Cry, The Beloved Country: A nationalist perspective

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“The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars But in ourselves that we are underlings.”-Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

CRY, The Beloved Country is a novel of Alan Paton. It is my first encounter with apartheid South Africa. It is so passionate and engrossing that I was moved to tears, in the same manner that I was so captured and obsessed by the ideas flowing on the pages of the novel, when I read Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls and Ignacio Silone’s Bread and Wine.

Alan Paton opened my eyes to the oppression and injustice of apartheid South Africa, on an ideological and personal level. It led to my finding one of the most charismatic and legendary figures in this planet – Nelson Mandela – adding to my collection of international heroes like Lenin and Leon Trotsky, John and Robert Kennedy, Fidel Castro and Ernesto “Che” Gueverra, Zou-en Lai and David Ben Gurion, among many other towering figures in this earth of mankind.. They are all warriors for mankind so the inhabitants of this planet can lead meaningful and fruitful lives.

Thoughts like these bring me back to solid earth, the Philippines – my country, your country, yours and mine.


Flood of candidates and election criminal offenses

The whole country is preoccupied with individuals filing their certificates of candidacy for thousands of positions from President of the Philippines down to municipal councilors. What amuses me is the number of candidates running for President – more than thirty of them, each one of them with his own grandmother statements to intergalactic renewal of the universe, not to speak of making the streets of Manila plastic.

The coterie of candidates is characteristic of a people of a country gone insane.
Why, is not election in this country a criminal process? Vote buying is a criminal offense, but the overwhelming majority of the candidates buy votes. Vote selling is a criminal offense, but majority of the voters sell their votes. Posting election propaganda in places prohibited by law is a criminal offense, but candidates and their followers post election propaganda in prohibited places.

Use of government money and facilities is a criminal offense, but government functionaries and their co-conspirators commit the crime with impunity. Certain size of election propaganda is prohibited, but everyone violates the prohibition. Media are required to be fair in their coverage of candidates, but they are unfair in every election in their coverage.

School teachers who are members of the board of election inspectors are bought by candidates to tamper with the voting process and election results, but they go scot-free. Officials and employees of the Commission on Elections manipulate the election process and election results in every election but they go unpunished.

If these practices continue to prevail in this country, without the criminals being punished, and it is hopeless to expect that they will be punished, are not the people of the country going insane?

I leave the answer to the intelligence, ignorance, insensitivity or personal greed and isolation of the readers.

On love of country

If there is a remaining tenuous thread that exists in the mind and heart of anyone in this country to do something about this pervading insanity in our midst, then the situation is not hopeless; the chance of national liberation cannot be very far away. They told me that my perception about regime change was hallucinatory when I fought the battles of this country on the floor of the regular Parliament for democratic restoration. It became a reality because the Marcos administration, unfortunately, was removed in seven days of intense pressure by a branch of the oligarchy and other power elites which successfully manipulated the people in Metro Manila.

As I have said it, over and over again, where Manila goes in the struggle for power in this country, so goes the rest of the nation, like dumb driven cattle!

To avoid this tragedy, we should teach our people – including the pretentious intelligentsia like the illustrados of old – what is love of country. For me, love of country should be defined in very plain and simple terms. For the overwhelming majority of our people, love of country is love for their family and their barangay because that is the only reality of country they know for the whole of their lifetime. For a few millions, probably it extends to their towns; for some hundreds of thousands, it extends to the provinces. Beyond that, it is a world which they don’t know and they cannot grasp.

Country is a legal fiction – a concept which not so many can grasp or understand. There are so many pretenders in this country who declare in discordant voices that they love this country, yet they enthrone dysfunctional and despicable systems which make the country an unjust and oppressive place to live in.

Do these people love our country – members of the House of Representative and senators who pocket the money of the people in projects designed from PDAF and DAP; the personnel in immigration allowing smugglers and other custom law violators go scot-free in exchange for millions or thousands of pesos of silver or gold; the officials and employees in immigration who allow human trafficking and foreigners to exploit our country and our people for monetary considerations; the policemen who extract money from law violators for them to run away with murder; the military officers and men who massacre, burn and rape so-called rebels; government officials who sell part of our country for millions of dollars; leaders who falsify their income tax returns and statements of assets and liabilities; Presidents and their running dogs who violate the Constitution with impunity; members of the Cabinet who commit graft and corruption without batting an eyelash while living luxurious and flamboyant lives; businessmen who do not pay correct taxes and cheat their workers by wantonly violating labor laws; criminals who prey on the unwary and the helpless; drivers who create havoc in the streets of our cities?

