29 years
of
Community Service
MUNTING NAYON
News Magazine
Operated by couple Eddie Flores and Orquidia Valenzuela
News and Views of the
Filipino Community Worldwide
Indonesian Patriot Tan Malaka and His experience as ‘Filipino’


By F. Phillip F. Victoria
March 25, 2015

 
 


The recent furor over claims that some leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were not Filipino citizens reminded me of another historical parallel, that of the Indonesian philosopher, teacher, revolutionary and hero Tan Malaka (1897?-1949) whose controversial politics, militancy and legacy in Indonesian history is being reassessed today.

In his years of sojourn in Southeast Asia and China, he managed to move back and forth to the Philippines from 1925 to 1927 assuming a number of Filipino identities at a time when border controls were less stringent. None-theless, Malaka’s Philippine experience would not only influence the emergence of communism in the Philippines but would also encourage him to continue fighting for a truly independent Indonesian nation. His historical analysis of Philippine nationalism provides us with a unique insight of a Southeast Asian appreciating the views of Rizal ,Bonifacio, and Aguinaldo among others.

He returned to Indonesia in 1942 and after independence was proclaimed in 1945 opposed attempts for a diplomatic settlement with the Dutch government. Paralleling Bonifacio’s fate, Malaka would be executed by members of the Indonesian Republican Army just as the Dutch launched their counter-offensive.

He was designated as the Southeast Asian Agent of the Comintern in 1923 and was based in Canton ostensibly to engage in publications there. The Dutch authorities were looking out for him.

His failing health, printing difficulties and a crisis brewing within the PKI prompted him the move. He moved to Hongkong and found the opportunity whilst living in a Filipino hostel there.

He recounts, “Miss Carmen, the former daughter of a former rebel in the Philippines, who ran the hostel with her mother, was prepared to give me invaluable tips regarding traffic to the Philippines and the way of life there. She also helped by giving me lessons in Tagalog. If I could learn German and English in a few months, then I had no cause to balk at learning Tagalog…” His acquaintance with the sympathetic Filipino academic and future University of Manila president Mariano de los Santos  los Santos at the hostel greatly prepared him as well. By June 1925, he was confident and ready.

“My experiences of the European way of life, my knowledge of two or three European languages, particularly English, my smattering of Tagalog, and last but not least my appearance, which was 100 percent Filipino and in fact more authentic than 20 to 30 percent of the Filipino racial mixtures, armed me fully for conversation, telling a joke a la America, joining in the dancing, and so on. No one would doubt that I was indeed what I seemed, a Filipino ‘returning home’.

I had no documents at all. I was able to get through the smallpox certificate, passport and customs inspections, which are generally carried out thoroughly by the Filipino officials, by playing out the humbug role of a Filipino student returning from the United States and by acting smoothly or bluffing in Tagalog like a Filipino boxer, as the situation demanded. The key to my success was not to be afraid of anything and not to overact.

Finally…I arrived at Miss Carmen’s parents’ home In Santa Mesa, on the outskirts of Manila. There a Filipino who had just returned to his ‘long-lost’ homeland from ‘abroad’ came to rest. His name was Elias Fuentes and he was none other than this writer himself! So much for the American Emigration Law.”





    Add a Comment


    Daniel Rudi
    Jakarta
    Sat 6th May 2017

     Thanks for sharing this story. I am very appreciate.

    MoreCrossover Canada captures 5th MVP Cup IHSBC in Malaysia
    Emar Sy

    Crossover Canada captured the 5th MVP IHSBC in Malaysia by beating defending champion Darwin High School of Australia 79-68. Denzel Faraon led the charge and was adjudge MVP of the tournament. PYD Philippines outlasted SMK BU3 of Malaysia to win 2nd runner up....
     
    MoreGANTI-GANTI LANG ANG BUHAY - (Part 5)
    Mga Gintong Kwento ni Rene Calalang

    HAYOP sa chicks si Bruce. Hindi lamang mabilis ang kanyang bibig kung hindi mabilis pati ang kanyang mga kamay. Wala...
    MoreMaster of Art: Romeo ‘Romi’ MananQuil
    Thessa Sandoval

    To his colleagues and friends in the industry, he is known as the “Maestro” (master). Having spent most of his...
    MoreThe Spirit of Giving: A FILMIS Christmas fundraising event in The Netherlands
    Jacob O. Apostol

    Den Haag-December 2: Christmas is a special day for us, isn’t it? If you happen to walk on the streets...
    MoreRizal Don Valley Chapter Christmas Party 2017
    Dindo Orbeso

    The Rizal Don Valley Chapter headed by Sir Joe Daniel and Sir Jun (and Lady Ining) Calaguio held their "Pasiklaban...
     
    More`CON AMOR’ FOUNDATION B0ARD MEMBERS VISIT PROJECTS IN PHILIPPINES
    By: Orquidia. Valenzuela,  as reported by Myrla Danao

    Businessman Jaap van Dijke, chairman and two board members, Myrla Danao and Dr. John Deen of Con Amor foundation in...
    MoreTHE CHILDREN IN DON MANUEL GK VILLAGE
    Orquidia Valenzuela Flores

    Sixty-three children from age three to six years, in the very poor community of Don Manuel village in Barangay...
    MoreHistory of the Filipino Community in the Netherlands
    Orquidia Flores-Valenzuela

    Every story has a beginning and our story begins when a Cavitena accompanied her aunt to sail to another continent....
    MoreArt Creations
    Vicente Collado Jr.

    Welcome!

    Many believe formal training is a prerequisite to quality in painting. Not a few will agree with me one can...
     
    Disclaimer

    Contents posted in this site, muntingnayon.com, are the sole responsibility of the writers and do not reflect the editorial position of or the writers' affiliation with this website, the website owner, the webmaster and Munting Nayon News Magazine.

    This site, muntingnayon.com, the website owner, the webmaster and Munting Nayon News Magazine do not knowingly publish false information and may not be held liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential or punitive damages arising for any reason whatsoever from this website or from any web link used in this site.