Prof. Renato Constantino, in his essay entitled “The Miseducation of the Filipino”, writes about the coming about of the miseducation and the consequences of such action in the lives of the Filipinos, then, now, and perhaps the future. Promoting and imposing the “unFilipino” identity in Filipinos was the miseducation that Americans pursued during the time when they “posed” as a benevolent ally to the Philippines, and they proved victorious indeed because they had completely subjugated the Filipinos, both in minds and in hearts.
Education is a very vital factor for one’s development. And as we all know, through education, one’s mind is molded because of the teachings, ideas, and values taught to him. Due to this fact, it’s only either of the two that will happen: the person will become productive provided that he was taught with the right things, or, the person will become otherwise since he acquired negative things.
Personally, I learned and realized many things about the history and relationship between the Americans and the Filipinos upon reading this paper. It is quite intriguing what the main reasons really were the Americans in taking power over the Philippines. Was it for the good of the Filipinos or the Americans’ good? Whatever it was, they succeeded in almost every aspect of conquering the land because they knew the most effective way to subjugate Filipinos minds: by controlling our education.
They created a new generation of good colonials, the “unFilipino” Filipinos. The indigenous ways of life of Filipinos had been changed to the American way of life. That was ridiculous because certainly, America and Philippines vastly differed from each other in so many ways, and therefore, their ways of life based on their differing needs should be entirely different. But the Americans insisted on creating a “carbon-copy” of themselves in Filipinos through the imposition of their language in their education.
I went to elementary and high school in the Philippines, and I know for a fact they used both English and Tagalog as the media of teaching. In the long run, I think this resulted in both positive and negative ways — positively, because I was uprooted to the U.S. and I was able to use the “smattering” English I know to communicate with others, and negatively, because as I have just realized, I feel the “impediment” in my thought process because I cannot think consistently in one language.
All in all, I liked this piece because it reiterates the importance of education to not only produce literate people but also to produce people who would use that education to better their nation.