Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Knowing History

What is history but a fable agreed upon? – Napoleon

For the past months or so, my reading material has consistently been on Philippine history. I have just finished reading Epifanio Delos Santos’ manuscripts on Emilio Aguinaldo, Emilio Jacinto and Andres Bonifacio. I have also finished reading Carlos Quirino’s “the Great Malayan” on Jose Rizal; and Benjamin Pimentel’s story on first quarter storm student activist Ed Jopson.

My interest now is to look for and get hold of a copy of Manuel L. Quezon’s own autobiography – “The Good Fight,” and a biography on Sergio Osmena.

What motivated me to brush up on history is the fact that, I hardly know something about it. And I admit that with all candor.

I believe however that, I am not alone on this issue. How many of us have truly read the writings of Bonifacio and admired how a self-educated man could have written them. Do we know the circumstances why Aguinaldo allegedly ordered the execution of Bonifacio?

Knowing history is knowing ourselves.

American author David McCullough wrote: The Greeks said that character is destiny, and the more I read and understand of history, the more convinced I am that they were right.”

This is our problem as a people. We do not have identity and character because we do not value our history and neither do we learn from them.