HomeDALUMAT E-Journaltomo 4 bilang 1-2 (2013)

The Unfinished Business: A Challenge for the Youth of the 21st Century to Continue the Young Philippines’ Legacies

Tyrone Jann DC Nepomuceno

Susing salita: Philippine Studies



 In times of escalating territorial disputes and of continued struggles for equity by farmers in various localities, the question on the Filipino youth’s stand arises. A group of young Filipinos rose up to similar challenges in the last century. Guided by the principles of nationalistic movement called Young Philippines, Wenceslao Vinzons, Diosdado Macapagal and Arturo Tolentino, among others, valiantly fought in peaceful ways. This study unveils the challenges they faced and the solutions they ignited to contribute to nation building.

This paper highlights the speeches of Macapagal, especially his State of the Nation Addresses (SONA) and his writings (a memoir titled A Stone for the Edifice and autobiography titled From Nipa Hut to Presidential Palace) and of Tolentino, Voice of Dissent. The study, which utilized Contextual Analysis of their works, was patterned after the framework of Phenomenological Hermeneutics. It held the view that ‘consciousness’ is not separate from the world, but is a formation of historically lived experiences. Truly, a person’s experiences in the past shape how the same thinks and acts. In this case, Macapagal and Tolentino’s experiences as members of the Young Philippines are the centerpieces. This elucidates Macapagal’s actions on claiming Sabah (North Borneo), MAPHILINDO’s establishment and Land Reform for Filipino farmers during his presidency, and Tolentino’s remarkable contributions: the Archipelagic Doctrine and the Law of the Sea in his long stint as legislator. Vinzons’ life was ended in the Second World War not seeing the fruition of the movement’s dreams.

With the aid of the aforementioned method and framework, this study offers a model from the previous century for the youth of the present. It particularly focuses on how to actively take part in the writing of the nation’s history just like what the two statesmen did during their stints in the Philippine government.