Dr. Mariano C. Apilado, former University Pastor, Silliman University Church

The current movie about Antonio Luna being shown has resurrected questions about our historical and parental heritage, relevant as we prepare for the 2016 elections.

Was Antonio Luna, a military genius, whose assassination supposedly upon orders of President Emilio Aguinaldo deprived the first Philippine Republic victory, or at least a better organized resistance, in the war against the treacherous American colonizers?

Or, was he an egotist, a victim of his own impulsive temper?

Was President Emilio Aguinaldo, a political genius, who had to protect the first Philippine Republic against petty quarrels and controversies among his generals in order to consolidate the Flipino forces against the treacherous American colonizers?

Or, was he a local very provincial politician, whose impulsive small town pretensions deprived the new republic of a much-needed war strategist?

In short, what is the Filipino heritage from President Emilio Aguinaldo and from General Antonio Luna, rival leaders of the Philippine Revolution?

This question reminds me of a problem that new parents Linda and Peter faced on their choice of a name for their newly-born son, after her father, or after his father.

Unable to agree husband and wife went to their pastor for advice. The pastor asked what the name of her father was, and what was the name of his father.

Upon learning that her father and his father were both named Juan, the pastor asked further what was the problem.

Linda answered that her father was deeply religious, responsible, loving and very considerate; but his father was a drunkard, a gambler and very irresponsible.

The pastor answered, “Name him Juan, and when he grows old, depending upon how well you raise him, you will know after whose father he is named.”

Especially relevant is the thought that our generation continues to quarrel and quarrel more about our historical heritage. Worst, we quarrel and quarrel more on who is to blame for our present crisis.

When we continue this quarreling among ourselves, we continue wallowing as a nation in our deplorable condition. Therefore, given our historical heritage, we need to face our crisis intelligently and work our best to be the best that we can possibly be.

We need to remind ourselves that our history is a composite of bigoted impulsive small town pretenders like Emilio Aguinaldo, impulsive temperamental egotists like Antonio Luna and the many shades of characters and shady personalities in-between.

More importantly, we need to know that we can neither choose who our parents are, nor what our history is made of; but we can choose both the parents of our children and the heritage of the history we bequeath to them.

Therefore, given our parental and historical heritage, as we prepare for the 2016 elections, let us live well, act responsibly and choose carefully.