Forum on Bonifacio held in UP: Nationalist spirit should live on
November 28, 2012 | 2pm | UP College of Mass Communication
"Nationalism is primarily collective action." This was the recurring theme during "Remembering Bonifacio", a forum held at the University of the Philippines in Diliman that discussed nationalism and economics in the context of commemorating Filipino hero Andres Bonifacio's 149th birth anniversary.
In partnership with the Dean's Office of the College of Mass Communications, the Associate Dean for Student and Public Affairs of the College of Science, UP student organizations Center for Nationalist Studies, Solidaridad and Agham-Youth and the Bonifacio 150 Committee, the forum was held last November 28 at the College of Mass Communications Auditorium. The forum also featured Bonifacio paintings by the visual artists of the Bonifacio 150 Committee and UP Alay Sining.
The maiden forum featured National Artist for Literature Dr. Bien Lumbera, former UP Student Regent and National Union of People's Lawyers member Ms. Krissy Conti, CPP Thirteen Artists 2012 Awardee and independent cinematographer Kiri Lluch Dalena and IBON Executive Editor Rosario Bella Guzman.
The discourses tackled the relevance of Bonifacio in the current Philippine setting where the country remains wanting of political, economic and socio-cultural freedom from foreign influence and control.
Lumbera introduced Bonifacio through excerpts from the works of literary artists such as 1995 National Artist for Literature Amado V. Hernandez and Filipino American literary academic and activist Epifanio San Juan. He stressed the importance of studying the life of Bonifacio to appreciate the continuing relevance of the hero's call for freedom from bondage.
Conti highlighted Bonifacio's Katipunan to have expressed the value of nationalism that was active and militant in organizing and encouraging action the toiling masses. She cited the aspirations of contemporary youth organizations seeking national liberation not only through street demonstrations but also through continuous education and mass campaigns among the youth and other sectors.
Dalena shared her personal experience in being a part of the people's movement through her art. She said that it is also important for artistic work to show not only the strengths and victorious aspects of history but also its weaknesses and tragedies, for example in remembering Bonifacio, in order to draw lessons.
Guzman showed the country's backward agriculture and undeveloped national industry as a concrete and prevailing testimony to Bonifacio's description of a country serving the needs of a foreign master. Like previous speakers, Guzman referred to Bonifacio's "Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog" to underscore unchanged and even worsened conditions of poverty and economic subservience to foreign interests until today.
IBON's seminars and trainings head Mandy Felicia reiterated the forum speakers' message that the best way to remember the Filipino hero is to carry his brand of nationalism which is to gather all freedom-loving Filipinos' strength in collectively continuing Bonifacio's unfinished revolution. (end)