The Crucible of Empire

The Crucible of Empire

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Read the introduction document carefully and answer all questions from the document in the essay. Also,I provide rubric. Please read that and make sure follow every point. Last but not the least, Please make this essay with introduction that have a clear thesis statement, body paragraphs that with topic sentence in every body paragraphs and a well organized conclusion.

The Star Entangled Banner: Commemorating 100 Years of Philippine (In)dependence and Philippine-American Relations

“Thy friendship oft has made my heart to ache.
Do be my enemy–for friendship’s sake.”
(Adrian Cristobal, “Phil-Am Friendship Day?” June 27, 1996) 2

Commemorating the Philippine Centennial(s)

IMAGE LINK= IMAGE LINK= IMAGE LINK= IMAGE LINK= IMAGE LINK= IMAGE LINK= IMAGE LINK= IMAGE LINK= IMAGE LINK= The summer of 1996 was a period of intense historical and historiographical controversy in the Philippines. The Philippines commemorates two national centennials, the first of which occured in August 1996–the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Philippine revolution against Spain. 3 The second centennial, seen by many as “the” centennial or “the major” centennial, occurred on June 12, 1998–the 100th anniversary of the Philippine Declaration of Independence, declared in 1898 by Emilio Aguinaldo in defiance of America’s claim of possession following the Spanish-American War. 4 Ironically, the centennial commemoration of 1996 focused much greater attention on the two non-centennial historical events, both of which pertained to the relationship [End Page 211] between the Philippines and the United States: the 50th anniversary of the United States’ formal grant of independence to its former colony on July 4, 1946, and the 98th anniversary of June 12, 1898.

The efforts to fix the date of the “real” centennial of Philippine independence and the seemingly disproportionate attention paid to the “wrong” dates is revealing about both the historical relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines, and the process of making history. The ubiquity of the U.S. in a centennial year of ostensibly dealing with Philippines’ colonial relations to Spain as well as the highly ambivalent attitudes of Filipinos toward the U.S. demonstrate that the vexed relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines continues today, and that the reality of continued economic dependence shades any attempt to understand the historical roots of that relationship. The pressure that the present exerts on the past emerges from the arguments over which dates mark the most meaningful anniversary, which dates constitute the “real” history. In the struggle over whether to commemorate liberation from Spain (1896), an unsuccessful claim of independence from the U.S. (1898), or the granting of independence by the United States (1946) we see the process of historical construction taking place. The palpable tensions between competing ideologies throw into relief the always contested and always entangled process of creating a meaningful and “useful” past.

Despite fifty years of putative independence, the U.S. continues to exert a dominating influence on the Philippines. The diversion of centennial attention away from Spanish post-colonialism to American neo-colonialism eclipsed the centennial of 1996, transforming it into a “prequel” for 1998. The Philippine Centennial Commission supposedly solved this conundrum by designating the Philippine Centennial as a five-year event, with highlights in 1996 and 1998; but the Commission subsequently undermined its own attempt at nationalist diplomacy by noting (only) the dates “1898-1998” on its official logo. 5 Thus the 1896 Philippine revolution against Spain–predating America’s involvement in the Philippines–was overshadowed by attention to America’s arrival in the Philippines in 1898 (the year not only of the Philippine Declaration of Independence but also the year of the beginning of the Philippine-American [End Page 212] War) as well as America’s putative departure from the Philippines in 1946. The nationalist historiographical preemption of the 1996 Centennial, enacted in the Philippines largely by Filipinos, ironically mirrors the American preemption of the Philippine revolution ninety-eight years ago. The nationalist historiographical preemption of the 1996 Centennial represents a national response to a collective history that largely has been effaced not only within the U.S., but within the Philippines as well.

Because of the American preemption of the Philippine revolution, the nationalist calendar in the Philippines is decidedly problematic. Energetic debates continue over the most appropriate date for Philippine Independence: June 12, 1898 or July 4, 1946? Others advocate sometime in [End Page 213] August, to commemorate the beginning of the Philippine revolution against Spain iconized by Andres Bonifacio and the revolutionary Katipunan’s “Cry of Balintawak,” 6 but because of the historiographical controversies surrounding the “Cry of Balintawak,” that too is problematic because there is considerable debate about both its date and location. 7 Each independence date presents its own historiographical/ideological problems. For obvious reasons, nationalists refuse to accept the “granting” of Filipino independence by the U.S. on July 4, 1946. Aguinaldo’s Declaration of Independence on June 12, 1898 was invalidated when Filipinos lost the Philippine-American War.

The upstaging of the August 1996 centennial arose from the continuing antinomies of Philippine-American relations. The fact that the U.S. has been and continues to be the largest source of foreign investment in the Philippines and the fact that the Philippines is also one of the largest recipients of USAID (United States Aid for International Development) both problematize Philippine independence. Those two facts encapsulate the U.S. continuing domination of Philippine economic and political (especially foreign) policy, a domination so pronounced it makes the concept of Philippine “independence” itself a contentious issue.

This paper will analyze the cultural, political, and nationalist debates of the summer of 1996 to examine the consequence of ongoing U.S. dominance of Philippine politics and economics long after formal “independence.” [End Page 214] [Begin Page 216] Through an analysis of the nationalist, diplomatic, and academic discourses articulated through various public venues–including front-page newspaper reports as well as opinion section debates, the symposium on “50 Years of Philippine-American Relations” hosted by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, the state-sponsored July 4 celebration of “Philippine-American Friendship Day,” speeches by both then-American ambassador to the Philippines John D. Negroponte and Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos–I hope to elucidate the continuing contradictions and conundrums of Philippine (in)dependence manifested in the July 4, 1996 commemorations. Ultimately, the Philippines and the U.S. are enmeshed in a post-colonial entanglement in which both countries skirt political realities they are deeply unwilling to acknowledge: that the U.S. still enjoys the economic and cultural privileges of neo-colonial domination, and that the Philippine Republic, despite vociferously anti-American nationalism, continues to be culturally and economically subordinate to American interests. So both countries continue diplomatic relations locked in a multifaceted but covert danse colonial.

July 4, 1996: Commemorating Philippine (In)Dependence

Despite fifty years of formal Philippine independence, the U.S. continues to be a dominant influence on Filipino politics and the Philippine economy. Discussing the impact of the U.S. on the Philippines, Renato Constantino, perhaps the leading contemporary Philippine nationalist historian, stated, “The United States is the biggest reality in our lives.” 8 The continuing American impact on Philippine politics is so great that it forms the basis for the two major–and conflicting–schools of Philippine nationalism. Bourgeois Philippine nationalists are pro-American, arguing that American business interests and economic aid are crucial to Philippine economic, and therefore political, development. Anti-American nationalists, on the other hand, argue that, rather than assisting Philippine economic and political development, the U.S. in reality maintains the Philippines as a neo-colony. The continuing dichotomy between those two nationalist camps was played out dramatically in the Centennial celebrations of 1996/1998. [End Page 216]

Because 1996 marked the Centennial of the Philippine revolution against Spain, it would seem to afford the rare opportunity for a nationalist celebration free of the persistent conundrum of Philippine-American relations. Yet the 50th anniversary of formal independence form the U.S. overshadowed the 100th anniversary of the Philippine revolution against Spain. That fact demonstrated the inescapable pervasiveness of the American influence on Philippine politics. The 50th anniversary of “Philippine-American Friendship Day,” as the Fourth of July is now known, became a lightning rod for both pro- and anti-American Philippine nationalisms. Anti-American nationalists identify with June 12, 1898, while pro-American nationalists identify with July 4, 1946.

