Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pinoy: Maging Tunay Kang Henyo

When does one’s love for country end? As for me, I have been away from my mother land for 5 months now, and it seems that my new home (at least for the next five months) offers the best and the brightest for me and my family. Never have I seen as much species of birds in the metropolis, ducks hovering around parks without worry of being “Pekinged,” People running and jogging in parks without worrying about their health and safety, parks and monuments free of vandalism and destruction, a totally different package from where I was raised and grew up.

It is sad to see that from where I was, it gets much worse every day. As I watch from a local channel to get updated to the news, I see the current events of a worsening nation. Fishkill, flooding, lack of school supplies and buildings, Kris Aquino quitting showbiz, and many others.

Even when I watch what is supposedly a fun lunch-time variety show, I get dismayed by the fact that kids and teens nowadays don’t know much about Philippine History and Geography anymore. In Eat Bulaga’s segment “Pinoy Henyo,” the hosts give the most mundane Filipino terms, places and people, which I think should be answered in a few seconds. But when it comes to Philippine places and heroes, Filipino kids of today are lagging behind. The Pinoy Henyo game is rather simple. A team of two persons need to guess the correct word in one’s forehead by asking the right questions to his/her partner. The partner can only answer questions with a “Yes, No,” or “Puwede (Could be?!),” until the person guesses to word using those questions. Teams were very good with pop terms like the network GMA’s artists, or even mundane objects like a belt or dipper (tabo). What’s frustrating is that when it comes to Philippine Geography, kids tend to get lost in translation. Here’s one sample:

The Term is “Bukidnon”

A: Lugar?
B: Oo
A: Sa Pilipinas?
B: Oo
A: Sa Metro Manila?
B: Hindi
A: sa Luzon?
B: Hindi!
A: Sa Visayas?
B: Hindi!
A: Sa Mindanao?
B: Hindi!

WHERE ELSE COULD IT BE?!?!?! It turns out that the kid didn’t know where Bukidnon was. Time was up and they didn’t a single cent.

This is a mere reflection of how not just Philippine politics, but even culture and tradition, has been deteriorating. So as a person from outside looking in, I am compelled not to stay where I am, where the grass is greener and the pockets are fuller, but to go back to my mother land in due time and help curb whatever is deteriorating in our system. I feel a great sense of hope and faith in our people that someday, we will once again be Southeast Asia’s Tiger Economy.

As the cliché goes, it all starts with the self. We Filipinos need to learn a lot about ourselves, because the more we learn about ourselves, the more we can brag about it and be confident. The more confident we become, the stronger mindset we will have. The stronger mindset, the farther we can proceed. The technology age has helped us bring closer information, so close that we no longer need to travel miles to visit a library and process information. It is in the palm of our hands. Scholars nowadays use IT more and more to bring information closer to the people. Information is there, all we need is to reach out for it and grab it, and learn it.

The Philippines, amidst its bad news, has plenty of good news to offer, we just need to focus more on the brighter side. For example, our economy grew by a higher-than-expected mark. Instead of criticizing where the growth is coming from, let’s use the information, sustain it, learn from it, and proceed. The Peso is strengthening. This means we should further our business domestically and start becoming self-sustaining. Transportation plans are starting to execute. Let us support it and don’t shoot it down. The more we shoot it down, the more we shoot ourselves in the foot, the more we would limp forward.

So when will I stop loving my country? I say never. I will ensure that my kids will learn and speak the Filipino language, that they would learn and honor the values of resiliency, respect for family, and nationhood, all those that make a Filipino great and unique from other nationalities. In due time, I will go back to the Philippines, apply my new learnings to my motherland, and help ensure that my motherland will be a better place for my kids and their kids.

Filipinos in other countries should do the same. Leave if you must, learn new things, be proud of your roots, go back to the Philippines, help in the most sustainable way possible. How? Retire in the Philippines, buy property, put up a business, teach in colleges, adopt a child to go to college, adopt a provincial classroom or student, respect and obey the rules, be a proud Filipino.

I am confident and hopeful that in my lifetime, I will see a better and brighter Philippines.


Socs said...

Wow Jurv, this is so inspiring:) Bihira ang katulad mong nangingibang-bayan at buong pusong ang mga magiging tatay na sisiguruhing marunong magsalita ng sariling wika ang kanilang mga anak. Nakakainis na nakakalungkot ang mga batang Pilipino na magaling sa salitang banyaga, ngunit hindi marunong ng sariling wika. All the best in your plans, at sana dumami pa ang mga Pinoy na katulad mong nagmamahal sa bayan. Mabuhay ka!

Nga pala, oo nga, nakakadismaya ang mga ganyang eksena sa Pinoy Henyo.

Kumusta kay Bub=)

jc said...

hey jerv! i remember you telling me when i was about to leave Pinas, na everybody's going abroad and you will opt to stay. It doesn't mean you love your country less when you work or live in other places. I think the more experiences you have of other countries, the more patriotic you will become. Almost all Filipinos abroad are proud of their heritage. I just wish too that more of them will love our language. Bakit yung mga hispanics, spanish parin ang salita? Bakit tayo hindi man lang maging bilingual? I agree with you that when I bring up my kids, I'll instill in them our cultures. I think many of us will go back to Pinas one day and make a difference. Isn't it what Rizal did before? We will help out less fortunate Filipinos and teach them that the world is a good place to live in. That having food and water is not a privilege, that education is a responsibility of parents to their kids, and that there is hope to live comfortably in Pinas. There is always hope for the Pilipinas. It may not be today's generation, but it will happen. :) Hi to Bubbles and hope to see you both!

Jurb said...

Amen and Amen! Salamat sa mga komento! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang mga Pilipino!