By Ed Aurelio C. Reyes

Kamalaysayan Writers and Speakers

(September, 1996)

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N THE COURSE of performing its self-assigned tasks in promoting and coordinating Sentenaryo 96, the people's commemoration of the centennial of the birth of our nation in the 1896 Revolution, KAMALAYSAYAN (Kampanya para sa Kamalayan sa Kasaysayan) undertook to initiate some "major/special projects" to add to the activities of the various non-government and people's organizations. 

Our activities were mostly commemorative in nature, and about the only continuing activity was the popularization of the Kartilya ng Katipunan.

Or so we thought.

Take the Sining Sentenaryo art festival at the UP Vargas Museum, for instance. It was originally designed to highlight the theme, history as inspiration and message of art by focusing in succession the various forms or "branches" of art, in discussion and in "pasilip"-scale presentations. What happened was that the discussions remained, in the words of participants, bitin! And many key persons who should have been present and in fact wanted so much to be present, couldn't make it for various reasons.

So, we said that on the basis of complete tape-recording, this series of discussions will have to be just the start of a longer-term and wider-scale consultation and consensus-building process. That was an appropriate afterthought, even brilliant if we could say so ourselves. But the implication was going beyond the originally-perceived parameters, expanding from being just the Sining Sentenaryo commemorative project to the longer perspective of the Kamalaysayan campaign itself, the enhancement of the sense of history of our people, especially, in this case, the practicing artists.

Activities among the youth, women and churchpersons experienced parallel transformations. Instead of the KAMALAYSAYAN networks involved being able to undertake and complete projects within the commemoration timeframe which ended last August 31, they started long-term undertakings in consultation and consensus-building.

What has been happening, really? KAMALAYSAYAN strained all efforts to realize a commensurate people's commemoration of the centennial of the Birth of the Nation, and half-consciously gave a boost to its broader goals as an organization, as a campaign network.

All these efforts, on the long term, contribute profoundly to the gargantuan challenge of nation-building, and KAMALAYSAYAN would be very much honored to play a role. After being born as a nation in the 1896 Revolution one hundred years ago, we have a good opportunity to unite our people and really start behaving as a nation, recognizing and asserting together our collective interests as a nation. Bansang Pilipinas, Mabuhay Ka! Mabuhay Ka bilang Bansa, sa Diwa ng Katipunan!

(Kamalaysayan Media Service)



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