On July 4, 1946, in his inaugural address marking the formal independence ceremony, Manuel Roxas, first President of the new Philippine Republic, declared: “Our safest course and I believe it true for the rest of the world as well, is in the glistening wake of America whose sure advance with mighty prow breaks for smaller craft the waves of fear” (emphasis in original). 9 Roxas provides a paradigmatic example of pro-American Filipino nationalism. Roxas was vehement in his support of American political and economic interests as necessary to the economic development of the nascent Republic. Roxas made parity rights (allowing Americans the same rights as Filipinos to develop natural resources in the Philippines) a priority in the first year of his administration. In March 1947, “Roxas and his men went to the people to explain the ‘blessings’ of American exploitation of the natural resources of the country and painted a dream picture of wealth, contentment, peace, and prosperity,” according to historian Teodoro A. Agoncillo. 10 Parity rights for Americans necessitated an amendment in the Philippine Consititution–surely a problematic beginning for a newly independent country! Even with the inauguration of an “independent” republic, the Philippines forfeited some of its sovereignty for the benefit of its former colonial master.

For Renato Constantino, Filipino nationalism is inseparable from anti-Americanism: “Filipino nationalism, assertive Filipinism . . . cannot but be anti-American,” he declared. 11 In 1969, Constantino wrote:

Twenty-three years after independence, why are we still concerned with national awareness, why are we still unsure of our Filipinism? [End Page 217] Why is there still a need for a nationalist movement? The answer lies in the fate that overtook our anti-colonial struggle. . . . American colonization[‘s] . . . facade of benevolence and altruism and, above all, the systematic miseducation it subjected us to, finally blurred its identity as an enemy. . . . Nationalism is above all anti-imperialism. . . . [T]he real Filipino [is] the decolonized Filipino. 12
Yet while one vocal strand of Philippine nationalism continues to denounce the U.S. impact, evidence of American dominance of Philippine politics, culture, and economics remains inescapable. 13 The two opposing arms of Philippine nationalism reflect a fundamental ambivalence on the part of the Philippine state: while patriotic nationalism requires the appearance of political and economic independence from the U.S., American investment and foregn aid are irresistible.

At a symposium, “50 Years of Philippine-American Relations,” hosted by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs on July 3, 1996 in honor of the 50th anniversary of Philippine-American Friendship Day, Alex Magno of the University of the Philippines, Diliman gave a cogent overview of Filipino ambivalence towards American dominance in Philippine politics, culture, and education. “The Philippine-American entanglement, now nearly a century old,” stated Magno,

has always been problematic. It has always been a relationship constantly trapped in the cross-currents of each nation’s concept of its destiny and each people’s understanding of their fate. . . . Anti-Americanism was a staple of every movement of rage that rose to haunt the Philippine Republic. It was always more convenient to blame foreigners tha[n to] do adept analysis of what was wrong in the way Filipinos conducted their lives. . . . 14
On one hand, Magno stated, “it became standard for all aspiring Filipino political leaders of whatever ideological stripe to blame America for all our miseries,” but on the other hand, Filipinos “became a clinging-vine partner in the [Filipino-American] relationship.” 15

The love-hate dynamic of Philippine-American relations is fueled by the continuing neo-colonial economic and diplomatic relationship between the two countries. While the last major crescendo of Philippine nationalism emerged in opposition to the proposed renewal of the U.S. leases on the Subic Bay and Clark military installations, Subic Bay is now [End Page 218] being promoted as a site for the economic development that will replace American neo-colonial military occupation with “true” Philippine nationalism (in the form of multinational corporatism). Designated as a “Special Economic Development Zone,” Subic Bay is now vigorously courting foreign investment.

On July 5, 1996, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) ran a full, double-paged advertisement in the Philippine Daily Inquirer to promote the former military base as a magnet for international capital. 16 Although the advertisement implies that economic development will confer economic–and therefore political–self-sufficiency, it simply recapitulates the Philippines’ neo-colonial dependence on foreign economic support and gives a cogent example of (pro-American) Philippine bourgeois nationalism, which posits Filipino independence as dependent on the fluctuating presence of multinational (especially U.S.) investment.

In the center of the advertisement, a large inset box appeals to Philippine-American Friendship Day with the headline, “Celebrate Fifty Years of Liberation in the Only Place That Knows How,” over a colorful picture of the Philippine national flag and SBMA flag (which is made up of the same colors as the Philippine flag: blue, red, white, and gold). The flags are set against a night sky, in which fireworks are bursting in a July 4 celebration more appropriate to America than the Philippines. (Filipinos set off fireworks to celebrate the New Year, not July 4.) The flag-and-fireworks inset lies below a narrative section touting the SBMA as a bastion of Philippine self-sufficiency (albeit underwritten by foreign capitalism). Although the departure of the U.S. military decimated the local economy, leaving nearby Olongapo residents “jobless–but not hopeless,” the SBMA advertisement explains that with foreign capital from around the world (including France’s Thomson telephone company, Malaysia’s Metroflex hotel company, Taiwan’s Acer computer corporation, and America’s Federal Express, which has made Subic Bay its Asia hub) Filipinos, as represented by Olongapeños, can “enable and ennoble themselves” by showing “that success and progress are the fruits of hard work, patience, determination and cooperation.” SBMA chairman Richard Gordon emphasized the economic development of Subic as a vehicle for manifesting Filipino nationalism. “A stronger sense of [End Page 219] nationhood is [Gordon’s] dream for the Filipino,” the advertisement reads. “We are Filipinos first. We should stop calling ourselves by our regional origins, [Gordon] insists. Mr. Gordon feels that the Filipino must see himself as a global citizen and Subic Bay [as] a showcase of the Filipino’s brilliance and capability.” And that Filipino capability rests on self-reliance. “Chairman Gordon believes that self-reliance is the key to progress. ‘Never rely on handouts,’ he says, ‘we’re not beggars.'” The irony, of course, is that this aura of nationalistic pride, self-reliance, and capability cannot be realized without foreign capital and the tourist trade (the advertisement also promotes Subic as the “new Tourist Heaven,” “A Land of Beauty and Promise” where one can “Dance and Sing to the Music of Freedom”). The headline, “Celebrate Fifty Years of Liberation in the Only Place that Knows How,” underscores Filipino reliance on American (this time economic, rather than political) “Liberation.”

