A Condensed Version of Renato Constantino”s Works on Nationalism

NATIONALISM has been a word each citizen had heard not only as quickly as however plenty of instances especially for a History pupil like me but this time now not fulfilling a requirement for an undergraduate diploma however to a extra prolific one the GRADUATE SCHOOL. Still the definition of Nationalism had not modified over the course of time, it is still equated with the word PATRIOTISM or love for one’s country. The problem to write a paper on one of many pioneers of PHILIPPINE NATIONALISM has been a herculean task given that the late RENATO CONSTANTINO’s theories just isn’t a straightforward one to put in writing.

He had been a nationalist in heart and spirit.

As considered one of my literature professors used to say, “YOU CAN CAPTURE THE HEART OF A PERSON BY SWEET WORDS UTTERED BUT NOT IN SPIRIT COZ THAT IS A SEPARATE REALM THAT ONLY YOU, YOURSELF CAN SEE”; with that only RENATO CONSTANTINO can see the spirit aside from feeling it too.

For this paper, I shall be delving on THREE works of RENATO CONSTANTINO all compiled into one condensed pamphlet entitled “DISSENT AND COUNTERCONSCIOUSNESS”. I will be confronted with the duty of analyzing the said compilation, giving insights and overviews and the much-awaited conclusion. As a former subversive, I was dogmatized with Karl Marx, Mao Tse Tung and Renato Constantino not because the latter was a leftist like me however more of a nationalist within the truest sense of the word. To perceive him and his works, it would be a good deal to know something about this man.


He was born on March 10, 1919. He was the eldest among the three children of Atty. Amador Constantino and Francisca Reyes. While in his pre-adolescent years, he had a grand time listening to the stories of his maternal grandmother in regards to the abuses made by the Spanish friars. In one way or another, he had developed an early consciousness of the plight of his fellowmen. All all through his faculty years, he was a product of public schools; Arellano High School and University of the Philippines.

He was the youngest editor-in-chief of the Philippine Collegian (the school organ of UP). He was also a star debater and after offering a important strategy to Manuel Luis Quezon’s speech, Constantino grew to become a fan of the nice man, Quezon. He joined the Filipino troops in Bataan through the Japanese regime and by chance was not captured since he went into hiding in Bulacan.

He was a professor in Far Eastern University (FEU), Adamson University, Arellano University, University of the Philippines each in Manila and Diliman. He was also a lecturer here and abroad because it has one thing to do with being an executive secretary to the Philippine Mission to United Nations from 1946 to 1949. He became an official journalist from 1945 to 1998 on Evening Herald, Balita, Manila Bulletin, Manila Chronicle, Daily Globe and Malaya amongst others. He was also a broadly known historian and author. He was married to Letizia Roxas since 1946. They have two children; Renato Jr. and Karina who’s married to the political commentator Randy David.

He died on September 15, 1999. Renato Constantino’s life had been a sheltered one however his father, a lawyer had taught him about independence. He didn’t protect Renato from the true realities of life, the existence of oppression and exploitation. At a younger age, he had the consciousness of being a nationalist, of somebody who wants to uplift the sufferings of his fellowmen. Through his columns at a quantity of newspapers, his lectures, his teachings and his works he had reached his goal and that’s awakening the Filipinos and I am not afraid to admit I was and nonetheless is considered one of his disciples.


This guide is a compilation of three pamphlets of Renato Constantino specifically: Origin of the Myth, Veneration with out Understanding and A Leadership for Filipinos. It wouldn’t be a good deal if I go straight to the overview of this guide with out tackling a few of the pamphlets related to this e-book similar to Nationalism and Liberation, Synthetic Culture and Development and Identity and Consciousness. Nationalism as outlined by Wikipedia “as a political ideology that includes a robust identification of a group of people with a political entity outlined in national terms” and in Renato Constantino’s eyes nationalism has been described as an end-result of a distorted history of colonization. In his pamphlet, Nationalism and Liberation. He traced the history of colonization within the Philippines. From the time that the two superpowers of the Old World; Spain and Portugal had spent money for sponsoring expeditions to the discovery of the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan to the propagation of Christianity to the natives as a software of imperialism.

