Tag Archive | philippines

Colonial Mentality : A Hundred year of Slavery

I read somewhere that the reason why Philippines is poor is that: We don’t love our country enough. True indeed.  We blame each other instead of helping. We dislike our government. We desire to see big, beautiful and bold platforms from  our public officials rather than doing something in our own little way to help ourselves. Many people go overseas with the intent of  not coming back to the country they called broken. Isn’t it sad?…

When I went overseas to the Middle East, there was no day that passed by that I didn’t wish of coming back home to the  Philippines. Out there I saw inequalities between men and women. There was very limited freedom to speak, and write and do  what you want. It was oftentimes no fun. Here in the Philippines, liberty is a fundamental right. But we do not value our own. We’re still slaves of the past. We feel inferior and we think that without  foreign aid, we’re doomed.

I love Philippines. I have always do and I always will. I do not understand why there are so many Filipinos who hate being one. I  do not understand why there are many Filipinos who would rather exchange who they are with somebody else abroad.. Its a sad,  sad thing.. I have read many forums and I often found that instead of defending our own we defend others. Why is that?..I do not  understand. We look to our own with disdain with the slightest mistake but we claim those half-Filipinos who made it to the world.

There is so much more to the Philippines. We have rich natural resources, we have great tourism, we have hailed many beauty  queens, we have housed many talents. We have enough.. While people in Africa do not even have enough water to drink;  women in some parts of the middle East couldn’t even ride a bike. .

I hope we learn how to instill in our hearts the sense of patriotism – the love for one’s country. It is our home. Don’t  we know there are many foreign expats out there who admire us? they even write about us. why? because they have seen  something great about us that we probably have failed to see. Where is the undying spirit of compassion and courage that we  show to each other when we face calamities? Do we need the devil to unleash demons upon us to realize that we, ourselves, are our own savior, not others?

Our President has been receiving flak because of his ‘loud’ mouth. Well, at some point, I agree that he’s crossing boundaries too much but I don’t believe that he deserves a ‘psychopath’ label. In fact, I admire his staunch courage of professing love for his own. We are chained to this colonial mentality and we hate the president who is trying to untie us.

We probably are third world country but in no way that we are inferior. I wonder when we’ll ever be truly independent  economically, socially and most importantly mentally.

As long as the Filipino people have not enough spirit to proclaim, brow held high and breast bared, their right to a free society, and to maintain it with their sacrifices, with their very blood; as long as we see our countrymen privately ashamed, hearing the cries of their revolted and protesting conscience, but silent in public, or joining the oppressor in mocking the oppressed; as long as we see them wrapping themselves up in their selfishness and praising the most iniquitous acts with forced smiles, begging with their eyes for a share of the booty, why give them freedom?” ~EL FILIBUSTERISMO

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One Rainy Day When I Met God

“That day I understood life
We are but fleeting
Like butterflies upon the bud
and he was there among us
Just another lost soul
Just another one wanting to be loved
Just another one hoping for a better life..”

It rained the whole day today so I was feeling cold and sleepy when I boarded a jeepney going to the University. I didn’t know this would be a very memorable day to me..

I sat near the door of the jeepney and I noticed a small boy sitting opposite to me. I can tell by his ragged look and torn clothing that he’s a beggar.
He was holding a cup of noodles and he was eating with much delight. Uncaring of the passengers entering the jeepney. He had a loaf of bread on his other hand.
When the collector entered the jeepney, he handed few coins as fare and I was amazed – I don’t think he’s got enough but he still gave his share.
Not everyone does that. Most of us always fail to share.
I felt ashamed for all those people who live by stealing. The corrupt politicians, the selfish brats and most importantly for myself. Sometimes I also do not share.
What amaze me more is the fact that he wasn’t asking. He just sat there quitely.
I saw some passengers gave him few coins when they got off and he would smile every time. He always smile and his eyes were so kind.
I had a bottle of water and I think he was thirsty because I saw him looking at it so I gave it to him. He smiled at me and whispered “salamat” (thank you)

That boy reminds me of so many things . I see some people dining at expensive restaurant, they do not finish their meal.

I knew some people who deliberately force themselves to vomit after eating just so they do not get fat.

I read in the news everyday how respected public officials and politicans take the money that belongs to their people.

I’ve seen rich kids waste their food and toys. and I’ve see many people waste their lives.

There is too much injustice in this world. We could have enough. In fact we DO have enough. This earth has more than enough to give each of us a better life but why is poverty all around? why do street children roam the streets  even when it’s raining? Is it because some are just naturally lazy or is it because there is an unequal distribution and monopoly of wealth?

It’s hard to ponder but the way I look into the boy’s face, I don’t see any negative feeling towards the cruelty of this world. His face looks so serene and beautiful.

I hope I can also be like that. I hope I can also trust God and know that His ways are far more better than my understanding.
That boy was a wonderful reminder that life may not be fair all the time but there is God and everything will be alright..

Right at that moment, I am reminded how blessed I am. I have enough. I have clothes on my back, I have something to eat. I have a wonderful life and sometimes all I need is to look around..

God reveals Himself in a most unexpected way. He did today 😀

 

 

jenaraismyname. august 4, 2014

The Filipino Spirit is WATERPROOF!

I’ve been reading and watching local news regarding the super typhoon that just struck some part of my country to almost lifeless and it’s really heartbreaking. ( Typhoon Yolanda kills estimated 10,000)  It’s like watching a scene from the movie 2012!. I literally felt the pain in my chest watching my fellow brothers and sisters screaming in terror, looking for the lost members of their family, shivering in cold, crying for their dead and trying to save their lives and the lives of the people they love..:( I’ve never seen something like this before and I never would like to see one again..

Typhoon Haiyan: Philippines destruction ‘absolute bedlam’

Maybe, it’s true that unfortunate things happen to teach us optimism and appreciation of the things we have. It draw people closer. We can help  through prayers, fund raising, donations, and assist in packing of relief goods.We all have been there and we know that losing is always painful but God never gives something we could not bear isn’t it? 

Gratitude for all support and sympathy from fellow Filipinos and especially from the international countries. For the overwhelming support and love, we, Filipinos are most thankful. In spite of all the rubble and loss and even if we mourn, it is somehow heartwarming..

The Filipino Spirit is WaterProof!!

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Image courtesy of Unicef

““When you get to the end of all the light you know and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.” 

― Edward Teller

There Are No Stars in My City

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Few days ago when me and my friend were walking from school, I told her that the weather was crisp just like summer’s but I noticed there are no stars..

I fell silent as I began reminiscing my growing up years in the province. Back then, when me and my sister were still kids, we would climb on our rooftop during late afternoon and wait until we see the stars appear on the orange sky. We were raised in a wonderful family, and our community was peaceful. Life was beautiful. Remember those summer afternoons when we played along the street after class and we’d go home all in sweat? Days when we ran wild and free. I smiled upon that thought. How could things have changed? How could the shrill laughter have faded? how could the stars have gone?

As I continue my walk to my apartment, I finally caught a glimpse of the half moon and a nearby star hiding behind the dark clouds. Then it made sense to me: the stars are there but the polluted air hid them. Figuratively, it made me think. People are like that too sometimes. Our brightness are hidden behind all the negativity we put into our lives. Just like what is happening now in my country. Zamboanga crisis  is now everybody’s concern. Maybe the rebel group have their own reason for this insurrection but I maybe will never understand them. I was not an advocate of violence. Maybe genuine peace talk could still prosper, who knows, right? I have made amount of friends from that city and they’re good people. I believe religion has nothing to do with this war. We also have this PDAF controversy right now.  I don’t understand how some people could do such hideous things. It’s hard to conceive. How could you sleep in your over sized king bed with beautiful mattelasse bedspread knowing that you are stealing, lying, committing a crime against your people who unfortunately knew nothing about what you do. How could you stab your people from their back and manage to look at them on their faces asking for mercy during the election? Isn’t it that we are supposed to have been taught by our parents to grow up morally upright? I think those values are forgotten. I am a sinner too but stealing from the poor when you’re already born with silver spoon in your mouth is just unthinkable. I admit we are also equally at fault. Sometimes we do not choose our leaders well, but when we cast our vote, we hope that the names written in that ballot will not disappoint us.. it’s sad that some of them did.  Would you blame me for my frustration? Peace and order, corruption and there is still the unsettled dispute with China over West Philippine Sea/South China Sea. It’s like we were in the middle of game here, never ending battle and the players are so tired… and by the way, I also hope these celebrity people stop stealing the scene with their explicit videos that are so goddamn annoying..

Each day we are faced with so many problems, hungry people in the world with no food to eat, homeless children, dying people. Ours is a nation composed of 7107 beautiful islands. Isn’t is that we are the children of this city? We are the citizen of this democracy which our ancestors have bravely fought for, so we could live in a land that knows what it takes to be free. But we ruin the land beneath our feet. We throw garbage to the river and we drink from it. We hurt our brothers and sisters.. There is but one thing I understood: we are that stars. Hidden behind the pollution in our lives: greed, uncaring heart, selfishness, hatred..

I still cling to hope for my city. But do we have to ask God to bring rain and drown the world to clear the sky? Maybe by then those who will remain might see the stars again..

I love Philippines

I read somewhere that one of the major reason why Philippines is poor is that: We don’t love our country enough. True indeed. We sometimes keep on blaming others instead of helping each other. We dislike our government. We desire to see big beautiful and bold platforms from our public officials rather than doing something in our own little ways to help ourselves, our fellow and our country..We only see negativity in our government. Many people go overseas with the intent of not coming back to the country they called broken. and we do not have hope..isn’t it sad?…

When I went overseas to the Middle East, there was no day that passed by that I didn’t wish of coming back home to the Philippines. Out there I saw some inequalities especially between men and women. Women have to cover their hair, their face and they have to wear that long black gown (with respect to our brothers and sisters in Islam). Women do not vote. Women do not drive. What men say, women have to obey. There was very limited freedom to speak, and write and do what you want. It was oftentimes no fun.. Here in the Philippines, we all have the freedom to do what we want. to say what we want..to be what we want..but why do we only see things in black? I love Philippines. I have always do and I always will. I do not understand why there are so many Filipinos who hate being one. I do not understand why there are many Filipinos who would rather exchange who they are with somebody elses abroad.. Its a sad, sad thing.. I have read many forums and I often found that instead of defending our own we vote for others. Why is that?..I do not understand. We look to our own with disdain with the slightest mistake but we claim those half-filipinos who made it to the world..(please don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against them, you know what I’m tryin’ to say)

There is so much more to the Philippines. We have rich natural resources, we have great tourism, we have hailed many beauty queens. we have housed many talents, we have enough.. While people in Africa does not even have enough water to drink; women in some parts of the middle East couldn’t even ride a bike. .Here in the Philippines, we are free. There is equality. There is enough to make a living and if not, we have the right to go overseas and work. I hope we learn how to instill in our hearts the sense of patriotism – the love for one’s country. It is our own. It is our home..Don’t we know there are many foreign expats out there who admire us? they even write about us. why? because they have seen something great about us that we probably have failed to see.  Where is that undying spirit of compassion and courage that we show to each other when we face calamities? I hope we can still bring it even when the sun is sunny. I also hope we learn to stop harboring grudges over the rich public officials who collect taxes more than they should. We cannot change the whole system, we cannot change the world.. We have to change OURSELVES…

Let us ask ourselves, do we love our country enough? Would we bleed for it’s defense? Would we die trying to make it better, or would we just sneer our face with no hope but pessimism..I hope not. I really hope not..

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by  :  Jeinara Odonio

Love Letter

The past weeks had been so busy for me and I could hardly squeeze time to write on this blog.

Anyways, for today, I thought of perhaps just re-blogging an excerpt from a very inspiring and awesome love letter I found on facebook. This was written by Dr. David Harrell.

LOVE LETTER TO FILIPINOS ||David H. Harwell, PhD

I am writing to thank Filipinos for the way you have treated me here, and to pass on a lesson I learned from observing the differences between your culture and mine over the years.
I am an expatriate worker. I refer to myself as an OAW, an overseas American worker, as a bad joke. The work I do involves a lot of traveling and changing locations, and I do it alone, without family. I have been in 21 countries now, not including my own. It was fun at first. Now, many years later, I am getting tired. The Philippines remains my favorite country of all, though, and I’d like to tell you why before I have to go away again.

I have lived for short periods here, traveled here, and have family and friends here. My own family of origin in the United States is like that of many Americans—not much of a family. Americans do not stay very close to their families, geographically or emotionally, and that is a major mistake. I have long been looking for a home and a family, and the Philippines is the only place I have lived where people honestly seem to understand how important their families are.

I am American and hard-headed. I am a teacher, but it takes me a long time to learn some things. But I’ve been trying, and your culture has been patient in trying to teach me.
In the countries where I’ve lived and worked, all over the Middle East and Asia, it is Filipinos who do all the work and make everything happen. When I am working in a new company abroad, I seek out the Filipino staff when I need help getting something done, and done right. Your international reputation as employees is that you work hard, don’t complain, and are very capable. If all the Filipinos were to go home from the Middle East, the world would stop. Oil is the lifeblood of the world, but without Filipinos, the oil will not come from the ground, it will not be loaded onto the ships, and the ships will not sail. The offices that make the deals and collect the payments will not even open in the morning. The schools will not have teachers, and, of course, the hospitals will have no staff.

What I have seen, that many of you have not seen, is how your family members, the ones who are overseas Filipino workers, do not tell you much about how hard their lives actually are. OFWs are very often mistreated in other countries, at work and in their personal lives. You probably have not heard much about how they do all the work but are severely underpaid, because they know that the money they are earning must be sent home to you, who depend on them. The OFWs are very strong people, perhaps the strongest I have ever seen. They have their pictures taken in front of nice shops and locations to post on Facebook so that you won’t worry about them. But every Pinoy I have ever met abroad misses his/her family very, very much. (I certainly know these things because I have been there…)

Most of us allow the American Dream to become the American Trap. Some of you who go there make it back home, but you give up most of your lives before you do. Some of you who go there learn the very bad American habits of wanting too many things in your hands, and the result is that you live only to work, instead of working only to live. The things we own actually own us. That is the great mistake we Americans make in our lives. We live only to work, and we work only to buy more things that we don’t need. We lose our lives in the process.

You have many problems here, I understand that. Americans worry about having new cars, Filipinos worry about having enough food to eat. That’s an enormous difference. But do not envy us, because we should learn something from you. What I see is that even when your hands are empty, your hearts remain full.
I have many privileges in the countries where I work, because I am an expat. I do not deserve these things, but I have them. However, in every country I visit, I see that you are there also, taking care of your families, friends, bosses, and coworkers first, and yourselves last. And you have always taken care of me, in this country and in every other place where I have been.

These are places where I have been very alone, very tired, very hungry, and very worried, but there have always been Filipinos in my offices, in the shops, in the restaurants, in the hospitals, everywhere, who smile at and take good care of me. I always try to let you know that I have lived and traveled in the Philippines and how much I like your country. I know that behind those smiles of yours, here and abroad, are many worries and problems.
Please know that at least one of us expats has seen what you do for others and understands that you have a story behind your smiles. Know that at least one of us admires you, respects you, and thanks you for your sacrifices. Salamat po. Ingat lagi. Mahal ko kayong lahat.

David H. Harwell, PhD, is a former professor and assistant dean in the United States who now travels and works abroad designing language training programs. He is a published author and a son of a retired news editor.

Proud to be a Filipina 🙂 !!