Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Gunther K. Rosinus
In brief, it was called the Tagaytai Seminar because it took place in a very lovely, scenic setting above a volcanic lake so named. What we did was to go around the Philippines and gather from all of the leading universities key student leaders, particularly student leaders who had been in the vanguard of some of the anti-Americanism, and asked them to come up for five days to Tagaytai. For five days, we had a live-in seminar, from morn to night — and often well into the night!We asked them to come up and spend five days with us. We thought the best thing to do would be to try to inject elements of fact and rationality into what had become an extremely emotional, anti-American setting.We called upon both American and Philippine resources to lead discussions, mornings and afternoons, with fun in the evenings, on a wide variety of political, economic and sociological subjects grouped under such topics as “The Complexities of Change”, “Agenda for the '70s”, “Youth and National Progress”, “Reflections on the Realities of Change”, “Development in the '70s”.These young people were interested in the development of their own country and the development of their own identity. We tried to expose them to the fact that these things were not being blocked by the United States, that there was a history of relationships that had certain facts and legacies, and that there was a history of military bases that had certain facts involved in it and that had certain tradeoffs if they were going to try to get rid of them, if they were going to get rid of them.There were tradeoffs in foreign investment, if they were going to try to shut it out and what the penalties would be; that there were internal problems in the process of development, in the process of policy formulation that could not simply be ignored by shouting slogans on the barricades. We tried to expose them, in other words, to the aspects that these titles indicate, to the realities of foreign affairs, of U.S.-Philippine history and relations and of national developmental problems. Yes?
Q: Now, these four booklets that you have here, these paperbacks, are they a reportage on the conference subject matter or are they booklets that were prepared as preparation for or as a result of those conferences?
ROSINUS: These are booklets that contain all the presentations by the speakers at these conferences as well as student questions and discussions. We were able to enlist in the Philippines, because we had superb contact at all levels of Philippine society, from President Marcos on down-in retrospect, a name that raises other problems, but nonetheless, he was the head of the country.
Q: He was somewhat of a different character in the earlier years, too.