Is ‘love of country’ a concept that is still relevant in the Philippines?

It’s a common mistake to liken the way one feels for or regards a country to the way we feel for or regard an actual person. So when we say we “love” our country, poets will wax lyric about how this “love” is like the love we feel, say, for a parent. In reality, that’s an apples-to-oranges analogy which spawns other flawed ideas in the way we think of approaching how we implement reform in our society.

The love we feel for our parents and children is unconditional. Many nationalist poets will point out that we are duty-bound to feel this same form of love for our country. So, we are told, even if the Philippines continues to fail consistently in many of the aspects and metrics to do with national development and progress, we should continue to “love” the Philippines regardless. But unlike our parents, however, there is no real evidence that the Philippines, in that same sense, raised its citizens to the best of its abilities — like a good parent. Indeed, Filipinos residing in other countries will attest to the fact that the governments and societies of those countries treat them with far more dignity and respect than the government and society of the Philippines, their homeland. So to love the Philippines like one would a parent simply does not make sense.


If we step back and examine the core ideas around why people come together to form modern nations, we will find that all roads lead to a general assumption — that a nation formed on the basis of a shared culture, philosophy or ethnicity will necessarily be the place where said people who share said culture, philosophy, and/or ethnicity will most likely be treated justly and, therefore, prosper. Thing is, it worked for some and didn’t for others. The Philippines has, so far, failed to demonstrate that the Philippines is good for Filipinos. There seems to be more evidence to the contrary — evidently, Filipinos are more likely to prosper when hosted by other societies and when subject to other governments.

Most Filipinos are likely to find opportunity, justice, and even sustained happiness outside of the Philippines rather than from within it. It begs raises a rather confronting question:

Of what benefit is it to Filipinos to form a self-governing nation for themselves?

That puts into perspective what, in hindsight, turns out to be a rather arrogant remark issued by the first president of the Philippine Commonwealth government, Manuel L Quezon…

I would rather have a Philippines run like hell by Filipinos than a Philippines run like heaven by the Americans…

Quite remarkable that people at the time this statement was made did not ask: Why be a nation then if the risk of it being “run like hell” is higher than if the status quo (at the time, to continue being a colony of the United States) virtually guaranteed a heavenly state? Suffice to say, hindsight gives us the benefit of seeing the true folly in Quezon’s words.

The Philippines, almost 70 years after it was granted independence by the United States, is being run like hell. None of its leaders can be trusted and the checks-and-balances baked into the very design of the system of government it adopted from the United States are all but broken — rendered impotent by a vast corruption ring that envelops two of its three pillars, the Executive and Legislative branches.

What is there to “love” — much more, love unconditionally — about the Philippines?

It turns out that this is really not the right question to ask. The Philippines does not need love. It needs respect. And it does not need this respect to come from the outside, it needs it to come from within — from Filipinos themselves. Whereas Filipinos raise stink after stink about perceived insults from foreigners, we fail to see the gross disrespect Filipinos themselves reserve for their own country. Filipinos treat their land like a vast garbage dump, routinely fail to be considerate of their neighbours, produce the shoddy and mediocre products that have turned “Made in the Philippines” into an indictment, and consistently elect idiots and crooks to run their government. Has there been a foreign entity that has shown more disrespect to the Philippines than Filipinos themselves?

The Philippines will prosper only when Filipinos gain a bit of self-respect — when we respect our own laws, when we respect the people who purchase our products, when we respect the people whose lives are affected by the leaders we elect, when we respect our environment and appreciate how easily it could make or break us, and when we respect our own individual abilities to determine our own respective futures.

Love of country? That notion becomes relevant only come the time when there really is something about the Philippines to love. Achieving that is something Filipinos need to work on first.

[Photo courtesy France24.]


Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of

Leave a Reply

53 Comments on "Is ‘love of country’ a concept that is still relevant in the Philippines?"

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
The One

Agree with the argument you advance here. You couldn’t be more right. That said, could you please not misuse the expression “begs the question”? “Begging the question” is a logical fallacy in which you assume the conclusion of an argument; it’s not what you’re doing. What you mean to do is “raise the question.” Thanks!


If the Philippines was a responsible parent, it would not have abandoned the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. Relief goods and proper housing would have benefited these people. Instead, the exploitative nature came first to the government.

If we really loved our country, we would self-appreciate ourselves (meaning, no more “Kayo na ang magaling!” or “Bakit hindi kayo ang maging presidente?” attitude) but not to the point of being egocentric by voting for politicians not by popularity but with the right attitude and sincerity to lead the country at heart.

Jhay Lapinid


Pinoy ka. Mahalin mo ang iyong inang bayan.