Constantino had been trying to awaken the consciousness of every one of us to what had been the reality all alongside. A distorted one as he aptly described it. The Spanish colonizers had not solely captured our hearts but additionally our spirits, they imbibed modifications principally negative values that are nonetheless inherent up to today’s generation. We have been brain-washed with their concepts and philosophies which in a method or another had created diversity among the Filipino people.

In this line, Constantino had in contrast us with different Southeast asian international locations like Thailand and Indonesia to call a few; the former had not skilled colonial rule however the latter had been a different case since it was beneath colonial rule from the British to the French but Indonesia had opted to be unbiased amidst its variety. It had adopted political and financial independence by way of the consciousness amongst its people beginning with one language which is Bahasa Indonesia. Thailand however been a monarchial rule, blood and sophistication count but still the people tried to realize independence and the category battle had been one massive downside to be solved but at present Thailand managed to be ousted from the list of THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES.

Through History, Constantino needs us, the Filipino folks to study the teachings from the past and that we can by no means be at all times dependent on a foreign colony to survive. We need to battle to be free from oppression and exploitation of international powers. He needs us to return to the grassroots; to be self-reliant in our ways. Economic independence is the objective right here and the secret is to not depend upon Transnational Corporations(TNCs). The authorities ought to create applications which would profit more the Filipino folks than the aliens. We have to turn this nation from an import-oriented to an export-oriented one. For now, we are able to see it is still a far-fetched dream however who knows from the teachings discovered from History the consciousness of being NEW FILIPINOS will take place any more.

Regarding the pamphlet “Synthetic Culture and Development”. Renato Constantino had explored the ills of neocolonialism. No society can exist and not using a tradition. As Amilcar Cabral quoted “Culture is the dynamic synthesis.on the degree of particular person or community consciousness, of the fabric and religious historic reality of a society or a human group with the relations existing between man and nature in addition to among men and amongst social lessons and sectors”

But the tradition prevailing in our society had been described by Constantino as synthetic which as outlined means fake or synthetic. The one put responsible here is the MASS MEDIA since it’s the main root of COMMUNICATION. Communication means to convey a message and we can’t deny the reality that Media has been a powerful software in opening the doorways of communication among the many folks. From the data recognized and unknown to people, we are on guard day-to-day with the modifications. The power of Neocolonialism plays a significant function in our having a synthetic culture. We have been influenced by the foreign power, the United States most significantly. From our love and addiction to imported items, looking for employment and climbing the corporate ladder owned by the Transnational Corporations (TNCs), being an immigrant in the land referred because the “LAND OF MILK AND HONEY”.

We have this western consciousness in every considered one of us and according to Constantino, if this would be the case the place is the Filipino consciousness? Filipino identity? With this reality, as we analyze deeper, the Filipino individuals are sturdy propagators of colonial mentality, that we must always converse,practice,dress, really feel like Westerners. In his pamphlet “THE WESTERNIZING FACTORS IN THE PHILIPPINES”, we are demoted to what he termed as PETTY BOURGEOISFICATION which means we are merely shopkeepers,salesmen, professionals,authorities workers etc. in different words just mass merchandise of a society. That being the CEOs and presidents will only be far-fetched desires. Our identification has been tied or binded with Western affect and that the latter had used MEDIA to achieve that objective. An instance can be we all know more about Tom Cruise than Nora Aunor.

We opted to patronize foreign motion pictures than local ones. As shallow as these examples, it nonetheless signifies one factor, we are extra identified, familiar and hooked up with western influences than our personal. And that’s what Constantino had been describing and detailing on the synthetic tradition. He desires a People-Culture than a Synthetic one and this could be achieved via: (a) formulation and growth of complete nationwide communication insurance policies which should evolve from broad consultations with all sectors concerned (b) removal of obstacles and restrictions which derive from the concentration of media possession, public or personal from commercial affect on press and broadcasting (c) efficient legal measures to restrict the process of focus and monopolization (d) strengthening cultural identification and creativity through the institution of national cultural insurance policies similar to going back to the grassroots culture (e) improvement of important elements of communication (f) entry to technical info and advanced communications know-how and (g) democratizing media administration. Lastly, the pamphlet “Identity and Consciousness”, Renato Constantino had explored the “whys” there’s an absence of consciousness among the many Filipino people. He had traced the true reality to 2 elements namely Elitism and Ignorance.


