Textbooks provide a wealth of information of distorted truths on the history of the Philippines, yet little is known about the Filipino people. The diversity found amongst the Filipino people themselves is due to their origins in an archipelago of 7,100 islands and over eighty dialects. As Maria P.P Root states on page xiii in her book, Filipino Americans: Transformation and Identity: …People of Filipino heritage have experiences very different from those of other Asian American groups who are part of the fabric of this country. Not dominated by Confucian philosophy… coming from societies that have matriarchal structures… intersected and invaded by seafarers, traders, military, missionaries, and colonizers, Filipinos of America are seldom accurately situated in history or culture and are therefore misinterpreted. We share cultural affinities with people from Mexico, Central and South America, Cuba, and Puerto Rico because of Spain. We share shamanic and animalistic traditions with indigenous peoples throughout the world. We share cultural patterns of communication with Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Koreans. An archipelago of Malayan people, our braiding of cultures and phenotypes creates affinities with Pacific Island people, who are clearly recipients of African diaspora (1997).
Emilio Aguinaldo, leader of the nationalist movement that secured the Philippines’ freedom from Spain, was betrayed by the Americans when instead of letting the Philippine people rule themselves, the United States secretly negotiated a deal with Spain to purchase the Philippines for $20 million. To assure compliance, Americans fired the first shots starting a war with Filipino nationalists on February 4, 1899. The Philippine-American War, lasting over three years, claimed as high as 1 million Filipino civilian lives, destroyed the first republic in Asia and established America as a colonial power (Pimentel, 1999). “The Philippine Insurrection, as U.S. History has named it, cast American troops as the heroes in a guerilla war against ‘villainous Filipino nationalists’… and Aguinaldo went from president to insurrectionist, just like that” (Guillermo, 2002). During their fifty-year stay, the United States imported Western ideals to the Philippines- ideals so unattainable that it corrupted the Filipino educational system, Filipino mentality, Filipino family structures, and Filipino politics. Ideals so unattainable that it misled Filipinos to venture overseas to the United States under the impression they would be treated as equals. The Filipino people were “pushed from the Philippines by poverty and pulled into America by ‘extravagance’” (Takaki, 1989, p.316).
“MISEDUCATION” OF THE FILIPINO
American occupation brought about an overhaul of the...