Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

June 12, 1898 was too our Independence Day from more than 300 years of Spanish oppression. We won that revolution fair and square and it was not our fault that the Spaniards had to be wily and sign us over to the Americans even if they no longer had any right to. And afterwards, the Filipinos fought long and hard to hold on to that brief taste of freedom, this time with a new enemy, who later fed everybody, even the Filipinos themselves, the atrocious lie called The Benevolent Assimilation. All in the past, I know, but if we must remember, we must do it correctly. We may have been usurped, but it was not without a fight, so you can understand our extreme objection to the term.
It is funny how many perspectives there are from which to view history. I remember when I was studying in Spain, my Spanish professor learned that I was from the Philippines and she proceeded to inform the rest of the class (98% American, 1% Japanese, 1% Filipino - moi) that the Spaniards esteemed the Philippines with fondness because we, along with Puerto Rico and Cuba, were the last of their colonies to leave them (and yeah, they lost us to the Americans - no mention of them losing directly to us). I don't need to tell you how differently Filipinos feel about the same point in history (the Treaty of Paris). For the clueless, here's a clue: it is definitely not with fondness.
More than a hundred years later, we rightfully celebrate that freedom we had fought for and won, which, as far as freedoms go, is much sweeter than freedom that was allegedly bestowed upon us. So here I am in 2008, reluctantly dipping my blogging toe in discussion beyond the nature of my lovely days blog and giving you the chance to see pictures of an ugly cake, with a defensive cry of "It's the thought that counts!" I thought I had the ingredients for moist white cake, but I had no Crisco, so I used butter and it seemed that our formerly huge stash of vanilla had finally been depleted, so I used almond extract instead. Slathered the thing with French buttercream frosting and now the people who have tasted it are ready to swear off sugar for good.