A Condensed Version of Renato Constantino’s Works on Nationalism Essay

NATIONALISM has been a word every citizen had heard non merely one time but a batch of times particularly for a History pupil like me but this clip no longer carry throughing a demand for an undergraduate grade but to a more fecund one the GRADUATE SCHOOL. Still the definition of Nationalism had non changed over the class of clip. it is still equated with the word PATRIOTISM or love for one’s state. The challenge to compose a paper on one of the innovators of PHILIPPINE NATIONALISM has been a powerful undertaking for the ground that the late RENATO CONSTANTINO’s theories is non an easy one to compose. He had been a patriot in bosom and spirit.

As one of my literature professors used to state. “YOU CAN CAPTURE THE HEART OF A PERSON BY SWEET WORDS UTTERED BUT NOT IN SPIRIT COZ THAT IS A Separate Kingdom THAT ONLY YOU. YOURSELF CAN SEE” ; with that lone RENATO CONSTANTINO can see the spirit apart from experiencing it excessively. For this paper. I will be diging on THREE plants of RENATO CONSTANTINO all compiled into one condensed booklet entitled “DISSENT AND COUNTERCONSCIOUSNESS” . I will be faced with the undertaking of analysing the said digest. giving penetrations and overviews and the much-awaited decision. As a former revolutionist. I was dogmatized with Karl Marx. Mao Tse Tung and Renato Constantino non because the latter was a left-of-center like me but more of a patriot in the truest sense of the word. To understand him and his plant. it would be a just trade to cognize something about this adult male.


He was born on March 10. 1919. He was the eldest among the three kids of Atty. Amador Constantino and Francisca Reyes. While in his pre-adolescent old ages. he had a expansive clip listening to the narratives of his maternal grandma about the maltreatments made by the Spanish mendicants. In one manner or another. he had developed an early consciousness of the predicament of his fellowmen. All throughout his school old ages. he was a merchandise of public schools ; Arellano High School and University of the Philippines.

He was the youngest editor-in-chief of the Philippine Collegian ( the school organ of UP ) . He was besides a star arguer and after supplying a critical attack to Manuel Luis Quezon’s address. Constantino became a fan of the great adult male. Quezon. He joined the Filipino military personnels in Bataan during the Nipponese government and fortunately was non captured since he went into concealment in Bulacan.

He was a professor in Far Eastern University ( FEU ) . Adamson University. Arellano University. University of the Philippines both in Manila and Diliman. He was besides a lector here and abroad since it has something to make with being an executive secretary to the Philippine Mission to United Nations from 1946 to 1949. He became an official journalist from 1945 to 1998 on Flushing Herald. Balita. Manila Bulletin. Manila Chronicle. Daily Globe and Malaya among others. He was besides a well-known historiographer and author. He was married to Letizia Roxas since 1946. They have two kids ; Renato Jr. and Karina who is married to the political observer Randy David.

He died on September 15. 1999. Renato Constantino’s life had been a sheltered one but his male parent. a attorney had taught him about independency. He did non screen Renato from the true worlds of life. the being of subjugation and development. At a immature age. he had the consciousness of being a patriot. of person who wants to elate the agonies of his fellowmen. Through his columns at several newspapers. his talks. his instructions and his plant he had reached his end and that is rousing the Filipinos and I am non afraid to acknowledge I was and still is one of his adherents.


This book is a digest of 3 booklets of Renato Constantino viz. : Beginning of the Myth. Fear without Understanding and A Leadership for Filipinos. It would non be a just trade if I go directly to the overview of this book without undertaking some of the booklets related to this book such as Nationalism and Liberation. Man-made Culture and Development and Identity and Consciousness. Nationalism as defined by Wikipedia “as a political political orientation that involves a strong designation of a group of persons with a political entity defined in national terms” and in Renato Constantino’s eyes patriotism has been described as an end-result of a deformed history of colonisation. In his booklet. Patriotism and Liberation. He traced the history of colonisation in the Philippines. From the clip that the two world powers of the Old World ; Spain and Portugal had spent money for patronizing expeditions to the find of the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan to the extension of Christianity to the indigens as a tool of imperialism.

