Defend the Filipino

(Part 17 — last part — of the “In Defense of the Filipino” series)

NATIONS become great because their peoples aspire to be so. Greatness makes them wealthy, powerful, respected, and feared. But seeking and winning greatness is difficult, for it requires the resolute character, outlook, and will of the people to triumph against all odds.

More than 5,000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians built one of the world’s greatest civilizations, which gave humanity important contributions like plain arithmetic, algebra, geometry, a 365-day calendar, the hieroglyphics (picture writing), the papyrus (a paper-like writing material), and the pyramids, their most spectacular achievements. They were able to build that kind of civilization because they were ruled by a strong national government and they possessed national liberty or freedom from foreign subjugation.

The ancient Chinese isolated themselves from foreign powers for centuries. That isolation enabled them to build their own great civilization. Proud of their land and culture, they never bowed to other peoples. They even called other peoples “barbarians.” Their civilization gave the world the compass, paper, porcelain, silk cloth, and civil service examination.

The ancient Greeks, with less than half-a-million population, laid down the foundations of Western civilization more than 2,500 years ago. They built city-states, governments ruled by the people, and elegant buildings. They had brilliant schools, artworks, and philosophy. Their will to magnificence become so fruitful that they gave the world the concepts of democracy, reason, and beauty.

The ancient Romans improved their own society by adopting that of the Greeks. It resulted in more progress and glories for their land. They excelled in government, architecture, fine arts, language, and law by having democratic ways of life, impressive public works, splendid churches and palaces, imposing monuments, and resilient statutes.

Not satisfied with all that, they expanded their empire by conquering vast territories. For almost 700 years (500 B.C.-200 A.D.), they ruled most of Europe and the Middle East and the entire Mediterranean coast of Africa. One of their strong characters was to conquer.

The United States was a huge wilderness until the 1700’s. But its people had formed a belief toward greatness, which they called “manifest destiny.” It meant expanding their territory to as far as they could, so that they would gain more mineral and other resources. At first, the purposes of their territorial expansion were economic and to control North America only. But the desire had changed in the succeeding years. They already wanted to control the affairs of this world, directly or indirectly. They made wars with Mexico (1846-48), Spain (1898), the Philippines (1899-1903), and Vietnam (1957-75), in which after each war, they gained more territories, natural resources, and glories.

Americans have a domineering attitude. They produce nuclear bombs, but force other nations to sign treaties against developing such weapons. They accuse other nations with nuclear weapons of possibly using those weapons, when they were the first to use them (in 1945). They aim nuclear-tipped missiles against countries they perceive to be their enemies, but denounce countries which do the same to them.

Enduring ancient and modern civilizations give us these lessons for greatness: Do not be ashamed to other countries. Do not always bow to other citizens. Possess the character, outlook, and will to dominate and to be great.

The will to be great is one thing that we Filipinos must possess and develop.

Defend the Filipino. Filipino is our blood, color, race, and identity. Our ancestors, patriots, parents, children, relatives, and friends are Filipinos. It is our fellow Filipinos who give us education, help us when we are in need, and bring successes to our lives. We should not slap the Filipino just because of some people’s mistakes. We should rather defend the Filipino.

Defending the Filipino begins with one’s self. First, let us bear in mind that mistakes, crimes, and other flaws are nature in the human being and that every race commits them, not only the Filipinos.

Second, let us avoid associating the word Filipino with the human mistakes and flaws when we see some people committing them. Substitute for it the word people or human—because people commit mistakes because they are humans, and not because the Filipino commits mistakes because he is a Filipino. Using people or human is the one appropriate so that Filipinos will no longer be immersed in the anti-Filipino remarks.

When Filipino is used, many people think that it is only the Filipinos who commit mistakes, and because of that, they believe that Filipinos are already the jokes of foreigners, the laughingstock of the world, the worst people on earth, and the most unique species in the planet.

