Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I am a proud, but depressed, but still hopeful Filipino

(mula sa isang YUPPY)
June 11, '08

Happy Independence Day to all Filipinos out there!

Our independence date, June 12, 1898, the events that led to it, and the events that had transpired after it, always have been in and out of my mind. I would remember the sad state of our country every now and then. As I try to find a reason for all this stark inequality, poverty, and seemingly endless flux of problems and controversies, I would be led to the past. How did our heroes picture their ideal nation? What would they say if they are alive today?

These are some of my thoughts:

1. I have been very curious about why our country didn’t improve like our neighbors. All the countries that I have read about and studied, and the few that I have been into, have “moments” which inspired the people and started the boom. I think we can start with love, nationalistic pride, and a vision of a developed country. They have that.
2. Aiming to be an excellent chemical engineer working for a company and paying taxes are j
ust enough for a passing grade (3.0) I hope I can do more. I hope I can contribute significantly as a citizen… help do something catalytic.
3. It greatly depresses me that after 100 years of UP’s existence, we are still a third-world country. Wh
at are we doing wrong? What are we not doing? I admire UP’s contribution to our country, but we have to do more. I also hope that all state universities will improve.
4. I cannot blame the Filipinos that are leaving the country. They need the money. And they are sick and tired of the government. But, plain and simple, we are experiencing a continuous brain drain that affects the development of our country.
5. If the government exalts the OFW’s, they shoul
d also commend the ones who stay, like us.
6. We have a lot of good institutions here. In addition to UP, we also have AIM, PMA, IRRI, etc. Quite surprisingly, our industry’s strength is weaker than our neighbors. Corruption is present in the armed forces. Our rice production and agrarian technology is tiny and outdated, as compared to our neighbors.

7. Our government is corrupt. But… there is also corruption in Indonesia, Bangladesh, US, Italy, China, and South Korea. Does this mean that we can also get rich even if we are corrupt? And can we just solve corruption when we are already rich? Or can we both be rich and corrupt?
8. Some say we have to sacrifice democracy to commence progress. Singapore did this. Malaysia also did this. But again… some of the most developed countries on the planet are also the most democratic and egalitarian countries, like Denmark and Sweden. So can we retain our democracy? Can we keep our press free? Should be continue using democracy, a complicated, chaotic, core-2-duo level requiring process, to move forward?
9. There are dozens of variables, parameters, and case scenarios storming through my mind whenever I think of these, and finding a solution is extremely difficult, but still possible. The statements above may be simplistic to you, but I don’t want to write a blog that has 10,
000 words.
10. This is a sad blog to post during Independence Day, but the fact of the matter is, loving your country starts by acknowledging its problems. We have to identify the “disease” before we can cure it.

Fortunately, I still have hope for this country. I may be embarrassed, angered, irritated, or disdainfully amused by some events, but I will always be proud that I am a Filipino.

Our grandparents’ parents fought the Spanish and American colonizers, as o
ur grandparents fought during WW2, and as our parents fought the dictatorship. I hope we can contribute to the history and development of our country, just like them. It would be depressing and grossly pathetic if we just “cruised by” and died.
These are some pieces of Literature that have always inspired me. I hope I will remember them everyday, and never forget them.

Malayong lupain, amin mang marating
Di rin magbabago ang damdamin
- UP Naming Mahal (by Nicanor Abelar

Ang sinusulat ko ay hindi mauunawaan ngayon. Ngunit, ang mga susunod na salin- lahi ay maiintidahan ito sapagkat ang mga ito ay higit na matalino at malamang hindi nahihimbing sa panahon ng kanilang mga ninuno.
- Pilosopo Tasyo, Noli Me Tangere (by Jose Rizal)

Ako'y patutungo sa walang busabos, walang umiinis at berdugong hayop; pananalig doo'y di nakas
asalot, si Bathala lamang dooy haring lubos.
- Mi Ultimo Adios (by Jose Rizal, translated to Tagalog by Andres Bonifacio)

Aling pag-ibig pa ang hihigit kaya sa pagkadalisay at magkadakila
Gaya ng pag-ibig sa sariling lupa? Aling pag-ibig pa? Wala na nga, wala.
- Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa (by Andres Bonifacio)

Do you hear the people sing
Lost in the valley of the night
It is the music of a people

Who are climbing to the light

For the wretched of the earth
There is a flame that never dies
Even the darkest night will end
And the sun will rise.

They will live again in freedom

In the garden of the Lord
They will walk behind the plough-share
They will put away the sword

The chain will be broken
And all men will have their reward!
- Les Miserables Musical (by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg

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