While the Subic Bay advertisement promotes a putative Filipino economic “independence,” the Philippines’ continuing dependence on American economic aid formed a counterpoint in the nationalistic public discourse surrounding the 1996 July Fourth celebrations. The Philippines’ dependence on foreign largesse was particularly noticeable at this time because the General Santos Airport in Mindanao had just been completed using USAID funds. In a 1993 meeting to discuss APEC (Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation) and Manila’s hosting of the APEC summit in 1996, Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos told American President Bill Clinton that “it was [Ramos’] intention to concentrate on ‘trade not aid’ with the United States.” 17 Ramos repeated this statement in his July 3, 1996 speech at a Malacañang Palace celebration of the July 4 festivities. That Ramos should need to make this statement during the commemoration of America’s “liberation” of the Philippines–at the same time that the Philippines was celebrating another major development completed through U.S. economic aid–underscores the profound ambivalences and ironies that pervade the term “independence” and the celebration of this elusive quality in the contemporary Philippines.

That incongruence can be seen clearly in President Ramos’ celebratory July 3 speech entitled “Our Common Future in the Asia-Pacific.” [End Page 220] Ramos’ address emphasized not only that “American investors have consistently been the largest group of investors in the Philippines since the turn of the century,” but also that “American security and development assistance has contributed in no small measure to our efforts to alleviate poverty and empower ordinary Filipinos with better job opportunities and higher family incomes.” Ramos also noted with approbation that “Mobil Oil . . . set up offices in Manila way back in 1898”–during the first year of the Philippine-American War. 18 That Ramos would approve that version of history is anathema to the anti-American nationalists, who see nothing celebratory in a century of American battening on the Philippines. When the U.S. gave the Philippines its formal grant of independence in 1946, Mobil Oil had already secured its place in line, taking advantage of the “parity rights” reserved for American businesses. Mobil’s canny establishment of its Manila office reveals the indivisible connection between American economic imperialism and the forcible acquisition of the Philippines.

“Philippine-American Friendship Day?”

The appropriate official date on which celebrate Philippine “independence” reveals the shifting status of Philippine-American relations. Up to the 1960s, the official Philippine Independence Day was July 4. Then-President Diosdado Macapagal changed the official Independence Day from July 4 to June 12, in commemoration of the Declaration of Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898. July 4 was then retained as “Philippine-American Friendship Day.” 19 The Fourth of July is normally a “working holiday,” but in 1996, just two weeks before July 4, “President Ramos surprised the nation by declaring Fil[ipino]-Am[erican] Day as a non-working public holiday, at least for this year alone,” reported the Manila Chronicle. 20

Ramos’ sudden move to make July 4 a non-working holiday aroused a great deal of controversy. An editorial in the July 4 Manila Chronicle noted that, “The celebration promises to be simple and subdued, perhaps because the Ramos administration is aware of the controversial nature of his declaration.” 21 However, neither the July 4 commemoration [End Page 221] nor the editorials that accompanied it were simple or subdued. In his editorial on “American ‘Friendship’ Day,” Herman Tiu Laurel was acerbic in his reaction to the revival of “Fil-Am Day”–explicitly stating, “I will not yet use the term friendship” (emphasis in original). 22 “The revival of the celebration” of Fil-Am day, Laurel wrote, “particularly by making it an official holiday, diverts from the truth [about Philippine-American relations] and more urgent tasks in the evolution of a stronger nation. . . . [T]he history of the [Philippine-American] relationship speaks more of condescension and exploitation” than friendship. 23 A letter from Corcina Canceran, O.P., and Rose Yaya, O.P., to the editors of the Manila Times was printed in the July 4, 1996 opinion section under the ironic title, “We the People”:

Today, we don’t have classes because July 4 has been declared an official holiday. It is RP [Republic of the Philippines]-US Friendship day!
But what is there to celebrate? In the first place, was [sic] there friendly relations between the Philippines and the United States? Wasn’t the relationship one of colonial dependency?
Let us deconstruct this [sic] so-called friendly ties. . . . 24
In his editorial for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Adrian Cristobal noted the post-colonial irony inherent in the assemetry of Fourth of July celebrations in the U.S. and Philippines:

As Americans celebrate their day of independence, will they also find it significant that it is also the Friendship Day for our two nations? It’s questionable that our American friends will be toasting Philippine-American Friendship Day as they watch the fireworks of July 4.
So if our Friendship Day practically means next to nothing to Americans–it’s after all the triumph of their revolution against the British Empire–what can it possibly mean to us? 25
Instead of “friendship,” Cristobal asserted, the Philippines’ continuing neo-colonial relationship with the U.S. was what was really being celebrated: “It’s [the ‘special relationship’] that our leaders want to preserve on the centennial of our Revolution and the eve of our national day. The bitter taste of that relationship is not salved by the slogan of ‘equal partnership’.” 26 [End Page 222]

In his statement on the meaning of July 4 and why the Filipino people should celebrate it, Ramos glorified the lofty ideals Filipinos and Americans shared: “When we celebrate PAFD [Philippine-American Friendship Day], we honor once more the heroism and vision of Filipino leaders who fought to build an independent nation based on the universal ideals of representative democracy, their rule of law, and respect for human rights.” 27 But Ramos’ rhetoric was undercut in a statement made by then-American ambassador to the Philippines John Negroponte. “The 50th Anniversary of ‘Philippine-American Friendship Day’ provides the perfect opportunity for us to reflect on nearly a century of shared history and friendship between Filipinos and Americans,” said Negroponte, whose use of the telling political phrase, “unique relationship,” supports Laurel and Cristobal’s anti-Americanist analyses, because “unique relationship” or “special relationship” have been traditional euphemisms for the U.S.’ (post)colonial relationship with the Philippines. 28 Negroponte’s praise of the “unique relationship” is couched in terms that unconsciously reveal the continuing power of the colonial relationship; his reference to “nearly a century” of U.S.-Philippine history refers to 1898, not 1946.

“An Independent Republic Like Our Own”: Re-Enacting the July 4, 1946 Independence Ceremony

The fiftieth anniversary of “Philippine-American Friendship Day” was commemorated by a reenactment of the July 4, 1946 independence ceremony held at the Luneta. 29 Actors played the various significant roles in the “Turn-Over Ceremony.” Army Major General Joseph DeFrancisco read the speech of General Douglas MacArthur. Benjamin Cayetano, a Filipino American and governor of Hawai’i, read the speech of U.S. Senator Millard Tydings (of the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which set the date for Philippine independence). The speech of President Manuel L. Roxas was read by his grandson, Manuel A. Roxas, a Philippine Congressman. U.S. ambassador John Negroponte read the part of U.S. High [Colonial] Commissioner to the Philippines, Paul V. McNutt, who read Harry S. Truman’s independence decree on July 4, 1946: [End Page 223]

I [McNutt] am authorized and directed by the President of the United States to proclaim the independence of the Philippines as a separate and self-governing nation.
Seldom in the history of the world has one nation proclaimed the independence of another. . . .
Yet, it cannot be said that this independence was earned by the Filipino people without struggle or strife: The people of the Philippines have striven well, have fought courageously, and have sought tirelessly their national freeedom. By petition and persuasion the Filipino people have pursued their independence, even while the American Flag was being firmly planted here. The people of these Islands have shown by words and deed their deep desire for national sovereignty. That desire was understood and appreciated by the American people . . . and the American Congress, which had already, in 1916, pledged freedom to the Philippines, [and] set a definite date, July 4, 1946, for that unprecedented grant of sovereignty.
This is the result. Today is the climax of that gathering of hopes and aspirations and convictions. In a few moments this will be an independent republic, like our very own, conceived in liberty, with a government like our own, of the people, by the people and for the people.
We have taken the unparalleled action of transferring sovereignty over this land to the Philippine Republic because we recognize the inalienable right of all peoples to be the masters of their own fate. . . .
This is the first democratic Republic of western mold to be established in the Orient. 30
Truman was careful to present the Philippines as a mirror image of the U.S.–“like our very own.” Truman alludes to Filipinos’ “hav[ing] sriven well, [and]. . . .fought courageously,” but failed to mention that those Filipinos had fought courageously fought against America. Filipino insurgency is elided in favor of the more pacific “petition and persuasion,” and the Philippine-American War is glossed over with the euphemism of the “firm plant[ing] of the American flag.” Truman also occluded any reference to Emilio Aguinaldo, leader of the Filipino “insurrectos” who “fought courageously” during the American flag’s firm planting.

