As I look at how things are happening in the country and Filipinos react and act with it young and old, I am upbeat doubtful if Ninoy’s statement of us worthy of dying for is still relevant. More on the statement being popularized by one of the national TV network which aptly says the reverse, “Filipinos are worth living for.”
How can we both worthy of dying and living for when apathy, irresponsibility, corruption, ignorance, selfishness and materialism are all that can be seen. The youth in particular are mesmerized by different genre of all sorts except nationalism, patriotism, and humanitarian concern.
The olds however who failed to move our nation forward and in fact left a damaged culture and values are rewarded. Everyone of them, even the bad guys is given senior citizens discounts now losing the government coffers billions. In fact, one popular comment is that, they have corrupted our values and yet they deserve rewards!
And what are these damaged culture and values that they successfully left after all? Some of these are apathy, selfishness, poor sense of community in favor of the family interest, low regard to manual labor, mediocrity, peddling, use of influence, political patronage, insensitivity, and a lot more. All these are not taught and learned at our schools but from the adult citizens of today and of the past.
What is saddening and more alarming was the result of a study done three decades ago by Dr. Malu Doronila of the UP College of Education. The education community was practically shocked upon knowing that the average Filipino kid would rather be a citizen of another country, rather than be a Filipino.
Is the average Pinoy not at peace with himself, his country and his identity? Consider the following manifestations as taken from the previously posted article entitled Functional Literacy and Nation Building amidst the Challenges of Globalization
- Getting a “green card” or gaining American citizenship has become a high measure of success in life that is well admired and worthy of emulation.
- Penchant for anything “stateside” even if some local products are highly comparable, price competitive and contextually appropriate
- Obeisance to or greater cooperation with a foreigner boss; many local managers may not be able to exact the same amount and level of work discipline. Or most Pinoys excel in whatever they do when working in other countries but may not be as productive or effective in local workplace
- Obsession with the white skin and the whitening of skin. Just see how many advertisements and products openly cater to this physical delight. Take note also of the preference to have a Caucasian-looking espouse to marry and having mestizo children.
- Sometimes “suicidal” attempts to “try one’s luck” in other countries even if they are already making good in their profession or livelihood in their country. Oh, such true stories of Pinoy professionals and non-poor who were chased by guard dogs while crossing state borders, who hid for days in windowless container vans in freezing weather to get inside European countries, etc. Other citizens migrate due to political turmoil and civil stripes in their home countries just like the Africans but Filipinos don't.
Learning the humble yet excellent and untainted political career that Ninoy had, I just can’t help but feel sad for his generation who are still alive today have failed to emulate him including our political leaders.
Hence he started young, how could the young politicians of today fare with him. Ninoy who’s utmost concern is the emancipation of his countrymen not only from the quagmire of poverty but most importantly from total ignorance which led them to be victimized by self-serving politicians they themselves put to power.
But as ordinary citizen of this seem to be forsaken country, managed to be governed by hell of its citizens as prophesized by the former Pres. Manuel L. Quezon, I am still hopeful.
Until there are ordinary citizens who can still put their faith in practice, until there are still who can manage to remain humble and righteous in the midst of unrighteousness. Godly in the midst of the ungodly, innocent children, unborn and yet to be born—only the end of time is enough for the hopeful to cease in having faith in the Filipinos. This could be where Ninoy’s statement of the Filipino is worth dying for refers to.
The making of the Filipino hero should be in the hearts of this privilege few whom all what they wanted are to see a country they could be proud of. The Making of a Hero is within our unselfish hearts. And this could be done in a single step, in simple things that we know will create a bigger impact in the future.
It all starts in a simple equation of 1+1. May we all find a hero in ourselves. What about you, in what equation do you belong?