As the nation commemorates the Battle of Imus, Senator Richard J. Gordon called on Filipinos to view our country’s history from a different perspective and be proud of our rich heritage.
Gordon said we should look back at our country’s victories rather than defeats, and remember the brave and courageous people behind them.
“We are a nation that has forgotten our heroes. We bask in victimization. We only remember defeats and we fear to look back at our past. But that is not the way we should view our history. We have to look at history from our victories and not defeats. We must look back at our history without fear and inhibition,” he said.
Colonel Jose Tagle led the Battle of Imus, which was the first victory of Filipino revolutionary forces in the Philippine revolution against Spanish rule, and rallied all of Cavite and other provinces to fight the Spanish colonial government. The three-day historic battle that unified Cavitenos is considered as the “first victory” that saved the Philippine revolution from near collapse.
In September 1896, Tagle led some 1,000 guerilla volunteers from Imus and Kawit in fighting the strong Spanish forces from Manila then massing off Bacoor. His victory paved the way for Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo to defeat Spanish General Ernesto de Aguirre, who, in his haste to escape after he fell from his horse, left behind his “Sable de Mando” (Command sabre) crafted in Toledo in 1869.
Gordon, the great grandson of Col. Tagle, laments that many Filipinos, especially the young, are familiar with the fall of Bataan and Corregidor but not so much with the Battle of Imus where Filipinos had achieved victory.
He stressed that these events in Philippine history and the people behind them should always remain in the minds and hearts of the Filipino people, especially the young generation, to keep flame and fervor of nationalism burning.
“We should look back at our history and how our forefathers fought for our nation’s democracy. Let us make them our models and exemplify the kind of patriotism that they had. Our history is our identity, and we should be proud of it,” the lawmaker said.
“The unifying thread in all our history from our seafaring Datu forbears to our overseas Filipino workers and from our fight against imperial tyranny to our fight against the tyranny of defeatist mentalities is this: It is our search for the realization of our dream of an enabled, empowered and ennobled existence,” he added.
According to the senator, Col. Tagle has painted a picture of who we must be as a people – dignified, patriotic, and ready to stand ground in defense of our freedom and democracy.
Gordon had embraced these same traits when, as Mayor of Olongapo City, he had turned his hometown from Sin City to Model City and had risen from the successive disasters of the Mount Pinatubo eruption and the abandonment of the then American-controlled Subic Naval base.
When Gordon was elected back to the Senate last May, he was armed with different measures aimed at ensuring peace and order, promoting education, promoting trade, investments and tourism, and other bills that will contribute to, and usher in, more growth and development in the country.