August 12, 2014 | 4 Thoughts
The sad reality of my American education is that the history of the Philippines is not being included in the curriculum. In my high school U.S. textbook, the Philippine-American relations during pre/during/post WWII all got crammed into a tiny paragraph. Books and resources available in the U.S. in general fail to tell of America’s past relationship with the Philippines. It’s a story that isn’t being told, which was frustrating especially when I had to write a 5-6 page paper on a it.
I’ve been MIA from blogging the past few weeks because I’ve been taking opportunities to finally learn the history I never really learned. Sarah and I have been incredibly inspired by everything we’ve been learning. So in addition to our internships and Kaya, we’ve been working on developing a set of workshops for college students back home to spark dialogue on what it really means to be Filipino/ Filipino American. It’s been really exciting to room with/be friends with someone who has similar hopes and dreams as myself for our communities back home. But anyway, here’s a little bit about what I’ve been doing the past few weeks:
Carlos Celdran Tour
His tour was one of the highlights of my trip so far. At some point, I was brought to tears because of the horrible realities of the Manila Bay Bombing. I recall learning about that event briefly (perhaps in a movie?) but no history teacher of mine has ever elaborated on this major WWII event. The bombing of Pearl Harbor always overshadows it and well, it’s because history in the U.S. is being told from a U.S. perspective. I just find it surprising how much the U.S. elaborates on its mistakes in Vietnam but fails to do so when it comes to the atrocities that occurred in the Philippines as a result of America being heavily involved.
Lecture by Ambeth R. Ocampo on Apolinario Mabini
The Ayala Museum & Filipinas Heritage Library
It’s unfortunate that visiting museums isn’t as popular an activity as walking around malls here. The Ayala Museum is so rich with history and culture but the locals just aren’t as interested. I want to spend hours…days in that building to just learn it all.
Our tour guide actually gave us all an additional free day pass to use during our remainder time here since we rushed through the exhibits. So I plan to come sometime again in the next few weeks.
Speaking of the next few weeks, my summer in the Philippines is quickly drawing to a close! The Kaya fellowship officially ends August 23 (next Friday) although some of the fellows are already starting to make their way home. I’ll be staying two extra weeks in the Philippines, during which my parents will be around a majority of the time. They’re flying over for my birthday and to visit family. Since my internship will be drawing to a close soon, I figure I can use some time to just experience the Philippines rather than balance work and play.
More blogs to come soon! I’m working on catching up on some of the past month’s highlights.Categories: Personal, Filipino, Reflections, Philippines 2014, Summer 2014, Kaya Collaborative, Travel
Tags: Aguinaldo, Ambeth R. Ocampo, Ayala Foundation, Ayala Museum, Carlos Celdran, Filipinas Heritage Library, Filipino, Filipino American Identity, History, Intramuros, Kaya Fellowship, Mabini, Philippines, United States