top of page

An erosion of Filipino values

I know I already had a piece about the EDSA Revolution anniversary last issue; but I just couldn’t help it. If memory serves me right, the concern last year was that then President Noynoy Aquino and then Vice President Binay were not together in the celebration ceremonies, supposedly due to political differences. And back then I thought it was rather improper for the second man in command to beg off attendance in commemoration of a historic occasion which had become, well, honestly, boring and taken for granted. Now, we have 2017 EDSA Day Celebration. What on earth is happening? Did some airborne virus blow with the wind? Was the water supply somehow contaminated? Is it just me? Am I being too idealistic? Am I rightist? Or has deference to history gone on a disappointing decline? The Pro-Duterte rally at Luneta last Saturday, according to Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte-National Executive Coordinating Council (MRRD-NECC) spokesperson, Bobby Brillante, was a fight “for the continuation of the freedom and democracy that EDSA fought for,” an assurance and preservation of freedom, a strengthening of democracy and “should not be lessened as we go on.” He further adds, that “the only guarantee for freedom and democracy to remain stronger is for people to be vigilant.” ( Come on. Any individual or organization has the right to do so, but does it really have to be on the Saturday of February 25? Isn’t there any other day in a week? Are there no other days in a month? Does it really have to be on a February? On the 25th? The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) has traditionally held the simultaneous nationwide “Angel’s Walk” in celebration of Autism Consciousness Week by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 711 which actually declares for the events to be set every third week of January. However, this year, it was moved on the first week of February to make way for the Miss Universe beauty pageant which was hosted by the nation. Mind you, the consciousness week, for years had been observed, based on a legal mandate. But it had to make way. Now, that is what we call “delicadeza.” Now, that is Filipino. Filipino folklore is replete with legends and folktales in which the simple male protagonist would in the utmost humility initially stay by the sidelines, and make way, letting his arrogant competitors strut their stuff, and in the end, in the simplest of efforts, this prince would demonstrate unassuming and unpretentious feats of heroics to ultimately win the hand of the dayang-dayang. (That means princess; if you’re more familiar with the European counterpart.) The ultimate Filipino action hero, Fernando Poe Jr. has had his name become synonymous to staying last on a queue to make way for others. As far as I know, as far as I have been brought up, this is a component of what I thought as highly honored Filipino values. This is Filipino. The tradition and culture of simplicity, modesty, sacrifice. This is our version of the European concept of knightly chivalry which transcends in the modern age in Filipino males offering seats for women, for the elderly. Now, where have these gone? Oh yes, democracy provides for freedom of speech, of expression, of political affiliation. But its tenets do not protect mockery of history. The administration advocates can downplay and legitimize the rallies all they want; but the efforts have been a spit on the face of Philippine history. When the Filipino values would direct us to render the highest respect for the elderly, the bereaved, to our ancestors, that as far as I know, we would set aside any grudge, any ill feeling, when remembering those who have gone before us in time. We would simply set aside resentments of our lolo’s painful butt spanking (if there were any), and just remember all the good about him, when his death anniversary comes around the corner (Northern Filipino tribes would even mummify their grandparents; out of respect.) I believed and I thought these are the Filipino values which we are so proud of, despite the nation’s poverty, the bullying of bigger nations, the abuses against OFWs, the discrimination against ‘brown monkeys ”. The red, white and blue, and three stars and a sun may not stand a chance in a military conflict with Malaysians in Borneo or the Chinese in the Spratlys, or may be panned for the corruption, the pollution, the heavy traffic, the slow development, but the Filipinos would stand proud for their values which would not be compromised, which would be our waving banner anywhere in the world; or is it? It is simply sad. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” Philippians 2:3

bottom of page