Constantino had been seeking to rouse the consciousness of each one of us to what had been the truth all along. A deformed 1 as he competently described it. The Spanish colonisers had non merely captured our Black Marias but besides our liquors. they imbibed alterations largely negative values which are still built-in up to today’s coevals. We have been brain-washed with their thoughts and doctrines which in one manner or another had created diverseness among the Filipino people.

In this line. Constantino had compared us with other Southeast Asian states like Thailand and Indonesia to call a few ; the former had non experienced colonial regulation but the latter had been a different instance since it was under colonial regulation from the British to the Gallic yet Indonesia had opted to be independent amidst its diverseness. It had adopted political and economic independency through the consciousness among its people get downing with one linguistic communication which is Bahasa Indonesia. Thailand on the other manus been a monarchial regulation. blood and category count but still the people tried to derive independency and the category battle had been one large job to be solved but at present Thailand managed to be ousted from the list of THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES.

Through History. Constantino wants us. the Filipino people to larn the lessons from the yesteryear and that we can ne’er be ever dependent on a foreign settlement to last. We have to fight to be free from subjugation and development of foreign powers. He wants us to travel back to the grassroots ; to be autonomous in our ways. Economic independency is the end here and the key is non to depend on Multinational Corporations ( TNCs ) . The authorities should make plans which would profit more the Filipino people than the foreigners. We have to turn this state from an import-oriented to an export-oriented 1. For now. we can see it is still a far-fetched dream but who knows from the lessons learned from History the consciousness of being NEW FILIPINOS will take topographic point from now on.

Sing the booklet “Synthetic Culture and Development” . Renato Constantino had explored the ailments of neocolonialism. No society can be without a civilization. As Amilcar Cabral quoted “Culture is the dynamic synthesis. at the degree of single or community consciousness. of the stuff and religious historical world of a society or a human group with the dealingss bing between adult male and nature every bit good as among work forces and among societal categories and sectors”

But the civilization prevailing in our society had been described by Constantino as man-made which as defined agencies fake or unreal. The one put to fault here is the MASS MEDIA since it is the chief root of COMMUNICATION. Communication means to convey a message and we can non deny the fact that Media has been a powerful tool in opening the doors of communicating among the people. From the information known and unknown to people. we are on guard twenty-four hours by twenty-four hours with the alterations. The power of Neocolonialism plays a critical function in our holding a man-made civilization. We have been influenced by the foreign power. the United States most peculiarly. From our love and dependence to imported points. seeking employment and mounting the corporate ladder owned by the Transnational Corporations ( TNCs ) . being an immigrant in the land referred as the “LAND OF MILK AND HONEY” .

We have this western consciousness in each one of us and harmonizing to Constantino. if this would be the instance where is the Filipino consciousness? Filipino individuality? With this fact. as we analyze deeper. the Filipino people are strong propagators of colonial outlook. that we should talk. train. frock. experience like Westerners. In his booklet “THE WESTERNIZING FACTORS IN THE PHILIPPINES” . we are demoted to what he termed as PETTY BOURGEOISFICATION which means we are simply tradesmans. salesmen. professionals. authorities employees etc. in other words merely mass merchandises of a society. That being the CEOs and presidents will merely be far-fetched dreams. Our individuality has been tied or binded with Western influence and that the latter had used MEDIA to accomplish that end. An illustration would be we know more about Tom Cruise than Nora Aunor.

We opted to sponsor foreign films than local 1s. Equally shallow as these illustrations. it still signifies one thing. we are more identified. familiar and attached with western influences than our ain. And that is what Constantino had been depicting and detailing on the man-made civilization. He wants a People-Culture than a Man-made one and this can be achieved through: ( a ) preparation and development of comprehensive national communicating policies which should germinate from wide audiences with all sectors concerned ( B ) remotion of obstructions and limitations which derive from the concentration of media ownership. public or private from commercial influence on imperativeness and broadcast medium ( degree Celsius ) effectual legal steps to restrict the procedure of concentration and monopolisation ( vitamin D ) beef uping cultural individuality and creativeness through the constitution of national cultural policies such as traveling back to the grassroots civilization ( vitamin E ) development of indispensable elements of communicating ( degree Fahrenheit ) entree to proficient information and advanced communications engineering and ( g ) democratising media direction. Last. the booklet “Identity and Consciousness” . Renato Constantino had explored the “whys” there is an absence of consciousness among the Filipino people. He had traced the existent truth to two factors viz. Elitism and Ignorance.


