A Silent and Repeated History

Does history repeat itself?
  It is truly disheartening to discover that events that happened in the past may actually happen again though the time passes and consequences are already seen. In this case, the consequences of corruption, inequality and the true need for freedom in the country. Indeed , this article made me question the potential of the Philippines as an independent sovereign state. It made me question if our independence granted us more freedom after colonization or  even more colonized by our  very own Filipino political leaders.

History is loud but silent. It is loud in a sense that it speaks of many events in the past with many evidences and numerous names of heroes mentioned. One can simply read Filipino history books and be knowledgeable about the chronological events that occurred during precolonial, colonial and post-colonial events until today. It is seen in books tackling Philippine history until articles published in the news paper. History is indeed seen everywhere. The questions is, is it everything?

On January 23, 1899, the Malolos Republic was inaugurated in Malolos, Bulacan.  Given my own knowledge regarding this event, it is the first democratic government of the country symbolizing our freedom and independence from the Spaniards. General Emilio Aguinaldo was sworn into presidency during the Malolos Republic and given the title of first president of the Philippines. However, this article gave a different view of this government. Usually, history books would classify this as one of the most eventful days of the Philippines in which it is in need to be celebrated for. Ironically, were we really independent as a nation politically, economically and socially? Dr. Milagros Guerrero emphasized a few points regarding her view of the Malolos Republic.

There were several points she emphasized regarding the ineffectiveness of the Malolos republic. First was Aguinaldo’s seen exclusivity and elitist presence to the Filipinos as part of the ilustrado-principallia class. In line with the power of holding the country’s money and given the respect and honor, this power was abused and used for ambitious pursuits for ones selfish and extravagant satisfactions. This was evident not only in Aguinaldo’s case but also with his own government administration as well. Consequently, many complaints have been issued about the functionality of the Malolos government. The article aimed not to disregard and doubt the importance of being free from the Spanish colonizers and the bravery of the past Filipinos then, but merely gave an honest perspective that will help become critical in trying to understand our own history.

Corruption. The full misuse of one’s authority through illegal and dishonest behavior. This was the recurring theme that I believe is prevalent during that time and today. It is very frustrating to realize that corruption wasn’t only present today but was also present during our very own independence. As they say, with great power comes great responsibility. Though I was never placed in the position of presidency to rule the country, I still do believe in the possibility of having an honest administration. However, what seems to be the problem for such temptations and abusive behavior? This, we do not completely know. It is something that history can never explain mainly due to its complexities and lack of information and transparency from our very own leaders. Indeed, though we are independent from colonizers we are still captives of our very own Filipino leaders even until today. Though some are full of integrity, there is no doubt others have proven guilty in corruptive pursuits.

The Malolos Republic though eventful in Philippine history must also be something to be critical and fully knowledgeable about. This article gave another point of view about the momentous occasion of the Malolos Republic that it is not as redemptive as we thought it was. Indeed, there was imperfection in a perfect historical event. There are always flaws in history, it is not just fully stated in books. Though the Malolos republic gave rise to know heroes that fought for our country’s independence, they too are imperfect. This article just gave us a glimpse of reality that indeed is essential for Filipinos to realize and think about because it is something we all can learn from.

History repeats itself because patterns of stories are alike. Particularly. In our country we have fallen and risen from colonizers, we have without a doubt have been accustomed to the hierarchy of social classes and we have also seemed to be strong and persevering people. Though imperfections within our history as a country is present, this shouldn’t stop us from growing as a nation. Mistakes do not define us but our responses to these mold us. History is not only a story of the past. Instead, these are stories of the past that are meant for the present and the future to learn from. History is growth for the people and a story in progress. Though corruption seemed to be prevalent since 1899, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee its inevitability. There is hope, because history wouldn’t be written in the first place if the past Filipinos did not believe in the future Filipinos.


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