Identity Crisis

Friday, September 17, 2010
It's 4:17 dawn (PST) and I know this isn't really the usual time to write blogs but something just pushed me to do so - identity crisis. Scanning through the TV channels brought me to another dimension. For a moment, I felt like being so "different."

Over the years, this country has faced too much bitter reality - from colonization to corruption, down to poverty. Now, it is again faced with an aggravated concern - Identity crisis. It can be remembered how this country has been too influenced by the Western culture; today is no different. From the way we, its citizens, dress up to the language we strive to perfect, along with the products we prefer, and now even with music we do not understand clearly gives an indication that Juan Dela Cruz is in deep trouble. The pressing question right now is, where is Juan de la Cruz and Maria Clara when we need them most?

I find it absurd that Filipino preference has somehow changed compared to that from decades ago. Ironically, we have become too superficial to the extent of actually over-embodying globalization. Take a look at our local TV channels, aren't we more Korean than Filipino? Don't we love listening to Korean music than that of our own? Take a look at the hair style trend today, do you see a trace of nationalism? Don't we find singing songs without understanding a single word from them odd? Is it just with the melody or are we really going way beyond superficial?

Have we surrendered our nationalism for the sake of being "in?" Just recently, Pinoy KPop emerged. The good thing is, it's in Filipino. However, it doesn't sound right. But despite that, people still embraced it. You're asking why? Simple. It's because it doesn't sound "Filipino, bakya, baduy, cheap or corny." It's sad to know that the youth, our country's hope tomorrow, has become foreign to their own motherland. Will we ever have an untainted identity of our own? Or is it just a domino effect of what our past has brought us?

No matter how we pretend to be one of "them," nothing will ever change the fact that the blood that runs through our veins is Filipino. It's hard to change what has long been a trend but it's only when we embrace the right change will we be able to restore our real identity as one FILIPINO nation.

Man's Weakest Aspect - Emotion

Sunday, September 12, 2010
I was seated before a vast area of water - blue and calm. The scenery, the environment and the people paired with the food on top of a plastic stool did the trick - a simple example of what I'd like to call "100% Dumaguete." The Rizal Boulevard, being among the main people-magnets in the locality, is the center of most events; often giving the people of this "Gentle" city a satisfying dose of priceless and genuine fun. Despite the wonderful things said and observed, there is one drawback - beggars. Don't get me wrong, my heart bleeds by just seeing them. It's just that I don't let my emotions take dominion over my entirety.

Filipinos as we are, we cannot help but be sympathetic at times to the extent of going way beyond the limits. A lot of Filipinos find it very easy to give alms to those who apparently have nothing despite the fact that they too have their own share of struggles, or shall I say, are close to having nothing as well. Putting that aside, Filipinos don't seem to see the other side of the coin, all they see is the good that is evident whenever they tolerate giving of alms and perhaps feeding the beggars. What the majority fail to realize is the downside of it.

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." That's it, I think I just made my point. The moment you give beggars what they are begging for, you are contributing to their laziness thus making them believe that they could just easily survive and make it a habit, or more like a lifestyle. But how about the young beggars, you ask? It's of the same logic. No matter how young those beggars are, you are to remember that majority of them, if not all, have parents. Parents who keep on expanding the already big family. Parents who don't take full responsibility of their offspring. And worst of all, they are parents who treat their children as slaves and make them beg around the city to feed the entire family. Our emotion is the culprit for this outbreak. Our emotion is to blame.

Just imagine how it feels to cry at the most heartbreaking part of your favorite TV series; the same feeling you have when your favorite pet died or perhaps the feeling of extreme sadness for you being totally broke while in college. It's all a play of emotions. These emotions are innate in us but can sometimes be controllable depending on how set your mentality. Didn't you ever wonder why you see a lot of advertisements that don't really make sense or are nearly fictitious but at the end of the day you get to appreciate them because they trigger your emotions? It's a principle of advertising that diverts your attention and lets you focus merely on emotion to create a huge impact. Emotions can sometimes be dangerous and deceiving. Be wise enough to stay away from the trap before it's too late.

I have a heart for those unfortunate people out there who have less to very little in life. However, making them rely on what the others provide is adding insult to injury to their saddening situation. Until when will they remain as such? When will they ever get to stand for themselves and think of something acceptable to do that could uplift their way of living? Perhaps, people who tolerate begging in this planet are the ones who can give the best resolution to this aggravating frustration. And just in case you thought I forgot to include something, allow me to give a generous amount of blame to the government for this. Part of our taxes that disappeared into thin air could have been allotted to projects for those beggars in the light of giving them even a little spark of hope in life.

Crime - It's Everywhere

Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I know it is a bit too late to react and comment about the dreadful crime that occurred in the country's metropolis lately but nevertheless, I shall pour my outburst on it before it flies away and dies a sudden death.

While the Quirino Grandstand hostage taking may have pushed the country into the spotlight, such happening placed the nation in bad light as well. It has reaped the attention of many, not discounting the shame and criticisms procured. So, what is it that makes this controversial topic a big deal?

Disrespect. Sometimes, sweeping generalizations can be an idiot's best friend. People who fall under such tend to point the blaming finger to an entire race instead of just doing so to the person responsible for the bloodshed. Don't get me wrong, I grieve for those lives who were swept by destiny's cruelty as well but what I simply cannot accept is the fact that along with the incident came a flood of comments lambasting us as a totality to the extent of calling our country a hotspot for prostitution and the like. Never can it be in line with the incident nor would it be an aftermath. So to those who think our country is terribly awful just because of that, just drop it and mind your own country's business. Remember that such crisis could occur in any country as well and when it does, it knows no race. The mistake of one can never be the mistake of over 90 million people as well.

Hate. Several citizens from various countries have established hate to our nation, belittling any person who resides in it. While it may be a hateable incident, such emotion isn't deserved by all of the Filipinos especially with hospitality and gentleness of the majority as a few of our primary defenses. In a set of 100 people, there will always be someone who will practice deviance for reasons beyond the acceptable. The answer to why that happens is widely known - humans by nature posses a certain degree of evil. I can only stress this enough, crime is everywhere and it doesn't choose a country. If I were to react the same way other people from other races did, I would have a long list of countries who have abused, killed and humiliated the people with the same nationality as mine.

Shame. Along with the damages done, shame with what Mendoza did surrounds the entire nation. One can feel the shame by just learning the news that the Philippines is now marked as an unsafe place to head to, not just from the standpoint of Hong Kong or surrounding countries but possibly with other countries too. Yes, it may be a fact that tourists were killed in this country but have you checked the history of your country for similar cases? There could even be worse cases reported (or not) but nevertheless, Filipinos didn't over react to the situation.

My disappointment over what happened doesn't stop here. Unless justice is served, this country will continually be faced with the same issues. Let this be a call to the Philippine government to provide justice for the victims. This serves as a challenge to the authorities as well to improve safety and security here. Enough is enough! We've been having too much issues with the efficiency of the police and similar agencies and I think it is high time to put an end to it. To people who have something ghastly to say about the Philippines, reserve your comments and check your country first before you start nitpicking. By then you'll realize that no country is perfect and that criminals are swarming this planet.