When Filipino is used, many people think that the Philippines is already Asia’s or the world’s capital of laziness, of thefts, of graft and corruption, of the undisciplined, of crab mentality, of short memories, of always late, of colonial mentality, of copycats, of gossips, of gambling, of cheatings, etc.

When Filipino is used, many people think that the Philippines is already a nation of lazy people, of thieves, of corrupt citizens, of undisciplined, of crab mentality, of short memories, of always late, of colonial mentality, of copycats, of gossips, of gamblers, of cheats, etc.

When Filipino is used, many people think that the definition of Filipino is a person who will always laze, steal, spit anywhere, urinate on the street, disobey traffic rules, gossip, knock down others, gamble, and do other horrible things. They will already hate the Filipino so much that they will always ridicule him.

When Filipino is used, many people think that Filipinos are a bad people, and thus many lose the heart to honor, respect, love, and be proud of their race and country. They cannot give an all-out service to it and rather focuses that service on others, thinking that doing good here is useless.

When Filipino is used, many people are always ashamed to other citizens because they are misled by the belief that other citizens are perfect—they cannot commit mistakes, crimes, and other flaws, while Filipinos are the only ones bad—the only ones who make mistakes. They always believe and even defend what other citizens say against them.

If Filipino will be still used, it is a very depressing disservice to ourselves. Thus, if you see some people violating traffic rules, stealing, etc., think or say:

“Humans, really!”

“There are people who are indeed like that.”

“That’s the problem with some people.”

“That’s an illness of some people.”

“That’s the character of some people.”

Don’t think or say:

“Filipinos, really!”

“Filipinos are indeed like that.”

“That’s the problem with the Filipinos.”

“That’s an illness of the Filipinos.”

“That’s the character of the Filipinos.”

“Some Filipinos, really!”

“There are Filipinos who are indeed like that.”

“That’s the problem with some Filipinos.”

“That’s an illness of some Filipinos.”

“That’s the character of some Filipinos.”

Just because there are lazy, thieves, etc., is it already correct to say that we Filipinos are lazy, thieves, etc.? If you say yes, consider this premise again: Because there are homosexuals and prostitutes, then Filipinos are already homosexuals and prostitutes? If you agree, what about your parents or children? Because others are, then they are already the same?

Anti-Filipinos will not agree on this premise because it was not instilled into the Filipino thinking. Our foreign colonizers did not create sexually oriented negative remarks against the Filipino.

Third, let us think that flaws and mistakes can be corrected, that crimes must be punished, and that we may offer corrections to whatever defects we see—without deriding the Filipino.

Fourth, we must accept the fact that there will always be individuals who will do wrong because there is no perfect person, race, or nation in this world.

Fifth, we must stop being always ashamed to other peoples or citizens when some of us commit mistakes, crimes, and other flaws because it is a very stupid thing. Why very stupid? Because other peoples are not ashamed to us Filipinos when they are the ones who do wrong.

Sixth, if other citizens ridicule us, defend ourselves. Don’t be like some people who are bombastic only when they face their fellow Filipinos, but very meek when ranged against a mocking foreigner, even if that foreigner is an illegal drug trafficker, a murderer, a thief, or a pedophile. Tell and show the foreigner that his race is also imperfect or even worse.

Seventh, there is no need to prove to the world that we Filipinos are good because there is no need to do so and because other countries won’t mind it—because they don’t do it. Besides, if we keep saying that we are good and then some do wrong, the effort will only be futile.

Eight, worshipping other peoples as if they do not err must stop because that is another stupid act. Why stupid? Because it is only the anti-Filipinos who worship other peoples, but those other peoples don’t worship them.

Once we get used to thinking that mistakes are part of the human nature and are committed by all, and thus succeed in avoiding anti-Filipino remarks, we are no longer narrow-minded, ingrate, senseless, illogical, irresponsible, and colonized.

We already have a broadened outlook on the human person. We are already decolonized, proud of our race and heritage, and willing to offer ourselves to the good, progress, and greatness of our beloved country.