Tracing back to our History lessons there had been the issue of category. of a separation of people in footings of wealth and power. From the pre-colonial times. the barangay signifier of authorities had been ruled by the datu and there had been a disparity between the datu and the alipin saguigilid. Then when the Spaniards came. they used the Filipino elite to work the resources. They had encouraged the elite to travel abroad to analyze with the likes of Jose Rizal and Marcelo del Pilar among others to organize a motion because up front they want to be free from the Spanish regulation but still inexorable to utilize radical agencies to stop the battle. Under the American Regime. the elite this clip under Aguinaldo. Quezon until Jose P. Laurel. they have been educated abroad but still imbibed with western consciousness. Under the neocolonial regulation. it is still the same ball game. our leaders have been educated and trained abroad but still the individuality remains the same. western development had been more attractive and where do we lend this error? This painful consequence?

To us. the Filipino people. We have non learned anything from History. Until now. we are still nescient. We are still unidentified and non witting of being Filipinos. It is like traveling to school without an Identification card ( ID ) we are still nameless. The western influence had built us to be this manner and they are wining. until now we are still under their rule-of-thumb even if we don’t have their military bases here in our district. still we are clearly more identified with them than by being a Filipino. Constantino had been clear on this subject.

Unless the consciousness develops. individuality will follow. But it is an semblance until now because we can see for ourselves that we need the United States to maintain our economic system traveling. that we are still woolgathering of going the 57th province of United States. It had been an built-in dream that we will be disbursement in US dollars and non in pesos. that we don’t have to travel to the US Embassy to acquire our visas and that the imported goods will be sold at more low-cost monetary values.

Unless there will be an economic revolution which could get down from traveling back to the grassroots. and that we will recognize that our state is an agricultural one more than an industrial zone. Until the clip that we will hold the consciousness that we are Filipinos with less dependence on Western influences. That will be the lone clip that our individuality as Filipinos will be established. That will besides be the clip that the spirit of Filipino patriotism has been embraced by each and everyone of us. Now in correlativity with the book DISSENT AND COUNTER-CONSCIOUSNESS. as I have mentioned earlier it is a digest of three booklets so it would be best to discourse the booklets foremost before mentioning an overview of the whole book.

1 ) Beginning OF THE MYTH

Here Constantino tried to discourse about the myth sing United States’ relationship with the Philippines. As we try to remember history. we have learned that United States at foremost has no involvement in the Philippines but when it started to hunger for a niche in the “SUPERPOWER” kingdom. it had realized that colonising Philippines is non a bad thought but more of a mark that US was ready to be a first category vanquisher therefore purchasing us from the Spanish swayers via Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in Hongkong. twas the mock conflict took topographic point. We were non cognizant of the fact that US has come non merely to suppress but to remain. it was merely subsequently after the Hares-Hawes Cutting Law took topographic point during the Commonwealth period that we had this instant realisation that United States was a female parent settlement and we are under their beck and call.

It was non the mistake of Manuel Quezon’s ignorance that pushed him to subscribe the Tydings-McDuffie jurisprudence since one of the premises at that place was to allow self-government after ten old ages. Adding to the fact. that there was the eruption of Second World War. and that Philippines was in the mopess economically talking. US was at that place to impart a manus through foreign assistance. The authorities had non been to the full cognizant of the motivations of the US authorities because of the value instilled by Spaniards within us. the proverbial utang-na-loob. We were now holding that thought that we owe them. That is where the myth came in ; harmonizing to Constantino. that world can non be separated from phantasy and that United States had been our knight in reflecting armour. So a particular bond or relationship had been formed.

