currency: how cheap is rizal
it was the inquirer‘s ramon n. villegas in Coming up-the redesigned Philippine currency who said:
From the ’70s to the ’90s, the lower denominations of paper bills which featured the revolutionary founders of the nation—Rizal, Bonifacio, Jacinto, Mabini—were eliminated. Their demotion to coins is symbolic of the diminution of their radical ideas by the country’s elite.
yes, jose rizal is on one-peso coins, emilio aguinaldo on five-peso coins, and andres bonifacio and apolinario mabini on ten-peso coins. si emilio jacinto nawala na lang. it’s like american colonial times pa rin, sa totoo lang, when nationalist aspirations were discouraged, repressed, disparaged.
this disturbs me more than the the new currency designs’ inaccuracies re the parrot the map the whale the scientific-name fonts and other trivia. lalo na after reading this letter to the editor:
… Let us not forget Lapulapu who resisted the Spanish invasion in 1521. His image is on our one-centavo coins, now virtually demonetized in value and sense. If it’s any consolation, Lapulapu is remembered today as a pricey fish. But then, maliputo is more expensive and has replaced Lapulapu as the fish recognized on the new currency bills.
We agree: the “peso bills … also qualify our aspirations as a nation, our values as a people.” However, the “aspirations” and “values” printed on our money may not be reflective of our people’s.
Sergio Osmeña’s claim to fame in the P50 notes is that he was with US Gen. Douglas MacArthur in the US forces’ Leyte landing in 1944. This occasion is deceitfully dubbed as the start of the “liberation of the Philippines” from Japanese forces. In 1942, US forces, trapped in Bataan and Corregidor, surrendered to the Japanese. Actual resistance thereafter was led by Filipino forces, some of whom were fighting American occupation in the Philippines before the war erupted.
Manuel Quezon (of the P20 notes) was originally barred by the Commonwealth constitution from running for reelection, but he lobbied US Congress to amend this provision. Had this happened today, Quezon would have been the subject of people power.
During the presidency of Manuel Roxas (P100 notes), the controversial Bell Trade Act, which granted free trade between the Philippines and the United States, was signed. Also ratified was the Treaty of General Relations. While recognizing Philippine independence, it ensured American control by granting them use of 23 military bases in the country, and gave special property rights and investment privileges to US citizens.
Roxas’ administration was tainted with corruption scandals.
The P200 currency is of course a “vanity” bill. Issued during the regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, it features her father and her inauguration as president. Even Ferdinand Marcos did not dare to place his face on peso bills.
Generally, the personalities featured in the currency notes come from the same class—the bourgeoisie.
Workers and peasants played a big role in Philippine history. They formed the bulk of the fighting Filipinos in the anti-Spanish and anti-American wars, as well as in the anti-Japanese war. They play a major role in our development as a nation as well. Peasants produce our food, and indigenous farmers are stewards of our forests. Workers, through their labor, raise the value of capital goods produced in our country.
Even though short of cash, they should at least be honored by the value of their worth. Thus, it is more accurate to say that present currency note designs reflect the ruling class’ values and what it aims to promote to further its reign.
—JULIE L. PO, Linangan ng Kulturang Pilipino,firstname.lastname@example.org
i don’t agree lang that “the personalities featured in the currency notes come from the same class–the bourgeoisie.” manuel quezon, sergio osmena, manuel roxas, diosdado macapagal may have started out poor or middle class but all ended up rich and powerful in their time and their descendants are fully of the elite, the ruling class, whose values and influence are part of, or every reason, why we remain a poor undeveloped basket-case of a country.