Those of us who saw the 7 o’clock news on abs-cbn tonight may have seen the two Filipino war veterans who so proudly declared that they are on the side of the six American servicemen who raped a Filipina in Subic. One of them even justified the rape by saying that since the girl was from Zamboanga she deserved the ignominy as she had obviously gone to Subic to become a prostitute. The other veteran said that since the arrival of the Americans our Filipinas have lost their Maria Clara image and are no longer deserving of respect.
Without prejudice to other Filipino war veterans who may not share the sentiments of these two old gentlemen, I would like to address these two old men who spoke their minds on the news.
I fear for your womenfolk, you two who fought alongside the Americans and are still fighting alongside them now, you who consider these foreigners your brothers-in-arms. I fear for your wives and your daughters and your daughter’s daughters, you who seem to think that you fought for America and that you should remain loyal to the country that rapes the lands they conquer in the name of freedom. Can you look back, you two old gentlemen, and try to remember who and what you fought for? Was it for your family and your countrymen and your country? Do you remember who your family, your countrymen and your country are? Perhaps age has dulled your memory, so please let me remind you.
Your family is Filipino, unless they have all migrated to the United States and become Americans. Your countrymen are Filipino, and many still choose to remain Filipino no matter where in the world they are. Your country is the Philippines, no matter how inept and corrupt and just plain stupid its government is. Why pledge your loyalty and brotherhood to a country that has long ignored your pleas for your pensions and benefits? Do you think that by allying yourselves with six American rapists, America will look kindly on you and finally grant your requests?
I need to tell you that I reacted so violently to your declaration on the 7 o’clock news. That I never thought I could say such disrespectful words to two men who could have been my own grandfathers. But when I heard you say what you said on the news, I said “Putanginanyo! Putanginanyongdalawa!” I meant no disrespect to your mothers, they who may be rolling in their graves after hearing you speak such words, that this Filipina deserved what was coming to her because she was not Maria Clara.
I wonder what you think of the women in your family, you two who have condemmed a young girl who had suffered such pain and indignity in the hands of your “brothers-in-arms”. Do you see them as the Maria Claras you think that Filipinas should still be? Do you remember who Maria Clara is? She is the bastard daughter of a Spanish friar who had (implicitly) raped a married woman in the confessional! Read your Rizal! I don’t rightly know what you mean by being a Maria Clara is, in this day and age. I cannot even begin to comprehend the ideals you adhere to, you who believe that six rapists are in the right, because they assaulted a girl who is not “Maria Clara”.
I have no idea if you were heroes during the war. And frankly I don’t care. All heroism you may have shown during the war is now dashed by the narrowness of your minds.
And as a post script I am posting this link from the Austrian-Philippine Website: Philippine Heroines of the Revolution: Maria Clara They Were Not written by Dr. Robert L. Yoder, FAPC. These are our heroines, these are the women you probably do not also hold in reverence, you two gentlemen who seem to be touched in the head by some strange belief that your brother Americans really give a shit about what you believe.