How celebrating our histories are a form of resistance to capitalism
To celebrate their victories, students at the University of the Philippines in Diliman held a “Day of the Philippines,” in commemoration of the victory of Filipino revolutionaries in the Philippine-American War. The celebration was largely organized around the themes of resistance and history, the latter being a particularly effective tool in the struggle to combat capitalism.
On the night of April 5, 1898, Ulysses S. Grant returned victorious to Manila after defeating the Spanish army at the Battle of Manila (Dinglas, 2015). He remained in the city until his assassination on April 14, 1877, a date marked as the Philippine Revolution (Dinglas, 2015). As the U.S. imperialist world powers are seeking to destroy the Philippines, the Filipino people are fighting to preserve the country. The battle for an independent Philippine nation has been fought and won by students of the University of the Philippines.
History can be powerful in its resistance to capital. The Filipino student movement was originally organized to give students a voice not only in the Philippine Revolution, but in Philippine society as a whole, as well. The school’s First Anniversary Congress declared, “History is the only power in our lives, and it is the only thing that will bring us together, break down our divisions, and help us unite in our common struggle to liberate the Filipino people” (Mariano, 1972).
This sentiment has led to the school’s students not only commemorating the U.S. victory but also commemorating the Philippines’ own struggle. As a result, U.P. students have commemorated the Philippine Revolution’s Second Anniversary, an event that occurred on July 7, 1902, when Filipino rebels defeated the Spanish-American invaders at the Battle of Marawi. The U.P. students have also commemorated the U.S. victory with an Annual Day of Independence on January 26, 1986, which saw the student government proclaim Philippine independence from the U.S. imperialist.
On Sunday, March 23, 2016, the University of the Philippines celebrated its third anniversary as the University of the Philippines. The event was held as a tribute