Is the Philippines worth fighting for?

Craig Nelson introduces his book Rocketmen, with the story of a 1969 United States Senate briefing (shortly after Apollo 11 landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon) where Fermilab physicist Robert Wilson is asked how a $250 million atom smasher he proposes be built will contribute to the security of the United States. Wilson responded by saying that it will contribute nothing, but that the American people’s capacity to undertake endeavours like those is what makes the United States of America worth defending.

That was a physicist asking Uncle Sam for 250 million in 1969 US dollars to build a particle accelerator for research purposes. Asked why, he gave a convincing answer in no more than one sentence.

Last Monday, no less than the President of the Philippines Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III stood before the Filipino people and their “representatives” in Congress and let rip a one-and-a-half-hour reason why he should be forgiven for blowing billions of pesos in taxpayers’ funds on dubious “development” projects. He closed that speech with this appeal…

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As long as your faith remains strong—as long as we continue serving as each other’s strength—we will continue proving that “the Filipino is worth dying for,” “the Filipino is worth living for,” and if I might add: “The Filipino is worth fighting for.”

philippines_worth_dying_forThese words were greeted with thunderous applause. Why not? Every Filipino wants to believe that his country is worth dying, living, and fighting for.

But being asked to believe and being shown why to believe are two vastly different things. Wilson showed Congress why investing in a 250 million dollar research project will make America worth defending. President BS Aquino, on the other hand, asked his “bosses” to simply believe.

In a religious country like the Philippines, President BS Aquino’s words make perfect sense. This is a country, after all, where the primary basis of living is simply “hope”. Hope in what exactly? Simple. The Filipino will simply shrug her shoulders and say that she simply believes there is such. Bahala na.

And so empty platitudes like the ones used by no less than the Chief Executive to close his report to his “bosses” are happily lapped up off the floor by his supporters. That is why America can rocket men up to the moon equipped with less than a hundredth of the computing power of an iPhone and then aspire to put a man on Mars within the next ten years, while Filipinos can only pray that the next burst of electric power will fill their homes’ wiring in the next couple of hours before their iPhone batteries run out.

A couple days after that spectacle of a speech, and we haven’t heard this simple but confronting question:

Why should we believe President BS Aquino again?

Chief Aquino Apologist Conrado de Quiros was having a good run this month — that is, until he was so taken by all the tearful blubbering that happened after Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) last Monday that he was moved to write, What a difference a tear makes

Probably remembering that he [President BS Aquino] had been loath to run at the start, he said that shirking that challenge, or demand, would have been like turning his back on his parents, scorning their dreams, betraying his legacy. It was an emotional moment, and P-Noy for the first time in public turned emotional.

He had just stepped back from the precipice, he had just rediscovered roots, he had gone back to the beginning, in a place that resembled home, in a place that felt like home, in a place that was home, and the one person people had accused of lacking empathy, of not feeling the way his people felt, found his voice cracking. Before he was through, he shed a tear.

And that made all the difference.

Of course it did. That is why telenovelas — and Kris Aquino — are such hits amongst Filipinos. Drama junkies that we are, nothing moves Filipinos more than, well, drama. All of a sudden it makes perfect sense to de Quiros — because the President cried.

So, my fellow Filipinos: Is the Philippines worth fighting for?

If the supposed galvanising effect of all the flowing tears in this year’s SONA is to be used as basis for answering that question, then every Filipino soldier should be issued a photo of Kris Aquino and her brother crying during the 2014 SONA. Pampalibog before they face the enemy in the battlefield, kung baga.

9 Replies to “Is the Philippines worth fighting for?”

  1. If he believes the Philippines is worth dying for then why doesn’t he die already. Wrap it up, I’ll take it.

  2. The filipinos just do not have enough of that love of country to fight/die for it. They are busy trying to make ends meet aside from shouldering also the tax imposed by the government. In other words, surviving.

    If this government only show impunity, how can you expect the people to express their love of this country?

  3. How many Filipino’s actually know where the picture of the Statues/Men in the photo ,who appears to be getting shot by a firing squad, is? and have actually been to the park where the statue’s are located?

    the answer to the questions: With what is going on inside the country these days, why would anyone do such a thing ?

