Filipino Unity – Is there such a thing?

When was the last time Filipinos were united? Some will say it was as the Yellow horde back in the EDSA I People Power Revolution days that Filipinos truly got together to depose an “evil malevolent dictator”. But they weren’t, since those warm bodies that flooded EDSA’s lanes represented just a fraction of the total population back then.

Fast forward to the present reign of the king of the South. Has Duterte united us as a people? Well at least he has the backing of 80% of Filipinos who have given him their vote of confidence based on “surveys”. But then the Opposition will be quick to snap back with cries about how POLARIZED Philippine society has become with all the mudslinging between Yellow Cult and Pro-Admin camps on social media.

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Will a Royal Family unite us like in Japan and England? Probably not. Look at Thailand – even with a king, they have been haunted with coup d’etats. Then there’s the problem of dynasties fighting to be that royal family. Let’s leave all that to the Showbiz dreamland guys to fight over on. Note: earning the Royal family distinction is easy in this country (if you have the money): Just throw a fancy wedding party and if the President attends – you’re royalty!

What’s strikingly unique about any semblance of Pinoy Unity is this: Filipinos always band and work together to fight AGAINST a common enemy. What unified the Yellows was FM the strongman; what unifies the Reds is the present government which hoards the power (unwilling to share).

Filipinos always need an enemy to unite themselves. If that enemy is a Filipino, then Filipinos will never be truly 100% united. So looking back at history, Filipinos were almost united when the enemy was an outside force: like in the Japanese occupation. Does that mean we need Mainland China to threaten us for us to get our act together towards 100% national unity?

Well probably “Filipino Unity”, like “Filipino intelligence”, is just another oxymoron of our ever increasingly complex social makeup as inhabitants of an archipelago of 7000+ islands each region of which has its own dialect.

Efforts to unite Filipinos:

  1. Imperialism: Get orders and budget from Imperial Manila
  2. Language: Force down Tagolog into everyone’s throat in school while having all watch Kris Aquino using Tagalog+Taglish+English on national TV
  3. Politics: Have Duterte win even the Yellow Cult camp to join forces with him under one Unity Coalition
  4. Athletic Supremacy: Have Paquiao fight another bout (that translates to fewer crimes too)
  5. Filipina Beauty: Fielding another half-breed? …works (almost) all the time.


It’s probably time for us to move on and mature as a people by ditching the tired old model of unity that the Yellows have been selling and brainwashing us all these years with… the unity born out of a common struggle against something. Look at Leni’s rhetoric, trying to get people to unite against the return of a Marcos. Or listen to U.P. activists, trying to unite the people against the “fascist US-imperialistic Duterte regime”. Do we always need a bad guy to portray that we’re doing something good?

It’s time we shed off these childish notions of how to unite us as a nation of people under one flag.

Can we not unite to achieve technological achievements (like sending rockets to space)?
Can we not unite to help the poor out of their misery (not EJK, but something like building homes to clear out squatters)?
Can we not unite to … (fill in the blank)…

There are far more noble reasons for us to unite – It’s high-time we finally unite FOR something that leads to nation building not AGAINST something and end up destroying one another.

Let’s keep that line in the Zaxxun Creed ringing between our ears: “Unity is a Fortress!” But keep in mind: let’s also be careful to unite for the right reason… the Common Good.

PS: Thanks to Marius who brought up the topic in a recent post

9 Replies to “Filipino Unity – Is there such a thing?”

  1. Without being arrogant, I label the country I live in (Netherlands) as a first world country and even ‘my’ country is not united. And I do think, that is very obvious and evident. We all come from different nests, so our outlook (about the future) is all different. I dont see that ‘my’ country is different in that aspect (not being united). I also see it in Belgium, Germany (to just mention my neighbours) and also England.
    To even hoping and wishing that one day a country will be united is a farce. Deal with it, accept it.

  2. There is no such trick, as to unite the Filipinos. Not for an imagined enemy; not for a C.I.A./YellowTard disinformation like : EDSA; not for a half breed beauty winning international crown; not for the boxing bouts of Manny Pacquiao; etc…

    We think differently. We have different political and religious beliefs. One man’s food is another man’s poison. It is natural that we all differ in all things.

    What can unite us, is our :humanity. Our “common ground”, to look for the common good for all. We all want to live in peace and prosperity in this Planet Earth.

    If every Filipino, would look for the “common ground”, for the common good for all, for the sake of our humanity. Then, the elusive , “unity” could take place.

  3. Since “unifying” sounds a bit abstract, perhaps we can convert it to something more “tangible” by being specific, and deduce on the things we want to achieve. We want technological achievement? Let’s start by developing or attracting talents. How do we develop talent? Create an environment conducive to it. Right now all that’s available to the common Pinoy is the varied sort of crap that they call “recreation”—from the media to the systems of learning—to the literally brain cell killing (neurotoxic) substances in their food and drink. The basics do set off a chain reaction. Perhaps our relatively “literate” culture is left behind because we fail to relate and apply theories to everyday things. Among other things, of course.

