Davao Today

All things and events have their beginning.  There is no quarrel about that.  And it is a good thing that we should be aware that things and events are children of history.  Just as humans are offsprings of history.

A child undergoes stages of development until he grows to be an adult.  And being an adult he continues to develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, and also — because to be  human is to be gregarious —  politically.  Truly, a human being is considered a “political animal.”

Inevitably, the human person is subjected to social forces that affect the shaping of his political consciousness and cultural values.  The totality of the way he views himself and the things and events around him constitute what is called his world outlook , hisWeltanschaung.

A particular happening stares us in the face, and we are stunned by its qualitative or quantitative uniqueness.  We begin to ask, why does this happen?   Often we have ready answers to our own query.  And these answers proceed from our world outlook.  As a political creature we have preconceived notions of the existential realities we are immersed in.

Take the case of the question an ordinary Filipino asks of his economic plight.  Usually, he would say, this is my fate.  Ang palad ko ang nagbuot (It’s the will of fate.)

The smarter ones, such as the demagogues among our political people, would  say, “Our economic backwardness is caused by the pervasive corruption in our society.”  And so, the issue of corruption is always mouthed by politicians, left and right.  Year after year after year!

And the answer stops there. No thoroughgoing examination of the facts and circumstances surrounding the subject issue is ever made.  No dissection of the whys and wherefores of its prevalence is undertaken.  As if to say that corruption is a trait ingrained in the Filipino psyche.  Which is like saying the Filipino is corrupt from the very beginning!  Or from birth?

But if we listen to the pundits among our ancestors who exhort  us with these words, Ang hindi lumilingon sa pinanggalingan ay di makararating sa paroroonan , we soon realize that to trace the history of  a certain phenomenon is an imperative act to unfold its essential reason for being.

The logic of history is impossible to argue against.  Its unassailable cogency leads to the premises of past events which are replete with heartbreaking acts of treason, puppetry and treachery.  To invoke history is to take the thorny paths that lead to a comprehensive understanding of our ugly social maladies.

If only our so-called leaders, who are gifted with intellectual and material resources, endeavor to unearth the hidden roots that comprise the truths of our societal affliction, surely they will not stop at the face value of an economic or political issue such as poverty or corruption.  They will prod themselves to revisit the past, renew acquaintance with history, and appreciate the rationale for the existence of the present deplorable reality.

The trouble with our political leaders is that they always try to cover up their narrow self-interests — which are invariably tied up to their class interests — with misleading, if not shortsighted, analysis of situations and events.

The late Senator Claro M. Recto was a rare exception.  So was the late Senator Jose W. Diokno.  Late in their lives, they ventured to delve into the historical roots of our economic backwardness.  And they understood why the student and youth activists of the ‘60s and ‘70s cried with dogged vehemence, Down with American imperialism and domestic feudalism!

The big politicians, as spokespersons of the big landlords and the foreign monopoly capitalists, would rather heed the obscurantist propaganda of their masters because this conveniently coincides with their deceitful propaganda posturing.  And they all end up as veritable demagogues whose acts are all directed to becloud the real issues.

Not anyone among the present crop of politicians has come close to realizing the facts of history as the footprints that lead to the real culprits of our economic morass.  They just turn deaf ears to the crying voices of the youth who know better, for the simple reason that the youth, with their idealism and vigor, dare to explore and revisit history.

Don J. Pagusara is a native of Mindanao, a multi-awarded author and a Palanca-awardee.

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