Identity and Heritage: A Confession of a Culturally Insecure Filipino

Identity and Heritage: A Confession of a Culturally Insecure Filipino
By: Sebastian Cruz
London, United Kingdom
27 December 2011

Living in Europe, more so living in London, posed one significant challenge that I need to face with every single person I meet – describing the Philippines and explaining what a Filipino is.

It is not like French, Brazilian nor Chinese. It’s not like one of these “mega brands” that has a strong visual image and identity that one word can generate a rush of images in one’s mind. Moreover, it doesn’t even fit in to the visual image of the big umbrella word: “Asian”.

Growing up in Asia, I’ve always been confused and insecure about the Filipino identity.

Asia is comprised of three cultural ‘superpowers’: Confucian, Hindu, and Arab/Islamic. Three big clusters that have distinct languages, architecture, and even religion – cultural buckets that a “Malay Catholic Filipino like me with a Spanish Name but can’t speak Spanish” doesn’t fit in.

I’ve always felt this sense of cultural misfit ever since: from competing with Chinese Filipinos in Math competitions when I was young, participating in international conferences back in uni, and travelling/doing business around Asia while working for Procter. It’s as if the only Asian thing about us is that most of us look Malay and we eat loads of rice.

Living in London though allowed me to meet Latinos from Latin America and Españoles from Spain and I can’t help but be surprised. I felt that sense of sameness in culture that I never feel when I meet a Japanese, a Thai, or a Chinese.

We are mostly Catholics who do the novena and rosario, greet with kamusta(como esta), use the words kubyertos, mesa, kama, silya, etc., count/tell the time/petsa(fecha) in the same way,  and yes, celebrate the Nochebuena. Only and unfortunately, we can’t speak fluent Spanish.

La Lengua Castellano, Spain, and that Hispanic identity have long been demonized in our history –an oppressive part of our nationhood that should be forgotten; consistent with what the Americans pounded in our heads when they seized the country right after our forefathers fought for independence.

Our forefathers resisted this perspective. Look it up, American occupation of the Philippines was also the Golden Age of Spanish Literature in the Philippines. And that Filipinos who resisted this perspective were those who perished when the Americans and Japanese obliterated our cities during the Second World War. However today, a lot of Filipinos still embrace this mindset oblivious to the fact that the country was a Spanish colony for 333 years, longer than the entire history of the United States (235 years).

Further, being so far away from the Latin American world, Filipinos’ perception of Latinos today are mostly distorted by what the media of the United States project – taxi drivers/drug dealers/illegal immigrants with broken English. A pathetic generalization of a superpower that grew to believe that it’s the center of the universe.

We, however, should embrace the fact that our Hispanic identity defines a lot of who we are.

Filipinas after all was not just a colony of Spain for 333 years, but was the gateway of the Hispanic world to the great cultures of the Far East.

It is not by accident that Intramuros and the Old Hispanic Manila is situated side by side the oldest Chinatown in the world. Two worlds in one city separated only by a river and connected by the Bridge of Spain (Puente España) and is by the port of Manila – then port of the Manila Galleon, and the then only direct ship route between the Americas and Asia.

It is not by accident that our first constitution, Noli and El Fili were written in Spanish and that the original Spanish version of our national anthem – Himno Nacional Filipino was banned by the Americans and still banned to be sung publicly to this day. Our founding fathers like Rizal envisioned a free Hispanic Filipinas not the culturally basterdized and forcibly Anglicized Philippines that we have today.

The world is shifting to the East of Europe and South of the United States. It is the most opportune time to be true to who we are, true to what make us unique and be what we have always been – the Hispanics of the Orient and the bridge between the Hispanic World and the Far East.


15 responses to “Identity and Heritage: A Confession of a Culturally Insecure Filipino

  • josepmikel

    It is this national identity deprivation that has resulted to what John Earle has accurately described of our condition as filipinos which has been breeding corruption and abuse of brother filipinos at all social levels for generations: “Filipino looks inwards towards his family and does not feel the same sense of obligation to work for the benefit of all in the country, it is hardly surprising that there is such a poor sense of social cohesion and trust of fellow citizens.” This description in fact, is a particular definition in the filipino situation of a: non-functional nation; or dysfunctional nation. This is even based on the assumption that our nation still does exists.

    From time to time, some of us would make a sincere attempt to define filipino identity. But we always ended up with too many information gaps, interlapping definitions, or inconsistent, incompatible, or contradicting theories.

