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“History is who we are and why we are the way we are”

History plays a major role in the lives of different people specifically here in the

Philippines. There are so many stories and evidences that will prove how mighty and

strong our Motherland before we were colonized by different foreign blood. But I am not

here to talk about those evidences but instead I would like to express myself how the

subject Readings in Philippine History changed my perspective about the history itself.

The first day of this lesson, I am expecting that there would be too many dates

and characters that I would memorize in order for me to pass the exams and even this

subject. But to my surprise our Professor was so very considerate about us. He said

that in his own perspective, students should not put in their mind that studying history is

about memorizing important people and numbers of date. And I am really glad about

this kind of teaching because this time, History for me is not a boring and underrated

subject anymore just what I used to think back in High School days. As a matter of fact,

history became a very interesting because our Professor helped me changed my

perspective about this subject. Maybe because one of the factors is our Professor was

very good at this kind of field of studies and the way he speak that is so clear and I am

really looking up to him when it comes to public speaking. When he is talking to us, I am

thinking always that I want to be as good as that someday. A very good speaker and a

story teller that has influenced me to be more interested about the history of our

country.

There are many knowledge and stories that I’ve learned this past months for the

first time and I want to share in this reflection paper. First, one of the unforgettable

stories of the past that our Prof. has told us was about the story of Emilio Aguinaldo and

Andres Bonifacio. I was fortunate that day because I was sitting at the second row and

not at the back where I can’t hear the lessons. That time our setting was in school but

we are at the corridor and it was very noisy and many people just passing by and I can’t

concentrate on the lessons.


Now, back in the story of two great men of our history, honestly I am not really

familiar on their story in the first place. As I was listening carefully, it became more

intriguing because I’ve known Emilio Aguinaldo in my childhood as a hero and the first

President of the Philippines. At least that was taught to us during Elementary and High

School and there is a story behind why it was not taught in primary and secondary level.

After I heard the story, my view and perspective about Don Emilio Aguinaldo will

never be the same again. The story began when the two great men were a great leader

to their own group. Aguinaldo was a great General in Cavity and Bonifacio was the

“Supremo” of the Katipunan. The rebellion from the Spaniards in Cavite became

successful because of the leadership of these two. But it came to the day that the

harmony between Filipino people was broken because there was a leadership problem

in Cavite. The leaders were divided by two groups; Magdalo where Aguinaldo belong

and Magdiwang for Bonifacio.

Andres Bonifacio went to Cavite to propose an election for the new government

that they will establish because he sees that it can solve the problem of leadership. He

did not expect that the approach of the Magdalos on him was not very respectful

because for them he was just a “low-class” person even though he is the Supremo of

the Katipunan. Magdalo leaders are from a wealthy family that is why they were irritated

to Bonifacio. I just then realized that even from before, Filipinos are very judgmental and

has a “crab mentality” that even their own countrymen, they will drag down.

Fast forward, Bonifacio lost in the Presidential Election and he was only elected

as the Director of Interior. Even in this position, he was still opposed by an idiot Magdalo

member; Daniel Tirona. Tirona said that the director of Interior must be a lawyer and

Bonifacio is not and he is not fit for the position. Bonifacio was hurt by the words of

Tirona and he demanded for an apology but instead Tirona just walked out. Because of

this, Bonifacio used his power as the Supremo of the Katipunan to make the election

not effective. But on the next day, Aguinaldo already declared his self as the President
of the government. Bonifacio forced himself to left and stay away from Cavite and

rebuild the Katipunan.

