I am the first accused. I hold a bachelor’s degree in arts and practised as an attorney in Johannesburg for a number of years in partnership with Oliver Tambo. I am a convicted prisoner serving five years for leaving the country without a permit and for inciting people to go on strike at the end of May 1961.
At the outset, I want to say that the suggestion that the struggle in South Africa is under the influence of foreigners or communists is wholly incorrect. I have done whatever I did because of my experience in South Africa and my own proudly felt African background, and not because of what any outsider might have said. In my youth in the Transkei I listened to the elders of my tribe telling stories of the old days. Amongst the tales they related to me were those of wars fought by our ancestors in defence of the fatherland. The names of Dingane and Bambata, Hintsa and Makana, Squngthi and Dalasile, Moshoeshoe and Sekhukhuni, were praised as the glory of the entire African nation. I hoped then that life might offer me the opportunity to serve my people and make my own humble contribution to their freedom struggle.
i laughed inside when i saw this article July 4, not June 12 in the opinion page of inquirer online. it’s been 50 years since president diosdado macapagal moved it to june 12 (from july 4 which is also america’s independence day), and june 12 has worked pretty well, at least hindi masyadong halata o buking ang american hand.
i wondered if that was why macapagal made the change and if there was a clamor for it at the time. or was it purely a president’s sensitivity to anti-neocolonial sentiments. so i googled it, and LOL this is what i found in wikipedia: stanley karnow (In Our Image) quoting macapagal as saying, some years later:
“When I was in the diplomatic corps, I noticed that nobody came to our receptions on the Fourth of July, but went to the American Embassy instead. So, to compete, I decided we needed a different holiday.”
only in the philippines. and then, again, baka naman it was just one of many reasons, just the one karnow chose to highlight? so i googled it some more, and found the official reasons in the national historical commission’s website.
First, United States celebrates independence day every July 4, the day Americans declared their independence not 3 September 1783 when Great Britain recognized their liberty;
Second, if the Philippines celebrates its independence day every July 4, our celebration would be dwarfed by the US celebration;
Third, June 12 was the most logical date since Filipinos were not actually particular about fixing of dates, what we actually cared for is independence itself;
Fourth, if the Philippines celebrates common independence day with USA, other nations might believe that the Philippines is still a part of United States.
‘yun na pala ‘yon. wala lang, para me dumating sa party. wala man lang pretense at a sense of history. wala lang.
so no to that same old debate. if we cared more, we would want a bonifacio kind of declaration, a celebration of those first shining moments — no back stories, no unseen hands, purely indio, purely pinoy. never mind that it was aborted nine months later. kahit credit where credit is due man lang.
Should a paper present, in the national interest, only the shining aspects of the nation? Why concentrate on the ugly as the Philippine press seems to be doing? What sort of an image does the Philippines have abroad? Personally, I do not care how we look abroad; what is important is how we look to ourselves. Let us publish what’s wrong with us—perhaps, enough indignation may be aroused to right it. Expose the evils—to stop them. What do they thing? [sic, think?] We know what’s wrong with them. Never mind what they think. We must make democracy work here—or lose it. That’s what is vital. The freedom of an editor rests, ultimately, on the success of freedom.
~ Teodoro M. Locsin 10 April 1965