Commemorating the 47th anniversary
of the founding of Kabataang Makabayan
■ Davao City ■ Manila
November 30, 2011
DAVAO CITY - Around 50 members of Kabataang Makabayan occupy a major intersection in Davao City causing a temporary traffic jam on Wednesday evening. Kabataang Makabayan, which is celebrating its 47th founding anniversary, strongly condemned the continuing human rights violations under the Oplan Bayanihan counter-insurgency program. Text and photo by Karlos Manlupig
MANILA – Revolutionary youth
from different schools and communities in Metro Manila staged a lightning
rally Nov 30 to mark the 47th anniversary of Kabataang Makabayan (KM).Condemning
the impact of the global crisis especially the US financial crisis on
ordinary people, they urged the youth to join the people’s war. Kabataang
Makabayan (KM) is reprotedly the only revolutionary youth organization in
the Philippines. Text and photo by Gregorio B. “Jhun” Dantes Jr.
Photos by Karlos Manlupig
A patrolling police unit tries to withdraw backwards as they chanced upon members of Kabataang Makabayan who are staging a lighting rally in Davao City on Wednesday evening.
KABATAANG MAKABAYAN FOUNDING SPEECH
Speech delivered before the Founding Congress of Kabataang Makabayan at the YMCA Youth Forum Hall
November 30, 1964.
Panahon na ngayon x x x dapat nating ipakilala na
tayo’y may sariling pagdaramdam, may puri, may hiya at pagdadamayan.
Ngayon ay panahong dapat simulan ang pagsisiwalat ng mga mahal at dakilang
aral na magwawasak sa masinsing tabing na bumubulag sa ating kaisipan;
panahon na ngayong dapat makilala ng mga Pilipino ang pinagbuhatan ng
kanilang mga kahirapan. x x x
Kaya, mga kababayan, ating idilat ang bulag na
kaisipan at kusang igugol sa kagalingan ang ating lakas sa tunay at lubos
na pag-asa na magtagumpay sa nilalayong kaginhawahan ng bayang tinubuan.
Andres Bonifacio was the disciplined revolutionary
activist who sought and found in revolution the only process that could
give full expression to the national and social aspirations of our people
which had so long been suppressed by a foreign power prettified by the
soft and evasive terms of liberal reformers.
Andres Bonifacio was the uncompromising leader who
was not only inspired by the cogitations and formulations of the
Propaganda Movement, but was also ready to act in concert with his people
in armed struggle against tyranny the moment peaceful and legal struggle
reached the white wall of futility.
Thus, Andres Bonifacio today stands as a model of
revolutionary militancy among the Filipino youth and among the advocates
of national democracy. His revolutionary courage is a beacon to us all. If
Kabataang Makabayan suc- ceeds in its patriotic mission, one important
requirement it shall have met is to be imbued with the revolutionary cour-
age of Andres Bonifacio, the courage that gives life and force to the
principles that we now uphold in this epoch.
We recall the memory of Andres Bonifacio not only
because we happen to meet on this day but more because we understand his
continuing historical relevance to our present situation. We perceive the
leading role of his class in this epoch during which our national efforts
at basic industrialization and overthrowing feudalism are constantly
frustrated by U.S. imperialism and its local reactionary allies.
We remember that, after the death of Bonifacio, the
revolutionary initiative of the peasants and the workers in the Katipunan
and the anticolonial struggle in general was undermined and debilitated by
the liberal compromises made by the ilustrado leadership. The compromises
came one after the other: the Pact of Biak-na-Bato, Aguinaldo’s trust in
Yankee confidence-men in Hongkong, the bourgeois-landlord upper hand in
the Malolos Congress, and the ultimate surren- der of the ilustrados and
collaboration with the U.S. impe- rialist regime.
Though we are aggrieved by the fact that the
Philippine revolution has been interrupted and that U.S. imperialism has
grabbed the triumph of revolution from our hands, we must take a
scientific view of our national history. We recognize such objective
historical conditions as that no matter how sharply anticolonial and
anticlerical were the ilustrados they did not yet have the ability to
comprehend fully modern imperialism; that the working class was still in
the embryo stage of its development; that the peasants in the provinces
were misled by the equivocating demagoguery of both native landlords and
liberals; and that U.S. imperialism was not only superior in industrial
might but also well-versed in a liberal jargon which could easily deceive
the newly-emergent Filipino bourgeoisie.
U.S. imperialism came to the Philippines and
succeeded in imposing its sovereignty upon our people by military violence
and by liberal guile. Whereas our people were already capable of crushing
Spanish colonialism within the archipelago, they were still incapable of
crushing a new type of colonialism, the imperialism of the United States
Rizal saw the United States of America as a covetous
and expansionist power, no different from Great Britain, Germany, France,
Czarist Russia and Japan.
