The Filipino greatness
In the Beginning. In all honesty, it makes me cry whenever I reflect on how South Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore have all become progressive countries while our very own Philippines has remained in the dungeon of poverty. We have produced great intellectual leaders and politicians like Ferdinand Marcos, Ramon Magsaysay, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Raul Roco, Raul Manglapus, etc. We take pride in being the best English speakers in Asia. A significant number of our population hold high academic degrees.
As individuals we triumph, but as a nation we fail. In a foreign land we succeed, but on our own soil we are obliterated like a shadow.
What happened to us?
Our country has lost its soul. We have been corrupted by our own delusion and greed. We were colonized by Spain for 333 years; then America and Japan invaded our land. Our culture has been tainted with illusion as to who we really are as a country. We see America as our ultimate dream.
These foreigners invaded our land. Worse, they have occupied our subconscious mind, so that we can no longer see clearly who we really are as Filipinos.
We lost our moral ground. We became too willing to accept bribes and corruption as a way of life. We have accepted the ill fate of our country like there is no more hope.
Finally, we departed our land and moved to a new country. To look for a greener pasture, probably due to desperation and loss of hope.
Who is to blame?
It is easy to point to our leaders. In reality, all of us are to blame. But blaming is no longer the solution. To know that we are all part of this national crisis means that we can all be part of the solution, too.
The revelation. We are a great country, or we used to be. Now we need to find our country’s soul to find its greatness. It is here now. Rodrigo Duterte’s leadership is our only way. We need to join our President in his journey to reawaken our nation. He is the way, but he needs our cooperation to make things possible.
When Singapore was just starting to build itself, it was not an easy start. Too many countries believed it was doomed to fail. There were too many instabilities—political, social, economic—that would have made it impossible for Singapore to succeed. This was the same fate of South Korea and Japan after World War II.
But they thrived to survive! They flourished successfully as new progressive countries!
Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew became its beacon of hope. With his strong-willed leadership he was able to transform Singapore into one of the richest countries in Asia. But his constituents had a significant role, too. They all sacrificed and joined Lee Kuan Yew in his dream for Singapore.
This is what we need to do. Now. For the Philippines.
President Duterte cannot do everything on his own. We need to sacrifice. We need to start following the laws of our land. We all need to sweat, to work with our hands, to build our country. Figuratively and literally.
We all want change, real change. But this should be a calling for all of us. This is a new vocation for all Filipinos so that we can revive the soul of our country.
President Duterte is our Lee Kuan Yew. For him to succeed as a great leader, we all need to follow his footsteps in a common journey toward the greatness of our land.
A new beginning. We have been blessed. Our country has been given a second chance to revive its soul.
This is our only chance now. President Duterte is our only chance now. He is our hope.
Today is a momentous opportunity for all of us to take this chance. Our only option now is to join him in rebuilding our country.
But first we need to reawaken our soul as Filipinos before we can rebuild the Philippines into a great country.
To reawaken our soul is to unify as one Filipino family. To know our roots. To be willing to sacrifice for the greater good. To become more disciplined as citizens of our land. To become successful not just for ourselves but also for others, for our country. To love our country with our whole life. To continuously dream for the betterment of our country. And to continuously act to make this real.
This is just the beginning. Let us all move forward!
Rado Gatchalian, of Dagupan City in Pangasinan and now based in Sydney, Australia, is one of the DDS Global coordinators and the convener of the “Sydney Para Kay Duterte” rally on April 30, 2016.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.