HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 10 no. 4 (1962)

Bridging the Past and the Present

Camilo Osias

Discipline: History



When our good friend Attorney Enrique Fernando extended on your behalf the invitation to me to be your guest speaker on this program he made mention of the need of someone who could bridge the past and the present. I readily accepted it because frankly I think I can perform the role expected of me for reasons various and sundry. In the first place, I shared your conviction that this is an observance commemorative of a historic forward step in the democratic evolution of the Philippines, the inauguration of the elective Philippine Assembly on October 16, 1907. In the second place I am myself a link between the past and the present having been a witness and a participant in many events at different epochs in our history under the Spanish rule, the revolutionary period, the American administration, the Japanese occupation, the Commonwealth era, and the present Republic. In the third place, I came to know the man most responsible in the United States Congress for the approval of the Philippine Organic Act which provided for the first nationwide election of Filipino legislators and the establishment of the Philippine Assembly. I refer to Congressman Henry A. Cooper of Wisconsin who should always be held by our people in grateful memory.