A Love and Hate Relationship

Sunny Days … Clouds Away … On my way to … What’s Up Doc … of Course you know this means War ; I grew up familiar to those phrases but part of me also grew up on the phrase Ako’y Isang Pinoy sa Puso’t diwa and … Tayo ay mga Pinoy … wag kang mahiya kung ang ilong mo ay pango. I am Filipino. I am the sum total of a culture born free and subject to migration via land bridges and sea. It is also a culture that lived under the Castillian Church Bells for around three centuries and our family name was selected from a list of Spanish words provided by the Governor General Narciso Claveria Y Zaldua. And it is also a culture that was taught by the Thomasites about Dick, Jane and the Apple. Plus, it was also a culture brought up under nearly everything Americana from Hollywood to Tammany Hall politics.

Yesterday was the 4th of July. And the United States celebrated its Independence Day. Happy Independence Day. In the Philippines it was Filipino-American Friendship Day. Incidentally, It was also the anniversary of the Treaty of Manila – July 4, 1946 – when the United States relinquished sovereignty over the Philippine Islands and officially recognized the Republic of the Philippines. This was celebrated as Independence Day until on August 4, 1964 then President Diosdado Macapagal moved the celebration to June 12 – the actual Independence day June 12 when in 1898 the Philippine Revolutionary Government declared Independence. And July 4 became Filipino-American Friendship Day.

And what a friendship it has been. It has had its high and low points from Dewey coming to Manila Bay; the arrival of the Thomasites aboard the USS Thomas; the Incident at Balangiga and General Jake Smith; General Douglas McArthur and I Shall Return; Ramon Magsaysay and his presidency; the Rise and Fall of Ferdinand Marcos; the Post Marcos Presidents , Pinatubo and the closure of Clark, Subic and other military installations in the Philippines; and in between an influx of American culture and entertainment – from Sesame Street, the Electric Company, and Doogie Howser MD . For what it is worth there is a bond between the Philippines and the United States.

Whatever anyone says this is something that cannot be denied that there is a cultural bond between the United States and the Philippines. A number of Filipinos have relatives and friends in the United States. The lingua franca in the Philippine Islands is still English. For most part our taste in entertainment, food, music and sports still have strong links to the Americans and the United States.

I am not sure if in the near future people will still call Americans as Hey Joe! But I am certain as the Philippine Culture continues to progress there will still be traces and influences from our history of love and hate with the United States or my family name was not taken from list provided by Governor General Narciso Claveria Y Zaldua.

Anyway something to remember for the 4th of July.

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