By Ed Aurelio C. Reyes

Kamalaysayan Writers and Speakers

(October 1994)

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S THE title of this column says, this is about our "sense of history."  But this column will not be a "serialized history book" overweight with historical facts that we cannot all be interested about. This is not about history itself; it focuses more on how we view our continuing dramatic lifestory as a nation. 

There is a gross lack of consciousness among the people about our national heritage, as evidenced by the absence of unity on a clear national purpose and direction and by the dominace of foreign over Filipino role models. There is also the widespread aversion to historical subjects. This is due to the usual way they have been taught in the school, using approaches that impose the memorization of so many names and dates but fail to trace the more essential strands of development all the way to their present-day consequences.

Should anybody be surprised, then, that many Filipino children aspire to be come American or Japanese citizens when they grow up?  Don't their parents, trying to earn dollars, prefer to sell their products and services, at times even themselves, to foreigners?  There is an urgent need to enhance and strengthen the Filipino's sense of history.

Such sense of history would help enable the people to grapple effectively with the problems of the present and chart a bright future for this and the coming generations.  This sense of history means a keen interest in, and working knowledge of, the main main threads and most significant events and developments in our nation's Lifestory, and a consistent conscious effort to apply the lessons and frames of history to present tasks of opinion leadership and decision-making.

We are all called upon to do our share in an urgent education-promotion campaign to strengthen and enhance the people's "kamalayan sa kasaysayan," their sense of history.  Otherwise, many more Bonifacios and Rizals may have to die before we realize the need to move together towards a future of  real freedom and real progress.  And if more heroes are indeed killed for espousing these ideals, most of us may not even be prepared to even take notice.

(Kamalaysayan Media Service)



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