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Political cartoons and caricature are rather recent art form, which
veered away from the classical art by exaggerating human features
and poking fun at its subjects.

Such as Gene Art and technique became a part of the print media as
a form of social and political commentary, which usually targets
persons of power and authority.
• Cartoons became an effective tool of publicizing opinions through heavy
use of symbolism, which is different from a verbose written editorial and
opinion pieces.

• The unique way that a caricature represents opinion and captures the
audience’s imagination is a reason enough for historians to examine these
political cartoons.

• Commentaries in mass media inevitably shape public opinion and such


kind of opinion is worthy of historical examination.
• The First Example shown was published in The Independent on May 20, 1916. The
Cartoon shows a politician from Tondo, named Dr. Santos, Passing his crown to his
brother In law, Dr. Barcelona. A Filipino guy was trying to stop Santos, telling the latter
to stop giving the crown to Barcelona because it is not his to begin with.
Analysis

• We see the price that Filipinos paid for the democracy modeled after the
Americans. First, it seemed that Filipino politicians at that time did not
understand well enough the essence of democracy and the accompanying
democratic institutions and processes.

• This can be seen in the rising dynastic politics in Tondo as depicted in the
cartoon depicted in the cartoon published by The Independent.
• The Second Cartoon was also published by The Independent on June 16, 1917. This was
drawn by Fernando Amorsolo and was aimed as a commentary to the workings of manila
Police at that period. Here, we see a Filipino child who stole a skinny chicken because he had
nothing to eat.

• The police officer was relentlessly pursuing the said child. A man wearing as salakot, labeled
Juan Dela Cruz was grabbing the officer, telling him to leave the small-time pickpockets and
thieves and to turn at the great thieves instead.

• He was pointing to huge warehouses containing bulks of rice, milk and grocery products.
• The cartoon also illustrated the conditions of poor Filipinos in the Philippines.

• From the looks of it, nothing much has changed. For example, a cartoon depicted
how police authorities oppress petty Filipino criminals while turning a blind eye on
hoarders who monopolize goods in their huge warehouses (Chinese Merchants).
• The third cartoon was a commentary on the unprecedented case of colorum automobiles
in the city streets. The Philippine Free Press published the commentary when fatal
accidents involving colorum vehicles and taxis occurred too often already.
• Automobiles became a popular mode of transportation in the city and led to the
emergence of taxis.

• However, the laws and policy implementation was mediocre.

• This resulted in the increasing colorum and unlicensed vehicles transporting people
around the city.

• The rules governing the issuance of driver’s license was loose and traffic police could
not be bothered by rampant violations of traffic rules.

• This is a direct consequence of the drastic urbanization of the Philippine Society.


• This fourth cartoon depicts a cinema. A blown-up police officer was at the screen saying
that couples are not allowed to neck and make-love in the theater. The two youngsters
looked horrified while an elder couple seemed amused.
Analysis
• McCoy called it the “sexual revolution” that occurred in the 1930s.

• Young people as early, as early as that period, disturbed the conservative Filipino
mindset by engaging in daring sexual activities in public spaces like cinemas.

• Here, we can see how that period was the meeting point between the
conservative past and the liberated future of the Philippines.
• This was published by The Independent on November 27, 1915. We see the caricature of Uncle
Sam riding a chariot pulled by Filipinos wearing school uniform.

• The Filipino boys were carrying American objects like baseball bats, whiskey and boxing gloves.

• McCoy in his caption the said cartoons, says that this cartoon was based on an event in 1907
when William Howard Taft was brought to the manila pier riding a chariot pulled by students of
Liceo De Manila. Such was condemned by the nationalists at that time.
• It depicts how American controlled Filipinos through seemingly harmless American
objects.

• By controlling their consciousness and mentality, Americans got to control and subjugate
Filipinos.
• This was published by Lipang Kalabaw on August 24, 1907. In this picture we see Uncle
Sam rationing porridge to the politicians and members of Progresista Party ( sometimes
known as the Federalista Party) while members of the Nationalista Party look on and wait
for their turn.
• This Cartoon depicts the patronage of The United States being coveted by politicians from
either of the party.
Analysis
• Patronage also become influential and powerful, not only between clients and
patrons but also between the newly formed political parties composed of the elite
and The U.S

• This was depicted in the cartoon where the U.S, represented by Uncle Sam,
provided dole outs for members of The Federalista while The Nacionalista politicians
looked out and waited for their turn.

• The Essence of competing political parties to enforce choices among the voters was
cancelled out.

• The problem continues up to the present where politicians transfer from one party to
another depending which party was powerful in specific periods of time.