Tracing back to our History lessons there had been the issue of sophistication, of a separation of people by method of wealth and energy. From the pre-colonial instances, the barangay form of authorities had been dominated by the datu and there had been a disparity between the datu and the alipin saguigilid. Then when the Spaniards came, they used the Filipino elite to take benefit of the sources. They had inspired the elite to go overseas to review with the likes of Jose Rizal and Marcelo del Pilar amongst others to type a motion as a end result of up front they want to be free from the Spanish rule but still adamant to use revolutionary means to finish the struggle. Under the American Regime, the elite this time beneath Aguinaldo, Quezon until Jose P. Laurel, they’ve been educated abroad but still imbibed with western consciousness. Under the neocolonial rule, it is still the same ball game, our leaders have been educated and educated overseas however still the identity remains the same, western growth had been more engaging and where can we contribute this mistake? This painful result?

To us, the Filipino people. We have not realized something from History. Until now, we are nonetheless ignorant . We are still unidentified and not aware of being Filipinos. It is like going to excessive school without an Identification card (ID) we’re still nameless. The western influence had built us to be this fashion and they are succeeding, till now we’re still under their rule-of-thumb even when we don’t have their military bases here in our territory, still we are clearly extra identified with them than by being a Filipino. Constantino had been clear on this subject.

Unless the consciousness develops , identity will follow. But it is an phantasm till now as a end result of we can see for ourselves that we’d like the United States to maintain our financial system going, that we’re still dreaming of turning into the 57th state of United States. It had been an inherent dream that we’ll be spending in US dollars and never in pesos, that we don’t have to go to the US Embassy to get our visas and that the imported items shall be sold at extra affordable prices.

Unless there might be an financial revolution which could begin from going back to the grassroots, and that we will notice that our nation is an agricultural yet one more than an industrial zone. Until the time that we’ll have the consciousness that we are Filipinos with less dependency on Western influences. That will be the only time that our identification as Filipinos shall be established. That will also be the time that the spirit of Filipino nationalism has been embraced by each and everybody of us. Now in correlation with the e-book DISSENT AND COUNTER-CONSCIOUSNESS, as I even have talked about earlier it’s a compilation of three pamphlets so it will be finest to debate the pamphlets first earlier than citing an summary of the whole book.


Here Constantino tried to discuss concerning the fable relating to United States’ relationship with the Philippines. As we try to recall historical past, we’ve learned that United States at first has little interest in the Philippines however when it began to crave for a niche in the “SUPERPOWER” realm, it had realized that colonizing Philippines isn’t a bad concept however more of a sign that US was able to be a first class conqueror thus shopping for us from the Spanish rulers through Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in Hongkong, twas the mock battle took place. We were not aware of the reality that US has come not solely to beat however to stay, it was only later after the Hares-Hawes Cutting Law happened during the Commonwealth period that we had this immediate realization that United States was a mother colony and we are under their beck and call.

It was not the fault of Manuel Quezon’s ignorance that pushed him to signal the Tydings-McDuffie law since one of the premises there was to grant self-government after ten years. Adding to the very fact, that there was the outbreak of Second World War, and that Philippines was in the dumps economically speaking. US was there to lend a hand through overseas aid. The authorities had not been absolutely conscious of the motives of the US government because of the worth instilled by Spaniards inside us, the proverbial utang-na-loob. We were now having that idea that we owe them. That is the place the myth got here in; according to Constantino, that actuality cannot be separated from fantasy and that United States had been our knight in shining armor. So a particular bond or relationship had been fashioned.

