By Ed Aurelio C. Reyes
Kamalaysayan Writers and Speakers
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OME FRIENDS have pointed out to me a discrepancy between the Kartilya ng Katipunan that we of the Kampanya para sa Kamalayan sa Kasaysayan have been popularizing and that contained in the many editions of History of the Filipino People by Teodoro A. Agoncilio. The discrepancy they have called my attention to is as basic as the very number of lessons contained in that document. KAMALAYSAYAN has always been referring to 14 lessons, while Agoncilio and those who use him as reference list only 13.
Of course, the most important point of the KAMALAYSAYAN's message to our contemporaries is that almost all these lessons pertain not to anger and courage, not to fighting the enemy, not to willingness to kill and die for Inang Bayan, but to points on ethics and moral behavior, upon the premise of human dignity, human equality and the nation as family. It is upon these basic values that the Katipuneros based their bravery and just anger.
Still, this question is important: is the fourteenth point in our text, which is omitted by Agoncilio, a mere summary, a mere signal to say that the enumeration has ended with the previous point? In the book Katipunan and the Revolution: Memoirs of a General (translated into English by Paula Carolina S. Malay and published by Ateneo in 1992), KKK Gen. Santiago Alvarez did not omit the 14th point. (In a speech delivered in a Kamalaysayan affair at the National Historical Institute in December 1992, UP Prof. Arsenio Manuel said Agoncilio's accounts on the Katipunan suffered much in its complete omission of Alvarez as a source; the general's memoirs were serialized in Sampaguita magazine in the 1920s.)
The fact that Emilio Jacinto did not use any numbering for those lessons opens the point to differing interpretations.
But the content of the 14th paragraph is clearly a lesson in itself, one that is not carried by the previous paragraphs. It does not say "these are the lessons that we should bear in mind." Let us review that paragraph again (from Malay's translation): "When these teachings shall have been propagated and the glorious sun of freedom begins to shine on these poor islands to enlighten a united race and people, then all the lives lost, all the struggle and sacrifices will not have been in vain."
The clincher on the matter of discrepancy is this: the fifteenth paragraph is the signal that the enumeration had ended. This paragraph, omitted by both Alvarez and by KAMALAYSAYAN, roughly translates as "Once all these points are well-understood by one who seeks to be a Katipunan member, and if he thinks he can perform his duties, he can manifest his intention in the following (application form)."
There are fourteen lessons in the Kartilya ng Katipunan , and the 14th point is of distinct importance to all of us who tend to get overwhelmed by the immensity of the effort and sacrifices needed to save our Inang Bayan from her woes.
(Kamalaysayan Media Service)
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