The Philippines was especially important to the
imperialist planners of the United States as it could very well serve as
the staging area for the U.S. venture to participate with the other
Western powers in the despoliation of China. Until now, the Philippines
serves as a staging area for U.S. imperialism to attack and subvert
Southeast Asia and the rest of Asia.
Until now, the Americans try to misrepresent Filipino
nationalism. They would rather have what they call “positive”
nationalism—a positive force in the “special relationship” between the
Philippines and the United States. Compromise with U.S. imperialism is
what is called positive nationalism.
There is only one nationalism that we appreciate. It
is that which refers to the national democratic revolution, the Philippine
revolution, whose main tasks now are the liquidation of imperialism and
feudalism to achieve full national freedom and democratic reforms.
Imperialist propaganda constantly attempts to impugn
Filipino nationalism and communism together. The communist bogey has
always been raised with the view of frightening our people. But, little do
the reactionary propagandists realize that through their own efforts the
people are getting to know that it is the imperialist strategy to destroy
communists first to destroy the nationalists. In the strategic thinking of
the U.S. imperialists, which has been tested in their counterrevolutionary
practices in Asia, Africa and Latin America, the most relentless anti-
imperialists—whether communists or left-wing nationalists—must first be
destroyed for any imperialist scheme of exploitation to succeed.
Thus, in the Philippines, we have seen the communists
become the main target of massive attacks against civil liberties by the
U.S. colonial government in 1931, by the Japanese after their successful
landing in 1942, and again by the U.S. imperialists in their attempt after
the Pacific War to recapture us. If we study closely the ratification of
the Bell Trade Act and the Parity Amendment, we will discover that the
communists had first to be harassed, imprisoned, assassinated and provoked
before the bourgeois nationalist leaders in the Nacionalista Party and in
the Democratic Alliance could be discouraged and would compromise.
What the U.S. imperialists and their local cohorts,
the compradors and big landlords, do not want to happen is the alliance of
all anti-imperialists, as has often happened in Asian countries, with
fatal effectiveness against imperialism.
With the continuing triumph of U.S. imperialism in
the Philippines and the stability of its control, it is the chief task of
the Filipino youth to resume and complete the unfinished revolution under
the banner of national democracy, to expose and oppose the national and
social iniquities caused by U.S. imperialism and its local reactionary
If the Filipino youth should relent in this task,
then their people shall continue to suffer the direct impositions of U.S.
imperialism as well as feudalism, which the former protects for its own
It is the task of the Filipino youth to study
carefully the large confrontation of forces between U.S. imperialism and
feudalism on one side and national democracy on the other side. To know
the nature of this contradiction of forces is to know the dynamism and
internal motion of our semicolonial and semifeudal society.
For the youth to know so much is for them to act more effectively and cooperate more thoroughly on the side of progress in the historical process of change.
Kabataang Makabayan, in its historic role as the
vanguard organization of Filipino youth, should know the balance of forces
between imperialism and feudalism on the one hand and national democracy
on the other. On the side of U.S. imperialism are the compradors and the
big landlords. On the side of national democracy are the broad masses of
our people, composed of the working class and the peasantry to which the
vast majority of the Filipino youth today belong; the petty bourgeoisie,
composed of small property-owners, students, intellectuals and
professionals; and the national bourgeoisie, composed of Filipino
entrepreneurs and traders.
From the present scheme of social classes, we can
derive a new and powerful combination of youth—the students, young
professionals, labor youth and the peasant youth. Above all, the Filipino
youth should integrate themselves with the masses in order to achieve
victory in the fight for national freedom and democracy.
Kabataang Makabayan, as the vanguard organization of
the Filipino youth, should assist in the achievement of an invincible
unity of all national classes and forces to push further the struggle for
national and social liberation in all fields—economic, political,
cultural, military—against the leading enemy, U.S. imperialism, and
against the persistent and pervasive main enemy, landlordism. Both have
frustrated the national democratic aspirations of the Philippine
revolution of 1896 and have made the suffering and exploitation of our
people more complex and more severe.
This generation of Filipino youth is lucky to be at
this point in history when U.S. imperialism is fast weakening at all
significant levels of conflict: that between capitalism and socialism;
that between the capitalist class and the working class; and that between
imperialism and national independence movements in Asia, Africa and Latin
The October 2 demonstration against U.S. imperialism
in front of the U.S. embassy and Malacanang Palace, whose participants and
sympathizers Kabataang Makabayan should now consolidate, has already
manifested the rising wave of national democracy among our people. Such a
mass action has shown to us the changing balance of forces in our country.
The objective national and worldwide conditions favor
a national democratic movement of the Filipino youth. It is high time for
the Filipino youth to raise and carry forward the red banner of Andres
Bonifacio and the Katipunan, with the new emblem of the worker-peasant
alliance.* * *
Photos by Gregorio Dantes and Macky Macaspac as indicated by the filenames
Larawan: Kabataang Makabayan, muling nanawagan sa
kabataan na lumahok sa rebolusyon