In the advocacy for good governance—as in so many other fields—we absolutely need to learn from the past, in the hope that we can apply those lessons to the present, as we keep going and trying to build the long-term future. For Filipinos, this need is an imperative. Many of us have little acquaintance with governance, its principles, and its practices; moreover, our familiarity with the past, such as what we had to endure during the Spanish and American colonial periods of our history, is in many instances superficial and anecdotal.

A better appreciation of what we went through—from the governance perspective, during the two periods of our history when we were a colony, first under Spain, and then under the United States—can help inform, guide, and orient our current governance efforts towards building a “Dream Philippines” by 2040. This book has been written with a view towards presenting some governance lessons we can use in our advocacy for good governance and responsible citizenship, moving forward to 2040.