    For example, we started to define filipino identity based not, no it is not on how our nation was born which was how the term filipino developed in the first place. Instead, we defined filipino based on who the first human beings who started to migrate to a group of islands which approximately coincides with what we know today as Filipinas. This alone is open to too many information gaps and can only be filled by heavy speculations. The only way we can cover the information gaps is to move the information further backwards towards the origins of the assumed first immigrants to these islands which approximately coincides with what we know today as Filipinas. What is there to prevent us then from defining filipino identity as the descendant of the Cro-Magnon?

    But what is fatal about defining the filipino not based on how our nation was developed but on who the first human beings who started to migrate to these islands now more or less known as Filipinas is, that it destroys the very concept of our existense as a nation. It is because before 1898, we do not have a functioning nation yet. This precisely explains why we today behave selflessly towards our families and at most clans while we drain every resource we can siphon out of our nation without being bothered mentally at all. This is not only being done by the rich and politically powerful to brother poor filipinos. This is also being done by the poor and the politically weak filipinos towards brother filipinos given the opportunity. It is this identity before we became a nation that we are continuing to live in.

    Now comes the most fatal event that delivered the coup de grace. But let us first review very briefly our development as a nation not according to interested alien invaders but according to information from disinterested sources.

    During the 1600s to the 1700s, there was a developmental intercourse of events involving the earlier immigrants or natives or indios of these islands in the Southeast Asia Southwest Pacific and the iberians under the government of Spain. Some of these events were described by Isabel de Ilocos. These resulted to the conception of filipino in the 1700s to the 1800s. Naturally, it resulted to our birth as a nation in 1898.

    I will continue later to describe what we are as a nation after we were born as a nation. This will be the post-natal stage. But how we have been is the key to our identity, resulting to cohesive functionability as a nation.

    • Isabel de Ilocos

      Guinagalang na kapatid Ginoong josepmikel:

      I agree with your vision, and I believe that this is really, really important, that this blog exists, that more and more ordinary Filipinos are becoming discerning of things that had been out of sight for a century, because we have only been conditioned to deal with the obvious, the superficial, the polemical aspects of our situation, i.e., dumbed-down politics and cultural clichés.

      In the context of your words, we can truly appreciate why Rizal’s generation’s actions and words, why Gat Bonifacio’s call to tear up the cedulas, was so earth-shaking: Filipinos woke up to the reality that they were One Family, born of One Mother.

      How else could the 1896 Revolution have triumphed, when it had no armaments, no training? Unity.

      Spiritual communion. This is also why all messiahs and spiritual leaders were systematically persecuted and executed by the Spanish, then by the Americans.

      Today we are painfully, pathetically divided. Even within the family, it is common for brothers and sisters, parents and children to betray and abandon each other. You cannot be loyal to anyone, not even to your own parents, until you make the decision to redeem yourself. The reality is that those of us willing to love our greater family are beleaguered and alone. So as we start to build tenuous bonds amongst ourselves, no matter how few we may be, we are already seeing the redemption that Rizal and all our real heroes and artists and thinkers have dreamed of.

      More power.

      Wherever we may be, time and space do not matter anymore. Consciousness, awareness matter, they empower and create new realities, new humans. New Filipinos.

      Mabuting bati,

      Tía Isabel

      • josepmikel

        Mainit na pagbati, kapatid Isabel:

        I am glad you also agree with the vision of our elders. It is they who pursued this with their own blood. It is us today, who will continue to pursue this which may not be anymore for them, may not be only for us, but for our children- the children of the children of the children of our elders. These continuity of actions from generations to generations from one sector of society to another, and from individual to a people, do happen in healthy nations like the french, germans, israelis, japanese, south koreans, and vietnamese. It can happen because they have an organic national developmental code. This is the basis of dynamics of unique and cohesive national psycho-social, biological, economic, and defense systems and actions binding all individuals to the whole nation from generations to generations synthesized into one national identity. This vision may not have been explicitly expressed verbally, but eloquently stated in the actions of our elders before this code was tampered with by the abortionists of our national birth in the early 1900s. This resulted to injury to our national hereditary soul with only the flesh left to rule what is left of an aggregate of disintegrated people hollowly called filipino nation. It is this flesh corruptible as it became thru history, which can perceive only the obvious, the immediate, the superficial, and the needs of never beyond the self.

