Philippine Pride

Monday, March 25, 2013

In the PH, there are lots of contests: singing contests, dance contests, beauty pageants, sports competitions, academic competitions--be it as a school event or as a community occasion, from the barangay to nationwide events. And it's wonderful how we love to support our own "bet", our own family, our friends, friends of our friends. I find it a good trait of ours. And when things like these go global, we go crazy! Pacquiao is almost our national hero. Jessica Sanchez? You'd be amazed of how much support she got from the Filipino community, although you can say that she's actually an american now, despite having a Filipina mother. Name any celebrity, athlete or famous person, and if that person has a hint of Filipino blood, I assure you, it would likely be mentioned. And now I'm getting to my point.

There's nothing wrong with that. It's a good thing that we support our own kind. I just find it weird all the time that even though the person is already clearly american or british or australian or whatever foreign citizenship, we like to emphasize that he/she is still a Filipino by blood. Nicole Sherzinger, Bruno Mars, who else do you know has Filipino heritage? And while they usually do not deny that they do have Filipino blood and often even reach out to their Pinoy fans for their continuous support, there remains the fact that they weren't born and raised in our country, and technically, are not Filipinos anymore. But we like to think that part of them are.

I suppose we are desperate to put our nation's name forward, you know, to be recognized globally via these personalities. We long for something to be proud of. We want to tell the world, if you're Filipino, you're bound to be great!

That's not the way.

We must start doing it ourselves.

If we want to be proud of our country, we should start by showing the world that we have the potential to be a great nation. If most of us will start doing small things in great ways, we will finally not have to rely on other people's greatness to prove our own.

You must be saying that there's nothing wrong with us. Really? How many times have we been listed as having the most corrupt leaders? Compare our news to those of other countries, I tell you, ours is like watching a SAW movie, agonizing and painful, despite the usual cheer-you-up segments at the end of the headlines, our news always leaves me feeling heavy-hearted with all the murders, kidnapping and showbiz nonsense that our "top" television networks love to feed us.

I'm not saying that we all suck, no. In fact, we have a lot of good traits. Remember the bayanihan that was taught to us in school, where each man would help their neighbour to (literally) move their houses? We are known to be cheerful and hospitable people, we welcome everyone who visits our home. Not only are we good people, we are home to a lot of intelligent minds. Most filipinos are smart, hardworking and innovative. We've invented a lot of things that most of the world don't even know about. We are destined for greatness, but we forget. We forget all these and turn the good things for the worse. Instead of using innovative minds for improving lives of our country, they're being used to steal, to kidnap, to develop schemes to swindle a lot of people. In workplaces, we forget that we're supposed to help each other, and cling to crab mentality instead. We love chismis rather than just working hard and not minding the lives of those around us. How are we supposed to move forward like this?

I think the reason behind all these and all our failures is we lack discipline.

I remember after Ondoy, I lived in Manila for a while to review for my board exams. I was so angry because I saw the jeepney driver just carelessly throw the plastic bottle after drinking. On the road. And then they would all complain that the government is not doing anything when it's the citizens themselves who are causing all the drainage blockage when heavy rain comes! Our "leaders" may be corrupt, but the people also play a major role.

We lack the discipline to value education too, which is the key to our progress. Children, at such a young age, like cutting classes, and during college, a lot of students take their studies for granted and spend the money for tuition without going to school, not knowing that there are really a lot of youth who would die to be able to study.

But the worst of all, other than lack of discipline is that we are proud in every sense of the word. We are not humble. We do not admit our mistakes; we refuse to listen. When other nations say our country is "dirty" we immediately react and get angry without pondering, is our country really dirty? We feel that we are so high and mighty that we are always better than all the rest, we forget to reflect on what might be wrong with us so that we might learn to improve and thus, finally progress as did all the countries around us.

After all this chastising does this mean that I am not proud of my country? NO. A daughter cannot be ashamed of her mother if it is her offsprings who have done wrong. In fact, our country is so beautiful, it has so much potential, so much to offer us: Our beaches are one of the world's best, we have our natural resources, we are very diverse, we have so much land, but it makes me feel sad to see that we are not maintaining it the way we should. I was born and raised here and will forever be grateful for it. I am at fault as well for leaving it for the meantime, but what does a daughter have to do, if she and her parents are hungry and her brothers and sisters won't support her?

I also do not want to be misunderstood that I do not want to support big celebrities with Filipino genes. Nothing's wrong with that. But I want Filipinos to also recognize not only the big celebrities, but also the small people with great minds. Scientists, Architects, Engineers, Nurses, Doctors-- even Farmers, all of those who once dreamed of building us a greater country, but cannot because they lack appreciation and support. I hope we can one day fulfill these so that every single one of us will in all honesty be proud to say, "I am a Filipino".

1. feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honorable or creditable to oneself (often followed by of,  an infinitive, or a clause).
2. having, proceeding from, or showing a high opinion of one's own dignity, importance, or superiority.
3. having or showing self-respect or self-esteem.
4. highly gratifying to the feelings or self-esteem: It was a proud day for him when his son entered college.
5. highly honorable or creditable: a proud achievement.

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