    “Sav io Fere, Sacre Bleu…parlez vou souchet releve”

  4. Hmmm… What else does PNoy know? He could save his ass with his usual game of cover up at least. Even before his SONA, I knew I’ll be watching the same man who somehow always comes up with something to save face (nothing radical to watch in our local TV shows, really).

    It’s easy for him to say that the Philippines is worth dying for because they don’t have to even work hard for this country. They have it easy since all they have to do is continue the kind of governance they grew up with. How I wish, though, that he cried because his kind of governance is simply “nakakaiyak”. However, don’t politicians recourse on a drama when they are cornered and just want escape?

  5. Particle Physics is a branch of Physics, that study the smallest particles in this universe. Haldron Colliders produces anti matter. When matter and anti matter combines; it results to a very huge energy; like the one of the atomic bomb…E = MC square….Einstein’s formula…

    The Aquinos did not die for the Philippines. They died for their Hacienda Luisita. Benigno Aquino, Sr. was a Japanese Militarist collaborator. Benigno Aquino, Jr. was an NPA collaborator. Benigno Aquino III is an Al Queda collaborator. He also collaborated with the Americans to put back the U.S. bases here.

    What Aquino is talking are just plain nonsense…he does not know what he is talking about.

  6. Noynoy went back to his bread and butter. His roots. He got elected by with no qualifications by pointing to his parents. He made many critics forget his out of bounds constitutional maneuvering by pointing to his parents. A dumb move anywhere else except this place where it works.

  7. Is the Philippines worth fighting for?

    1. Review the character & attitude of the Filipinos previously & present. If you’ve watched Heneral Luna movie some Filipino character are manifested therein.
    2. Ninoy have said that Filipinos are worth dying for. He has done a huge mistake in his decision coming back though he knew that his life is at stake. Does his death overturned the countries corruption problem? Has the Filipino attitude changes? Everything became WORST after the DEATH of NINOY!

    So, Is the Philippines worth fighting & dying for, is only an EPIGRAM. The truth is USELESS fighting & dying for the Philippines. Let these CORRUPT POLITICIANS to fight & die first.

  8. Dec 30, 2015 Rizal Day message to the Filipino people

    Let us all take a moment of silence for the poor soul of Dr. Jose Rizal who died for this country at such a young age – what a waste of such a gifted mind/intellect. Like losing a Benign0, Ilda or Grimwald who could have written tons of future eye-opener articles for Filipinos at GRP.

    Let us also remember the fallen SAF44, whose collective death saved a nation from the loser BBL deal. Though PNoy continues to snub you; your legacy and sacrifice as the true heroes of this 6-year chapter of PH history will inspire generations to come.

    PNoy : the Filipino is worth fighting for

    Poe: the Filipino is worth the loss of American citizenship

    Mar: the Filipino is worth the ridicule and shame of acting like a clown as Mr. Palenke

    Binay; the Filipino is worth all the allegations of pocketing tons of taxpayers money (hey I do give some back during campaign season)

    DU30: the Filipino is worth going to hell for
    DU30: the Filipino is worth killing for

    Looks like with a DU30 presidency, no more firecrackers or shots will be heard as we approach the New Year. Only the shots of a firing squad on people lined up in Luneta for crimes against the Filipino people.

    The National anthem will soon change to end with the phrase ….
    ang pumatay ng dahil sa yo.

    Zaxx: Stupid people are not worth dying for.

    You can quote me for that, even if it’s the only legacy I can leave you guys. I really believe in common sense. I just wonder why people can’t just use their damn God-given coconuts!

    I will not die for this cesspool of a country. Traitor? Not really – I am more useful alive blogging here at GRP and waking up Pinoy zombies from their stupidity.

    Happy New Year guys. Let’s hope 2016 will bring brighter days for a people too tired of corrupt and incompetent leaders.

    FinallyI would like to quote the climactic last word uttered from the lips of the national hero before falling to the ground on that fateful day:



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