Pride is not the answer.

It’s been almost three years since an article I wrote in the middle of the night got published for one of the Philippines’ leading newspapers- The Philippine Daily Inquirer. Only now am I ready to write about my experiences after it was published.

I wrote it in the heat of the moment, after watching news videos on the massacre in Maguindanao. I was devastated for those who were brutally and mercilessly killed. I was disgusted with the men who not just did the crime, but planned it. I was angry that the Philippine justice system was taking so long to do what had to be done.

Feeling helpless, I vented out an article which turned out to be (surprisingly) articulate and coherent enough to be published in the newspaper.

Soon enough, the article came out and truth be told, I was surprised with what the editor chose as my title and subtitle. That caught everyone’s attention: “I am a Filipino, and I’m not proud”. 

I am a Filipino, and I'm not proud

This earned me a hate mail sent directly to my Facebook account, and a lot of criticisms. It puzzled me how my message was not clear. All I wanted to say was that we had to do something. Let’s not let the bad men get away with this. With a reputation of a country being notorious for political killings and the murders of hundreds and thousands of journalists, how can you say that you are truly proud?

One reaction to my article (I’ll leave the name out) was this: “Before we do a Pontius Pilate on our country, before we congratulate ourselves for being right about how the Philippines is going to the dogs, before we go about proclaiming that we are not proud to be Filipino, should we, maybe, not take a step back and ask ourselves what we’ve done to make it better?” 

You know what I did to help make the country better? I wrote. I spoke up. I publicly denounced what was done and Lord knows I’ve written what I did to spark a flame in the hearts of people- in the hopes of waking them up and inciting action. My parents worked hard as journalists their whole life, hoping that by watching over the people, the politicians, and the situation of the country, they can create change for the better.

Sadly, a title taken out of context turned the whole thing upside down. Pride was confused for love of country. If you’ve read my article, you’ll know that what I was not proud of (and what I was condemning) was the massacre, the murder, the corrupt politics, and the fact that people were overlooking this because, hey, there are other things to be proud of anyway.  

The actions of a child disobeying will definitely not make his or her parents proud, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love the child. They will scold the child, correct him, in the hopes of helping him grow up to be a better person.

People who did not understand my article quickly sprang up on the defense, thinking that I was simply mocking our country, just because I now live somewhere else. This is simply pride. I would not have written that if I did not love my country.

It’s sad that my article hadn’t turned out to be the eye-opener that I thought it would be. I will keep trying though. It’s just that I’ve learned how it will be hard to change the minds of those who already have set outlooks, of those believing that because they are already proud Pinoys, there’s nothing more that they need to do.

Simply being proud won’t help. Stand up. Do something.


6 thoughts on “Pride is not the answer.

  1. Hi, ate, where can I read the whole article ‘I’m a Filipino and I’m not proud’?

    Based on this post, I can say that, that ‘Pontius Pilate’ comment about your article was harsh. That exemplified how some people fail to see the importance of opinion and how it could make a difference. In my opinion, i think that this is the case because people in the Philippines don’t often practise their freedom of speech, and instead succumb to the thought that ordinary citizens can’t influence change.

  2. Mabuhay ang mga tao at tribong katulad mo!
    Kapag napasyal ako sa ganitong uri ng blog, na may pagpapahalaga at pagpupugay bilang PILIPINO ay may paghanga akong nadarama. Marami na ang nagigising sa ating mga kababayan. Kahit papaano, higit na mainam ito kaysa mga panooring walang katuturan sa telebisyon.

    Nawa’y magpatuloy pa ang mga pagpapala sa iyo; NGAYON, BUKAS, at MAGPAKAILANMAN!

    Tanging tunay na Pilipino lamang ang wagas na magmamahal sa kapwa Pilipino: IsangIsip, IsangSalita, IsangGawa; IsangKapatiran = IsangPilipino

    Kuya Jes,

    • Maraming salamat sa iyong supporta,Kuya Jesse. Muntik na akong mawalan ng gana sa pagtatanggol sa tama dahil kung aawayin lang rin naman pala ako, bakit pa? Ngunit natuto rin ako na kailangan lang talaga ng tapang. At kung mahal mo naman talaga ang bansa, hindi ka dapat natatakot. Alam ko kung bakit ko sinulat ang artikulong iyon. Dapat hindi tayo tumigil sa pagtatanggol sa bansa dahil kung isa-isa nalang tayong, tumahimik, wala na talagang pag-asa!

  3. Correct. I haven’t read the article yet but hey this one is something. Filipinos tend to believe what is right, good and pleasing. That is the very reason why PRIDE is the worst of the deadly sins simply because it hinders someone’s growth and understanding. The Filipino mentality has not change even a bit, actually it is worst today. They don’t really want to listen to any correction and instead they defend their faults. That is the very reason why criminals can run away from their crimes and truths are concealed right in front of Filipinos, when there is a significant topic that needs to be discussed but shows the negative side of the Philippines many people will divert to another topic instead on focusing to correct the latter before jumping to another one. There had been a lot of problems, none was solved. They’ve been pointing out a lot of reasons why the Philippines had never reached the peak of success or never even jump up to higher level, they pointed out a lot of things but never realized they should point to their self. The Philippines is currently facing a lot of problems but did not face the BIGGEST and the root of the problems; the PEOPLE.

    • “…PRIDE is the worst of the deadly sins simply because it hinders someone’s growth and understanding.” < I like what you said about the problem being with ourselves, first and foremost. Although it is a bit depressing to think that our pride is getting in the way of progress, it is good to know that there are also many who are now calling out for our kababayans to stop pretending that everything is good and happy and can be fixed with simply being proud. You are one of them, and I hope that with our voices combined, we can someday inspire the change our country so needs. Thanks for reading, Jelly!

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