For the small portion of the Philippine population that are actually curious about what kind of laws their elected government officials think of, the list in the picture above is but a sample.
While by no means are all the laws that are crafted bad, the fact that they can think up of stuff like this only makes one wonder: where do our lawmakers get their ideas from?
House bill declaring adobo as national food
House bill requiring people to fall in line
House bill to rename EDSA as Cory Aquino Avenue
House bill to rename Batasan Hills National High School to Corazon C. Aquino National High School
House bill to rename Clark Airport after Cory Aquino
How important are symbols, really, to the development of a nation?
Putting up national symbols before any sense of national consciousness has been formed is akin to putting the cart before the horse.
Quite simply, asking for more national symbols than necessary fails the So What? test. Instead of giving the impression that our lawmakers are doing something relevant, it actually emphasizes the opposite. They are, once again, more concerned with droll, petty and irrelevant matters, than they are with the issues that count, such as decriminalizing libel, for example.
There is no shortage of calls for nationalism, patriotism among Filipinos. Yet despite all these calls and symbols, Filipinos remain utterly clannish, divided, and unable to build a community bigger than themselves.
Filipinos like to attach meanings to symbols; they also like to pin some sort of “hope” in them for a better future. However, the question needs to be asked: Filipinos can claim that a national symbol possesses so-and-so characteristics, but does this automatically mean that the entire Filipino people is said to possess the same? Any connection between those traits and the Filipino people is tenuous at best. The sturdiness of the Narra tree, for example, has nothing to do with its being a Philippine symbol. It is sturdy and strong regardless of whether it is the Philippine national tree. And Filipinos want to claim that sturdiness as one of their own traits.
“I see them as symbols, and I leave symbols to the symbol-minded.” – George Carlin
Symbols work very well on Filipinos because the symbolism fills in the void where substance is supposed to be. Despite all the symbols Filipinos have to represent “hope for a better future”, and “inspiration”, they have yet to show that they can put their country in the right direction with such “hope”. Of course, if there is no direction, there won’t be results. Filipino society has consistently failed in coming up with both.
That bill requiring people to fall in line? You can’t legislate discipline, good manners, and right conduct in a society that: a) is not predisposed to practice it, and b) would rather reject it because it is an impediment to their “freedom”.
Finally, all these bills to attach Cory Aquino’s name to something, be it a road or building, just reek of either: a) sycophantic behavior, or b) an unwillingness to let go of a symbol of an era gone by that is no longer relevant in present times. Or both.
The symbolism and significance of EDSA is now overrated. The “democracy” and “freedom” that Filipinos claimed to have been a result of the EDSA I movement were nothing more than illusions.
Cory Aquino is dead. EDSA is dead. People Power is dead. It is time Filipinos keep it that way.
Back in 2011, fellow GRP writer Mike Portes had already written something, in particular, about the move to rename EDSA to Cory Quirino Avenue:
This House bill is a clear indication that education indeed has given nothing back. What ever happened to the appreciation for history?
How can a Congressman undermine the contributions of Epifanio Cristobal de los Santos, also known as Don Panyong, the Great among the great Filipino scholars?
If there’s one thing that Filipinos appreciate, it’s their politicians and their politics. They love their grandstanding. They love their anti-intellectualism and ignorance. They like ignoring their history and the lessons that come with it.
Filipino style commemoration has always been the same: keep remembering the event, keep forgetting the lesson.
Filipinos continue to insist on worshiping the Aquino clan – even when it has become clearer in the decades that followed EDSA that their legacy is one that has continued to keep the nation in its state of utter impoverishment.
Then again, Filipinos are not known collectively to learn from their mistakes.
Perhaps the lawmakers they choose do really reflect them. The same penchant for pettiness and politics that sticks out like a sore thumb whenever one looks hard at Filipino society.
The people have been paying for it. All of it, and not just with their taxes.
- Things of the past - November 30, 2018
- The difference between Duterte’s words and the Opposition’s - October 31, 2018
- Why are Filipinos reluctant to call wrongdoing out? - September 30, 2018
- Going around in circles - August 31, 2018
- Resurgence, relevance, and regard for the future, all in the SONA - July 31, 2018