Searching for Heroes

Fool’s month is almost over. The spell of the wide eyed full moon is leaving the sky. Still, the land is covered by unreasonable suppositions, convoluted maneuverings and always the underlying self promotion while annihilating everything that gets in the way.

Generations of Filipinos have been taught lies about their history, about their heritage, about their heroes resulting in patriotism based on patronage, regionalism and over all disunity. Filipinos claw at each other like the proverbial “talangka” for reasons they can not even explain nor identify. Rejection of an idea, of a leader rests on prejudice, of a mentality borne out of a caste system that dictates slaves must never rise to the level of their blue blooded masters. Those born with silver spoons must be treated with dignity and respect long before they learn to clean themselves up after they shit while those damned by the poverty of their birth can not and should not even dare look at their masters’ feet.

Lies. We were taught lies.

America gave us democracy and out of their benevolence, gave us independence. Spain gave us God and taught us holiness. The world war that devastated the country was to prove the people’s bravery and acceptance of sacrifice. We are but a small nation that can never make a difference nor run our own affairs nor have a say in our patrimony. We are mendicants, ignorant, uneducated with inferior culture and just plain savages.

Our heroes are Aguinaldo, Bonifacio’s killer, the “revered” First President of the Philippines yet abandoned his post for money and comfort; Quezon, he who said “a Philippines run like hell by Filipinos is a lot better than a Philippines run like heaven by Americans” while shouting “sinverguenza” to those who disagreed.

In the very recent times, our children were taught that the Aquino’s are all heroes, that Ninoy is a martyr, Cory a saint and that Abnoy is incorruptible. They were taught that those who died fighting the government waving the Communist flag deserve a monument with their names written in stone. And that those who fought for the Republic were just fascist reactionary forces with no intelligence nor reason for being. And that singing “Bayan Ko” with fervor and tears streaming down was the only nationalism required plus a couple of appearances in EDSA.

Filipinos must learn the real lessons of the past. They must hail the real heroes who must be emulated and be trumpeted.
They must seek their own course and follow their own instincts and claim their own destiny. Ironical it may be, but respect from the community of nations will only be accorded if Filipinos show that they are truly independent and do not really care about any castigation or applause.

It maybe late in the nation’s journey, but a start is as good as any. Lest the nation stays in the shadow of mediocrity and the quagmire of insignificance for generations yet to come.


About danmeljim

Dan Jimenez was the Editor in Chief of The Corps Magazine from 1976 to 1977. After graduation, he never abandoned his ideas and continued writing. On October 1983, as a young Navy Lieutenant, he wrote an open letter addressed to Salvador Laurel who was then a leader of the opposition against President Marcos. It was published by almost all the dailies and earned for him the commendation of PMAAA, Inc. He immigrated to the US in 1986 but continued to write about the country of his birth. He has defended the Philippine Military Academy against claims of it being a Philippine Monetary Academy and a corrupt institution. Very recently, he posted commendation of Gen Bato de la Rosa and castigation of Senator Sonny Trillanes, which went viral. He continues to believe that "Ideas must reign supreme because personalities and individuals are as fleeting as the seasons." Always a plebe in his thinking, he will live by the adage: "The greatest failure is that never attempted."
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