if you dont think seychelles is the cutest thing to grace this show then we cant be friends
the only oc i own is the one at the bottom btw. full credits here: x
(bc srsly too many credits it would be too long)
There are some funny ones like Vice Ganda’s tho! …and Yong Soo…
Rethinking Nationalism: The Sad Life of Artemio Ricarte
Finally, at long last, the long lost veteran of the Philippine Revolution returns to his country. It was 1941, and his memory of Filipinas when he last saw it in the 1900s was a Filipinas that was united against another hegemon that replaced Spain, the United States. He successfully led the revolution in the Philippines in its first phase (against Spain) and in its second phase, in what would be known as the Philippine-American War. His name was General Artemio Ricarte.
He was there when he rose up among the ranks of the Katipunan. Having been one of the leaders of the national revolutionary movement, Ricarte was the one who stopped Bonifacio in pulling the trigger against Tirona during the controversial Tejeros Convention which relegated the founder of the Katipunan to a mere Director of the Interior, an insult Bonifacio would have accepted, if not for a tirade by Tirona. Ricarte fought on under the Magdiwang (Bonifacio’s faction) and even disagreed in the surrender of Biak-na-Bato, where the Spaniards offered a truce to the Revolutionaries (which the Spaniards never intended to fulfill). He fought on against the new conqueror, the United States, and even refused to swear allegiance to its flag when he was captured. Even after Guam, Ricarte never gave in. He was eventually exiled to China, but with the American consul in China playing tricks on him, he decided he would go to Japan. During that time, Japan was very sympathetic to independence movements in Asia. Mariano Ponce and Sun Yat-Sen would often meet in Yokohama, Japan. It was on that same place that Ricarte settled in. He built a Filipino restaurant there and refused to go back to the Philippines even when he was invited by Quezon to the inauguration of the Philippine Commonwealth government.
But in 1941, Japan had become an empire. The Philippines was “privileged” to be grafted to it. And the Japanese offered Ricarte a return trip home, with perks and with a mission, to herald the Japanese arrival to free the Asian nations subjugated by Western imperialism, and build the ‘glorious’ Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
But as he returned, oh how different the Philippines had become. What was once a generation of patriots guided by the nationalism of 1896 in which he belonged, has become a generation of an ‘American-sponsored independence.’ What was once a country who expected the assistance of Japan for the Philippine Revolution after the Sino-Japanese War has become a country that saw Japan taking away that gift of independence from the U.S. What is ‘ la independencia’ anyway?
He was on the wrong side of the fence. The Filipinos changed in a single generation. This was not entirely the fault of Filipinos. The Americans, compared to the Spaniards, were more humane, more open, and gave more opportunities for the Filipinos to rise up to the political and economic ladder. The U.S. had become the “friend” of the Philippines no matter how dubious that might be, a sort of love-hate relationship, if you could put it. When Japan invaded the country on December 1941, the U.S. was about to give independence to the Philippines in a few years time (on July 1946). But as Filipinos saw it, here was Imperial Japan, taking all that chance of freedom away, and worse, the Revolutionary Hero Ricarte was assisting them!
In 1944, Ricarte was eventually coerced by the Japanese (against his will) to force the population into submission by leading the Makapili, the organized Japanese militant group that drafted volunteers for the Japanese Army. A Makapili member is infamously known as having a bayong on his head to cover his face, as he would point a person from the lined-up men as being suspected of subversive activities. One pointing of the Makapili by his finger and the person being pointed at would be doomed.
As F. Sionil Jose correctly put in his novel on Ricarte, “Vibora!”, Ricarte would run to the Cordillera mountains to escape with the Japanese as Allied forces chase them deeper into the mountainous ranges. Ricarte would not be able to find out that his wife would herself be murdered by the Japanese.
When does nationalism end and excessive pride begin? When does true for fellowmen end and subtle lie of racial ‘greatness’ begin? It happened in China during the hyper-optimism of Mao. It happened in Germany during the height of nationalism fanned afire by Hitler’s charisma. It happened in Japan, when the extreme loyalty and nationalism of the Japanese have numbed them to the point that they could commit unimaginable atrocities against other races. Even F. Sionil Jose in his Ricarte novel failed to answer. The reader would only be left with a searing judgment of not pointing a finger at Ricarte since he was just a victim of circumstances. One would wonder, that’s it? No redemption at all?
How many Ricartes roam the Philippines? How many of them who were once full of idealism and nationalism are now angry at the government, at the convoluted bureaucracy, the blatant corruption? Is nationalism, that vague notion of a big picture, the real answer? Ricarte failed to realize, and maybe he did in that forest as he was running for his life, that it is not nationalism—or loyalty to his people that can save us. For in the end, we will not be judged as nations but as individuals within our respective nations.
F. Sionil Jose said, “We are our own enemy and we have to have the courage and the will to change ourselves.” Is it really enough to change ourselves? How? How do we fix the ficklemindedness, that dark depravity that is deeply rooted not only in the Filipino psyche but in all the ethnicities of the world?
“For ALL we like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned his own way… “
“For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God…”
The Good Book seems to equalize all ethnicities. All have their dark sides before the Almighty.
History here offers an answer hard to swallow. Truth.
Truth does not side with either the colonizer or the colonized. Truth points out both the excesses of the conqueror and the conquered. It gives an ugly view of reality—but it is reality. It is truth just the same. Truth humbles the pride of nations, and exalts men and women who are humble enough to accept its painful lesson. That is why Truth can have the guts to say in the face of angry millions who agreed with the massacre of the Jews, “They too are human beings like us!” Truth can say in the face of millions of stoic suicidal loyalists of Imperial Japan, “Where is our conscience?!” Truth can speak even in the appealing face of ethnocentrism, with the very words of Rizal: “Genius has no country, it blossoms everywhere. Genius is like the light, the air. It is the heritage of all.” It is truth that could have saved Ricarte from the trap that he was caught in.
Truth. Only a few side with it. And siding with it can cost you dearly. Which is why truth is a rarity these days. Is our nationalism built on and balanced by truth? This truth that this country is just temporal, like all other civilizations and countries that fell and are now forgotten? Truth that the country is not really the land or its symbols or even its culture, it is the people? Truth that yes even a people can err and what matters is the choices each individual makes? Or are we easily swayed by that self-exalting pride and romanticized/emotional patriotism that we ourselves have created?
Rizal may be accused as too Western or too Spanish by some of us. But he was a real nationalist in a sense that he never confused the emotional euphoria and romanticized imaginings of ‘nation’ to what the purpose of nationhood is, for mutual duty and responsibility, nothing more. But as we live this life, we would discover that even these duties, no matter how noble, are not enough to fill the vacuum within the human being. We need something more.
May all those who are nationalists (me included) heed this lesson as a warning.
*Photo above, Ricarte’s family and their Filipino restaurant at Yokohama, Japan.