The Department of Social Sciences of the Lyceum of the Philippines conducted its monthly history seminar last January to further enrich the pool of knowledge of their faculties and students of the proud history of the Filipino people. January was reserved for looking back and honoring the contributions of Emilio Jacinto, the so-called “brain of the Katipunan,” to the Filipinos’ struggle to be liberated from the bondage of Spanish colonization and defending the hard-earned freedom of the first Philippine Republic from the threat of the American occupation.
Adamson University Prof. Crisanto Q. Regadio Jr. shared his readings on the life and works of Emilio Jacinto on one January afternoon and made sense of the “brain of Katipunan” not just as a katipunero but also as a propagandist and social scientist. Prof. Regadio shared his review of the critical social and philosophical understanding of Emilio Jacinto reflected on his satirical and political essays on Jacinto like “Ang liwanag at ang dilim,” “Ako'y umaasa,” “Kalayaan,” at ang “Ang tao'y magkakapantay.” A cross-referencing of Jacinto's critical social and philosophical thoughts reveals the fact that these ideas reflected the Humanist ideas of Giovanni Boccaccio, Pico dela Mirandola, and even the wisdom of ancient sage of China, Kung Fu Tzu. He also argued that the social reform principles, ethical ideals, and philosophies encoded in Emilio Jacinto's Kartilya ng Katipunan are decades earlier than that of parallel ideas echoed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and even that of Bertrand Russell’s.
Before his presentation drew to a close, Mr. Regadio appealed to the audience to follow the dictum of Emilio Jacinto in his Kartilya and to reconsider and review our history. He inspired the audience to make new sense of the heroes who fought for our liberation, their ideals and aspirations as more than just an entry in our textbooks. And like Emilio Jacinto, the rest of out brave heroes should be our guide in our search to redefine Filipinos as more than a pool of OFWs, nurses, caregivers, and call center agents, but as a people who continuously struggled along the path of democracy to earn the respect of the international community as a prosperous, proud and dignified nation.