Although aging veterans of the Philippine-American War, wearing the rayadillo that was their uniform during the revolution, were present at the July 4, 1946 celebration, Aguinaldo was not included in the independence ceremony. The Philippine Declaration of Independence is traditionally [End Page 224] iconized by the image of Aguinaldo’s waving of the Philippine flag from the balcony of his house at Cavite, just after he proclaimed the Declaration of Independence on June 12, 1898 (see the illustration of the 5-peso bill). In spite–or perhaps because–of Aguinaldo’s centrality to the iconography of Philippine independence, he was conspicuously absent at the July 4 ceremony. It was Aguinaldo who in 1898 had studied America’s revolutionary foundations to interrogate America’s intention in aiding Filipino revolutionaries. Aguinaldo questioned the U.S.’ intention to establish in the Philippines “an independent republic . . . conceived in liberty, with a government like our own, of the people, by the people and for the people,” but was manipulated by American officials who were determined that the Philippines would not be “a separate and self-governing nation.” Aguinaldo gambled the Philippines’ sovereignty on his faith in America’s anti-colonial foundation–and lost.

Fifty years later, in his carefully worded July 4 statement, Harry Truman was chary to preserve the superiority of the American democratic original over the Oriental copy–the Philippines was “the first democratic Republic of western mold (emphasis added) to be established in the Orient.” This point was emphasized on the cover of the official program of the 1946 independence ceremony, which was reproduced for the 1996 commemoration. On the 1946 program cover, the Statue of Liberty figures prominently, vertically centered on the right side of the cover. Filipinas, the feminine nationalistic icon who is Columbia’s counterpart, is roughly one-half the size of the Statue of Liberty. While the Statue of Liberty is clearly foregrounded, Filipinas is in the background. Positioned in the lower left corner of the cover, Filipinas is dwarfed by the Statue of Liberty. Moreover, where the Statue of Liberty triumphantly and assertively lifts her lamp beside the golden door, Filipinas is portrayed as an uncertain figure. While Liberty’s muscular upraised arm and angular face give her a strong, sturdy air, Filipinas’ diminutive feminity is emphasized in her rounded face and the faintly defensive air with which she clutches the Philippine flag to her body. The subtly upward angle of Liberty’s portrayal draws the viewer’s eye upward; the angle of the folds of her drapery and the proportion of the bottom of the figure (knees to feet) to the top of the figure (her face) visually position the [End Page 225] viewer as being slightly below the Statue of Liberty. This is the view one might have of her when looking up from the ground. While the graininess of the program cover’s illustration somewhat blurs the details of Filipinas’ face, she too appears to be literally looking up to Liberty. Although the ceremony recognized the occasion of Philippine independence, [End Page 226] the visual imagery of the program cover emphasized American primacy and implicitly forecast continuing Philippine dependence on American might and the light provided by Liberty’s torch.

The flag Filipinas holds makes her blend into the procession of flags she heads, foremost of which is the American flag (which is as big as she is!). While the Statue of Libertly proudly stands alone, Filipinas appears to be heading a parade of nations. The imagery is ambiguous, but clearly while the American female nationalist icon stands alone and continues to light the way for the world’s tired, poor, and provinical peoples, the Filipino female nationalist icon is but one of many–for this moment at the head of the parade, but perhaps soon to fall in with the endless line of other flags, to dwindle into obscurity in the background. Thus the cover illustration of the independence ceremony program, like the text of Truman’s speech, presents Philippine “independence” as an ambivalent legacy by focusing not on Philippine sovereignty, but on neo-colonial subordination to the former colonial master.

The Star Entangled Banner

The reproduction of the 1946 Filipinas/Statue of Liberty illustration served as a cover for the 1996 program. On the other side of the 1996 program was a picture of the Philippine and American flags, taken at the 1946 ceremony. 31 The so-called “flag ceremony” has been conventionalized as the icon for the granting of Philippine independence; the ceremonial lowering of the American flag denoted the decline of American rule, while the raising of the Philippine flag denoted the ascendancy of Philippine sovereignty. At the July 4 re-enactment, however, the symbolism of the two flags memorialized in the 1946 photo was spontaneously and aptly reconstituted. Following the rereading of the decree of formal independence in a ceremony accented by parades of schoolchildren and confetti dropped by helicopter, the national anthem was played as the American flag was ceremonially lowered and the Philippine flag was simultaneously raised. At approximately the half-way point, however, the flag-ropes snagged and the two flags became entangled, jerking as the actors below tugged in an effort to bring the ropes in [End Page 227] line. After several seconds of the half-sympathetic, half-anticipatory silence with which audiences greet an obvious glitch in a live performance, the people in the crowd, who had been sweltering under the [End Page 228] bright, hot morning sun, began to comment on the aptness of the symbolism being played out before them while fanning themselves vigorously with the commemorative fans given out earlier that morning in which, ironically, the Philippine and American flags were blended in a kind of yin-yang symbol of friendship.

The flags were eventually untangled, but few had missed the symbolism of the snarled flags. In the picture taken at the original Independence Day ceremony the American and Philippine flags are shown approximately at mid-point; the Philippine flag, while slightly ascendant, nonetheless appeared slightly smaller than the Stars and Stripes below it. At the 1996 commemoration, the flags snarled at roughly the same point: the Philippine flag appeared to be struggling for ascendancy, while the American flag, draped slightly above it, appeared to be reluctant to yield. The Manila Times captured the moment for its front page the next day. The headline, reading “Flags get entangled, a mirror of [End Page 229] love-hate ties?” was accompanied by a picture of the flag ceremony under which appeared the caption, “Star-Entangled Banner. Uncannily reflecting Philippine-US relations, the flags of both countries fly separately but nevertheless get in a bind in yesterday’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of Philippine independence from American colonial rule.”

