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Philippine History (A short reflection)

This semester, I learned an unexpected matter: Philippine History is just like love. It is
surprising. It is complicated. It is mysterious. And most importantly, it is worth it.

A citizen that is historically ignorant is like a day without the sun. A bird without its wings.
Or the ocean without the waves. He is lacking his own identity, his own pride. Learning our history
is an essential thing for every Filipino. Through this, we will be more aware about our country’s
condition and we will be able to understand why we are facing today’s national problems.

History is certainly a confusing stuff to focus on. This is because there are bountiful things
that say a lot about it that we should not believe instantly. These need enormous second-thoughts and
mindful evidences before we can say that they are truly efficient. This is because it is a very crucial
part of our nationality. The very root of our existence.

I’ve learned a lot this passed semester, from geography and topography to presidents of our
country. I understood that thisnation is a gifted one. We are of high potential to be the greatest in the
world. The Philippines is jam-packed with not only varieties of natural resources but also noble
citizens. These are foreshadowed even from our ancestors long ago. But the sad thing is, we often
times do not know how to sensibly use these as instruments for national progress. We keep on
relying to other well-known countries to answer to our shortcomings and difficulties. We lack
confidence with our own capabilities and possessions that are the supposed roots to magnify
success. We Filipinos are not well aware of how lucky we are that we’re from this country. Thus,
how often do we forget to be responsible citizens and students that are should contribute to the
betterment of the Philippines.

I learned the different social strata of this country from long ago. Such are the Datu and
Maharlika, Timawa and the Alipin. Upon contemplating them, I realized their relevance to the
circumstances now a days. I understood why political dynasties as well as elitism are
renowned by many. This also brought up to me the reason behind the modern interplay between
elites and masses. Moreover, I comprehended the source and origin of nepotism.

Our lessons also covered the era of the noble Filipino heroes. I learned to appreciate their
invaluable sacrifices and their martyrdom. They put our nation’s welfare at the top of their priorities.
They neglected their own self-interest for the sake of our sovereignty. They showed patriotism that is
beyond compare as well as care for our country that is beyond measure. They are certainly examples
of people that every generation should look up to.

Pondering unto the Spanish, American and Japanese colonization in the Philippines, I learned
three things; harsh truths are better than sweet lies; promises, whichever the case, are always meant
to be broken and; not all those who say ‘I love you’ mean it.

The 3 powerful countries did different approach to our country which left unconcealed scars
that will forever be flaws in our before virgin-like nation. They tricked us, played us, and
manipulated us until they are able to get what they want. They didn’t have even a tiny bit of
compassion for the Philippines and the Filipino people. All they cared about is our country’s use to
them and yet we still look up to them today like we owe them our country’s identity. As early as
now, we should change our perspective toward these stuff. We should honour our nation enough
because we could’ve been a better one if these colonizers didn’t enter the picture.

As for our last lesson, the presidency is indeed a very tough and powerful position. With this
standing, you will be able to influence a lot of people, thus, change the lives of many. We’ve already
gone through 15 presidents in this country. Some of which did enormous undertakings and
achievements while few just used their reign to satisfy and address their own selfish desires. But in
spite of all of these, we citizens should never forget that we are the main ingredient in the recipe of
success. We shouldn’t just rely everything to our leaders but instead we should also have our own
initiative to do things for the development of the community. If everyone in this country acts like one
responsible president of our own, I am 100% sure that progress will just linger around the tips of our
toes.

Our previous lessons definitely changed the way I perceived Philippine History. When I was
in grade school and high school, the first thing that comes in my mind when I hear about this subject
is ‘memorization’. But now, after I whole-heartedly studied it, I came across lots and lots of
realizations. Realizations about or life, origin, significant events and noble people. Before, I just
digested everything that was spoon fed by my teachers. But now, this history course gave me the
urge to study further and to look into the deeper and hidden side of every circumstance. I realized
that some of the actualities that were thought to us are actually just half-truths and veiled lies. Some
so called ‘facts’ are just compilations of senseless praises that just serve as decorations to compensate
to the real dark sides of our history. My perspective also changed in the way that I am now well
aware that few of the significant people in our history books aren’t really heroic at all. They just hid
in the shadow of their self-interests and screened their wrong doings away from the freemen’s eyes. I
came up with the idea that history is made by those who hanged our heroes. We should be more
observant about every detail of our past so that we won’t be praising immoral heroes and
condemning honourable villains. History is not just a subject to me. It is part of humanity. It will
always be relevant to everything. It is the fine line that bridges us to the astonishing occasions in
the past. The thing that will help us understand conflicts in the future.

Over all, the whole semester in Philippine History has been great. I have learned many things
that were irrelevant to me before. I now know that it requires effort to be able to analyse a certain
topic. Hard work and perseverance are really necessary. I was never this engaged into these matters
before. I am now driven to further ponder into historical theories and facts that will help me to be
more mindful about our past. During our classes and activities, I was able to practice my
comprehension and critical thinking skills. It was also exciting to talk about current issues in our
country and be able to share my ideas to others as well as listen to theirs. Complicated history events
are now very clear to me. Our professor did a good job in conveying our lessons to us. She did it in
the way that our hectic minds will understand. During our classes, it looked like we were just having
conversations with our teacher. This way, we learned and understood the lessons better because our
professor is such a good story teller.She is very approachable and always willing to help us with our
troubles regarding the subject. She always answers our questions accordingly. Another thing that I
admire about our professor is that throughout out the sem, it seems like she was teaching us from her
heart. She doesn’t just memorize our lessons. She digests every bit of them. She is very expressive
about her ideas and comments about people, issues, and past events. Being straightforward, fair-
minded and curious are her strong points that make her an ideal history teacher.
Learning about our country should not just stop at the end of this semester. We should
continue to be perceptive and insightful about our past. Let us keep ourselves knowledgeable
about history as well as the current national issues. This way, we will be able to understand
and perceive things from a better angle. We shouldn’t look at this subject as a burden due to
memorization. Instead, let us think of it as a way of improving our own identity. A way to see our
past clearly and an instrument to highlight the path to a brighter future.

Apparently, Filipinos are suffering from national amnesia. Colonial mentality is deeply
engrained in those who are not proud about their nationality and those who still look up to anything
foreign as finest. Hence, colonial mentality destroys our national identity. Therefore, everyone’s
historical knowledge needs to be strengthened and nurtured. Through this, we can happen to be a
new breed of citizens who have a strong sense of nationalism in our hearts and in our minds. As an
effect, whatever the mistakes in the past are, the present generation should learn from
them and never again repeat it so that the future of the Philippines will be free from ignorance,
slavery and despotism.

To cover it all up, Philippine History is not at all a boring subject just like how others
oftentimes see it. In fact, studying it is filled with thrill and adventure. It is something that should not
be ignored because it is the manifestation of the noble deeds and heroic acts of our gallant
ancestors. It will always be worth studying for because it helps us to not only be better citizens, but
also to become better persons that contribute to the wholeness of this country.

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