        This vision developed from a synthesis of our responses to our situation which have been conditioned by the status we inherited at the time of our birth as a nation in 1898. This dynamics is unique to us as it is also the outcome of the actions of the founding fathers of our nation who passed on to us this national developmental code they carry during that developmental intercourse of events of 1600s to 1700s of which they, the natives or indios of these islands and the iberians under the government of Spain, were involved. This produced a developmental offspring named Filipinas which was born in 1898. As the saying goes, we cannot choose our parents. We as a nation, not as individuals but as a nation are mere products of that developmental intercourse that took place during the 1600s-1700s. We have been carriers of these unique characteristics defining our vision.

        According to researches done by Wikipedia, by the time of our birth as a nation in 1898, we filipinos were among the most educated in all of Asia. Our economy and standard of living were ahead of most of our Asian neighbors and even many European countries at that time. The estimated GDP per capita for the Philippines in 1900, the year Spain left, was of $1,033.00. That made it the second richest place in all of Asia, just a little behind Japan ($1,135.00), and far ahead of China ($652.00) or India ($625.00).

        It was this status that conditioned us to respond to a defense situation at that time by rapidly developing an infant but potent defense system when dark forces were gathering heavily to invade us in an attempt to abort that birth. It was our first encounter with a foreign aggressor force as a filipino nation. We engaged this foreign aggressor force in 1898 without any help from any other nation. These enemies were not what so called filipino soldiers among us today know to be the only enemies we are capable of engaging in- brother filipinos who the north americans of the United States labeled as insurgents. They were foreigners and they were the emerging most powerful nation in the world at that time- the north americans of the United States. Part of our defense system was the activation of a defense force- Ejercito Republicana Filipina. We lost in many battles but we also defeated them in a number of documented battles like Balangiga, Mabitac, Pulang Lupa, etc.. The U.S. aggressor forces were unable to catch, lock, nor control us for years.

        But the most valuable characteristic we had as determined by our organic national developmental code in the 1900s that enabled us to be an excellent functioning nation was, our unprecedented and unsurpassed sacrifice of our individual selves and unity among the regions from the north to the south, the poor, rich, military, civilian, educated, and uneducated as one filipino people defending our nation against alien aggressors.

        Our individual natural warrior character and our national unity rendered the enemy forces unable to breach our defense system for years. The defense forces among us were only compelled to give-in to the demand of the U.S. to surrender to them after they the aggressors, resorted to massive kidnappings and extermination of the civilians among us. At that time, we were unprepared to counter terrorism. The U.S. until now insisted to call it reconcentration because otherwise they would fall within the category of terrorists of which they themselves set the definition.

        Even after the physical level of our defenses were dismantled, we still conducted defensive actions not only against the north americans of the United States occupational forces but this time, also against the chinese creeping invasion. For years, we maneuvered to check these taking over of our economic and political bases mostly at the developmental level. Around November of 1924, we tried to setup a legal channel of check points for identifying and assessing foreigners entering our country as part of our defense system of checking further foreign infiltration.

        However, while our legal check points where still in the setting up stage, the mainland chinese government in complementary with the north americans of the United States, with their military might providing cover, quickly dismantled our check points. An editorial appeared on June 5, 1926 in The Tribune. It made a comment regarding: the chinese making a plaything of our exclusion laws; their out maneouvering us from the start of our border checking operations, making a fool out of us.

        We tried strategies based on our present condition to gain control as much area of our nation as we could against the foreigners. The start of our series of manoeuvres thru legal operations with the Retail Trade Nationalization Law in 1954 however, was out-manoeuvred by the chinese. After we implemented this law, some 8700 of the 10,000 chinese who rushed to get hold of certificate of filipino citizenship papers after 1946, did so after 1954. We filipinos theoretically overrun previously chinese-controlled areas the strategic value of which were at most, negligible. Thus in paper, the number of chinese registered as engaged in the retail trade was reduced and the number of us filipinos engaged in the same business was increased. In reality however, there was no physical difference. The difference was only in paper.

