A man from Madrid, Spain named Jonathan “Johnny” Barnreuther visited the Philippines from April 1 to April 9, 2017. On the last day of his journey, he went to Kawit, Cavite for a special mission: to apologize for the wrong doings done by his ancestors to the Philippines.
According to his Facebook post, he gathered some of the leaders of the region together in the exact location in Cavite where the Philippines declared its Independence on June 12, 1898.
He said: “I found out that the Spaniards conquered and ruled the Philippines for over 330 years. We stole, abused and murdered.”
“Countries like Japan and the U.S. have sent their leaders to the Philippines in the past to ask for forgiveness for what they have done to this country, but Spain has never sent an official leader to repent,” he added.
He held the Philippine flag as a gesture of humility and respect for the nation, then he gave the flag to the region leaders while on his knees and bowed his head.
We all learned from history that the Philippines was under the cruel rule of Spain for over three centuries. Back then, it was like hell for most of the Filipinos because of the terrible things the colonization has brought.
Though the most recent generations do not feel the hatred anymore, we can still feel or we can see the Spanish culture deeply rooted in our own; from food, language, beliefs, and more things we can be thankful for.
Christianity, perhaps, is the most influential thing or gift they have brought to us.