The lone opponent side at that clip was the HUKBALAHAP motion headed by the late Luis Taruc and the US authorities had been wise plenty to do Ramon Magsaysay. a pure American male child and the CIA to perforate and command the HUKS. Every jurisprudence and pact from the Tydings-McDuffie jurisprudence up to the Bell Trade Act shows the control of the US over the Philippines for two intents as cited by Constantino ; he referred to it as the twin premises of the myth: a ) that there was no significant opposition to American regulation and B ) that the Filipinos were so incapable of self-government. There was opposition and the Filipinos were capable of self- authorities as proven by the barangay system during pre-colonial times. But US has a different program for Philippines and it has to be overall control which they did with all the pacts and the presence of the military bases and even the “utang-na-loob” inherent in us by doing Jose Rizal the national hero. the foreign assistance through IMF ( International Monetary Fund ) and WB ( World Bank ) . doing us a member-country of GATT ( General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade ) . ASEAN ( Association of Southeast Asian Nations ) and UN ( United Nations ) among others so that we will ship on an unfastened economic system following Adam Smith’s Free Enterprise but in the terminal if we look at everything in hindsight. it was more to US’ benefit than the Filipinos.

The United States was intelligent plenty to take advantage of our failing and that is after three hundred 30 three old ages of Spanish colonialism. we were deceasing to be independent and it was besides our Achilles’ heel to talk of since US was cognizant of this fact. therefore it had sent the best work forces like Dewey. Merritt. Taft among others to take the Philippines towards that “independence” averageness. With the aid of the Americanistas like Aguinaldo. Arellano. Quezon. Laurel even up to the present Noynoy Aquino. We can state that US is here to remain and I should non inquire if after the term of Noynoy Aquino there will be program to do Philippines the 57th province of the United States of America. It will non be a large surprise for all of us since as I have mentioned earlier. we are more attracted to Uncle Sam than Juan dela Cruz.

In the terminal of this booklet Constantino tried to discourse the imperativeness censoring during McKinley’s disposal where the BILL OF RIGHTS under the 1935 Constitution was non honored peculiarly freedom of imperativeness and look. The US had been wise plenty to enforce a civilian regulation instead than military regulation. It was excessively late for the Filipino authorities to recognize that we were under a military authorities than a civilian one when most of the military personnels sent in Vietnam were largely Filipinos and that we did non hold that inkling to pay war against Vietnam since it was US’ protagonism to indulge in wars to accomplish more power and to hold that steady topographic point in the world power kingdom.

When there was the violent death of Filipino military personnels in Vietnam. United States was cognizant that it will make a pandemonium within the Filipino authorities so the latter. wise as he is had groomed a immature senator named Ferdinand Marcos to run for presidential term in 1965 and finally won the Black Marias of the Filipinos as first because of his protagonism for the hapless. As they say. in history. it was excessively late to recognize that Marcos was non out to govern reasonably but to destruct the saving of patriotism which was easy turning in others since here and so he was a boytoy of the US authorities.


In this booklet. Constantino discussed about Jose Rizal as an American sponsored hero and the following dorsum of Rizal’s function in the history of the Philippines. Rizal was an illustrado. he was non from an destitute household so he had the chance to analyze and trained in different schools abroad. He was a mastermind. a doodly-squat of all trades. He was a erudite adult male. For many. he was the manner out for independency from Spanish regulation. In the long tally. the realisation dawned that he was an egoistic and narcisstic individual who did non give a darn about his fellowmen. He created the Propaganda Movement and La Liga Filipina non because he wanted to stop the Spanish colonisers through authorship and other peaceable agencies ( what we can termed now as ceasefire ) . He abhorred radical agencies because deep inside that learned adult male lies a COWARD.

In my undergraduate surveies about Rizal. I was given the opportunity to dissect and analyse Rizal’s letters to Ferdinand Blumentritt wholly in its original versions preserved by the National Historical Institute. There was one missive that cited Rizal’s existent ground why he did non travel with the program of Andres Bonifacio’s revolution. He belittled the latter for non holding the literacy and leading which Rizal had been known to possess. He was a 100 per centum sure that the revolution will neglect non merely because of deficiency of ammos and work forces but more of a hapless leading displayed by an ‘IGNORANT AND ILLITERATE FARMER” .

