Part 4

Will the Philippines Continue as a Spanish colony?

by Jose Rizal Icon

English Translation of Filipinas Dentro De Cien Años by Jose Rizal

History does not record any lasting domination exercised by one people over another, of different races, of strange uses and customs, and of opposing or divergent ideals.

One of the two has had to give in and succumb.

Either the foreigner was expelled, as happened to the Carthaginians, the Arabs, and the French in Spain, or the indigenous people had to succumb, or withdraw, as was the case with the Native Americans, Native Australians, etc.

One of the longest dominations was that of the Arabs in Spain, which lasted 7 centuries.

The Arabs were finally expelled after bloody and tenacious struggles that formed Spain in the 15th and 16th century, despite:

  • the chivalrous spirit, bravery and religious tolerance of the caliphs
  • the Arabs living in the middle of Spain
  • the gradual fragmentation of the small states in the peninsula

It is against all natural and moral laws the existence of a foreign body inside another endowed with force and activity.

Science teaches us that it is assimilated, destroys the organism, is eliminated or encysted. The entrenchment of a conquering people is impossible, since it means complete isolation, absolute inertia, adynamia of the winning element.

Encystment here means the tomb of the foreign invader.

The Philippines will on one fatal day declare itself infallibly independent if:

  • Filipinos are not assimilated into the Spanish homeland
  • the rulers do not appropriate the spirit of its inhabitants
  • equitable and frank laws, and liberal reforms do not make one and the other forget that they are of different races, or
  • both peoples do not merge to constitute a socially and politically homogeneous mass that is not worked by opposing tendencies and antagonistic thoughts and interests

In such a case of Philippine independence, the following cannot win:

  • Spanish patriotism
  • the clamor of all the tyrants of Ultramar
  • the love of all Filipinos for Spain
  • the doubtful future of the dismemberment and internecine struggles of the islands

Necessity is:

  • the strongest divinity
  • the result of physical laws set in motion by moral forces.

Statistics proves that it is impossible to destroy the Filipino race.

  • Even if it were possible, why would Spain destroy a people of a land that she cannot populate or cultivate, whose climate is to a certain extent disastrous?

What good would the Philippines be without Filipinos?

Yes, precisely, given its system of colonization and the transitory character of the peninsulars who go to Overseas, a colony is all the more useful and productive the more inhabitants and wealth it possesses.

To destroy the 6 million Malays, even assuming that they are in their infancy and that they will never learn to fight and defend themselves, it is necessary for Spain to sacrifice at least a quarter of its population.

We remind the supporters of colonial exploitation of this.

But none of this can happen. Instead, if Spain denies the education and freedoms for Filipinos, then they will seek their education abroad and move overseas.

Result: that the resistance of short-sighted and rickety politicians is not only useless, but harmful, because what could be a reason for gratitude and love, turns into resentment and hatred.

Hatred and resentment on the one hand, suspicion and anger on the other, will finally end in a violent and terrible clash; especially when there are elements interested in disturbing the order to catch something in the dark, to demonstrate their valuable power, to launch lamentations, recriminate or activate violent measures, etc.

I hope that the Government emerges triumphant, and generally (and it is customary) it goes to extremes in punishment, either to give a terrible lesson to show off its severity, or also to avenge the vanquished for the moments of terror and anxiety that danger made him pass.

An unavoidable accessory to these catastrophes is the accumulation of injustices committed against innocent or peaceful inhabitants.

The private revenges, the denunciations, the infamous accusations, the resentments, the greed of the property of others, the opportune moment for a slander, the haste and the expeditious procedures of the military courts, the pretext of the integrity of the Homeland and of reason of State that covers and pays for everything, even for scrupulous consciences, which are now unfortunately rare, and above all the savage fear, the cowardice that feeds on the vanquished, all these things increase the rigors and the number of victims.