The only opposing facet at the moment was the HUKBALAHAP motion headed by the late Luis Taruc and the US government had been wise sufficient to make Ramon Magsaysay,a pure American boy and the CIA to penetrate and control the HUKS. Every legislation and treaty from the Tydings-McDuffie legislation up to the Bell Trade Act exhibits the control of the US over the Philippines for two functions as cited by Constantino; he referred to it as the twin premises of the myth: a) that there was no substantial resistance to American rule and b) that the Filipinos were then incapable of self-government. There was resistance and the Filipinos have been able to self- government as proven by the barangay system throughout pre-colonial times. But US has a different plan for Philippines and it has to be total management which they did with all the treaties and the presence of the army bases and even the “utang-na-loob” inherent in us by making Jose Rizal the national hero, the overseas help through IMF(International Monetary Fund) and WB(World Bank), making us a member-country of GATT(General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and UN(United Nations) among others so that we will embark on an open financial system adopting Adam Smith’s Free Enterprise but ultimately if we look at every thing in hindsight, it was extra to US’ profit than the Filipinos.

The United States was intelligent enough to take advantage of our weakness and that’s after three hundred thirty three years of Spanish colonialism, we had been dying to be unbiased and it was also our Achilles’ heel to talk of since US was conscious of this truth, due to this fact it had sent the most effective men like Dewey, Merritt, Taft among others to lead the Philippines in the course of that “independence” mediocrity. With the assistance of the Americanistas like Aguinaldo, Arellano, Quezon, Laurel even as much as the current Noynoy Aquino. We can say that US is right here to remain and I should not marvel if after the time period of Noynoy Aquino there shall be plan to make Philippines the 57th state of the United States of America. It is not going to be a giant shock for all of us since as I even have talked about earlier, we’re more drawn to Uncle Sam than Juan dela Cruz.

In the top of this pamphlet Constantino tried to discuss the press censorship during McKinley’s administration where the BILL OF RIGHTS beneath the 1935 Constitution was not honored notably freedom of press and expression. The US had been clever sufficient to impose a civilian rule somewhat than navy rule. It was too late for the Philippine government to comprehend that we were under a military authorities than a civilian one when a lot of the troops sent in Vietnam have been mostly Filipinos and that we didn’t have that inkling to wage war in opposition to Vietnam since it was US’ advocacy to take pleasure in wars to realize extra power and to have that regular place in the superpower realm.

When there was the killing of Filipino troops in Vietnam, United States was aware that it will create a chaos within the Philippine government so the latter, sensible as he’s had groomed a younger senator named Ferdinand Marcos to run for presidency in 1965 and finally won the hearts of the Filipinos as first due to his advocacy for the poor. As they are saying, in history, it was too late to realize that Marcos was not out to rule fairly but to destroy the preservation of nationalism which was slowly rising in others since here and then he was a boytoy of the US government.


In this pamphlet, Constantino discussed about Jose Rizal as an American sponsored hero and the tracing again of Rizal’s function within the history of the Philippines. Rizal was an illustrado, he was not from an impoverished household so he had the chance to study and educated in different faculties overseas. He was a genius, a jack of all trades. He was a discovered man. For many, he was the greatest way out for independence from Spanish rule. In the lengthy run, the conclusion dawned that he was an selfish and narcisstic person who didn’t give a rattling about his fellowmen. He created the Propaganda Movement and La Liga Filipina not as a result of he wanted to end the Spanish colonizers through writing and different peaceful means (what we can termed now as ceasefire). He abhorred revolutionary means because deep inside that discovered man lies a COWARD.

In my undergraduate research about Rizal, I was given the prospect to dissect and analyze Rizal’s letters to Ferdinand Blumentritt all in its authentic versions preserved by the National Historical Institute. There was one letter that cited Rizal’s real reason why he did not go with the plan of Andres Bonifacio’s revolution. He belittled the latter for not having the literacy and management which Rizal had been recognized to possess. He was one hundred percent sure that the revolution will fail not solely due to lack of ammunitions and males but more of a poor leadership displayed by an ‘IGNORANT AND ILLITERATE FARMER”.

The response of Blumentritt was completely different and sudden which made Rizal furious as a result of Blumentritt cited situations whereby a successful revolution headed by an ignorant and illiterate individual had succeeded and and instance was the French Revolution. Blumentritt was objective enough to put in writing to Rizal that maybe the latter has this impression on Bonifacio because Rizal was a coward and he simply can’t carry a gun and kill.