The response of Blumentritt was different and unexpected which made Rizal ferocious because Blumentritt cited state of affairss wherein a successful revolution headed by an ignorant and illiterate individual had succeeded and and illustration was the Gallic Revolution. Blumentritt was nonsubjective plenty to compose to Rizal that possibly the latter has this feeling on Bonifacio because Rizal was a coward and he merely can’t carry a gun and putting to death.

It was this ground that Rizal stopped pass oning with Blumentritt. because deep inside he knows he should be the one to be after and transport out the revolution and non person ignorant and nonreader like Bonifacio. In one manner or another. we knew that the Cry of Balintawak failed but it instilled something in us ; an shred of patriotism and pride that we want to be free from the Spanish regulation. that the impulse of independency is easy firing in our Black Marias. That is what Constantino referred here as “HEROISM” non because you died for the love of your state but moreof puting a “CONSCIOUSNESS THAT WE ARE MEANT TO BE FREE. Sad to state. it was non a uninterrupted procedure since there was non a courageous adult male like Bonifacio once more in the present times no affair how nescient and nonreader as he is to stand up for our independency. for our freedom. Until now we are still a neocolony of United States and nil alterations even if we are come ining 2012.


In this booklet. Constantino was brave plenty to picture the true leader for the Filipinos. It is a extremist authorship of the interior head of Constantino as he tried to look for that leader as he had described: “ person who is an entertainer. popular. intelligent. sublime and confident in its people” . He had an esteem for Andres Bonifacio because of his will to allow Philippines derive independency even if he was an nescient and illiterate husbandman. So with Claro M. Recto who happens to be a democrat by bosom. It was merely the incorrect bend of events which did non give any virtue or acknowledgment to a great solon like Recto since the latter was non a member of the elect party of Americanistas. “Recto is non a good talker. no. He will elicit no rabble. But heaven assist the one whose pretenses he chooses to pulverize.

His sentences march like ordered battalions against the innermost bastion of the man’s statements. and cut down them to rubble ; meanwhile his reserves stand like armed lookouts against the most soundless attack and every effort at blockade by the antagonist. The decrease to absurdness of Nacionalista senator Zulueta’s construct of sound foreign policy was a shattering experience. the accomplishment that goes into the film editing of a diamond went into the work of destruction. There was no faux pas of the manus. no defect in the tool. All was finely. absolutely done… Recto can non support the untenable. but what can be defended. he will see to it that it will non be taken. ”

This was quoted by Teodoro Locsin and Recto remained to be an inspiration to patriots like Renato Constantino. Lorenzo Tanada. Jovito Salonga among others.

Recto was able to assist in the casting of the consciousness of some Filipinos but he was non given the opportunity to model the bulk and it was brought by his licking in the presidential race where Sergio Osmena won who happened to be a true Americanista. Still his treason. nationalism. chauvinistic spirit lives on and I admire the individual for his being empyreal. He was a erudite adult male like Rizal but he ne’er was a coward. The demand to be free and independent from foreign colonisers had been a dream of his. It was merely a commiseration he was non given the opportunity to do it a world. As Constantino described a leader in the terminal page of this booklet. He cited “A people can non be great by the posturing of a leader nor by his well-rehearsed addresss but by their ain attempts.

They can be great non by going worthy of foreign investings but by purposeful work. They can be great non by trusting on outside assistance as the decisive factor of development. but by forfeit. by fighting and deriving assurance in themselves” . He farther added that a “true leader is non afraid to fight if it would be for the common good” . I for one agreed to that. we can still export OFWs for economic grounds but with the state they are in. non for a individual clip will they bury that they are FILIPINOS in both head and bosom.

After discoursing the three booklets included in the book DISSENT AND COUNTER-CONSCIOUSNESS. I have the room now to undertake the book and gave an overview about it. DISSENT in layman’s term means to travel against. You display an counter attitude if it is non what you believe in or must believe in. Corruption had been a tabu word of all time since Man had this dream to be FREE. This word ever coincide with terrorist act. ambuscades. mass meetings. salvages among others. strictly negative in every sense of the word.