Babalik ka rin.


Living in Metro Manila when I see the recklessness and utter abandon some people have when they move around I don’t see a love of fellow man. The Metro Manila singit mentality. Self entitled, me first , me only. People pissing anywhere, people smoking anywhere. I try not to extrapolate to the rest of the country since I don’t spend anywhere near as much elsewhere. Still you have a long way to convince me that is truly a country that loves it’s own.

“I would rather have a Philippines run like hell by Filipinos than a Philippines run like heaven by the Americans…” If this is the mindset of President Manuel L. Quezon before, it is really true that hidden bad attitude and personality of some known heroes are exhume and it stinks a lot to death. Now, I am convinced that there are something in the past, in our history that are harmful to assimilate because it is full of bullshit. Is this what we are proud of? Many of us have such a big pride and adoration of themselves, that is… Read more »
Thomas Jefferson

Genuine love of country is relevant in our troubled times. We must continue to teach our youth sober patriotism and nationalism. This builds national cohesion. Extremism is not an option. The ideals of genuine love of country also builds leaders, it also fosters discipline and respect for law and order. It builds genuine national pride. No country can attain greatness without genuine love of country. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay tayong lahat!

Love is either a feeling or an act of the will, but anyone who really loves, either as a feeling or by an act of the will, will work for the good of the beloved. As such, to love one’s country means to work for its good, which has always been a problem for the Filipinos because before the Spaniards came to our shores, we were not a consolidated country but a random collection of separate independent barangays, with the other barangays treated as foreign states. When the Spaniards came, they consolidated us into a country but did their best… Read more »
Hyden Toro
The love of country is being used by politicians to gain votes. For the present Aquino administration; to deflect its critics, and to assure YellowTards: they are the “good guys”. Most of the political leaders, identifies themselves, as the country;”I am the State” mentality. That , if you criticize them; you are criticizing the country, as a whole. Remember the boxing champion, Manny Pacquiao, is being identified as, “Pambansang Kamao”. Love of country means,Do not STEAL from the national treasury…Do not DELUDE voters, to win elections…Do not do HOCUS PCOS to get elected…Do not pocket the funds, intended for the… Read more »
Sea Bee

I observe a woman every morning who scrubs her stoop fastidiously. She then takes the dust and refuse and dumps it in the middle of the street at a distance of 5 meters away. What causes this disconnect between personal pride and pride in one’s community? Families are besieged by poverty and they have a fortress mentality? Religion encourages people to look inward? The greater the love we have for ourselves; the more disdain we seem to have towards others. I don’t get it.

The question whether “love of country” is still relevant is a question that searches the soul of someone with a deep seated anger, an anguish, disillusionment towards a society that perhaps denied him access to state or public privileges or perhaps personal accomplishments that affords people a certain sense of special place in society. Whether the article attempts to address a personal issue or cultural issues based on the results of our countries post colonial experiences such as: language, religion, common political views, cuisine, arts, music, sports or fashion as the “basis” of what makes the Filipinos today and how… Read more »

I don’t know how a Filipino can say they “Love” their country when they see all these people living in the squatter areas, the children in the streets, all these crimes on tv, the corruption allegations. Can you really say you love that?


Mawalang galang na po! Wala man lang isang tagalog comment! Pinoy thread ba toh? Love for country? Huh?


Please don’t cut off the more important part of Quezon’s words: “I would rather have a country run like hell by Filipinos than a country run like heaven by the Americans, because however bad a Filipino government might be, we can always change it.”

And if you’ll analyze it well enough, you’ll see that MLQ really means well.


A so-called “love of country” cannot be fully understood by Pinoys because they first and foremost fail to define what “love” means to themselves.


Absolutely agree here. What this country lacks is self-respect, and it shows in the way people treat each other in this country. It’s sort of hypocritical for Filipinos to preach Christian values to everyone else when they usually don’t act the part.


if it still is, it is unclear as to why it still is.

with a gov’t. like theirs Filipino’s do not need enemies.


“Love your country, but never trust its government.”
— Robert A. Heinlein

Once politicians bribe the people with their own taxes it reflects a failed nation where democracy, the rule of law, and checks and balances, are but sham edifices which only serve to cloak the reality of corruption and self-interest.


How can we expect some people to love their country?….. Families in this present time became sel-centered, some are broken full of hatred and stiff cold. Where should healing begin? How can we heal our nation?

FAMILY – the smallest form of government

The president is a bachelor….he doesnt need to worry for us. HE DONT KNOW THE CONCEPT.

We have a lawless government who is now running havoc with our resources, playing with our feelings…..unless people put a stop to this insanity.