It was this reason that Rizal stopped speaking with Blumentritt, as a outcome of deep inside he is conscious of he ought to be the one to plan and carry out the revolution and never someone ignorant and illiterate like Bonifacio. In a method or one other, we knew that the Cry of Balintawak failed but it instilled one thing in us; an iota of nationalism and satisfaction that we need to be free from the Spanish rule, that the urge of independence is slowly burning in our hearts. That is what Constantino referred right here as “HEROISM” not because you died for the love of your nation but moreof putting a “CONSCIOUSNESS THAT WE ARE MEANT TO BE FREE. Sad to say, it was not a continuous process since there was not a brave man like Bonifacio again within the current times irrespective of how ignorant and illiterate as he is to face up for our independence, for our freedom. Until now we are nonetheless a neocolony of United States and nothing adjustments even if we are coming into 2012.


In this pamphlet, Constantino was brave sufficient to depict the true leader for the Filipinos. It is a radical writing of the internal thoughts of Constantino as he tried to search for that chief as he had described: “ somebody who is an entertainer, in style, clever, chic and confident in its people”. He had an admiration for Andres Bonifacio because of his will to let Philippines achieve independence even if he was an ignorant and illiterate farmer. So with Claro M. Recto who occurs to be a populist by coronary heart. It was just the mistaken flip of events which didn’t give any advantage or recognition to a fantastic statesman like Recto for the explanation that latter was not a member of the elite get together of Americanistas. “Recto isn’t a good speaker, no. He will arouse no mob. But heaven help the one whose pretensions he chooses to demolish.

His sentences march like ordered battalions towards the inmost citadel of the man’s arguments, and scale back them to rubble; in the meantime his reservations stand like armed sentries against essentially the most silent approach and each attempt at encirclement by the adversary. The reduction to absurdity of Nacionalista senator Zulueta’s conception of sound overseas policy was a shattering experience, the skill that goes into the cutting of a diamond went into the work of demolition. There was no slip of the hand, no flaw within the tool. All was delicately, completely done… Recto can not defend the indefensible, however what could be defended, he will see to it that it will not be taken.”

This was quoted by Teodoro Locsin and Recto remained to be an inspiration to nationalists like Renato Constantino, Lorenzo Tanada, Jovito Salonga amongst others.

Recto was able to assist in the molding of the consciousness of some Filipinos but he was not given the prospect to mold the bulk and it was introduced by his defeat in the presidential race where Sergio Osmena gained who occurred to be a real Americanista. Still his subversiveness, patriotism, nationalistic spirit lives on and I admire the particular person for his being sublime. He was a realized man like Rizal but he never was a coward. The need to be free and impartial from international colonizers had been a dream of his. It was only a pity he was not given the possibility to make it a actuality. As Constantino described a pacesetter in the lengthy run page of this pamphlet. He cited “A people can’t be nice by the posturing of a leader nor by his well-rehearsed speeches but by their own efforts.

They may be nice not by changing into worthy of overseas investments but by purposeful work . They may be nice not by counting on exterior assist because the decisive issue of development, but by sacrifice ,by struggling and gaining confidence in themselves”. He additional added that a “true leader just isn’t afraid to struggle if it would be for the widespread good”. I for one agreed to that, we will still export OFWs for economic causes but with the country they’re in, not for a single time will they forget that they are FILIPINOS in each mind and coronary heart.

After discussing the three pamphlets included in the book DISSENT AND COUNTER-CONSCIOUSNESS, I have the room now to sort out the e-book and gave an overview about it. DISSENT in layman’s time period means to go in opposition to. You show an antagonistic attitude if it isn’t what you consider in or must imagine in. Subversion had been a taboo word ever since Man had this dream to be FREE. This word all the time coincide with terrorism, ambushes, rallies, salvages amongst others, purely adverse in every sense of the word.

