Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A new look at history

When an organization has, as its founders, freemasons; had initiation ceremonies that were copied from masonic rites; and had degrees of membership similar to that of freemasonry... Shouldn't you just call it a newly organized masonic lodge?

But I wouldn't expect any Filipino teacher calling the Katipunan just that.

I dunno how accurate this wiki entry is, but this should definitely prompt one to revisit and review history apart from the crafted propaganda of those days. Conspiracies against the Church is evidently real if you use the Katipunan as basis. It should be apparent that Masonic machinations against the Church isn't just the fantasy of old clerics.

Anyway, I subscribe to the idea that much of the "history" about the Philippines in the late 19th and early 20th century were fabrications, distortions and propaganda. Much of the conventional history taught in Filipino schools, including Catholic ones I think, treats the Spanish occupation of the Philippines as one of the darkest period of the country. Various evils and atrocities like slavery, widespread discrimination, corruption, clerical abuse, land-grabbing, etc are painted as the norm of those days. The common "history" would lead us to think that the lasting legacy of Spain in the Philippines is limited alone to the Catholic Religion and various bad habits we've acquired from our white colonial masters. And then came our saviors in the likes of Jose Rizal, the Propagandists and the Katipuneros who freed the Filipinos from the clutches of the evil white men in frocks [frailocracy].

Or was it? Knowing some of the goings-on in the world of PR, I've come to realize that this conventional history has the odor of propaganda all over, like the ones that take place in the media on a daily basis. Free media? Yeah right.

Like many of my peers, I was fed the conventional history during my primary and secondary education. Only in college, did I develop a skepticism of history as preached commonly in classrooms these days.

Three things nurtured this skepticism: my college history professor who debunked many myths about Spanish colonial times; Ambeth Ocampo's Rizal without the Overcoat; and a book, whose title I cannot recall at the moment, which recounts the work of Jesuit Fr. Matteo Ricci in China and the controversies surrounding it and the subsequent tensions between the Jesuits and Dominicans which was caused by his work.

Currently, without going into detail, I believe that the 1896 Revolution of the Katipunan was a manifestation of a larger, international movement that inspired the various uprisings in the many Spanish colonies in the late 19th century until the Spanish Civil War in the 1930's, and that it was further inflamed by the religious tensions, including that between the liberal Jesuits and the conservatively corrupt Dominicans and of course the Freemasons, and brewed further by economic and political changes in the world in those days.

Finally got that off my chest.


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