As Constantino expresses in this book. “Man in life in a material universe and rule is a far thought” . In world that has been go oning. Filipinos are going more contented with material demands ; anything that money can purchase even paying the tribunal. corrupting the authorities bureaus so as non to be penalized. With that hungriness for material things. the answerability of authorities bureaus go far beyond the rule. Graft and Corruption had been a contagious disease. a new virus with no counterpoison. Man are easy going wanton and unprincipled because of the hankering for material things. It is a sad thing that because of this fact Man has been turning into a trade good. Person with a monetary value tagged on and possibly if an auction comes along he will be sold to the highest bidder. If we look at the state of affairs today. we are being sold to the highest bidder and that is the United States. It does non merely command us in economic and political facets but in all facets as good even religious.

We have been in their shell of SUPERPOWER REALM for so long and now we are happening it difficult to disintegrate or detach ourselves from them. We are now set up as a trade good in a free endeavor economic system. Our marbless and intelligence were in their benefit because we are working for them. The authorities whom we trust the most turns out the antonym. the 1 who betrayed us. Even before as a settlement and now as a neocolony. nil had changed we are still under them. The American will had become the Filipino will. We don’t have that individuality that we are Filipinos. Our consciousness as a Filipino is at the underside.

We desparately need the Americans to last and that is one malady that is incurable at this point. But Constantino is non giving up. Counter-Consciousness is his reply. It will non be an easy undertaking that is the ground why he used History to follow the root of the jobs. to unveil the consciousness of the Filipino people. to disperse the discontentedness of being without an individuality. With History. we turn back the clip. we learned from the past and most of all it will pave the manner on what we should make with our hereafter. It will non be an easy undertaking but it can be a world if there will be a leader ready to give himself for non being a trade good being sold to the highest bidder but that he will be of service to the common good.

Where is that leader? He is merely at that place patiently staying for his clip and I know deep inside that we can ne’er be the 57th province of the United States because even the latter has non been that complacent in its niche in the world power kingdom. It is now in the thick of economic recession and political turbulence. Am I right in stating that “what comes about goes around? ”

The reply is YES. it is clip for the United States to allow us that independency we have been hungering for so long. We deserved to be free and that is our chief end. our way. We may be working for them. we may be purchasing imported goods from them. we may be holding our money converted into dollars but nil alterations they are all material things that can decrease a twenty-four hours. a hebdomad. a twelvemonth from now but nil will alter the fact that I AM A FILIPINO AND I AM Proud TO BE A FILIPINO.

With my short stay at the mountains of Bataan during my college yearss. I know I am a insurgent and I am proud to be one. I no longer conceal the fact that I was a left-of-center during my college yearss and even at present I am in a capitalist society nil will change the fact that my consciousness has been in my bosom that I am for equality and justness.

Taking up LAW had non been an easy determination because it negates everything I learned in being a insurgent but I am non giving up because the LAW will non stay blindfolded everlastingly. finally it will tear up that cloth and will take justness as its destiny and I will merely be waiting at a corner staying for that clip to come.


This paper had occupied a particular topographic point in my bosom since I do non deny the fact that Constantino had been an icon to think with. He has been my inspiration in my calling way. most of all I learned to be proud of my being insurgent as He was. The book with all the several booklets attached to it has been Constantino’s manner of making out the Filipino people that we can non remain every bit nescient as the United States presumes. We are mounting out easy from the shell that had been an insecure oasis for so long as we try to give ourselves the opportunity to ship on a new life.

An independent life as everyone’s end is. A Life that we can express with pride that we are FILIPINOS. We are easy accomplishing this grade. bulk are now traveling back to the grassroots civilization. We may still be westernized in material goods but in line of thought we are going witting that we are Filipinos and that is how it must be.

Finally everyone will be cognizant of Juan dela Cruz than Uncle Sam particularly that Uncle Sam is crestfallen at this clip with all the turbulences he is now confronting I will non be surprised that his all cognizing smiling will turn into a awful smile. For my fellow Filipinos. we will stand with pride that we can now place ourselves as Filipinos and no longer Filipinos with US as our neocolonizer but Filipinos for Philippines entirely. Time will besides come that the realisation of being a revolutionist is non a ruthless act neither a negative trait but a breathe of fresh air to convey about a CHANGE. MABUHAY ANG MGA FILIPINO…