FORMER SENATE president Edgardo Angara urged Artlets to be aware of their nation’s history for them to know and define their identities as Filipinos.
“People who forget their history will never progress. Nations fail because they forget their history,” Angara said, quoting historians. “Therefore it’s important that you know the history of your country because history will define who you are [and] will define your identity.”
He claimed that Filipinos feel “uncertainty” regarding their own race and “insecurity” toward other nationalities in a forum held Thursday at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex Auditorium.
“Five years ago, there was a survey [in an] elementary school in Quezon City. Pinamili sila (students), ‘Anong gusto mong nationality paglaki?’ Aba, walang pumili ng Filipino,” Angara said. “Nangangahulugan [ito na] bata pa lang wala ka nang pride sa iyong lahi. And why do you not have pride? Because you don’t know the achievements and accomplishments of your race.”
He added that the Philippines is known by other countries as the “nation of domestics” and “nation of kidnappers and sinners.”
Latest survey from the Philippine Statistics Authority released in May 2016 showed that there were estimated 2.4 million overseas Filipino workers from April to September 2015.
The Philippines is one of the countries in Asia with the most number of kidnapping cases in 2015, data from NYA International revealed.
Angara, who served as the Senate president from 1993 to 1995, authored the Free High School Act, Seniors Citizen Act (The Angara Law), National Health Insurance Act, Magna Carta for Public Health Workers, and Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education.
The forum served as the fourth leg of the kaSAYSAYan Lectures organized by the University of Santo Tomas History Society. F MARIA EDEN T. DINO