Messages from the Past

Messages from the Past

MESSAGES—It’s not often you find messages from your ancestors directly to you and your children. I remember my husband mentioning to me that his great-grandfather was an author and, somehow, during a trip to the Philippines I found one of his books. When I turned the first pages, I got chills. The book was addressed to us, ang kabataan.

My husband’s great grandfather, Francisco Laksamana, wrote the book “Anino Ng Kahapon” (“Shadow of the Past/Shadow of Yesterday”) which chronicles the final years of Spanish colonization and these words are written in the introduction. 

Roughly translated:

The youth
It is to you the youth, the children of the Philippines whom I offer this short history.

It is you, who will become the hope of tomorrow of your own nation, ought to recollect the days past of your parents. The road that they traveled, if it is harmful or dangerous, should not be explored forevermore: this is my belief and my desire as I offer this to you, my youngest child.

It is not the case that the history of this story is very poor in signs that can be clearly identified. What I mean to say is that not even a tenth of what actually happened is narrated here. However, my hope is probably misplaced/I may be wrong, that even though our past is severely stained, this creation will also help the youth that did not experience the days I speak of, and serve as a small reminder of a time when it was a sad time to be a Filipino.

I often look to this message, which is taped on our wall at home, as a reminder about living. How to live with integrity and how teach our children the value of being Filipino, especially as Filipinos of the diaspora on land that is not ours. My best solution so far has been to start NARRA, to promote the ancient traditions many fight against. To remember always where we come from.