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For more than one reason this book should be read by those who are interested in Philippine affairs. It accurately presents the different stages through which American public opinion on the socalled Philippine question has passed. It is moreover the first attempt of a young Filipino educated in American schools to write in the English language. Most important of all, it echoes the voice of a generation of Filipinos that has grown to maturity during the period of American sovereignty over the Islands.
Mr. Kalaw fairly represents the generation of Filipinos that is about to become an important factor in shaping the future of the archipelago. He, like other millions of boys who were of school age when the American flag became the symbol of sovereignty in the Philippines, has been educated in public schools taught by American teachers who have endeavored to instil into the mind of their pupils the belief that it is the destiny of the Filipino people to remain forever under the control of the Government of the United States and that with the
realization of this destiny are bound up their wellbeing, their prosperity, and their individual liberty. Up to the time that Honorable Francis Burton Harrison became Governor-General of the Philippine Islands, independence was a forbidden topic in Philippine public schools. In dealing with Philippine history American teachers were particularly careful to place emphasis upon the benefits accorded to the people of the Islands by the Government of the United States. The merits of the American occupation were painted in the most glowing colors. No effort was spared to make American control appear almost as a gift from heaven. It was the belief among those who were responsible for this policy in the schools that the rising generation of Filipinos would advocate the permanent continuance of the existing political relationship between the United States and the Philippine Islands.
Mr. Kalaw's book makes it clear that this policy has failed. The Filipino youth is even stronger in its aspiration for independence than the generation that is passing by. It is therefore absolutely beyond question that the desire for national independence cannot be eradicated from the hearts of the Filipino people. Such being the case, every consideration of statesmanship goes to show that there is but one wise course by which the Government of
the United States may govern its action with regard to the Philippine Islands; namely, that of granting them a' speedy independence. This fol. lows not only from the American principle that “just governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed ” but also from the invari. able lesson of history that governments cannot endure unless they are based upon the consent of the governed.
Maximo M. Kalaw was born at Lipa, Batangas Province, Philippine Islands, in 1891. He attended the public schools of his native town, and later came to Manila where he entered the University of the Philippines. He is distinctly a product of the American system of education established in the Islands. In his second year at the University of the Philippines, he became editor-inchief of the “ The College Folio”— the University magazine. His management of this journal exhibited such marked ability as to attract attention. He came with the writer to Washington in 1911 as private secretary and manager of “The Filipino People” devoted to the cause of Philippine independence. He has, therefore, been connected with the Philippine independence movement in the United States for five years. He was graduated in law at Georgetown University in 1914.
In 1912 he addressed the annual session of the
Lake Mohonk Conference of the Indian and Other Dependent Peoples, Mohonk Lake, New York, and his presentation of the cause of his people elicited such favorable attention as to call forth favorable comment even from the opposition newspapers. The Boston Transcript,” one of the most persistent enemies of Philippine freedom, had this to say of Mr. Kalaw's speech :
“ This youth delivered an oration — it was not a speech - of such force and beauty of expression as has seldom fallen upon the ears of a Mohonk audience. He advocated independence for his people; he said they were all for it; he complimented our work and sacrifices, but he craved that boon of liberty. At the conclusion of his speech the applause was long continued. In contrast with the 'set speeches' of many American travelers in the Islands this effort of the native orator carried refreshing frankness and force. Certainly, if the Islands can furnish such men to plead for them, the day of their liberty is not far distant."
MANUEL L. QUEZON.
Washington, D. C.,
March 23, 1916.