While Leon Ma. Guerrero is more known for his translations to English of Jose Rizal’s two novels: Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, his perspective as a diplomat trying to conduct diplomacy for a “new nation” is very unique, specific, and extremely valuable. It captures for the reader the Philippine state’s growing pains from the vantage point of diplomacy and international relations and from the point of view of decision makers and implementers of Philippine foreign policy.
This is perhaps the best view that the book affords us: the construction of “national interest” as debated by diplomats and the major political actors of the day. The narrative walks us through the different arenas where the debate plays out: in peacetime and war, through authoritarian and democratic rule, and in the halls of power and in foreign posts where domestic and international politics dynamically interact in the name of “national interest.” —From the Foreword by Maria Elissa Jayme Lao