Journalistic representations of the ceremonial blooper varied. However, one interesting commonality was the recurrence of the verb “refuse” to describe the American flag’s position in the entanglement. The “Tale of Two Snagged Flags at July 4 Rites” for the Manila Chronicle did not show the two flags entangled, despite the article’s title, and printed a photo of the Phillipine flag ascendant over the Stars and Stripes, yet accompanied the photo with the following caption: “The US flag refused to come down from its mast in yesterday’s first official celebration of Filipino-American Friendship Day, sending people [in]to laughter in an otherwise solemn re-enactment of the granting of Philippine Independence on July 4, 1946.” 32 (Manila) Today ran a front-page picture of the July 4 ceremony with a caption reading, “. . .At left, the American flag, which was supposed to go down, gets entangled with the Philippine flag and ‘refuses’ to budge.” 33 The Philippine Daily Star ran an article entitled “The Star-Entangled Banner” with the comment, “yesterday’s symbolism was hard to avoid–as the US flag was lowered, it wrapped itself around the ascending RP flag and refused to let go.” The reporter noted, “The otherwise solemn reenactment thus took a comical turn, displaying an unintended symbolism. . . : the transition to independence has not been easy for the Philippines.” 34

In every journalistic treatment of the ceremonial glitch, the symbolism of the flags was interpreted as indicating the U.S.’ refusal to let its colonial possession go. For example, the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s front-page article by Stella O. Gonzales and Rocky Nazareno said of the entangled flags, “As the American flag was lowered, it draped itself with the Philippine flag and was pulling it down. It took several seconds before the two flags were untangled. The audience cheered when the Philippine flag was finally set free and hoisted up the flagpole.” 35 The Manila Times, which had coined the “Star-Entangled Banner” phrase, reported that “When the two flags were finally disengaged, the crowd [End Page 230] [Begin Page 232] broke into cheers. The incident prompted a presidential gaurd to remark: Mukha talagang ayaw umalis ng mga Kano sa atin (It really looks like the Americans have no plans to leave our country).” 36

Not one newspaper suggested that the imagery could have emblematized the Philippine flag’s reluctance to ascend rather than the American flag’s refusal to descend–that the Philippines might be reluctant to take on the onus of independence. It is a point worth noting, given the repeated editorials excoriating continuing Philippine dependence on U.S. aid and trade. The transition to independence has not always been easy for the Philippines. During the colonial period, a–perhaps the–major consideration in Philippine independence movements was the Philippine economy, which depended almost wholly on trade relations with U.S. 37 During the Commonwealth period (1933-1946), when the date for full Philippine independence was being negotiated, the Philippine economy was geared towards export agriculture for American markets–so much so, Teodoro Agoncillo tells us, that “the Philippines, potentially one of the great food-surplus-producing areas in Asia, became one of the major food deficit areas.” 38 After fifty years of independence, the Philippines continues to labor under a rice deficit. While the contemporary rice deficit may not be directly attributable to the Philippine economy’s dependence on the American market, the Philippines’ economic relationship with the U.S. continues to be a major factor in Philippine politics. Reynaldo Ronairo, a World War II Filipino veteran who attended the July 4, 1996 “independence” ceremony, said, “I don’t think we [Filipinos/the Philippines] are completely independent. . . . Politically, maybe, but not economically.” 39

The nationalist Manila Bulletin reflected the continuing discordance between Philippine sovereignty and the country’s continuing dependence on American economic aid by dividing the July 4 front page between pictures of the July 4 festivities and the opening ceremony for the new General Santos Airport in Mindanao, the latest fruit of U.S. aid. 40 The airport’s opening festivities were presided over by USAID administrator Brian Atwood, U.S. ambassador John Negroponte, and President Fidel Ramos. The connection between putative Filipino independence and the Republic’s continuing dependence on American aid is [End Page 232] not lost on Filipinos. In the front-page article on “The Star-Entangled Banner,” Marichu Villanueva wrote in the Philippine Star, “After granting Philippine independence in 1946, heavy American aid continued to prop up the economy. As if to underscore that history, the top American official attending Thursday’s 50th anniversary ceremony was J. Brian Atwood, head of the US Agency for International Development.” 41

At the July 4 ceremony, Atwood, acting as the “Personal Representative of H.E. William Clinton,” read a message that tried to recuperate the U.S.’ colonizing mission as infamously articulated in President William McKinley’s “benevolent assimilation” speech. “Fifty years before [1946, i.e., 1898] an American President moved by missionary zeal spoke the words ‘manifest destiny,'” Atwood intoned. “But America was never comfortable with the role of colonial power. Its manifest destiny was not to control, but to liberate.” 42 The fact that Atwood would consider the phrase “manifest destiny” as available for recuperation is telling. That in 1996 the American President would feel the need to insist that America’s motivation in forcibly assimiliating the Philippines was motivated by a divinely ordained destiny “to liberate” rather than “to control” tells more about the U.S.’ continuing discomfort “with the role of colonial power” than anything else.

Atwood continued:

On behalf of the American people, I extend best wishes to all the Filipino people on the special occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the independence of the Philippines.
Fifty years ago, the United States and the Filipino people took an unprecedented step: Together, we created a free and democratic country. Through legislation rather than revolution, agreement rather than bloodshed, the independence sought for centuries by the Filipino people became a reality. On July 4, 1946, as the American flag was lowered and the Philippine flag was raised, a half-century of American governance came to an end and the Republic of the Philippines took its rightful place in the community of nations. 43
Fifty years after Harry Truman’s carefully worded independence speech, Clinton’s message similarly navigates dangerous shoals in Philippine-American history. Clinton’s assertion that the U.S. liberated the Philippines [End Page 233] “[t]hrough legislation rather than revolution” elides the fact that the U.S. acquired the Philippines by squelching the Philippines’ own revolution to overthrow Spanish colonial rule. Moreover, the U.S.’ diplomatic greetings came not through the American ambassador, but through the representative of American largesse. Citizens of a country that experienced “benevolent assimilation” as war and that was forced to wait for half a century for independence from the country that touted itself as the global champion of freedom and independence, might well question the U.S.’ motivation in funding the airport in Mindanao. Was it altruism that motivated such a generous grant, or interest in the fabulous oil reserves rumored to be resting under Mindanao? Mobil Oil’s felicitous establishment of its Manila office in 1898 comes to mind. Coincident with the celebration of the 1996 centennial and the completion of the General Santos Airport was news of President Ramos’ negotiations with Nur Misuari, commander of the Muslim troops of Mindanao, for peaceful relations between the Muslims and Christians. If these negotiations are successful, it could mean the pacification of Mindanao Muslims, who have resisted colonial and governmental control ever since the Spaniards came to the Philippines in the sixteenth centruy. Pacification of Muslim Mindanao–and gerrymandering which would bring Muslim areas into Christian/governmental control–could facilitate the mineral expoitation of Mindanao, which could change the entire Philippine economy if Mindanao’s oil resources bear out their rumored potential. 44

Juan de la Cruz and Uncle Sam: Two Views of “Philippine-American Friendship”

Debates over “Philippine-American Friendship Day” in newspaper editorials throughout the summer of 1996 called attention to the interconnections between Centennial/”Independence Day” celebrations, USAID’s continuing influence in the Philippines, and U.S. economic interests generally (and, more specifically, potential developments in Mindanao). The cover of the July 4 Philippine Panorama (the Sunday magazine of the Manila Bulletin) gave the pro-American image of July 4 as “Philippine-American Friendship Day.” The Panorama cover illustration shows the two masculine nationalist icons, the U.S.’ Uncle Sam and the Philippines’ [End Page 234] Juan de la Cruz, shaking hands against the background of their respective flags and under the caption, “Philippine-American Friendship Day 50th Anniversary.” The visual layout of the cover illustration meticulously positions the two nationalist icons equally: smiling affably, the two representatives literally meet in the middle to shake hands. The Panorama’s smiling, meet-in-the-middle depiction of Philippine-American Friendship Day is clearly a pro-American image for Filipino bourgeois nationalism. Perhaps that is why the Panorama was distributed in advance (on July 4, three days ahead of its appearance with the rest of the Sunday paper on July 7) at the official July 4 reception held at the U.S. embassy in Manila at which President Ramos was the honored guest.