Comments

  1. eugene codiamat says

    me as an individual still very proud to be filipino. i believe the best defense you can muster is talk about
    positive aspects of your country or don’t talk at all.
    talking positive will harness your hidden energy to improve
    yourself. don’t entertain people that talk about negative
    things…there’s a saying ” don’t wrestle with pig, it’s
    dirty and she likes it”

    • Jon E. Royeca says

      Of course, there’s no use siding with the negative. But, if you’re a Filipino and your race is vilified, just what should a good citizen do? Defend his race.
      Don’t be like the anti-Filipinos who are only sagacious and intrepid when facing Filipinos, but totally spineless when ranged against a foreigner, even if that foreigner is a profligate or a criminal.

  2. eugene codiamat says

    lol … di ka nasanay na may sumasagot sa sinulat mo ha.
    maupay na adlaw ng kasingkasing noy.kalma ka lang noy.
    diri ako kalaban.

    • Jon E. Royeca says

      Hey, I’m just answering your comments. I always am calm, and I love arguments.
      What I find odd with you is you’re sometimes careening towards the wrong direction. Like your comments “on our sense of history.” You talk of how Americans are always informed of what’s the latest in government, in foreign policy, in sports, in computer games, etc. — when the polemic in that article is about awareness of the past.

    • Jon E. Royeca says

      Hey, I’m just reacting to your comments. I always am calm, and I love arguments. I’ve been used to absorbing all kinds of comments — positive or harsh.
      What I find odd with you is that you’re sometimes careening towards the wrong direction. Like your comments to “On Our Sense of History.”
      You vouch there that Americans are progressive because they are always aware of what’s the latest in government, in foreign policy, in sports, in movies, in computing — when the polemic of that article was about consciousness of the past.

  3. Khan says

    Mister, instead of defending the wrong things Filipinos (in general) do, maybe you can work to educate them instead. I have noticed these traits you mention as a large part of the whole. Add to it the strong inclination to point the finger of blame at everyone and everything else instead of accepting that changes are needed in the minds and attitudes of a people accomplishes nothing. And really, this whole way of thinking that all foreigners are rich and should give their earnings to Filipinos is ff the scale. The 500 peso note says “The Filipino is Worth Dying For”. Surely then they must be worth salvaging with a mind makeover for the general population. That comes with work, not with the mindset that “It’s not wrong, because we are Filipino.” Come on, use a little common sense…..

  4. Jon E. Royeca says

    Like what I said in one article, I am not defending the flaws that we commit.

    What my articles are trying to accomplish is to challenge those anti-Filipino remarks that degrade our race, like this one: “Crimes happen only in the Philippines! And are committed only by Filipinos!”

    Such comments are completely racist and untrue. We need to defend ourselves.

    It is like saying that “black peoples are evil because of the diabolical color of their skin.” If blacks defend themselves, that is only the right thing to do.

    I have repeated many times in my articles and in some of my comments that we should correct our mistakes and punish the violators. But to degrade our race, because of those flaws, is very wrong.

    What would an American feel if someone says that the U.S. is “the world’s capital of thefts” because it has one of the biggest numbers of thieves in the world (more than 2 million arrested thieves each year — according to FBI)? He would just swallow it?

    Some Americans react fiercely when they and their nation are criticized. And they charge the critics as envious, terrorists, communists, etc.

    • Khan says

      Making an observation about a tendency is not “degrading our race”. We all belong to the human race, but in groups we have certain aspects as a whole, some not very pleasant. You yourself named a few things I have observed about Filipino people as a group, i.e. urinating in public, a propensity to be dishonest, to view any non-Filipino as a “free money machine” etc, etc, etc. My only thought on it is why do you defend these types of actions? Do you

    • Khan says

      Do you not think there is room for improvement? As for how an American reacts to these type of observations… I am an American, and will be one of the first to step up and say, “Yeah, we don’t have it right either.” As for your quote on theft in the USA, I couldn’t find it on the FBI site, but you could be right. I know there are bigger faults with my country than that, though. But the rate of crime has been dropping in the past few years, so someone is admitting it’s not right and acting to change it. If you want to bash the USA, go ahead, but start with the BIGGER problem of foreign policy, LOL.

