Filipino Nationalism in the Face of Today’s Glabalization and a little bit on Gloria

They finished canvassing today and have the declared the new president. Gloria is now out the window and Noynoy in the room. There will be changes to the people governing this country and the alliances which exists will be broken and reforged. People *coughNoynoycough* are talking about how they plan to eradicate all the rottenness of Gloria’s regime and to begin anew. Nationalism, it would seem to many, is on the rise now that Gloria is gone. 

While many believe our ex-president to have brought nothing but heartaches and headaches to this country, I beg to differ. Sure, when you come down to it, not many are a fan of Gloria but that doesn’t meant that she was fascist dictator like Hitler or Stalin or Marcos. Heck, even these guys had a good side and did their countries a favor by becoming who they were. That is of course, before they turned into the power-hungry, freedom hating monsters that the world knows them today: Hitler created a unified Germany and raised it from the ashes of World War I; Stalin stabilized Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution and is a pioneering figure in Communism and; Marcos improved education and revamped the government structure to make it more efficient.

As for Gloria, you might ask, what has she done for us? Is she something we can be proud of or should the people think of her as blight in our history? 

In my fourth year in college, I took this class called Postcolonial Studies. From that class I was able to thoroughly understand a concept I learned from my Literary Criticism class: the idea of deconstructing.  In deconstructing, you go beyond the text to look for what it hides, what it implies. Ever since Lit 121 I have always tried to look beyond what is offered to me, to read the text from a different perspective. After Lit 160, I have come to see that beyond reading the text we also have to look at how we read the text and its implications on our positioning and orientation and where our reading of the text comes from. And so let’s discuss nationalism in this age of globalization and Gloria.

The idea of what is considered nationalistic must be deconstructed. To begin with, how do we define nationalism? For me, I would define it as being for the country. Now what can I mean by saying that nationalism is by being for the country? To elaborate on it, I could tell you that this would mean that your actions would come to define your nationalism. Being nationalistic is not about wearing the Barong or about speaking Filipino (by the way, what exactly do we mean by Filipino? I remember that in high school, I would be fined for speaking in Hiligaynon but when you think about it, isn’t Hiligaynon a Filipino language?). Being Filipino is thinking about what we can do to help the country. When I speak about nationalism, I’m not about to give you some crap about buying Pinoy. And anyone who says working for call centers isn’t nationalistic, well, screw you! For me, to be nationalistic is to be the best of who I am in order to serve the country. Besides, it’s either call centers or unemployment and frankly I would rather this country becomes a hive for outsourcing than us becoming a nation of degenerate bums. The so-called “nationalists” might have lambasted GMA for selling out to the foreigners, but think about it this way: in the ranking for influence in world politics, the Philippines is somewhere in the 30s. There are about 200 countries today and being in the upper 25% of the strata isn’t so bad. We rank this high because our president is willing to kiss foreign ass. How much more nationalistic can you get? You’re willing to debase yourself for the good of the country. Sure, people might call GMA a puppet or tuta ng mga kano, but what the heck! GMA brings in the foreign investors which need to keep our country floating above the poverty line.

Right now, the trend is globalization. As the world becomes one huge global village and national identities become blurred, we must also adapt. Essentializing, is becoming fast obsolete. The idea that there is an essential Pinoy can no longer be applied because to begin with, there is no such thing. That means that the traits which we have always attributed to ourselves: crab mentality, Filipino time, katamaran, gaya-gaya, Fiesta culture, ningas cogon and colonial mentality – to name a few, cannot apply to us alone because these so-called essential Filipino traits, albeit negative ones, are traits which we share with other cultures across the globe. To be nationalistic in this globalized world is to be a better person in every sense of the word. This is because each of us, no matter how different, is a bit of the Philippines. Whatever we do to better ourselves is also doing and being for the country.

This is how I deal with Filipino nationalism in the face of today’s globalization and how Gloria fits into all of this. What do you think? 



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