17 Jun Bayang Hindi Minahal, Buhay ay Langit sa Piling Mo
By Angelo de Guzman
You read it correctly. We think Filipinos do not love the Philippines. As you step outside your homes, as you browse through feeds in social media, and as you watch the news, all that is evident is each person, political group or social class that has their own personal pride and selfishness that is put first before the welfare of our country. Who cares about our country? We only care about our country if it benefits us directly, otherwise, it is a waste of time. That’s what we see.
Our history has 400 years of Spanish rule, a few decades with the Americans, a short stint with the Japanese and finally, we have liberated ourselves and became the first democracy in Asia. That was supposed to be something to be proud of. In the 80s, we ousted a dictator through a bloodless revolution but what did that create? More poverty. We have very little to show for our prized democracy.
Again, step outside, you see the traffic, the double parking, the unruly motorcycle, tricycle, jeepney and bus drivers, and you say we love the Philippines? You blame it on a lack of discipline by most Filipinos. True but what have we really done collectively to remedy it? Our race puts a premium on family, clans, and communities but what it has done is perverted itself and would put family and friends before the love of country.
Love of country is not just about dying for it, to Filipinos of today, it should mean: 1. Following the law, 2. Revising or abolishing a law, or pushing for it as a citizen if it will not benefit the country and our children in the long term, 3. Putting the safety of our country, its people and resources before personal gain, profit or convenience, 4. It is not letting groups like certain religions and churches dictate to the state what is morally acceptable without due public discourse, 5. It is not selling your country’s resources and rights to foreign businesses who think nothing of the welfare of our land and people. These are just a few.
What is proof of our love of country? There are more people who do not care or unaware that they don’t care about our country. Why would they when they need to think about what to eat for that day. Willing to sell their votes every 3 years just to have extra money in their pockets. For in survival, laws become bendable. But it has become too bendable that when family or friend breaks the law, we want to turn a blind eye to it. Filipinos would rather die than be shamed and offend their kin or peer. And if ever we be shamed or our reputation tarnished, it feels as if it is okay, as long as we have enough money to laugh at our detractors’ faces all the way to the bank.
We at Juan would like to ask what do we have as a people that show our love of country? And is it enough that there are a few of us sacrificing their life and time for the country? Iilan na lang ba talaga ang dakila? Are we making them martyrs for nothing? Hoping that the next generation gets inspired by their life and corrects the mistake we made and our fathers made before us? Are our only legacy turn itself to problems? Corruption? Political dynasties? Oligarchy rule of businesses?
Selling our country to the highest foreign bidder? Being proud that we are sending the best minds and workforce to other countries because we cannot as a country afford to give them the income and security for their families? Are we too soft as parents, that we fail to discipline our children and make excuses for their mistakes rather than have them live up to the consequences?
What do we want our country to look like and be like? What we hate most about Filipinos is we all want to be right all the time, even at the expense of our relationships and yes even our country. What a sick, SICK mentality we have. The worse thing about it is that it has no medical remedy.