In commemoration of the Filipino-American Friendship Day which falls today, I share to you this video clip of writer Carmen Guerrero Nákpil, sister of nationalist León Mª Guerrero III and mother of intellectual beauty queen Gemma Cruz Araneta. The video was uploaded by Andrew Pearson, probably the same person who co-produced the 1989 documentary The U.S. and the Philippines: In Our Image which was based from Stanley Karnow’s book In Our Image: America’s Empire in the Philippines. This video clip must have been culled from that documentary (I have not seen it yet).
Born in 1922, Doña Chitang lived through the remaining 24 years of US colonization. She was already a young adult during Uncle Sam’s final decade in our country and became a mother during World War II. Therefore, she knew what she was talking about in this interview. She is blunt and unapologetic towards US colonization.
“Americans were just, uh, did such a good job of selling themselves to Filipinos that, that now Filipinos think of the American period as the ‘Golden Age’ of their entire history”, she said matter-of-factly. “Nobody asked them to come in 1898. Nobody asked América to come over and, uh, take over our country”. Take note that there is no hint of anger in her voice throughout the interview. Her thoughts about US colonialism were not beholden to emotional bias as what we usually hear from anti-US activists today. Hers was simply an academic observation, a case of calling a spade a spade.
Pearson also wrote a rather unfair description for the interviewee: “There’s an apparent contradiction between her view that the Philippines would have been better off without the US, and her remark that independence was given too soon. But that’s what makes people interesting”, he wrote.
But there is no contradiction. While Doña Chitang did say that our country would have been better off without US intervention, she made it clear that the independence that was granted to us 71 years ago today was premature for the simple fact that we were let go only a year after the devastating war. Our country, particularly Manila, the seat of our country’s power, was totally devastated. And worse, the Filipinos were “subsequently exploited for economic, political, and military reasons”, thus making 4 July 1946 a sham date.
Without further adieu, here’s the interview:
Unfortunately, Pearson disabled commenting for this video of his. From sham to shame.
By the way, has the US even apologized for the countless Filipinos they have slaughtered when they invaded us in 1898, including the brutal pacification campaign that followed?
Happy Filipino-American Friendship Day? Not.