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The Handicap of National Dependence

1923 — Address to the Liga Nacional de Damas Filipinas, Manila, the Philippines


A people, like ours, who for more than three centuries were subject to the Lion of Castile and upon whom, almost in the moment of seeing broken their chains of iron, destiny placed other manacles of gold, could not, nor can It, have the opportunity of other nations.

It is not free to arouse its national conscience, nor to assume those responsibilities which stimulate to advancement and to production. Nor can its inhabitants cultivate self-confidence or confidence in their countrymen, the qualities of most value whatever the national enterprise.
This is not to be wondered at, since one of nature’s fixed laws may be paraphrased: “Accustom anyone from childhood to submission, to concealing his ambitions and to restrain his protests; teach him to imitate everything foreign and to blindly obey; — you will see that his mental faculties do not develop, or, if they have developed, they will atrophy.”



Source: Gems of Philippine Oratory: Selections Representing Fourteen Centuries of Philippine Thought, Carefully Compiled From Credible Sources in Substitution for the Pre-Spanish Writing Destroyed by Missionary Zeal, to Supplement the Later Literature Stunted by Intolerant Religious and Political Censorship, and as Specimens of the Untrammeled Present-Day Utterances, ed. Austin Craig, (Manila: Fajardo Press) 1924, p. 79-80.