In this illustration, Juan de la Cruz, wearing a native straw hat and a barong tagalog (traditional formal shirt worn by most Filipino men) is pictured as considerably shorter than Uncle Sam. Perhaps Juan de la [End Page 235] Cruz’s shorter height merely reflects the fact that the average Filipino is shorter that the average American, but the disparity between the two figures’ height implies that Filipinos’ stature is inferior when compared to Americans. Because of the height disparity, the two figures meet in the middle but do not look each other in the eye. While Juan de la Cruz appears to be looking slightly upwards at Uncle Sam, the latter stares straight ahead–at the top of de la Cruz’s hat. The symbolism of the political “gaze” here perpetuates the Philippines’ neo-colonial relation with the U.S. While the representative Filipino looks up to America, the representative American appears to meet the Filipino as an equal, but keeps his colonial counterpart out of his line of sight. Meaningful communication would necessitate Uncle Sam’s looking down at Juan de la Cruz. Rather than acknowledge the reality of political superiority over his former colonial subordinate, Uncle Sam maintains an affable but vacuous blindness.

Filipinos are keenly aware of the discrepancies in political “stature” between the Philippines and the U.S. The writer N. V. M. Gonzalez relates an anecdote which portrays Filipinos’ awareness of their national lack of stature in the global political community. “The Philippine values highly its place in the United Nations,” writes Gonzalez, “and there is more character portraiture than humor (which must be attributed to the Filipino nation rather than to himself) in General Romulo’s standing before the United Nations General Assembly as its president to deliver an inaugural propped up by a stack of New York City telephone books because he was simply too short for the lectern.” 45 The symbolism of this anecdote, like the symbolism of the Fourth of July’s “Star Entangled Banner,” is irresistibly ironic. To speak in the United Nations, the Filipino representative must be propped up by stacks of American marketing, demographic, bureaucratic indices. Just as the cover illustration for the 1946 independence ceremony depicted a significant discrepancy in terms of sheer size between female national icons (Filipinas and the Statue of Liberty), fifty years later the size discrepancy between the male national icons (Juan de la Cruz and Uncle Sam) still obtains. And if the representative Filipino is to register as a political speaker in global congresses, his lack of stature must be supplied by the U.S. [End Page 236]

While the Philippine Panorama magazine gives the American-sanctioned depiction of affable Filipino-American friendship and (relative) equality, an anti-American view of Philippine-American Friendship Day appeared on the same day in the July 4 Manila Times. This political cartoon, which appeared in the opinion section, again shows Uncle Sam and Juan de la Cruz meeting in the middle to embrace in friendship. Rather than meeting in front of the two national flags, as in the Philippine Panorama, the Manila Times cartoon shows Juan de la Cruz and Uncle Sam against a tropical horizon. The two figures have evidently paused from looking over this vista to gaze at each other, each with one arm slung affectionately over the other’s shoulder. This depiction of “Fil-Am Friendship Day,” however, highlights America’s underhandedness in dealing with Filipinos under the guise of “friendship.” While Juan de la Cruz gazes with a neutral expression at the (still taller) Uncle Sam, the American uncle gazes back with a slight smile while his other hand reaches behind him to plunder the pockets of the barefoot Filipino. Unlike the Panorama cartoon, in the Manila Times cartoon the representative American makes clear, direct eye contact. But here, the gaze deliberately misleads: Uncle Sam makes eye contact with Juan de la Cruz to prevent the latter from realizing that he is being robbed. Where in the Panorama cartoon the representative American denies the reality of maintaining neo-colonial superiority, in the Manila Times cartoon he directly acknowledges his relationship with his former colonial subject only in order to exploit him. Here the avuncular American looks the barefoot Pinoy 46 straight in the eye as he robs him in the embrace of “friendship.” Together the Philippine Panorama and Manila Times illustrations of Philippine-American Friendship Day portray the Janus-faces of Philippine-American relations.

In the 50 years since “official” Philippine independence and 100 years of American involvement in empire-building in the Pacific, the history of Philippine-U.S. relations appears more a Gordian knot than a woven tapestry. The complexity of this knot is the result, I submit, of both countries’ insistence on reaping the “benefit” of continuing Philippine neo-colonial relations with the U.S.: for the U.S. it means a profitable and favorable market not only in the densely-populated Philippines, but also [End Page 237] an economic base for the burgeoning Asian-Pacific market. For the Philippines, conversely, it means continuing economic aid. Simultaneously, however, both countries also repudiate the unpleasant ramifications of the continuing “special relationship” between the two countries: for the U.S. the myth of American exceptionalism both past and present, and for the Philippines, the myth of true independence. There are irreconcilable problems inherent in locating either June 12, July 4, or August 23 as the Philippines’ “true” Independence Day. Perhaps the ongoing struggles to fix a persistently elusive date for Philippine independence are a result of a problem with the present rather than a problem with the past. It is perhaps impossible to firmly fix the true date of Philippine independence because Philippine independence has not yet been fully realized. [End Page 238]

Battlefields and Marketplaces: “Our Common Future in the Asia-Pacific”

During the early stages of the Philippine-American War, there was considerable debate in the U.S. about both the practical and ethical issues in forcibly annexing the Philippines. On June 6, 1899, the New York Times declared, “The Philippines are pretty costly real estate.” 47 As historian Stuart Creighton Miller relates, “Senator Carter assured the swelling ranks of doubters that the Republican Party will return the Philippines as a matter of profit. This is a practical age. We are going to deal with the question on the basis of dollars and cents. Neither religion nor sentiment will have much influence in determining the verdict. The great question is ‘will it pay?'” 48 Albert Beveridge, one of the most outspoken proponents for annexing the Philippines, “toured the Philippines to see the war at close quarters . . . . When critics raised the objection that the islands would never return a profit, Beveridge dramatically produced from his pocket a golden nugget he had brought back to symbolize their untapped wealth.” 49

In the preface to the recent America’s Wars in Asia: A Cultural Approach to History and Memory, edited by Philip West, Steven Levine, and Jackie Hiltz, the editors assert that “Memory and history are not the same, and the relationship between them is extremely complex”–so complex that “historical memory is almost always contested, often as hotly as the blood-soaked ground of a major battle.” 50 If one wants to continue the military metaphor of Asian American historiography, this article is, perhaps, another skirmish. In this analysis of the Philippine Centennial of 1996, I have attempted to trace the ways in which the wars of history and memory continue to be fought on historiographical and diplomatic fields in this, the Pacific century.