  5. Jon E. Royeca says

    From the FBI’s “Crime in the United States”:

    1. Almost ten million American thieves each year are arrested, 70% of whom are white;

    2. More than US$300 billion are lost to white-collar crimes each year.

    Web site: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr

    I am not bashing the U.S. or any other country. I just want to counter the lies that anti-Filipinos have been telling us — that in the U.S., there are no thieves, gossips, people who urinate or defecate on the streets, etc.

    The Philippines is dependent on foreign crops, foreign dairy products, foreign medicines, foreign material goods, foreign technology, foreign technical skills, foreign investments, and foreign aid.

    Given all these trappings of a Third World foreign-dependent economy, how could I ever hate other nations?

  6. Juan De la Cruz says

    I love being a Filipino, I do believe that there is a brighter tomorrow if every Filipino desire to grow and become great in a unique way as a Filipino should manifest.It will take a greater amount of energy,but will eventually pay off.I takes commitment to analyze our own well being on what is wrong with our society and courage to change it. We should first look deeper in ourselves, on how we execute our life. Our attitudes,whether good or bad can affect the country as a whole.Everything is a process and I think, Mr. Jon E. Royeca is making his contribution.Mr Khan only complains..damn so childish and narrow mindedness. You fix yourself dude.

  7. Jon E. Royeca says

    Juan:

    I am really glad that there are so many people like you who still have faith in the Filipino.

    We should never lose hope. Of the more than 182 countries surveyed by the IMF and WB in 2009, the Philippines is the 47th largest economy, which means that there are many countries poorer than us.

    We must work hard for our one and only country. Today may not be the good times, but there will always be a good tomorrow. If all of us make our contributions, in whatever way, that tomorrow can still be achieved in our lifetime.

    Thanks for reading and for the comment.

  8. FilCanadian says

    Author, here you go again.. Who are you defending the Filipino from? Is there some great big anti-Filipino movement that I may missed? As in my previous comment, it would be more progressive if you can flip the coin and write something with a more positive flavor. For example this article could be re-written to talk about “Be Great, Filipino!” If you were tasked to teach Filipino kids who will be the future of the country, and you need to talk to them about what it means to be a Filipino, do you tell them about all the negative traits we must change, or do you tell them about the qualities that make Filipinos great?

  9. Jon E. Royeca says

    FilCanadian:

    Have you been to the Philippines? Perhaps you are totally unaware of those anti-Filipino remarks, which since Spanish colonial times, have thought generations of Filipinos how to scorn their own selves. That’s why I have this series. I hope you would really get the entire message.

    Thank you for reading and for the comments.

  10. Willie Sancho says

    Bro. Jon,

    You a are a great and amazing person, a true Filipino. I have work overseas for a long time and Filipinos are known for their ingenuity and hard work. The old Filipinos is gone, lets defend the new one.

    Mabuhay ang Filipino!

    Willie Sancho

  11. Bobby Batungbacal says

    Excellent discussion guys, j just wish I found this webpage earlier. Jon, I admire you for valiantly defending our nation by citing a wide range of facts and statistics. I often do the same thing as I argue about our virtues. With the comments above I’ve come to realize that comparing races and nations is not productive, specially when were comparing who’s worst in which ever aspect. It’s like comparing who’s family is better? Who’s mother is better? I think whats important is to love your country or race for better or for worst. I do believe that deep down, everyone loves their own country, they just express it differently.

    • Jon E. Royeca says

      Thanks, Bobby, for reading and for the comments. I have never compared and will never compare the Philippines with other countries. It’s pointless. I am only trying to correct the erroneous beliefs hurled against us, as discussed in the earlier parts of this series.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *