I hate that I was born Filipino. There, I said it. Let’s get this straight: This isn’t that kind of piece where I state negative thing after negative thing only to flip them on their heads after and come out with a positive message. No, this isn’t a cutesy post.
Like a lot of Filipinos of varying ages and backgrounds, I have just had it with the unfairness of this country, of the blatant disregard by its “leaders” for the basic services their constituents rightly deserve, of the incessant and indefatigable corruption permeating every corner, of the rank stench of hopelessness wafting from dead dreams and expectations, caused by the motherland’s very own children.
I just don’t want to be a Filipino anymore. And so what if you don’t agree?
I don’t care if you’re one of those people who’ll tell me to just leave if I really want out. Believe me, I am trying. But the very nature of my Filipino-ness makes it hard to land jobs abroad, unlike, say, citizens from neighboring and far prosperous countries like Singapore or Malaysia. But if I do get the first opportunity to work and become a citizen somewhere except here, you best believe I’m taking the earliest flight out.
I also don’t care if you’re going to burst into song about why you’re proud to be Pinoy despite everything. Please drop the pretentiousness. You are either from a privileged background with your safety nets to catch you when the crap hits the fan, or far worse, a person who’s deluding himself into thinking everything’s fine even when your home is being engulfed in flames.
You think it’s okay to continue reading about elected primates guzzling taxpayers’ hard-earned money down the drain, without even the tiniest bit of remorse while they’re doing it? Go ahead. You don’t feel anything when the youth and the marginalized take to the streets despite a pandemic to voice out their concerns about how we are being exploited, calling out for others like us to join their cause and amplify our collective voice, to stop being apathetic? No problem. You would rather all of us continue accepting every morsel and crumb that keeps being thrown at us derisively, mockingly, because you don’t think elected leaders should be criticized because darn it, they’re just human and trying their best and are all good at heart deep down? Okey dokey!
Who cares if we have the highest number of people being encouraged to leave by our very own government, exported and packaged as overseas Filipino workers because there are no opportunities for us here, right? Who cares if we have crime and oppression as a part of our daily lives, cowed into submission not just by abusive authorities but by a desperation to survive so strong and tangible that it might as well be an actual person? Who cares that we have been sold to another country by a group of people with only their interests in mind? Who cares that we have been essentially left to fend for ourselves during a pandemic that’s not going away anytime soon, with health care workers already tapping out due to fear and stress, but are told to shut up because apparently they’re not contributing hard enough, not sacrificing hard enough, not dying in vain hard enough? Who cares, right? Surely you don’t mind, that’s why you’re still proud to be Filipino.
I hate to break it to you, but not everyone thinks like you do. Not everyone is as deluded and willfully blind as you are. Not everyone is willing to use their one and only chance at living just to be bogged down by ineptitude and ignorance and self-serving agendas.
So yeah, so what if I don’t want to be a Filipino any longer? It’s not as if the people who should care about this sentiment will, anyway.
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Paul David Cruz, 29, works as a communications officer in the IT industry.