America’s Wars in Asia’s editors observe that “Asia was a battlefield long before it became a marketplace.” Although this statement is true, I would like to posit that its inverse is also true: that the marketplace motivated the battlefield. Mobil Oil entered the Philippines with the American troops who fought the Philippine-American War. The marketplace motive has been conjoined from the beginning in Philippine-American [End Page 239] relations, a fact manifested clearly in “parity rights” as a condition for formal Philippine independence. While Mobil Oil and the Philippine-American War may seem more about the battlefields of the past, they are representative of current debates over Philippine (in)dependence vis-à-vis the U.S.–as Philippine President Fidel Ramos tellingly revealed in his reference to Mobil Oil and the U.S.’ central role in economic progress in the contemporary Philippines. The battlefield is now diplomatic, but the skirmishes over Philippine economic – and therefore political – independence vis-à-vis U.S.-Philippine relations were inextricably entwined in the centennial commemorations of 1996 and 1998.

It is significant that President Ramos’ speech was entitled “Our Common Future in the Asia-Pacific.” While in this article I have attempted to show how both the inextricable link between U.S.-Philippine diplomacy and economics, the issues of putative political/economic “independence” in the Philippines are highlighted by the two countries’ colonial entanglement. But as the 1998 economic upheavals throughout Asia–and their subsequent effects on the U.S. economy, from the stock market to interest rates–have shown, the economics of the U.S. and countries throughout Asia are now interdependent. It is as much “our common future in the Asia-Pacific” as our common and contested past that is at stake in the historiographical skirmishes of the 1996/1998 centennials.

Sharon Delmendo is an Assistant Professor of English at St. John Fisher College. She did the research for her article on a year-long Fulbright grant (1995-96) at De La Salle University, Manila.


1. I would like to acknowledge Margot Backus, Kate O’Connell, and John Roche for their careful readings of this article. I would also like to express my appreciation to Alex Calata of the Philippine-American Educational Foundation as well as Isagani Cruz, Marge Evasco, David Bayot, and Manny Ortencio of De La Salle University, Manila, for their support and friendship during the Fulbright Fellowship that supported this research. I also owe thanks to Bill Breichner of Johns Hopkins University Press for his help with the illustrations for this article.

2. Cristobal quotes William Blake in this Philippine Daily Inquirer editorial on “Philippine-American Friendship Day” (i.e., July 4, 1996).

3. The occlusion of the 1996 Centennial has led some Filipinos to be unaware that there even was a Philippine Centennial in 1996. In her “At Large” column, Rina Jimenez-David wrote: “‘By the way,’ said a friend at the tail[-]end of a conversation about the centennial of Phililppine Independence, ‘by centennial I mean the 1896 Centennial, not the 1898 one.'” To which Jimenez-David’s response was, “I didn’t even know there were two of them.” Rina Jimenez-David, “Independence Day Reflections,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 12, 1996, p. 9.

4. The June 12, 1898 ceremony included the unfurling of the new Philippine flag and the first performance of the national anthem in addition to Aguinaldo’s Declaration of Philippine Independence. The ceremony took place at Aguinaldo’s house in Kawit, Cavite (southern Luzon).

5. The Centennial Commission’s five-year plan included: 1994, “Centennial Consciousness”; 1995, “Centennial as a National Movement”; 1996, “The Year of the Filipino Heroes”; 1997, “Propagating the Filipino Spirit”; 1998, “Year of the Philippine Centennial.” From “The Meaning of [the] Philippine Centennial,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 12, 1996, D10.

6. Andres Bonifacio (1863-97), known as “The Great Plebeian,” was the founder and leader of the revolutionary organization known as the Kataastaasang Kagalanggalang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (The Exalted and Most Honorable Society of the Sons of the People), commonly called the Katipunan or KKK. In August 1896, the Spanish colonial rulers discovered that the Katipunan was planning a revolution, and captured and tortured real or suspected Katipuneros in an attempt to quash the rebellion. Sometime between August 20 and August 25, Bonifacio held a meeting of the Katipunan at Balintawak, on the outskirts of Manila. The Spaniards found out about the meeting, so the Katipuneros went to nearby Pugad Lawin. There Bonifacio led the Katipuneros in tearing up the cedulas, certificates symbolizing Spanish colonial oppression. As the Katipuneros tore their cedulas, they shouted, “Long live the Philippines!” This event became known as the “Cry of Balintawak,” although the event did not actually take place at Balintawak. Bonifacio led the Katipunan’s revolution into early 1897, but rivalry between Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo, who emerged as a brilliant military leader, produced a schism in the Katipunan. By March 1897, Bonifacio had lost the leadership to Aguinaldo. In April, the Aguinaldo faction accused Bonifacio of treason and sedition, and executed Bonifacio and his brother, Procopio, on May 10, 1897. Teodoro A. Agoncillo, History of the Filipino People (Quezon City: Garotech Publishing, 1990), 171-72, 177-81. See also Renato Constantino, The Philippines: A Past Revisited (Quezon City: Foundation for Nationalist Studies, 1994), chapter 11, especially pages 178-91.

7. For an overview of the controversy over the date of the “Cry of Balintawak,” see Milagros C. Guerrero, Emmanuel N. Encarnacio, and Ramon N. Villegas, “Balintawak: The Cry for a Nationwide Revolution,” Sulyap Kultura Quarterly (second quarter, 1996): 13-21.

8. Renato Constantino, Insight and Foresight, edited by Luis R. Mauricio (Quezon City: Foundation for Nationalist Studies, 1997), 116. Until 1962, Philippine Independence Day was celebrated on July 4. In 1962, the official Independence Day was switched to June 12. July 4 is now celebrated as “Philippine-American Friendship Day.” Historian Miguel Bernad tells us, “it was Alejandro Roces as secretary of education who made the inspired suggestion that our independence should be celebrated, not on July 4, but on June 12, the anniversary of the Kawit proclamation in 1898 (i.e., the June 12, 1898 Declaration of Independence). He argued that we had not been ‘granted’ independence by the United States: we were ‘declared’ independent, thus recovering the independence that we already had, and which the American forcible occupation took away.” Miguel A. Bernad, “The Heroes of Independence,” Philippine Star, June 12, 1996, 9.

9. Agoncillo, History, 436.

10. Ibid., 438.

11. Constantino, Insight, 116.

12. Ibid., 103, 116-17.

13. Evidence of America’s influence in the Philippines is everywhere; in addition to larger elements such as the U.S.’ status as the Philippines’ largest foreign economic factor, smaller examples pervade everyday life. Jeepneys, a popular form of public transportation, often are elaborately decorated. The two most common themes are religious motifs (e.g., “Mary, Mother of God” and “Sacred Heart”) and references to the U.S. (e.g., “American Dream,” “California Dreaming,” sports team logos, and characaters from Disney movies). On the streets of Manila, one is more likely to see teenagers wearing t-shirts for American colleges and sports teams than for their Filipino counterparts. American dominance of the language also continues. Although the Philippines is officially bilingual (Pilipino, the national language, and English), a “pure American accent” is a prized mark of socioeconomic status.