It turns out that a stream of blood now stands between the two towns; that the wounded and resentful, instead of diminishing, increase, because to the families and friends of the guilty, who always believe the punishment is excessive and the judge unjust, we must add the families and friends of the innocent who see no advantage in live and act submissively and peacefully.

If strict measures are already dangerous in the midst of a nation made up of a homogeneous population, the danger is multiplied a hundredfold when the Government forms a race different from that of the governed.

In the first, an injustice can still be attributed to a single man, to the ruler moved by private passions, and once the tyrant is dead, the offended party is reconciled with the Government of his nation.

But in countries dominated by a foreign race, the most just act of severity is interpreted as injustice and oppression, as dictated by a strange person who has no sympathy or who is an enemy of the country; and the offense not only offends the offended party, but his entire race, because it is not usually considered personal, and the resentment naturally extends to the entire ruling race and does not die with the offender.

Hence, the immense prudence and exquisite tact that should adorn the colonizing countries; and the fact of considering the Government of the colonies in general, and our Ministry of Overseas in particular, as schools of learning, contributes notably to the fulfillment of the great law that the colonies declare themselves independent more or less late.

Thus, down that slope, the towns fall; As they bathe in blood and soak themselves in gall and tears, the colony, if it has vitality, learns to fight and perfect itself in combat, while the mother country, whose life in the colony depends on peace and submission of the subjects, he weakens each time, and although he makes heroic efforts, in the end, as his number is less, and he only has a fictitious life, he ends up dying.

He is like a rich sybarite who, accustomed to being served by numerous servants who work and sow for him, the day his slaves deny him obedience, since he does not live by himself, he has to die. Vengeance, injustice and suspicion on the one hand, and on the other the feeling of homeland and freedom that will be awakened in these continuous struggles, insurrections and uprisings, will end up generalizing the movement and one of the two peoples will have to succumb.

The laxity will be short, since it will be equivalent to a slavery much crueler than death for the people, and to a dishonorable loss of prestige for the ruler.

One of the towns has to succumb. Spain, because of the number of its inhabitants, because of the state of its army and navy, because of the distance to which the islands are located, because of the little knowledge it has of them, and because of fighting against a population whose love and will have been alienated , he will necessarily have to give up, if he does not want to risk, not only his other possessions and his future in Africa, but also his very independence in Europe. All this at the cost of much blood, many crimes, after deadly fights, murders, fires, executions, hunger, misery, etc., etc.

The Spaniard:

  • is brave and patriotic
  • sacrifices everything, in favorable moments, for the good of the Homeland
  • has the courage and decision of his bull

The Filipino loves his own no less.

The Filipino is calmer, more peaceful and hardly excited. Once he starts, he doesn’t stop. For him, every fight means the death of one of two combatants. He retains all the meekness and all the tenacity and fury of the carabao about him.

The climate influences bipedal animals in the same way as it does in quadrupedal animals.

The terrible lessons and harsh teachings that these struggles have given the Filipinos will have served to improve their morale and strengthen them. The Spain of the fifteenth century was not that of the eighth century.

With severe experience, instead of entering into internecine fights between islands, as is generally feared, they will stretch out their arms to each other, like shipwrecked men when they reach an island after a frightful stormy night.

Do not say that what happened to the small American republics will happen to us.

These easily won their independence. Their inhabitants are animated by a spirit different from that of the Filipinos.

Besides, the danger of falling again into other hands, English or German, for example, will force them to be sensible and prudent.

The not great preponderance of any one race over the others will drive from the imagination all mad ambition to dominate, and as the tendency of tyrannized countries, once they throw off the yoke, is to adopt the freest Government, like a boy leaving school , like the oscillation of the pendulum, by a law of reaction the Islands will probably declare themselves a federal Republic….

If the Philippines achieve their independence after heroic and tenacious struggles, they can be sure that neither England nor Germany, Not even France, and least of all Holland, will dare to collect what Spain has not been able to preserve.

Africa, in a few years, will completely absorb the attention of Europeans.


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