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Re-defining Our Fight

The death of Cory Aquino spurred an emotion of solidarity among the Filipinos especially those who have witnessed the downfall of the Philippine Republic under the dictatorship of Marcos. The yellow flowers, ribbons and scattered confetti reminded us of the glorious day when the dictator was finally subjected to the undying thirst for justice, peace and clean governance, and we started to redefine our stand in more solid ground. Then we found ourselves looking at the bright aspect delineated to the changes in socio-political affair.  We have become a proud nation to achieve much in the global scene by crowding the streets armed with sentiments like that of the First Quarter Storm and the huge thirst quenching the EDSA revolution. We won the fight like eager mice trudging the dangerous path packed with hungry cats and successfully grabbed a piece of cheese that is worth our nation’s pride: exactly what Prometheus did among the sleeping gods.

Yes, we have won the fight. The question is what kind of fight? I do not claim to know more than anyone else about the ordeal of our country, but since the problem is apparent and could easily be pondered over a cup of coffee or a simple mind break in carenderia, it is my wish to say something  of what I percieve about it. After all, things are seen in various epistemological angles and one has the right to say what he thinks of the current situation in our country that escalates between the believers and the incredulous. Mind you, the danger may all be depending on what we believe. Sometimes, it takes more than courage and pure whim to unravel what should be done to re-define our common ground in order to prosper as a nation. And yes, we are constantly struggling to find our way to fight the foes that hurdle us to this redefinition of ourselves. Again – What kind of fight?

When you look back to our history, we could see that the Filipino people are fighting all their lives. First we showed our valor by toppling the Spanish colonizers only to realize it was just a coy for the entrance of Americans after we had been sold for more than a million dollars. After realizing that we are like turn-tables that have been passed from one hand to another, we plotted skirmishes to highlight our willingness to stand for what is right even if  it meant sacrificing lives against the super-power nation. It was a kind of fight where we repelled invasion just to preserve our natural identity as Filipinos. And after each success we tend to drown into oblivion the essence of such revolutions as an initial ladder to realizing our long-search for true identity.

The second phase of revolution has taken a different form. Unlike the first one which can be regarded as an external fight to defend our sovereignty, the latter is a kind of introspection: Our fight is not against external forces but individuals amongst us. Examples of this are the EDSA 1 and 2 Revolutions where we ousted individuals who have been traitors to their own kind. Because of our nescience on which ground to stand on, we allowed the budding evil to morph with us that in the end caught us off-guard. People have suffered more than they have during colonization because the adversary knew the nook and crook of how to play the devil’s game.  Thus, we have to fight harder to reverse the damage they brought.

Then the pattern continues. This time revolution moves deeper. How many times have we rallied in the street to shout that the government step out and leave their seats? How many times did we condemn cheating and malevolence in the administration because they have not been stealing from the national treasury? If you still consider this a good fight, then you are merely stranded in the second phase of revolution. What I am trying to say is that there are wicked individuals we see apart from ourselves. If you come to think of it, the worst enemy is ourselves which we are collectively unmindful of. We can all attest to this from the simple instance of throwing our garbage on the street to preserving corrupt officials by being loyal to them because of utang ng loob. We may laugh at this at times because this is so trivial to take into account, but when you look at its effect, there is no sheer difference between you and the one you are loathing. You cannot simply wipe out the dirt by dirt. Thus, by reflecting on it, it all boils to one ultimate premise: The Self. This self is not just the battle of some or of groups of political factions but of every Filipino who are tired of the maelstrom of history where a single mistake in the past is revived back to the concurrent political arena.

Hence, it is when we have waged war against ourselves that we become infectious and worthy in re-defining our ground. Just imagine how a good self can transform other lives like what Mother Teresa and of John Paul II did. If you replicate it a hundred times, then this country may already be a happy nation. Yet no matter how ideal this may sound, it could be achieved when we will it to happen. With what’s happening to our country, amidst turmoil, I guess, the greatest message of the death of Ninoy and Cory is just one: Beware, we are our greatest enemy. And by taking this message by heart, only then shall we authentically define the real fight for our nation.ninoy

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  1. August 7, 2009 at 9:07 am

    You have finely crafted this piece Igsoon. Couldn’t agree more with the fundamental argument on the “SELF”. From my sociological leaning, I can only spice it up a little bit of sociological imagination to situate the SELF in its evolving historical embeddedness because from a systemic point of view, the whole is not the sum of its parts. I’ll do the rest in my silence. You are one delightful writer to read. Philo grad gyud…

    • TóTómel
      August 8, 2009 at 6:26 am

      what a generous comment Igsoon. the whole is not the sum of its parts- reminds me of democracy where the majority may not be right but must be carried on simply because majority rules.

  2. August 7, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Reading or talking about politics have a tendency to make me nauseous, but this entry expressed my unsaid sentiments about the state of our nation…and I agree with dFish; not only are you delightful to read, but your views are awakening as well. Keep on writing. =)

    • TóTómel
      August 8, 2009 at 6:27 am

      thank you Mir, you know that i get my inspiration from your writings. 🙂

  3. August 7, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Omel, I couldn’t agree more… This is beautifully woven…
    Indeed the battleground has moved inside us. Everyday we must face our own monsters and continue to decide between many things – love of country vs love of family, love of country vs a better salary outside of the Philippines, hope for a better country vs cynicism in our political statement.
    In the decisions we make, we decide how the future of our country will be.

    “A nation cannot rise above the consciousness of its people.” My favorite political maxim rings true.

    • TóTómel
      August 8, 2009 at 6:31 am

      you inspired me Mark to write this. Remeber the ripples you posted as comment? we have to make more ripples to make a difference….and i started it by highlighting the need to change our individual attitudes before moving to changing others.

  4. August 9, 2009 at 9:49 am

    yes it is.. our greatest enemy is our selves..we can never go forward unless the monster in us is tamed..

    now following your blog and also included it in my blog roll 🙂


    Make or Break

    • TóTómel
      August 10, 2009 at 12:42 am

      thanks Maam 🙂

  5. August 10, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Beware, we are our greatest enemy.

    I just love this!

    • TóTómel
      August 11, 2009 at 1:55 am

      thanks lady green 🙂

  6. August 10, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    unclouded and lucid entry, you’ve earned another follower but I’ll add you in my semi-private blog since I do not anymore visits most of the links in my dotcom but thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.
    God bless!

    >> http://honeyreyes.com

    • TóTómel
      August 11, 2009 at 1:55 am

      thank you , im following your blog too 🙂

      • August 11, 2009 at 9:15 am

        This is my semi -private blog hehehe iamhoney.wordpress… your link is added there ^_^

  7. August 11, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Hi, there, You visited my blog once and so I was curious and visited yours, my …I am very impressed , yours is so neat and yet deep, one can tell that your thoughts had been hauled deep down…he!he !
    I guess, I will start following you, I am new to this blogosphere world, medyo nangangapa pa sa dilim eh!
    maybe …I will get better…anyway, just doing it para meron akong place to let go ba…para hindi nastock sa brain ang kadamidaming ideas na walang willing makinig ng harap-harapan kahit man lang sang-oras, pero sabi ko sa sarili ko di bale na lang i-blog ko na lang kaya…yun yan ang umpisa kaya ako ay narito..

    • August 13, 2009 at 9:19 am

      hehehe..thanks for a heart-warming comment 🙂

      sige, i’ll follow you also.

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