By Ed Aurelio C. Reyes

Kamalaysayan Writers and Speakers

(February 1996)

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HIS WRITER, of late, has been very much involved with groups that are highlighting the spiritual thread running throughout the Life story (also called history) of our nation. In April last year, I had the honor to join in a multi-group celebration of the centennial of the Katipunan's First Cry for Independence inside the Pamitinan Caves in what is now Montalban/Rodriguez. I led in holding the short version of KAMALAYSAYAN's ceremony centered on the Kartilya ng Katipunan , and there were four other ceremonies held as offerings by other groups, and we all joined in all those ceremonies. (I wrote about this event in an earlier column, and the Sunday Inquirer Magazine ran a pictorial article on it after two months.)

Thus began a close relationship between KAMALAYSAYAN and a group called Mamamathala, which has been popularizing in the local governments network and within the moral recovery movement the concept of governance guided by God ( "pamamahala nang kasama ang Bathala" ). This has led to my involvement in a new organization called Dalitbayan, which seeks to help our people begin to understand and appreciate the history of our people both as a political struggle and as collective spiritual growth.

Later, I joined some of its founders in a day-long seminar of teachers in the Hagonoy Institute in Bulacan, to explain the profound relationship of spirituality and history. I also led in the Kartilya ceremony as I did at the Pamitinan cave.

Dalitbayan's Atty. Pablo Trillana III, who has since become an active member of the Kamalaysayan writers and speakers, told some 60 teachers that the meaning of the event at Pamitinan about 101 years ago has been lost on even the historians and history teachers, let alone the citizenry. He said Bonifacio's choice of place and timing was deliberate and spiritual. 

The place was the cave of the imprisoned Bernardo Carpio, who, according to ages-old legend, was purifying himself in preparing to lead the people to their redemption from oppression. The time chosen was Holy Week, focused on the purity and passion of the Christ which led to His resurrection and our redemption. Bonifacio had a profound message right there we don't realize it, Trillana said.

Actually, there have been so many events and incidents in our history which have been written about either oversimplistically, or else judged from the standards of Western academic historiography. That is not consistent with Filipino character. 

But that is what many of us have accepted as "modern" and "scientific." This tendency makes us join, perhaps unconsciously, in perpetrating a grand insult and injury to our identity and dignity, which started when the Spanish invaders started burning the physical artifacts of our rich and very spiritual, indigenous culture. 

This tendency has also made us join in the continued forging of our chains as an enslaved people, where the chains are attached not to our bodies but to our collective inner selves.

As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of our nation at the outbreak in August 1896 of the Philippine Revolution, let us ponder these thoughts, and involve our hearts in the process of reflection. This would give depth to the widescale participation of the people in the projects and activities of the KAMALAYSAYAN-coordinated SENTENARYO '96.

(Kamalaysayan Media Service)



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