14. Alex Magno, “Philippine-American Relations: From Mystical to Pragmatic,” speech delivered at the July 3 Symposium on the 50th Anniversary of Philippine-American Friendship Day, July 3, 1996, Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, Manila, 3, 7.

15. Ibid., 6.

16. Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 5, 1996, C4-5.

17. Fidel V. Ramos, speech, July 3, 1996, Malacañang, reprinted in “Our Common Future in the Asia-Pacific,” Manila Bulletin, July 4, 1996, 11.

18. Ibid., 24.

19. Historian Constantino maintains that Macapagal’s election in 1961 over anti-American incumbent, Carlos Garcia, was supported by American interests, and that his subsequent move to celebrate Philippine independence on June 12 was window-dressing for his pro-American administration that actualized, in Constantino’s words, “a new stage of [Philippine] dependence.” Renato Constantino, The Philippines: The Continuing Past (Quezon City: Foundation for Nationalist Studies, 1992), 310-11, 318.

20. “For a Meaningful Fourth of July,” Manila Chronicle, July 4, 1996, 4.

21. Ibid.

22. Herman Tiu Laurel, “American ‘Friendship’ Day,” Today, July 4, 1996, 7.

23. Ibid.

24. Manila Times, July 4, 1996, 7.

25. Adrian Cristobal, “Phil-Am Friendship Day?” Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 27, 1996, 8.

26. Ibid. Interestingly, Cristobal’s column for Independence Day (June 12, 1996) began with an epigraph attributed to Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine: “Where liberty dwells there is my country.” His editorial opened: “As we watch the parades and listen to the oratory on this 98th year of nationhood, we wonder whether there’s anything to be feeling good about.” The editorial surveyed the Philippines’ many ills, including pollution, “graft and corruption,” Filipino “backwardness” in the provinces, and the plight of the poor. However, despite the Jefferson/Paine epigraph and the extensive list of national problems, Cristobal does not once mention either the United States or other foreign influences on the Philippines. Adrian Cristobal, “Feeling Good About My Country,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 12, 1996, 8.

27. Ramos, speech, 11, 24.

28. In an interview with Negroponte, the (Manila) Sunday Chronicle’s Ernesto Hilario specifically asked the ambassador to explain the definition of the continuing “special relationship” between the Philippines and U.S. Negroponte explicity configured the “relationship” as a direct and continuing effect of the U.S.’ colonial relationship with the Philippines: (Hilario): “The relationship between the Philippines and the United States has often been described in the past as a ‘special relationship.’ Is that still true today? How ‘special’ is the present relationship?” (Negroponte): “I think it’s still special. One reason is that we have shared a considerable amount of recent history together, because of the colonial experience, because of World War Two. The special character derives from the closeness between the two countries in terms of colonial history.” Ernesto M. Hilario, “Interview With US Ambassador John Negroponte,” Sunday Chronicle, June 30, 1996, 4.

29. The Luneta, a large park spanning an area of metropolitan Manila from Malate to Ermita to Fort Santiago, is roughly equivalent in nationalist significance to the Mall in Washington, D.C.

30. John D. Negroponte, “Message,” reprinted in Manila Chronicle, July 4, 1996, 15.

31. The “flag ceremony” photograph is often printed in Philippine history books and is reproduced on the 100-peso bill. Thus, the Filipino audience on July 4, 1996 would have recognized the significance of the photograph.

32. Rhowena Parungao and Ernest Porcalla, “Tale of Two Snagged Flags at July 4 Rites,” Manila Chronicle, July 5, 1995, 1.

33. Today, July 5, 1996.

34. Marichu Villanueva, “The Star-Entangled Banner,” Philippine Star, July 5, 1996, 1.

35. Stella O. Gonzales and Rocky Nazareno, “Ramos Cites ‘Unique’ RP-US Friendship,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 5, 1996, 13. To underscore the triumph of Philippine independence, the Philippine Daily Inquirer front-page photographs of the ceremony featured a large picture of the July 4 ceremony’s climax, showing a dense group of cheering Filipinos, doves flying, and a phalanx of Filipino flags, along with a smaller picture of the Philippine flag ascendant over the American flag.

36. Aries Rufio, “Flags Entangled, A Mirror of Love-Hate Ties?” Manila Times, July 5, 1996, 5.

37. Agoncillo, History, 335.

38. Ibid., 362.

39. Quoted in Gonzales and Nazareno, “Ramos Cites,” 13.

40. The Bulletin proclaims its nationalism on its masthead, which features two mottoes: “The Exponent of Philippine Progress” and “Let Us Unite the Nation and Move Forward.”

41. Villanueva, “Star-Entangled,” 16.

42. J. Brian Atwood, “Fourth of July Remarks,” Philippine-American Day Commemoration, July 4, 1996, Luneta, Manila, reprinted in Manila Bulletin, July 5, 1996, 11.

43. Bill Clinton, “A Message to the Filipino People,” Manila Bulletin, July 5, 1996, 14.

44. See Fredric Jameson on the discovery of oil reserves in Third World countries and the rise of foreign indebtedness in his, “Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism,” Social Text 8 (Fall 1986): 65-88.

45. N. V. M. Gonzalez, Kalutang: A Filipino in the World (Manila: Kalikasan Press, 1990), 25.

46. “Pinoy” is a term used to denote a Filipino or traits that are distinctively Filipino.

47. Quoted in Stuart Creighton Miller, “Benevolent Assimilation”: The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982), 113.

48. Ibid.

49. Ibid., 131.

50. Philip West, Steven I. Levine, and Jackie Hiltz, America’s Wars in Asia: A Cultural Approach to History and Memory (Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1998), 4, 5.

Assignment #8: The Crucible of Empire

Did the United States act as an imperial power in the Philippines?

To complete this assignment write a 4-5 paragraph response to this question that also incorporates the three guiding questions below.

Use at least 5 sources from Week 5.

1.(Using course sources) Define imperialism in your own words.
2.Why was the U.S. involved in the Philippines? How did events unfold in the end of the 19th and the early 20th centuries?
3.Why has “the national centennial” been a source of controversy in the Philippines?

Your answer should be based on the assigned videos and readings.

Support your position with specific references to the course materials and proper citations.

The Crucible of Empire Assignment Folder
America Becomes a World Power (Video)
Crucible of Empire (Video)
Sharon Delmendo, “The Star Entangled Banner: Commemorating 100 Years of Philippine (In)dependence and Philippine-American Relations” Journal of Asian American Studies 1.3 (1998) 211-244(I will provide this in attachment document)

Scholars look at The United States, American Foreign Policy and Empire
Walter Russell Mead, The American Foreign Policy Legacy
Walter A. McDougall, Back to Bedrock: The Eight Traditions of American Statecraft
Kinzer, Century of Regime Change (NPR Interview)
Gordon Martel, Introduction: Twentieth Century International History: The Changing Face of Empire

World War I chapter
CH 45
Joint address to Congress Leading to a Declaration of War Against Germany
Wilson’s War Message to Congress’s_War_Message_to_Congress
President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Point
A French Directive
Eugene V. Debs, Critique of World War I

John O’Sullivan, “The Great Nation of Futurity”
School Begins, Cartoon