TO understand our identity as a race we must begin to appreciate our thinking processes as a Filipino … the Filipino Mind (psyche). The recognition and understanding of our “lived experience” is the foundational basis of our culture and of our development. For it is in an awareness of who we are as a people that we are able to transform ourselves and be able to face the pressures of our changing times. Being culturally lost and confused in today’s global and borderless world is truly a cause for concern but we have nothing to fear if we continue to remember who we are as a people, and be transformed by this introspective analysis.
Our Sense of Success: The Filipino mirrors success not just from a personal but from a communal perspective as well. “Ang tagumpay ng isa ay tagumpay ng buong bansa.” A Filipino’s victory in the global arena is not just the achievement of one Filipino but the success of an entire nation. Every Filipino’s feat mirrors the “passion and drive” of a nation to be acknowledged and recognized in the world stage. And because of these triumphs we are proud to be Filipinos.
Our Sense of Nationality: Sadly, our sense of nationhood is sometimes just as seasonal as our holidays. We proudly profess that we are Filipinos only when VICTORIES come our way be it in athletics, entertainment or academics. But on a day-to-day basis, we seem to neglect this sense of pride in us. We laugh at our iniquities and we flirt with our helplessness. We malign our own products and trivialize our own values. We are Filipinos only when the world praises us … only when it feels good.
Our Sense of Politics: Some of us would often think that we are better than our government officials. And that in us rests the “messianic” solution to our woes. Yet none of us would like to take the lead. Barely a few of us would like to “walk our talk”. We would always find the blunders of our government but hardly lift a finger and be part of the solution. For most Filipino voters, suffrage is more of an event rather than a process. Voting becomes a “quick-fix” to fleeting issues rather than a celebration of true democracy. We love being part of politics only in its funfair and noise but never in its nitty-gritty.
Our Sense of Culture: We watch Korean tele-novellas and mimic Hollywood movies and shows. English is not a foreign language and our educational curriculum is clearly not uniquely ours. In fact, we don’t even seem to have a grasp of our own cultural lineage. But to be proud of who we are is to celebrate our cultural distinctiveness … a culture built in “SAKOP” or deep inter-personal relations. Our top TV stations call us either “KAPUSO” or “KAPAMILYA” or “KAPATID” which implies that we are all bonded by one common ideal and by one common purpose.
Our Sense of Faith: Most often we tend to bargain our faith. Religiosity is customarily a system of barter. We pray to be good in exchange for something we want or need. And sometimes our acts of popular piety and charity are often done just to feel comfortable and confident that God will answer our prayers. FIDES ET RATIO (faith and reason) would seldom go hand-in-hand thus leading to fanaticism and moments of uncertainty in our beliefs. And we often relate to God as a distant King rather than a loving Father, and would often pray “Hari Namin” and not “Ama Namin”.
Our Sense of Identity: Discovering who we are often comes as blur. We choose to be Filipinos simply because we have no choice. We would even go “LA VISA LOCA” when the first chance of immigration comes our way. Why? Because our sense of identity has no inherent meaning to us. There is still a pressing need to discover the true FILIPINO PHILOSOPHY. And without it we can never truly appreciate our identity. Come to think of it, even the etymology of our own country’s name was taken from a foreign ruler who doesn’t even have the slightest idea of who we are.
Our country, the Philippines is an archipelago but it does not mean that we Filipinos should be likewise scattered into 7,107 or 7,108 ways of divisiveness. After going through this article of seemingly countless narration of negativity you may either feel angry or challenge. But I hope you felt the latter. It is only in understanding the totality of who we are (inclusive of all our strengths and idiosyncrasies) that we can start to postulate ourselves as a unique civilization. We are Filipinos. Negative things are bound to pop-up. But good things are far more lucrative in our being; we are more than our bad habits, more than of our mistakes, and more than our limitations!
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