        This is our national identity as determined by our organic national developmental code. This is the link we have with our nation which we have been deprived for generations. By continuous frustrating us as a people to recover our developmental basis of our heredity from our founding fathers thru take-over and control by alien invaders of our political, economic, and defense system, we lost the libido to nurture and protect our own people. By tampering with our national developmental code and transmitting in our political, economic, defense, and most important of all our educational systems, their synthesized code filled-in that missing gap with a developmental virus that functioned to injure our inherited national identity. Renato Constantino with an analysis by Bert Drona elaborated this tampering of our generators of actions in the site: Our defense system lost its ability to differentiate between national interest and foreign interest. This is the developmental Heredity Injuring Virus. After generations of continuous onslaught of our development: we lost our national identity and unable to differentiate between self and aliens; we became willing victims of alien slavery; we became impotent at serving the interest of our own nation; we became dependent on our alien occupants for our source of existence; and we prostituted our own nation in exchange for individual fixes. These are symptoms of an Alienation Impotency Dependency Syndrome.

        This report is merely an attempt by a layman to be as clinical as possible to diagnose the underlying cause of a problem. It is not a judgement on any person or group of persons. It is only by identifying the disease process can we get to the underlying cause. It is by identifying the process and how it deviated from its original organic path can we reverse the process. Only then can we recover what you articulated as, “ Filipinos woke up to the reality that they were One Family, born of One Mother.” Only then can we come home to what Sebastian Cruz articulated: “It is the most opportune time to be true to who we are, true to what make us unique and be what we have always been…”

        Jose Miguel

        • Isabel de Ilocos

          Kapatid Josep,

          I went to the blog and read the Constantino essay, which is very good, but once again, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE U.S.A. We need to move on from that now. All that ink has exploded and been read by those who have already read it. But it ISN’T ENOUGH. The main problem is that it’s all about protesting about how we were blindsided and turned away from our _true selves_. But what is that “true self”? It remains in the shadows. It therefore lacks clarity, and the reader, the modern Filipino, assumes that the “true self” Constantino is talking about, is someone they both already know. However, the fact is, there are only the slightest clues about that true self, and more importantly, there are many TABOOS connected to looking at it. It’s a scary act to look into the shadows. We are afraid of what we might find. A backward Filipino? An ignorant Filipino who was primitive, who knew nothing about modernity, about the brave new world that we all came from at this point? Who was Claro M. Recto? He was a Hispanic Filipino who had already adapted to the North Americanized paradigm, but had not forgotten his family heritage and identity, had not _forgotten Spanish._ He was cultured, educated, he had a powerful identity. And he was doomed to be misunderstood, doomed to be taken as a slogan (“Claro M. Recto, our greatest statesman” but did the new generations know who he was? He was just a name by the time I was in school in the 1970s).

          The Hispanic Filipino is still tabu. Modern Filipinos still hate the idea that we were all, to some degree, Spanish speakers and writers. They hate it because they were brainwashed to hate it. How could they hate their own grandparents? Great-grandparents? Easy — they never really knew them, they never heard their stories. And everything in English. Even Renato Constantino’s ideas reach the youth — in English. I mean, it’s like a dragon eating its own tail, so it can never be a real Dragon, cause it’s always in process of disappearing into its own gullet.

          This is the subtlety of it. So what we really need is to travel back into the past, to rediscover that lost world….with all of its warts, but to RECOGNIZE IT ONCE AGAIN as being what we were, what we were FORCED to renounce, and exchange for false goods.

          It’s a tremendous task. If you think about it in rational terms, it’s impossible. Good thing that we Filipinos are not rational first and last. We are still magical. I am counting on this. Also, that our feminine polarity may unveil itself and speak. I can’t say much more. But the problems we have — the politics, the racism (because the Chinese question is finally a racist question, both from them and from us), the abject disorientation of our people — will be resolved in an instant of light. But truly, the answers are in the darkness. The light is at the end of the tunnel.

          It’s all I can say is that we need to recover Spanish, and go back to the history books and read them IN SPANISH. And tell Filipinos who cannot do it, what the books tell us. We have to meditate a lot on this, and we have to get to know our Latin American, Cuban, Mexican siblings. We need to study their histories, IN SPANISH.

          Curiously, we also need to forget about the U.S.A. Instead of eternalizing the polemics, we have to rebuild a lost imaginary. This is how I see it anyway, and I am not a politician, not a technocrat, not a political scientist. I’m a Lola Basyang.