I can go on and on interminably with chains of examples, but does anybody really care? Nobody cares because they think that the situation is in the natural course of things and no one can do something to correct the wrongs of the past and of the present. Of course, that perception is a lie because nothing is beyond correction, if we try.

General Antonio Luna: The film

I saw Heneral Luna, the movie, away from the madding crowd in Manila, in the heartland of Mindanao, Cagayan de Oro City, on the insistence of many people I know. It is a very moving film for those who love our country. This film is a must see for Filipinos who do not know the meaning of love of country. General Antonio Luna, like Andres Bonifacio and Gregorio del Pilar, should be enshrined in the hearts and minds of our people. These men fought for our country as if there was no tomorrow. They should be the heroes whose statues should grace our plazas. .

The misfortune of history continues to wrap our lives. The victors in the struggle for power write the history of their period. They continue to grace our textbooks, detailing fraudulent stories of “heroes” who are really traitors to our country, seeking to poison and control our minds.

But traitors in our midst cannot continue colonizing our minds and our lives. We should legally exterminate them in the soonest opportunity like the creatures in a TV network which made fun of Heneral Luna with a tasteless insult and despicable parody which they labeled Heneral Tuna.

Overseas Contract Workers

The government and mainstream media, the notorious falsifiers of truth in this country, label the overseas contract workers (OCW), now called OFWs, as our modern heroes. For once they are right! The country has given us examples of Filipinos whose love of country goes beyond historical bounds. They have demonstrated love of country in very concrete terms. Country, among others, is family. They go to countries which they have never seen before. They work so hard so their families will have better and meaningful lives – braving loneliness and isolation for years, without being broken in the process.

They have propped up the Philippine economy for several decades. They have demonstrated the best in the Filipino of old – caring, trustworthy, principled, honorable, and courageous – with talent that could match, even surpass, those of other people of this planet.

How can you not feel proud of your country when Rose/Osang defeated everyone in the X Factor singing contest in Israel sweeping every listener off his feet while listening to her version of This Is My Life and My Way? How can you not feel proud of your country when you hear the four Filipino sisters sing and dance in a London stage X Factor contest wowing their audiences and getting standing ovations, including the dour and hard to please contest judge, Simon Cowell? How can you not feel proud of your country when you see Lea Salonga and Joanna Ampil getting worldwide critical acclaim for their excellent performances in the London, US, Canadian and Australian stage?

And they all publicly proclaim themselves citizens of the Philippines!

The overseas contract workers make me proud of my country. They have changed the national landscape of our country. They have homes and small business as a result of their determined efforts to change their lives and, wittingly or unwittingly, changed the demographics and the dynamics of our country.

They are the modern Andres Bonifacio, Antonio Luna and Gregorio del Pilar of this country. They are worthy of emulation – by both young and old.

To give meaning to their heroic service to family and country, I think, our people should construct monuments in every plaza in our country to honor them and their heroism. In so honoring them, we also honor ourselves.

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10 Comments

  1. In democracy, love of country means love of own self and family. It is an idea for survival of the fittest that no one is forced to sacrifice for others (except in taxation). Democracy is freedom to pursue individual aspirations. Therefore if democracy is for individual freedom then the smallest unit of government (baranggay) must have more power than the biggest unit of government (Malacanang) to truly enjoy the fruits of democracy and freedom. The present form of PH democracy in which Malacanang is dictator with impunity beyond reach of law court and dictator of peoples fund beyond control is recipe for disaster. There is no real individual freedom in this present set up of PH democracy. It is dictatorship by the oligarchy through monopolistic power of Malacanang. Filipinos that does not belong to the tribe of entrench Oligarchs are slaves of Malacanang. Election will not right what is wrong because Comelec is controlled by Malacanang. Main stream media is controlled by the Oligarchy and the baranggay, LGU is rendered powerless by Oligarch Cory constitution….. Federal form of government can correct what is wrong. Bloody revolution is best solution but no one wants to kill or die.

