Is it me or are nationalistic causes and groups popping out left and right? Not that I am complaining. Greek gods know well enough I feel an elation comparable to a double shot of crystal meth and heroine whenever I see shirts with three stars and a sun or hear Pinoys cheer for other Filipinos be it in sports or entertainment. It makes me want to cartwheel my way to seventh heaven.
The obvious question is whether this thing is just a fad or a beginning of deep-rooted love for the country. Pepe Diokno’s Phony Pride argued that Pinoys’ ever expanding ego is a way to compensate for the Pinoys’ belief that they are inadequate. It is an age-old adage – arrogance is rooted on insecurity. The argument has a basis and not totally insane. It could, actually, be considered legitimate since it is based on some academic psychological theory.
I will not try to disprove his theory. Debate that requires some academic research is a skill I was never born with. I lack that chip in my pea-sized brain. It is so small god decided to put only the cells that will be necessary for my survival – cells that tell me to eat, take a bath, sleep, take a crap and download music and movies. Those are what I have.
What I will do is prove that at this point in time, whether or not Pinoys are doing this because they are insecure or “think of ourselves to be inadequate” is not important. You see, when you are out on the ocean with nothing on your horizon but more water – pride, class and all sorts of mothereffin’ values go out the f#@$in’ window. The only thing that will matter is survival.
That is where the Philippines was several years ago. It wasn’t long ago when Jose Rizal, OPM and the Philippine flag were all considered symbols for the lower classes. At some f$%^ed point in history, Senators and Congressmen were openly laughing at the possibility of speaking tagalog in their Congressional sessions. That is an absolute sh!t. Those are Philippines’ leaders, laughing at their country’s language. Now, they probably still can’t get through a session in pure Filipino but they dare not laugh at the suggestion anymore lest they witness their @rses get kicked by Pilipinos always ready and looking for any form of reason to kick some politician’s @ss. That is how low the Pinoys were. So low, any move they make is up.
There were only a handful of people who was going like “Ok, this is sh!t. Gotta get my @ss moving if this nation is ever to have some semblance of love for its own.” Again, when you are that low, you take whatever step is available for you to recover just until you have enough room to breathe and know for sure you are not going to die. For now, what seems to be working is the dangling of everything and everyone that glitters and shines. That is often entertainers that are able to enter the door of Hollywood – Arnel Pineda, Charice, etc. It is the nudge that seems to knock down a lot of mountains. There are sports heroes – Manny Pacquaio, Efren “Bata” Reyes, Paeng Nepomuceno, etc. There are Fil-Ams that openly acknowledge they are partly Pinoys – Jo Koy, Batista, etc.
Some people may view this as a superficial way of instilling patriotism. Well, so the f$%# what? If that is what it will take for people to notice and listen, I’ll take that. Certainly beats the h3ll out of waiting for someone to come up with a truly fool-proof way of instilling patriotism.
How do you suggest we do it then? Integrate it to the country’s curriculum? Last time I check, the government can’t even provide enough classrooms, tables and chairs and teachers for students to even learn the basic of history, math and literature. So you go and fix that and then get on my face and talk about this superficial way of promoting patriotism. What I do know is that when they are listening then it is easier for them understand and who knows even develop confidence and love for the country they were born into.
There is no denying that a lot of Filipinos still feel that Pinoys are inadequate – inadequate in and for so many things. It has been that way for ages and nothing was done about it until recently. It’s not like getting to here from that $hithole was an effin’ bliss. It took the assassination of Ninoy and subsequent revolution, a multi-platinum award of Francis M’s Mga Kababayan, the influx of foreign visitors to Boracay, several TV shows tediously researching for international performers who have Pinoy blood in them and many many more efforts that are still unrecognized just to get the brains of the Pilipinos wrap around the concept of this country not being a total loser. It’s paying off a bit but still not to the degree Jose Rizal might have desired but at least something is being done.
Philippines remain poor and that is the real antagonist of patriotism. Everyday people are just trying to survive. The government and other people who claim to care don’t really do much to help. Majority of Pinoys commute everyday to work (if they are luck to have one) below a sky ridden with pollution, on a road equally divided to snatchers, abusers, robbers, killers, bad traffic and monsters in uniform. They go home to a wage never enough for a decent meal three times a day. When you are that down, believe you me, it is difficult not to be angry at everything. It is hard to think about being proud of the same country that is doing this to you.
Miraculously, watching local celebrities making it internationally seems to do the trick. It gives Pinoys some hope, some breathing space, some sort of an actual proof that this country isn’t so bad and that it ought to be loved even when they don’t know why.