Being a 22-year old lay person whose key personality lies on the fact that she doesn't want too much negative in her life, what do you expect from me? I stay away from bad vibes but the Philippine society won't let me. Everyday, I wake up to news about how a riding tandem shot a man dead, how another country would bully my country to no end, how the president would ridiculously hit on his critics and corrupt cabinet members everytime he gets the chance in front of the podium, how an actress would forget that she is supposed to be a role model to people because she wouldn't stop acting uneducated on twitter, how the squatters would kill to defend their non-existent rights over pieces of land that were never theirs to begin with, how the activists would ALWAYS find reasons to go to the streets for rallies for the lame reason that they want to be heard, and so on and so forth. Tell me, who wouldn't get tired?
nirvanaI was so close to really telling myself that I hate being a Filipino; but on the most unlikely place, I realized that I will never have the heart to turn my back on my roots.
Last February, I went to Singapore to watch Super Show 4. It's a concert of Super Junior, a popular Korean group who I've been stanning for almost five years now. Many of you might think it ridiculous; but I went there because there's not going to be one in Manila.
Now let me give you a little background to connect these matters. Fangirls find this indefinable joy whenever their idols mention their country's name. In the case of Super Junior, being referred to as the 'FILIFIN ELF' is enough. However, in Singapore, I didn't hear that; and it made my heart ache when I realized that I would never get to hear that when I'm in a country that's not the Philippines.
Lame and a very funny story, right? But you know, when I came back to the Philippines, I realized my position. I have no choice but to be a Filipino because I AM A FILIPINO. It's not like I can easily get that off my system even when I want to. So why not just accept the fact and turn the tides instead?
challengeOne day, I woke up feeling up for some challenge. Maybe, my job as a travel writer had contributed to that. I thought that if I am losing hope on my country, I have to find something that would bring the spark back.
That's when I realized that blogging is the key, and maybe I could help.
Inspired by the Koreans who never fail to market their country with pictures and blogs, I have arrived at a decision that I will do the same. Since I love taking pictures and I am equipped with this little ability to put thoughts into words, I think this plan would somehow make sense.
The Philippines is a beautiful country, environment and culture wise. There are so much to tell about this nation - from the folklores to the possibilities. There are more than 7000 islands to blog about, all of which feature characteristics that set it apart from everything else.
However, the conflict lies on the fact that good marketing is constantly toppled by bad ones. Thanks to the misleading descriptions of reports from other nations, judging travel bans to the country, and the indelible threat of terrorism, my challenge would be painstakingly difficult.
But do I give up? NO.
plan of actionAccording to Dr. Jose Rizal, the youth is the hope of the country. But is it just the youth? Does this mean that the adults who had grown accustomed to how their forefathers had live are exemptions? What if the young ones become adults too? Are we going to hope for another generation to take care of the role?
I respect my national hero, but I hope to make it clear that the hope of the country is its people. NOT JUST THE YOUTH, not only the adults... EVERYONE. As Filipinos, we are all - irregardless of age - given the responsibility to uplift our nation. To do that, we must find ways (and I mean reasonable and objective ways) to bring the Philippines back to the pedestal. As much as we can, we must focus on the positive aspect of this nation and not dwell on the negative ones.
It's time that we get rid of crab mentality. IT'S SO OVERRATED! We love pointing out the mistake of others, pulling them down all the time; but we never paid attention to our own mud. Geez. I hope that for once, we stop being selfish. That, I believe, is a must.
It's never too late for our country. Even though we're in this kind of present condition where everything seemed so hopeless, I believe that we can still find our way towards that economic success. We can still earn the respect of our neighboring countries, particularly the big bully; and draw the nation back to the world map. I believe that we still have the chance to make things right.
that one spark of hope
I saw that one spark of hope when I opened a link tweeted by Ms. Maria Ressa. It was from Rappler.com. It's a report about the economic performance of the country. Although I know nothing about economics, the graphs had made it clear that for the first quarter of 2012, we had a 6.4% growth on the economy. That's second to China (8.1%) and a few steps ahead of Japan (2.8%), South Korea (2.8%) and Singapore (1.6%).
That came from 3.2% (Q3, 2011) and 4.0% (Q4, 2011), mind you.
See? There's still a chance. Even though the government is very much attuned to bringing officials to court for graft and corruption, it's assuring to know that they're still working towards their promise of economic success.
Now, it's time that we do our part. As a fellow Filipino, I challenge you to join me and many others in bringing the Philippines back to where it should be. Let us come hand in hand in making the whole world realize that we are better than what they think we are.
Why should you do that? Because you are a Filipino. That, alone, is a reason enough.