  2. victor m. hernandez on

    We, as a people of the Philippines, are too powerless and inept in solving persistent problems of leadership and governance. Many are too poor and ignorant to do anything about it. So we just have fun: It’s more fun in the Philippines. Let the poor hve their shows and entertainment, and let them eat cakes. The young and emerging leaders who wish to reform society are killed, or at least harrased and deprived of better opportunities. Inequality persist, too few lord it over, and the rest are slaves, serfs, bought. My God send us good leaders like the Judges in the Old Testament. But only if we honor and are faithful to the covenant with God. God have mercy on us all.

  3. Cry for me, Philippines?
    Well, the forthcoming national elections is a confirmation of sorts:
    We have soon to be convicted thieves as Congressman, Senator, or President
    The Philippine officialdom is peppered with –
    -actors; but, not exactly the best actors in town
    -pseudo intellectuals that pretend to be wise; but, plagiarists
    -decision makers but of teka-teka management style
    That said, the old homeland is like Halo-Halo. Iba-iba ang kulay sa loob ng baso.
    Iba-iba din ang lasa ng loob ng baso – may panis, may maamoy, may walang lasa.
    Ang bulok na lasa,ang mabahong amoy ay sinusuka.

    • Hindi halo-halo ang mga kawatan sa Pilipinas dahil ang mga ito ay pawang galing sa “Inang Patutot” (Katolisismo) at sa kanyang “Anak Na Patutot” (Protestantesmo). Madaling malaman na sila ay mga kawatan dahil ang “Inang Patutot” na Vatican ay mandurugas na mga ilang daang taon pagkaptapos umakyat si Cristo sa langit at pagkatapos mamatay ang mga apostol.

  4. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    17 October @015

    Here Homobono Adaza correctly as well as articulately exposes the many serious ills that plague the country. Many people, the Establishment in particular, may not agree with what he says, and that is understandable because for its members things could not be better. They, the 1% of the country’s 107 million people, suck up around 60% of the country’s annual Gross Domestic Product, leaving the balance of 99% to make do with the 40%.

    Some 30 million Filipinos now are stuck in the quagmire of poverty, living lives of extreme degradation and dehumanization. These are those who somehow have to survive on $1.25 a day [P56].

    For some 330 years Filipinas was colonized by Spain. America took over from Spain in 1898 and colonized it for another 50 years till 1946. From then on, the country has been colonized by what Homobono Adaza describes as the Oligarchy!

    My own distilled Analysis is that the Philippines has long been caught in the vise-like grip of a Plutocratic-Politico-Clerico Conspiracy whose overarching Agenda is to perpetuate itself in wealth and power, the better to manipulate and exploit the Filipino people.

    MARIANO PATALINUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com

    • PUT IN SPAM FOLDER FOR MULTIPOSTINGMy own distilled response, is: I fully concur with Dr Patalinjug’s analysis.

    • My distilled analysis on the feedback of Dr Patalinjug, is: I fully concur with his political assessment about the old homeland.

  5. Big lofty and nice sentiments. BTW how much do you pay your servants and do you pay their SSS contributions so one day when they grow old they have something for a small pension? Do they eat their meal with you at the same table and eat the same food as you do once in a while(not the leftovers that we deem they are fit to eat)?

  6. Even Homo’s Catholic Church murdered thousands in the Philippines and students in the Vatican’s colleges and universities in the country are willfully being treated with the medicine and subterfuge of historical ignorance. And the matter is so visible in the yellow- journalistic writings of this Homo.

  7. Nancy Bulok Cake on

    Tell that to the Binays. Had the Binays been honest and didn’t do any election criminal offenses, then you can see Binay still walking down Sta. Mesa from work taking a tricycle and jeepney rides to go home. I personally know how Binay used to ask for a ride from fellow teachers. Using dirty politics and corruption, Binay have large sums of money deposited in Canada using dummies, expensive cars, hacienda, mansions with elevators, kickbacks from BSP as perpetual president. What crimes did the Binays do? Of course you know the answers. If they will not sow penalty from the government, I hope that the penalty comes from God in the form of incurable sicknesses towards them (and family) and his lawyers (and spokesmen). God save the Phiippines from the Binays.