          Tia Isabel

          • josepmikel

            Ginagalang na kapatid, Ginang Isabel:

            I had to cite the report of Bert Drona and Renato Constantino as resource materials to show that the process of more subtle invasion starting after our physical defenses in the early 1900s were dismantled did exist. This is to explain to those among us who cannot see how our nation can still be under U.S. occupation at present when: the north americans of the U.S., have already made a ceremony showing that they granted us independence in 1946; we have already apparently a government led apparently by filipino looking characters; we apparently have free elections apparently conducted by us filipinos; we are free to roam around the country with no north american of the United States soldier to restrict us of our movements; there are sectoral groups here in the Philippines who are free to hold rallies in protest against the U.S.A.; we have already been a people who have been freely craving for north american of the United States culture, military tutelage, and education, and; we are even proud to be associated with anything north american of the United States. I had to cite their reports to explain this very subtle process of invasion which is more vicious, lethal, and perpetuating than their crime of having committed mass kidnappings and extermination of the civilians among us resulting to 800,000 to 1,000,000 of us filipinos having died. It is because after a generation, we would already have recovered our population quantity as well as be able to rebuild again our once potent defenses. Do we have any other information other than this to prove that such process of invasion did exist and that the result which is almost total control of the most important and fundamental systems of our nation is still continuing today? This is the only one that is quite comprehensive, that I can find.

            But it was never my intention to:

            1) Consider the term they use “cultural imperialism” as the process U.S. used to develop the kind of relationship they have with us. This is a very light crime and implies normal competition among nations to protect their competitive edge. However, the process is really invasion just like in the beginning of their aggression in 1898. Any other more elaborate term is simply a subterm. The objective is the same- to abort our national birth so that we will not have any national entity in existence so that they will be free to possess and exploit our resources including human resources for their own needs without any moral guilt nor foreign relationship moral credibility liability.

            2) Consider the term they use “50 year rule” as if they do not anymore rule us today. The minds of a people under the rule of aliens is a more vicious violation of nationhood than physical control.

            3) Consider the term they use “another conqueror” or “new master” referring to the north americans of the United States. It is as if the status of U.S.A. is the same as the status of Spain. Spain, whose iberians under her who were involved in the 1600s to the 1700s with the natives of these islands in the Southeast Asia Southwest Pacific in a developmental intercourse of events came to these group of islands as a colonizer. Merriam-Webster defines a colony as a body of people living in a new territory but retaining ties with the parent state. Spain, who came to these islands in the Asia-Pacific, where we today live therefore had the iberians under her established in these islands, a place where they lived but still remained politically linked to Madre España. We as a nation were nonexistent yet before 1898. We were however a conceived and later born as a nation in 1898. Independent this time, we became a nation that is sovereign. Thereafter, anybody not of our nation entering our territory without our consent becomes an invader. How do we term the japanese who entered our territories without our consent? Now why should the north americans of the U.S. be any different? The right term therefore is invaders. This is very much different from the term “another conqueror” nor “new master”.

            4) Consider their assumption that “… the Filipino past which had already been quite obliterated by three centuries of Spanish tyranny…”. It is as if there was anything filipino before Spain came to these islands which became Filipinas today. It is as if there was a nation composed of people like us, filipinos today existing at that time before 1898. It is as if Spanish tyranny is something exclusive to Filipinas at that time lumped together with the north americans of U.S. abortionists of our national birth. Do we not have brother filipino politicians among us who have been tyrants against brother filipinos from one generation to the next generation? So why did they leave out these last group of people in their paragraph? Why do they also leave out the low profile warm treatment of Spain to us filipinos today?

            It is true that this Constantino essay is all about U.S.A.. But then this is precisely the reason why I cited his essay, that is according to my earlier sentence in introducing his website: “…Renato Constantino with an analysis by Bert Drona elaborated this tampering of our generators of actions…” referring to the process of how they uprooted our inherited way of thinking as filipino people and transmitted their synthesized way of thinking
            of people alienated from our nation and alienized in loyalty to serve U.S. interests. I did not cite this website as one that could provide us with an overall framework of our nation where we can experience a home that is ours.

            We build a home, say an organic home best adabtable to a particular site using the best materials available. The materials does not necessarily come from a single source. So it is with building a theoretical developmental framework for a nation, say an organic nation already in existence before but which has continuously been acquiring a developmental disease as transmitted by foreign invaders. We gather information materials that could best provide us with information on how the disease process started. We also gather materials on our existence thru history when we were at the peak of our national health status. You are right when you said these information are taboos. Being taboos make it difficult to be made available. That is why our information are broken, and are coming from different and unlikely sources. It is up for us to piece every broken parts together that form the original link and finally the total original nation which we inherited.

