Sunday, June 27, 2010

Our Hunger for Roots

The following remark about the Philippines from A Short History of South-East Asia (4th Ed) drew my attention:
". . . contemporary Filipinos lack a concrete pre-colonial history from which they can draw inspiration and create national myths. There is nothing in the Philippines' past remotely comparable to the golden eras of Angkor in Cambodia, Pagan in Burma or Majapahit in Indonesia." (page 125)
Not only do I agree with this, I could also feel it. There is hunger among Filipinos for a glorious past that simply wasn't there. We resented the Spanish, the Americans and the Japanese who colonized us, but we could find no national identity beyond what these conquerors had provided us.

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