What it means to be truly proud to be Filipino

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Who really wins a game, the star player or the team? Our star players — doctors, IT professionals, artists — are leaving in droves for a better life with the winning teams because they are tired of propping up (being heroes for) what essentially is the losing team. Lea Salonga, for example, is an achiever. But cascading her achievements to the rest of Filipino humanity is a stretch and nothing more than pure fantasy. To be proud to be Filipino because of the achievements of a handful of individuals is an underclass fantasy. Let’s instead be proud to be Filipino — but let us be proud for the right reasons. Our pride needs to be underpinned by an ethic of collective achievement. Collective achievement is achievement that cannot be attributed to any one person. For example, Japan’s achievement of recovering mightily from its World War II defeat is not because of the efforts any one Japanese hero or even small handful of them. Its success can be attributed primarily to the overall character of Japanese society.

If we have achieved nothing collectively as a people, then how can there be pride in being a part of this collective? We need to at the very least feel a shared accountability for the overall character of Filipinos collectively. Individual achievement is easy because each one of us have direct control over our individual destinies. There are in fact thousands of examples of Filipinos that are individually successful. To have true, sustainable and natural pride in being Filipino the real challenge lies in pulling ourselves together to achieve as a people and not only as individuals. Our success as individuals is our own individual business and no one has the right to piggyback on any one’s individual achievement. The collective success of The Filipino, on the other hand, is our collective business.

We therefore cannot go out there and achieve individually and then trumpet the overall greatness of Filipinos on the basis of this individual achievement. For every successful Filipino individual there will be hundreds of thousands of others who will undermine this achievement. How then do we impart the mindsets of achievers on the collective character of the Filipino? Unfortunately there is no easy way of doing this. Pointing out the obvious fact that the Philippine nation amounts to nothing more than a dismal failure merely elicits anger and denial. Indeed, careful examination of what so-called “nationalists” encourage us to uphold in the name of “national pride” yields some disturbing insight. Be proud to be Filipino and the rest will follow — this encourages delusional and empty pride that is ultimately unsustainable. Express yourself in “Filipino”, our national language — this essentially cuts Filipinos off from the language that connects us to cutting-edge knowledge — English. Protect and perpetuate Filipino tradition — why should we if there is nothing in our tradition that made us successful as a people?

We need to cut through the layers of mindsets built up over the centuries and get to the very heart of what it means to be a nation — a collective dream to achieve together and not only as individuals and certainly not apart from one another. Once we have achieved this, then the substance we crave to feed our pride to be Filipino will come naturally.

[Excerpted from the book Get Real Philippines Book 1 on the occasion of the 150th birthday of Jose Rizal.]

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9 Comments on “What it means to be truly proud to be Filipino”

    1. *requires teamwork

      ***

      Egotism among the country’s population leads to a lack of substantial unity in our country, and that is A FACT, folks.

  1. Carl Jung, was a famous German Psychologist, who have a Theory of Collective Consciousness, of people. This consciousness, is already implanted in the brain of people, who are born in a specific: tribe, nationality, or religious belief…
    This is the reason, if you are born as an Aeta. You easily learn the ways of Aeta, and the means they procure their food, clothing and shelter.
    If you are born in a Mafiosi family in New York…surely, you will learn also easily their livelihood of crimes…
    This is our handicap. Most of us are born with Filipino Mind-Set; that is: Wowoowee mentality; Victim mentality; Political Patronage mentality, etc…we will never overcome our handicaps…It takes AWARNESS of our own, to do this…Our National Pride is our National Delusion, bordering to National Paranoia..

  2. The achievements of the Japanese in manufacturing can largely be credited to an American. His name is W. Edwards Demming. A lot of people are very impressed with what they erroneously call “the Japanese system” of manufacturing.

    This is, in fact, an American system. The American Automakers were using this system before World War II. They stopped using it after the war. That’s why they got their asses kicked.

    The American Electronics Industry, on the other hand, haven’t made the same mistakes as the automakers. I know, I used to work in Electronics manufacturing. This system of manufacturing is called, “Statistical Process Control (SPC).”

    Yes, a lot of what the Japanese achieved with manufacturing can be attributed to the highly esteemed Dr. Demming.

    But then, the Japanese are to be credited for learning from him.

  3. ‘Who really wins a game, the star player or the team? Our star players – doctors, IT professionals, artists – are leaving in droves for a better life with the winning teams because they are tired of propping up (being heroes for) what essentially is the losing team. Lea Salonga, for example, is an achiever. But cascading her achievements to the rest of Filipino humanity is a stretch and nothing more than pure fantasy. To be proud to be Filipino because of the achievements of a handful of individuals is an underclass fantasy. Let’s instead be proud to be Filipino – but let us be proud for the right reasons. Our pride needs to be underpinned by an ethic of collective achievement. Collective achievement is achievement that cannot be attributed to any one person. For example, Japan’s achievement of recovering mightily from its World War II defeat is not because of the efforts any one Japanese hero or even small handful of them. Its success can be attributed primarily to the overall character of Japanese society.’

    Ah, the wonders of the copypaste.

  4. I disagree with whole concept of – you can be proud only of economically successful nation. But it`s author`s opinion.

    I would like to chalenge the language problem. Dear Filipinos. If you cant have normal relationship to your mother`s language, you cant have normal relationship with your nation.

    Without language there can hardly be any nation. Philippine “elite” uses english to separate themselves from uneducated people. Tagalog is intelectualy dead language. How can proud nation even exist when common people dont understand when elite is speaking? How can proud nation when people are unable to express more difficult thoughts in their first language?

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