Why should I be proud being a Filipino in the first place?
Should I be proud of the fact that the Philippines is the second richest country in Asia... in the fnckin' 1950s? Should I be proud that we are resilient because we can laugh at our problems and we laugh even when there is nothing to laugh about? Should I be proud because we have an elf as a president? Should I be proud of the Ampatuans who put the country in history books? Should I be proud of Noynoy Aquino? Or should I be proud of our 9 (!) medal haul in the Olympics?
Anyone can point out a thousand things which are wrong in this country, from being Asia's most corrupt to the poverty-stricken kids begging for coins in the streets, to the gruesome Maguindanao massacre, to the taxi drivers opening the car door to spit (that's gross!), to the world famous "Filipino time", to the women (and men too!) who loves to bicker, to the unraveling traffic jams in the metros and to the tons (multiplied it by 100) of other things that you want to curse the country for.
And yet. I'm still a Filipino and I love being one. Despite all the misery brought by being a Filipino, my faith and belief in my race is still intact. No matter what they tell about my country, the Philippines will always be where my heart is.
Why not? There is so much to rave about being a Filipino and being in the Philippines. We live on a paradise, we have a rich cultural heritage, our adobo, our "never-say-die attitude", our warm smiles, Dr. Jose Rizal, our beautiful ladies, we decapitated Magellan, we showed the world the true meaning of "People Power", we have Charice and Pacman, our jeepney, the Aquino couple (I will say family but...), we taught people how to smile after a misfortune - oh, I can go forever baby. That's why there's no reason for us to be insecure, to be envy. Because we are so blessed. What more could we ask? There is so much to be proud of and to live for.
To the people who think that there is no hope for the Philippines, to the retarded columnist who called the Philippines a nation of servants, to the desperate housewife that insulted the quality of Philippine medical education, to the Comedy Central loser who called President Cory a slut, to the fugly Adam Carolla who called the pound-for-pound king illiterate, I feel so sorry for you. And to all the Filipinos who proclaim that they are ashamed to be Filipinos, to tell you, I'm much more ashamed to have you as "kababayans".
Excuse me Juan dela Cruz, before you judge our country, before you look down and spit on us, before you shove in anyone's faces that the country sucks big time, pause for a moment and ponder, "What exactly have YOU done to make this the place you want it to be?". If none, then just zip it. You don't have any right to complain, you don't have any right to whimper and snivel because you yourself have done nothing.
I have come to realize that it is the people who makes the country and not the other way around. Moreover, I have come to realize that if we want this country to gain its loss glory, we must put our shits together and work towards a united goal. This will not be an easy ride, there will always be the pain of defeat and pleasure of triumph. But what separates the two is the attitude we Filipinos possess. We are known for our resiliency. We can manage to laugh even after a tragedy. It is not that we can't take anything seriously but because we prefer to move forward with renewed vigor and rising expectation than to just sit down and cry.
Some of us may be exhausted of "Philippines-in-deep-poo-poo" state and some may think that the only way to get out is to give up. No puh-leez, keep holding on. Sino pa ba ang magmamahal at mag-aaruga sa Pilipinas kung hindi tayong mga Pilipino? Sino pa ba ang magmamalaki sa ating lahi kundi tayo-tayo din? If nobody wants to lift our chair for us then we must do it ourselves. Or else nobody will know how much we're worth.
As for me, I refuse to believe that my country is a hopeless case.
I refuse to be humiliated by my own lineage.
I refuse to lambaste my own countrymen.
I refuse to exchange my citizenship for anything else.
I refuse to give up.
I am a Filipino and will always be a Filipino, "sa isip, sa salita at sa gawa".