The group of Aguinaldo saw this opportunity to accused Bonifacio of treason

against his country. Aguinaldo then ordered his men to arrest Bonifacio but the

Supremo did not agree to the will of Aguinaldo and there was a fight between the two

groups. Until Andres Bonifacio and his brother Procopio Bonifacio were captured by the

men of Aguinaldo and they were subject for a trial. A trial that is supposed to be fair but

even his lawyer is making him look guilty and the Bonifacio Brothers were sentence by

Emilio Aguinaldo to be exiled. The leaders of the Magdalo did not agree to the decision

of Aguinaldo and they succeeded in persuading him to verdict an execution and ne

brought to Mt. Maragondon to be killed brutally. It was a sad fate for Andres Bonifacio

because he would be a great help for the revolution of the Philippines against Spaniards

and until now many Filipinos are still ignorant about the truth of the death of this fallen

hero in the hands of his fellow countrymen. Even from before there is a self interest

happening that they are willing to step on their fellow Filipinos just to take the position in

the government. This kind of characteristics would never help our country to rise and

because even Filipinos are dragging down one another.

Second is the Battle of Mactan that was written into the accounts of Pigafetta

where it opened my eyes about the big fake lie that was told to us from our childhood

that Lapu-Lapu was the one who killed Magellan. The story began when Ferdinand

Magellan and his men discovered Philippines. They see the Filipinos as savage

because of how they dress and their equipments that are made of bamboo and bolo.

Magellan first came to Zzubo which is now called Cebu and he managed to persuade

the King of Cebu to be baptized as a Christian. But there is a great man of one of the

tribe in Cebu that will never yield to the sweet words of foreign blood, he would willing to

spill and give his own blood just for his country and that is Lapu-Lapu. Magellan took his

best men who numbered only 49 against the men of Lapu-Lapu who numbered 1,500.

Magellan was so proud of himself that he and his men can take down the the 1,500
fighting men of Lapu-Lapu because unlike them, they don’t have a proper armor and

equipment for fighting.

And the day of the battle begun, the courageous Filipinos fought the fully

armored Spaniard who carries guns that can instantly kill them. But it never stops the

warriors of Cebu to defend their land from the colonizers. So much has happened until

Magellan was hit by a poisoned arrow on his right leg. Magellan was being targeted by

the Filipino warrior because they knew that he is their captain. Magellan then was hit by

a spear in the face and into his chest but even though he was wounded severely, he still

wants to fight back by drawing his sword but he could not lift it because of his wounded

arm. There is a native with a great sword who delivered a blow on Magellan’s left leg

and it brought him face down then the other warrior came charging in and began to

attack with spears, swords, and even with their bare hands.

Magellan was killed brutally by the Filipino warrior and he lost the battle because

of his pride and arrogance. But in all of the statement written by Pigafetta, there are no

accounts saying that Lapu-Lapu was the one who killed Magellan. Lapu-Lapu took only

the glory of killing Ferdinand Magellan because he is the leader of the tribe that time

and he made the body of Magellan as his trophy.

And thirdly, the braveness and unity of the Filipinos are shown again on the

EDSA People Power where the people overthrow the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

Marcos ruled as a dictator under Martial Law from 1972 until 1981. Corazon Aquino

rose to face the dictator after her husband Ninoy Aquino was assassinated at the airport

because of opposing Marcos. The image of Cory Aquino of being a mourning widowed

housewife captured the heart of the Filipinos whose rights and freedom have been

compromise. This show that no matter who will take advantage to us Filipinos whether it

is a foreign blood or even our own countrymen, there will still people who will stand on

the truth and will protect our Motherland that our fallen heroes from the past have spilled

their blood on to protect and defend.


I realize that not all written or told about the history is a 100% fact because even

historians are debating about the truth if an account has no evidence. There must be

many evidences and accounts that must be consider that the specific part of the history

has truly happened. If the remains of Andres Bonifacio were found maybe he would

have given a proper state funeral and maybe his death would be put to books because

for me his story is very inspiring. After hearing his story, I have look up to Bonifacio with

respect and he made me more proud to be a Filipino.

History is a big part of us and it should be given importance. It should be cherish

because we have to remember all the sacrifices of our fallen heroes just to defend our

land. History must be acknowledge more in the Philippines specially the youths because

it will help them to know who they are and it will encourage them to be proud of their

country and to love this beautiful land called Philippines. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!