the US for $20 million. In contrast, it would be really inspirational to see Andrew Carnegie to offer the same amount to buy freedom for the Filipinos.
Even though the US violated the will of the Filipino people, I believe the occupation did bring some positive results to the land. Economic development spearheaded by the American policies promoted the prosperity of the land. Besides, the US finally released control of the Philippines, paving the nation for the nation’s independent existence. Living in that period would have given me a chance to take part in this economic rise, and participation in revolutionary events is certainly a thrilling opportunity. Living in that age, I would have seen a crucial turning point in the nation’s history that contributed to its advancement and success.
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