  4. Thanks for the mention zaxx. Good article.

    It’s actually a weird human constant to unite against a common enemy. Europeans argued with each other before WW2, and carried on arguing afterwards. For that brief period between 1938 and 1945, they had a common goal.

    This lesson wasn’t missed by US economists, who decided that the best way to keep an economy bubbling is to invent a mythical enemy and keep the country on a permanent war footing. And it worked … with the unfortunate side effect of producing a belligerent, paranoid population, not to mention a whole load of ill-advised wars against people who really weren’t enemies.

    Nevertheless Europeans still manage to get along nicely without killing each other these days, and IMO they do that because they have a heightened sense of empathy. This is a learned skill. It is not innate, and Filipinos don’t value it enough to learn it. Basically, Filipinos see other Filipinos as an obstacle in the road of life, or as prey. They are, by and large, callous and indifferent, or at worst derive pleasure from the suffering of others.

    If Filipinos can’t learn to have a basic level of concern for each other (and for their surroundings), the very idea of shared goals will never mean anything. If you don’t value the life and feelings of your immediate neighbors, why would you care about the wellbeing of your city or your country?

    1. Marius,
      What I dont like about my – Dutch – government, is the obsessive submissiveness towards the US administration. Personally, I think that has a lot to do with the Marshall plan the Netherlands received after WW2. Besides that, we dont have any enemy anymore. We live in peace since 1945 (end of WW2), we prosper, our income rises every year and because of the freedom of religion we all live peacefully next to each other regardless of one’s religion. But there are also a lot of differences between households within the Netherlands. And because of those differences, there will never be a one united country. And I understand that.

    2. There is much Filipinos can learn from the European Union. They have pretty much learned the lessons of the past world wars. What prevails now is the sense of unity described in wiki… Unity in diversity – a concept of “unity without uniformity and diversity without fragmentation”.

      Rather than focus on differences, differing tribes and tongues can focus on how their specialized strengths can compliment – all towards the loftier goal of fostering shared values like love for the arts/sciences and respect for humanity/environment.

      One analogy of how unity can be practiced and better appreciated is that of driving on the street. If you care for your own car, you will NOT want to bump other cars on the road – because all of you are united in the desire to get to your destinations safely and on time.

      So in harming or being indifferent to our neighbor just because he’s different or not part of our immediate family, we actually harm ourselves. The reds, in their extortion activities, just hurt themselves by scaring off businesses and investments that could have given them plenty of jobs (thus the catch-22). Basically, living in peace and harmony brings co-prosperity.

      What I want to see is not just unity within PH, but greater unity among ASEAN members (Think BIG). We are already practically border-less (visa-free) within ASEAN. The next step is a common market with a common currency – just like in EU. Fact is – if history only took a different turn, we could have been one gigantic unified archipelago nation (Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, PH) under one flag/constitution, with an economy/military as large as that of China or India.

  5. Perhaps the mention of unity these days is actually doublespeak. They say let’s be “united,” it actually means “I’ll take over you and you do things my way.” So far, “unity” has been used to justify collecting money from the far off provinces to bring to Manila so the politicians there (even the politicos from the provinces are there) can feast on it. No wonder federalism is gaining ground in the country I’m not a supporter though, I believe we are be able to let people have their own ways in their own places without having federalism. It’s not the government but the culture that is the problem. The common good is indeed important in a country, but if that’s not valued in the culture, then it’s not going to be respected in practice.

    Perhaps this also indicates that the nation state as we know it today, a product of the 1600s and 1700s politics (such as the Treaty of Westphalia), is on its way out. Many countries, such as Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, have split up into the ethnic groups that populated it. I theorize that each ethnic group in every country would like to have its own country and not have interference from any other ethnic group or country. So, basically, tribalism is still around and might be making a comeback. I could be wrong, but perhaps no one really wants unity, and just wants their own way. Similar to how individuals behave. Thus, it’s basic nature at work.

    1. Yeah Pinoys are inherently clanish (solid North, united Bicol, Moros, …) and it has to be pounded hard into their skulls in school or media that we are ONE Nation. I understand Duterte is offering Filipinos Federalism mainly to solve the Moro insurgency in Mindanao, considering the Moro’s deep hunger and desire to be on their own. Excluding the Moros, the rest of the country will likely live with some level of harmony even without Federalism.

      So I think we should gladly give the Moros their very own federal state just for the sake of peace and harmony in that region. Then maybe later they will be more open to the notion of unity on the national level.

      The downside of tribalism is that separating into smaller states makes one relatively weak and insignificant, esp. in our age of globalism, superpowers, and economic integration. Unless a mini-state is as talented as Singapore, it will be very difficult to amount to anything these days. Have Filipinos ever heard that a country called Vanuatu exists? Most likely not.

      In general, I think unity allows a group of people to dream up and achieve greater things – such as sending rockets to Mars, or becoming a naval power. The ISS is a symbol of what can be achieved when earthlings unite. A recent article on how various sectors and universities in PH got together to send the country’s first micro-satellite to space is a giant step forward. We need more stories like this.

  6. The Destiny of Man is to unite, not to divide. If you keep on dividing you end up as a collection of monkeys throwing nuts at each other out of separate trees.

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