Sunday, February 25, 2007

Amba's opinion

Amba, my friend from University of the Philippines Diliman shared his opinion and made an essay. Check this out:

Why Philippine Culture is Utterly Blank to Me
by Amba

I remember my English teacher back in my high school days. She was discussing the life of Ninoy Aquino; his trials, obstacles, journey and his question. The question really disturbed me: Is the Filipino worth suffering, or even dying for? So I asked my self, how far shall we go to answer this question? Can we do it for our countrymen?

One sunny afternoon, I decided to watch television programs together with my nieces, Bea and Maxine. I am really entertained by these two girls because they are English speaking. I made a promise that they will be the one to choose the program they wanted. So they switched the television on and started to click on different channels, until they have decided to watch the Power Puff Girls. During the advertisement, I asked Bea for the remote control and I accidentally changed the program to Captain Barbell. That show is really great! After a while, the kids demanded to change the program. I almost forgot, they can’t understand the Filipino language! So I gave the remote control to Maxine and they continued watching Power Puff Girls.

I can’t imagine how my nieces understand English in an early age of 4 and 6, and they watch Power Puff Girls rather than my all-time favorite Captain Barbell and Darna, and to think of, these kind of shows are parts of the Philippine Culture.

Ever since I was a child, whenever I heard of Philippine Culture, I always thought of fancy folk dances, ethnic rituals, zarzuelas, traditions, Tagalog plays, native foods, fiestas, Philippine games and a lot more! I always remember when we go to Antipolo every year to have a mass and eat beside the Hinulugang-taktak falls. It has been a part of our tradition and culture as well. But now, these things are becoming rare, one at a time. Why?

With all those traffic jams, crowded streets, unfinished office works, unfulfilled schedules, right and left, people everywhere, no one can deny that we are living in a busy world. We all need to work hard so that we can have something to eat, and some money for us to buy what we want and not to be leftover with the latest trends and styles. We love these things, right? But, are these more important than our culture?

All of us can really feel the fiscal crisis. Good teachers and nurses are migrating abroad for they can’t see any hope for our country now. The government started to be thrifty while its officials are spending excessively on luxury cars. The countrymen are left with rough roads, unfinished bridges, unclean sidewalks, and clogged canals. Given the situation, can you still think of the Philippine Culture?

The world is getting smaller and smaller every other minute with all those PCs, gadgets, MP3s, cellphones, MMS, GPRS, and WAPS! We just can’t get enough! Ever heard of Friendster? It is the newest trend for everyone made by the Americans for us to find both old and new friends. So, who still need Mr. Mailman to deliver those greeting cards or pen pal letters? A reason perhaps for us to be utterly blank with our culture.

Being busy, fiscal crisis and the modern technology. These are the primary reasons why I am utterly blank to my culture. But does it justify if all of us are busy, poor and under the new advancement of technology, then we can forget about our culture? Shall we forget our culture for material things or unfinished paper works and some Friendster stuffs? Perhaps not.

In order for us to appreciate Philippine Culture, in doesn’t mean that we should buy expensive tickets for those folk dances, zarzuelas and Tagalog plays. It doesn’t mean that we should eat Philippine foods every meal or play Philippine games everyday! Philippine culture is not expecting too much from us.

Do not underestimate the power of laughter. Aside from being a part of our culture, it also uplifts the soul of everyone. We can fight fiscal crisis through this, all we have to do is to let those creative imaginations work and voila! We have a funny Philippine joke authentically made by Filipinos, which can help us forget poverty even for a while. Isn’t great to have something invented by a Filipino once in a while? It’s free and guaranteed effective! Now you’re smiling!
We should be friendly everyday, anyway it’s just a smile away and even animals do smile! A smile brings a huge step for a good day so you better share it with others. Smiling, this may sound silly but is a part of our culture. For me, this is the foundation of our fiestas, reunions, Philippine games and different traditions. Smiles never fail to lighten up any occasions.

As a part of our culture, our faith in God is one of the most important. Isn’t a miracle how people can still manage to go to mass every Sunday with all those busy works and deadlines? And even if you are “that” busy to go out of the house to attend mass, our media has provided us Sunday TV Mass where we could all just relax on our couch and listen to the good news. It’s amazing! I’m also happy to know that the media is still showing the 3 ‘o clock habit everyday. Filipinos are still the number 1 fan of God!
So I can’t see any reason why should I be utterly blank with my culture. We might fail to see those folk dances and zarzuelas stuffs or visit Antipolo regularly, but I’m still a part of this culture. The Philippine culture is very unique. This culture has strong foundations that will last for a lifetime. All we need to do is to listen to it and believe that this culture is us and will continue to live on forever!

As to my nieces, I think they too have the Philippine culture inside them. Sometimes, as I watch them play in the garden, I can hear their loud laughs and see their smiles as they pray to the grotto of Mama Mary located near the garden’s wall. They too are Filipinos! The only difference is, they speak in English and maybe someday, they will get to appreciate Captain Barbell and Darna.

So, to the question; is the Filipino worth suffering, or even dying for? With all those culture in it, Ninoy answered a resounding yes, so do I!

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