As Constantino expresses on this e-book, “Man in living in a cloth world and principle is a far thought”. In actuality that has been taking place, Filipinos have gotten extra contented with material needs; something that money can buy even paying the court, bribing the government agencies in order not to be penalized. With that starvation for material issues, the accountability of presidency agencies go far past the principle. Graft and Corruption had been a contagious illness, a brand new virus with no antidote. Man are slowly becoming wanton and unprincipled because of the yen for materials issues. It is a tragic factor that due to this reality Man has been turning into a commodity. Someone with a value tagged on and maybe if an public sale comes alongside he might be sold to the highest bidder. If we look at the situation nowadays, we are being sold to the best bidder and that’s the United States. It doesn’t only management us in economic and political elements however in all elements as well even non secular.

We have been in their shell of SUPERPOWER REALM for so lengthy and now we are discovering it onerous to disintegrate or detach ourselves from them. We are actually arrange as a commodity in a free enterprise economy. Our wits and intelligence were in their benefit because we are working for them. The government whom we belief probably the most seems the opposite, the one who betrayed us. Even before as a colony and now as a neocolony, nothing had modified we’re still underneath them. The American will had turn into the Filipino will. We don’t have that identification that we’re Filipinos. Our consciousness as a Filipino is on the backside.

We desparately want the Americans to outlive and that’s one illness that is incurable at this level. But Constantino is not giving up. Counter-Consciousness is his answer. It will not be an easy task that is the reason why he used History to trace the foundation of the problems, to unveil the consciousness of the Filipino folks, to dissipate the discontentment of being without an identification. With History, we flip back the time, we realized from the previous and most of all it’ll pave the means in which on what we should always do with our future. It won’t be a simple task however it can be a reality if there will be a pacesetter able to sacrifice himself for not being a commodity being sold to the highest bidder however that he will be of service to the widespread good.

Where is that leader? He is simply there patiently biding for his time and I know deep inside that we will never be the 57th state of the United States because even the latter has not been that complacent in its area of interest within the superpower realm. It is now in the midst of financial recession and political upheaval. Am I proper in saying that “what comes round goes around?”

The reply is YES, it is time for the United States to grant us that independence we’ve been craving for so lengthy. We deserved to be free and that is our major objective, our direction. We could also be working for them, we could also be buying imported goods from them, we could additionally be having our money transformed into dollars but nothing modifications they are all material issues that can diminish a day, a week, a yr from now but nothing will change the fact that I AM A FILIPINO AND I AM PROUD TO BE A FILIPINO.

With my quick keep at the mountains of Bataan during my school days. I know I am a subversive and I am proud to be one. I no longer hide the fact that I was a leftist throughout my faculty days and even at current I am in a capitalist society nothing will alter the reality that my consciousness has been in my coronary heart that I am for equality and justice.

Taking up LAW had not been an easy determination because it negates every thing I realized in being a subversive but I am not giving up because the LAW is not going to remain blindfolded eternally, eventually it will shred that cloth and will take justice as its destiny and I will simply be ready at a corner biding for that time to return.


This paper had occupied a particular place in my heart since I don’t deny the reality that Constantino had been an icon to reckon with. He has been my inspiration in my profession path, most of all I realized to be pleased with my being subversive as He was. The book with all of the a quantity of pamphlets attached to it has been Constantino’s means of reaching out the Filipino people who we can not stay as ignorant because the United States presumes. We are climbing out slowly from the shell that had been an unsafe haven for so lengthy as we attempt to give ourselves the possibility to embark on a new life.

An unbiased life as everyone’s objective is. A Life that we can utter with satisfaction that we are FILIPINOS. We are slowly attaining this mark, majority are now going back to the grassroots tradition. We should be westernized in materials items however in line of pondering we have gotten aware that we’re Filipinos and that’s how it should be.

Eventually everybody will be conscious of Juan dela Cruz than Uncle Sam particularly that Uncle Sam is crestfallen right now with all of the upheavals he’s now facing I won’t be stunned that his all understanding smile will flip into a nasty grin. For my fellow Filipinos, we’ll stand with satisfaction that we are able to now identify ourselves as Filipinos and no longer Filipinos with US as our neocolonizer but Filipinos for Philippines alone. Time may also come that the realization of being a subversive is not a ruthless act neither a negative trait however a breathe of fresh air to convey a few CHANGE. MABUHAY ANG MGA FILIPINO…

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