            Our move to bring the Spanish language back to our mass communication system this time could fit in the pieced together broken information that forms the organic developmental framework which we inherited from our founding fathers composed of iberians of Spain and the natives of these Asia-Pacific islands involved centuries ago in that developmental intercourse in the 1600s-1700s which gave birth to us, the Filipino Nation in 1898.

            Iyong nag rerespeto

            Jose Miguel

            • Isabel de Ilocos

              Querido Jose Miguel,

              Absolutely in agreement with you, and I really praise you for having had the clear eye and surgical knife to peel away those subtle layers and reveal the truth of how our spirit and awareness were put to sleep so that our land and genetic wealth could be stolen and usurped right under our noses, and we would be HAPPY and believe we were PROGRESSING, and at the same time, LEARNING TO LIE AND BE MORE HYPOCRITICAL AND STUPID than we ever were under the SPANIARDS.

              For this reason, you see, we have no choice: WE MUST BECOME INTELLIGENT AGAIN, or for the FIRST TIME, if we never were that subtle before. But subtle in a positive way, not in the astute, villainous way that Latinos did learn to refine into an art, and which is why social and economic ills persist in Latin America, and these nations are disunited between the minority rich and white-looking, white-behaving, and the majority Indian and mestizo mixed bloods. And the racism persists.

              I was just pointing out that we also, while opening our eyes, need to realize that okay, we know who wronged us, who deceived us, who corrupted us…but our redemption IS OUR OWN JOB. And it begins with standing in the midst of the ruination and deciding TO REBUILD WITH A NEW SPIRIT. That spirit cannot make room for the OLD MENTALITY, the blame assigning, the FANATICISM, the astuteness of pretending to be leaders and saviors, when all we will do is create a new racket yet again, a new trickery to just take over the top positions, but without truly respecting our fellow man and woman, without truly living BAYANIHAN, which to me is not being dancers, but being maka-bayani, uplifted, uplifting of others, acting wtih reverence for life, maybe without saying a single word, but acting to undo the wrongs, undo the errors, make right again what was corrupted.

              However each of us can do it.

              Tia Isabel

        • Anonymous

          @jmg – – could write a book with your comments 🙂 thanks for these insightful take on the subject

          @isabel – we’re nearing time wave zero, the tipping point…

          • josepmikel

            Anonymous, I want to but it needs a lot of organizing, collating, and documentation of information sources which takes so much time. That is why we filipinos should have a means to have a network link to help each other in this aspect. Thanks.

            Our developmental national disease developed for generations. It would take quite some time to reverse the process. What is important is we develop the D-day.

            • Isabel de Ilocos

              All change begins in the consciousness, and thanks to the planetary crisis, the entire human race is undergoing a dramatic wake-up call. Maybe the Philippines has been our special test, but we are “Filipinos” only second to being spiritual beings, souls, who have had a human experience. If we want to restore paradise in the Philippines we can, and if we do it in our family, or in our neighborhood, it doesn’t have to be a dramatic change for it to be real. But the change must happen in the consciousness, then radiate outwards, and nothing can stop the consciousness. It is the power within us, it is Cosmic Intelligence, it is God within us. The implementation is a matter of logistics. When one consciousness changes, it spreads like wildfire, it is invisible. We’re in a huge huge process here. And Filipinos, because we have been through so much and we have a peculiar and very profound sensitivity and spiritual nature, are especially called to birth the New Planetary Era. Wherever we are, the Philippines is there. We just have to be. We have not been. We’ve been absent, we have not manifested our humanity, this is the sickness we have had. Olvidados de nuestra esencia humanamente divina, divinamente humana.

              Muchos cariños,

  • makiling1896

    There will not be a solution without social justice and reeducation of Filipinos by Filipinos not pursuing the agenda of serving the U.S., serving Chinese capital (which already rules the Phil. along with multinationals), or serving their own immoral lust for power. There must be a revisioning and recovery of the Soul of the past. Since social justice is nearly impossible presently because the oligarchy are so entrenched, I figure only a Cosmic extinction event is the only possibility of a true Rebirth (the return of our mythic Liwanag and wellbeing)(meaning no more money religion)…of course it is said that the Philippine Archipielago will probably sink, but this is also okay as we are immortal beings only on Earth to evolve spiritually. We will evolve, whether or not the Filipino oligarchy, servants of the U.S. and U.K. etc. Illuminati (who in turn are servants of invisible hyperdimensional beings that feed on human fear and suffering) are okay with it or not.

