Monday, May 4, 2009

“Bagumbayan” name is too heavily-loaded
for any politician’s party

We noticed in the last few weeks some news reports and full-page advertisements about a group carrying the name “Bagumbayan,” and we call the attention of the persons behind this group to the heavy historical load carried by the term Bagumbayan, a load too heavy to be borne by a political party being prepared to advance the electoral ambitions of any which politician.

“Bagumbayan” is a word that is historically identified with the martyrdom of Jose Rizal as well as of the three garroted priests Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora, collectively known as “Gom-Bur-Za,” because they were all executed in the Bagumbayan field fronting Manila Bay . It is also historically identified with Andres Bonifacio who used it as part of his chosen penname “Agapito Bagumbayan” (supreme love for the new nation) that he used for his most powerful essay, “Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog.”

The protestation that the advertised “Bagumbayan group” espouses a deep sense of love for our country can never be enough justification for appropriating this name, especially as it prematurely identified itself with just a single presidential aspirant, whose track record for loving our country has been, at best, controversial. The name is deserved more by a group that can promote more than just love for the country, which anyone or any group can claim to harbor. It has to cover, as well, a clear program for really establishing a new nation through a comprehensive preparation of the citizens for culture-building and institution-building that would be based on a unified rational plan and synergized passions of the people themselves, without any temptation to simplistically get a certain politician or group of politicians elected to power. A campaign to have a “good candidate who loves the Philippines” elected to power does not relate at all to any new strategy which building a new nation actually needs; on the contrary, it is a worn-out approach that has failed to accomplish anything beyond the usual run of national elections that we have been having in this country for the past more than half century. It cannot possibly work even if the purpose of building a new nation were to be assumed as earnest.

Kamalaysayan (Kaisahan sa Kamalayan sa Kasaysayan), which I led in founding back in 1991, recently launched within the Katipunang DakiLahi para sa Pambansang Pagsasanib-Lakas network (DakiLahi) a localities-based movement-type formation that would mobilize and organize three distinct segments of the population grouped according to age-brackets with as many distinct appropriate roles. These would team-up in active stakeholdership for the full protection and full local utilization of the communities’ cultural, natural and economic resources, where the communities shall be able to build their own respective internal strengths to be contributed to synergies on the scope of clusters of communities and on the scope of the nation itself. For this to be achieved, mere “love for the country” can never be enough, especially if such is distorted to have the sense only of altruism and pure sentimentalism with no sense of active and effective stakeholdership.

DakiLahi network’s own Kapatirang Bagumbayan, which would draw in only the proven patriots of the well-rounded kind, would be willing to work with the well-advertised “Bagum­bayan Group” if the latter could prove to be earnest and responsible in carrying the name it had chosen for itself, especially by proving to us and to the people that its founding members really banded together upon an earnest intention and plan of action (for building a bagong bayan) way before choosing which politician to support and prematurely project well ahead of the election campaign period. The opposite just backfires; it also causes confusion, a gross disservice to the interests of Inang Bayan whom we all say we love.

Let us all honor our heroic heritage more seriously.

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