Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pilipinas Muna: Putting the Philippines and the Filipinos First

As a people, we are known for such things as the proverbial 'Bahala na' attitude and the procrastinator's malaise called the 'Mamaya na', also known as the 'Mañana Habit', as in putting something off for later what can be done now. The 'Bahala na' attitude derives from the term 'Bathala' - the Filipino word for god or deity. It refers to our fatalistic attitude, leaving our fate to the whims of the Fates, the Bathala or the gods. In the 'Mañana habit', we leave our fate for later, hoping later will take care of itself.

Maybe there is value in leaving some things up to the gods and, apparently, there is some value too to procrastination; but more often than not, these beliefs/habits work to our disadvantage. We end up not facing up to what we need to confront, not getting done what we need accomplished. And in those, we do ourselves and our country a great disservice.

My friends, it's time for a Filipino reinvention.

Instead of the 'Bahala na' and 'Mañana Habit' the kind of attitudes that define us, let us be known instead for something else, something that serves us, that works for us, and more importantly, something that works for our country.

Let us be known for 'Pilipinas Muna'. (Philippines First.)

One of our greatest tragedies as a nation is that we are first to put our country and our people down. We are first to doubt our fellowmen, quick to judge and condemn, and vigorous in claiming negative traits as unique to our country.

Like we are the worst.
Like we are one-of-a-kind.
Like we are beyond help.

The truth is that those negative beliefs we have of ourselves, our fellowmen and our country are false. The truth is we do not know other nations well enough to even be qualified to say what is or isn't unique about us, or what is worse about us compared to others. The truth is when we condemn our country and put down our fellowmen, we only curse ourselves. You don't deserve that! We don't deserve that!

There is one thing we can do for ourselves that only we can do for ourselves. We cannot expect to hear it from others first; we cannot expect others to do it for us first. It must come from among us.

We are a country, a proud nation that puts its country, its fellowmen first.
Pilipinas Muna: Philippines First.

In all we do/say/think/act, let us consider:
  • Does this bring honor to my country?
  • Does it serve the good of my fellowmen?
  • Does this put the Philippines first?
  • Does it reflect my pride for my country and my countrymen?
  • Does it honor my country not for what it is now but for the greatness it aspires to be?

Pilipinas Muna. Because no one else can do it for us but us.
Pilipinas Muna. Because other nations will treat us first-rate 
when we consider ourselves first-rate, 
when we ourselves act first-rate, 
and esp. when we ourselves speak first-rate of our country.
Pilipinas Muna. Because a nation that aspires to be number 1 
must first be number 1 among its own citizens.

Book Recommendations:
History of the Filipino people
The First Filipino, a Biography of José Rizal
History and Culture, Language and Literature (Selected Essays of Teodoro A. Agoncillo)
In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines

1 comment:

  1. tama! it's time that filipinos deserve the philippines. pilipinas muna- "sa isip, sa salita at sa gawa."