    Filipinos must expand their/our collective consciousness, along with the rest of humankind. The labels of nationality, and race differentiation based on color will disappear. We will awaken to our greater reality as one human family (Terrestrials) meeting the uncounted other human families of the Cosmos and learning from each other on a totally new and higher level.

    So enough of this nonsense. I will sigh with relief when that dawn arrives. It won’t be long now. “Not everyone was asleep in our forefathers’ night.”

    In the meantime, having recovered by Spanish language in Chile and feeling close to my forebears is inexpressibly comforting, and being sheltered by the Andes for lack of my beloved Banahaw and Makiling.

    All my fraternal love,
    Isabel de Ilocos

  • John Earle

    Very interesting article.

    As an Englishman, born and brought up in England, who has spent some time in the Philippines in the last 2 years, I can clearly recognise the cultural characteristics described here. My first impressions on getting to know Filipinos were of a people who had lost their way culturally. I wrote my master’s degree dissertation on Britain’s relations with the Philippines between 1855 and 1870 and in the course of my research I learned a lot about Philippine history since 1521.

    Britain has not experienced an invasion by another culture for 950 years and so as a country it has had a long time for ethnic and regional cultural variations to become less obvious. These regional variations still exist but tend to take second place to a national identity. Leaving aside recent immigrants who come from a wide variety of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, the native peoples of Britain came from different roots also. Ethnically, Britain is composed of peoples of different origins; pictish, celtic, germanic and latin (France/Italy) and there is no such thing as a pure race. Scottish, Welsh and Irish identities are still strong but there is debate at the moment about what it means to be English. However, outside the UK, such a debate is not relevant and most people have a broad general idea of what sort of characteristics are part of British culture.

    For the people of the Philippines, the situation is very different. Although the original native peoples of the islands came from different ethnic backgrounds (Malay, Chinese, Aboriginal, Polynesian, etc.), there have been two major cultural invasions in the past few hundred years – Spanish and American. Being under the rule of the Spanish empire for 333 years meant that the religion of Spain and other cultural features were imposed without choice. The arrival of the American administration introduced a different culture which the Philippines found seductive and that has remained as a major cultural influence ever since.

    As a result, the people of the Philippines have come to believe that they have to adopt a culturally submissive attitude to their lords and masters in order to survive or succeed in life. The one major aspect of Philippine culture that struck me very forcibly when I first arrived was of a collective cultural lack of confidence or self-belief. Of course, some of it is just a superficial mannerism based on Chinese notions of politeness and deference. However, the strongest impression I was left with is that the ordinary Filipino feels a sense of powerlessness in the face of the authorities and wealthier people.

    I heard it said many times that a Filipino gives much greater loyalty to his family than to his country. In these circumstances, if a Filipino looks inwards towards his family and does not feel the same sense of obligation to work for the benefit of all in the country, it is hardly surprising that there is such a poor sense of social cohesion and trust of fellow citizens. At the door of every shop, the presence of armed guards just makes the lack of trust so obvious. Looking beyond the obvious and asking why does the shopkeeper mistrust everyone, it is evident that people who have trouble scraping together enough money to survive on a daily basis are not going to have any moral qualms about stealing food if it means they can feed their families.

    The sum total of all of this is a sense of puzzlement as to how people who claim such dedication and devotion to a religion with clear-cut moral values also display such a lack of moral values at all levels in life, from poor quality of life in the streets to corruption in the highest places in public life. It is the selfish focus on individuals and families walking roughshod over others who have less in life which is preventing the country as a whole to move forward. Until such time as the very fine characteristics of many Filipinos are helped to pull together and work for the benefit of the whole society at large with a sense of unity, then the country will continue to be culturally confused and economically weak.

    The kind of corruption and excessive inluence currently seen in high profile court cases could happen in any country but elsewhere there are checks and balances built into the political system to prevent it happening. No system is 100% corruption free but the penalties imposed when discovered make it too risky for most people to carry out. A strong sense of political will seems to be lacking – but I do not direct that comment at any particular individual politician. It just seems a feature of Filipino attitude to public life.

    Filipinos are no less intelligent than anyone else but they seem to be short of opportunities to develop their education without going abroad. The country is rich in natural resources but the exploitation of these resources seems to be more for the benefit of wealthy families than for the country as a whole.

    All this makes me sound like a revolutionary which I assure you I am not. I am however deeply encouraging of anyone who takes an overview of Filipino society and introduces measures to benefit everyone and not just the wealthy few. There is no humanity in a millionaire becoming a multi-millionaire if it means that another few thousand people live in slums.

    I hope that no one takes offence at what I offer as some honest comments based on personal experience in the Philippines.

    • makiling1896

      Being under the rule of the Spanish empire for 333 years meant that the religion of Spain and other cultural features were imposed without choice. The arrival of the American administration introduced a different culture which the Philippines found seductive and that has remained as a major cultural influence ever since.

      Hi, would like to point out that the Spanish were accepted by the first kinglets of the Visayas because they offered military protection from the pirate raids that would harvest slaves and sack coastal settlements. With the Spanish military came friars (often very strong soldiers as well, esp. the Augustinians), and they were successful in converting natives to Catholicism. Christianity was not imposed, Spanish rule was not imposed. There was a _marriage_ and later a betrayal of trust and corruption which always accompanies colonization. The “arrival” of the Americans was _genocide_, not a friendly visit. The Filipinos _fought_ against the Americans and one out of every 6 Filipinos died between the Revolution against Spain and the Fiipino American war, which lasted much longer than the 1901 date in our schoolbook histories. The post-WW II generations were seduced, the Japanese atrocities helped a lot, and the brianwashing that began immediately the U.S. regime was established. Key was replacing Spanish with English in the school system, and replacing Spanish friars with American Jesuits and bringing in Protestants.

      All this has been covered up during the pseudo Republic.

      Isabel de Ilocos

      • De AnDA

        @Tia Isabel – thanks for your comments. They’re insightful for they take on the spritual journey of the Filipino. I happen to believe that if we’re to make any progress, real progress that includes everyone, we have to get rid of most of what controls this world today. Can we just get rid of money? yes, if we are to embrace Jacque Fresco’s ideal – don’t get me wrong, its a wonderful idea, something that can save us from ourselves – and I understand what that’s all about but how do we go from where we are now to that is the question. We’re a self destructing specie. Like the dinosaurs one day we would have to give way to another dominant specie.

        • Isabel de Ilocos

          Here is what I deeply believe now: the new energetic conditions in our atmosphere (bombardmente by high-energy particles; increasing ambiente radioactivity) will produce a drastic change in our DNA as a species. Many will die because they will sicken. Those who survive will be the ones that go with the change. This means our brain function will change dramatically. We will become a different race. Most probably the energy changes will trigger huge physical changes on Earth as well. We will become a different race of humans, and everything we have been conditioned to do and be now will completely lose importance. We will become part of the universal brotherhood. All violence will cease because our energy transmutation will elevate our consciousness and we will no longer “go there”. We can help this change — this giant Rebirth — along, and be our own midwives, by working on our energy now.

          Even our history, our past, will no longer be a burden. Because we will become psychic beings, we will understand everything. We will be able to tap into all knowledge of past, present, future. We will no longer be prey to disease, old age. Our bodies will emit light, visible light. They already do, but dimly.

          This is what I believe. All those who are too much attached to old Earth will continue there. There exist infinite dimensions. Those of us who are ready to move on, will change dimensions. We will still see the old one, but the old one will not see us.

          Wild eh? Count on it though — it will be Huge. We will be liberated from the hypercontrolled pseudo reality we and our forebears have been imprisoned in for millions of years.

          Start making peace with everything and everyone. It’s time we change our frequency to unconditional love now.

          Un gran abrazo,

  • kitchenchief

    i can share the feeling with your Sebastian. hoe do we describe ourselves? what else except i say to people i meet, we are the Latinos of asia which is true. spain conquered and occupied the southern part of the U.S. to mexico all the way to argentina and parts of the caribbean. the impunity, the corruption, the encomienda system, and the church all became tools to subdue our people and to developa mindset so unique as when the chinese, the americans and other foreign influences that elevated us the rank as the 5th most corrupt nation in the world. but am still proud to be a filipino because we cannot change that. but for you young people, the work is much ahead of you to shape a new kind of thinking that at least (50 years) from now the pinoy mindset will be different. i can see that in my pinoy international young person that we meet. thanks for the posts. we want to re-post this in our blog with your permission and a a link back to you.on our blog:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: