Can we achieve it? Yes. How can we do it? Bonifacio tried to unite the nation, by making it believe that they’re family, but it failed because other Filipinos couldn’t resonate with that. The EDSA revolution could have united the country, but it was not slow enough to make the idea sink in and involved mostly Christians. Buying ‘Filipino-representing’ products is good, but one can get tired of dried mangoes and woven furniture or accessories as means of showing your efforts to be nationalistic. What kind of gimmick do Filipinos need to become nationalistic?
Do we even need a gimmick? Maybe we do need it as a propeller, but it doesn’t stop there. Nationalism is love for the country. Just like how courtship works, serenading a girl can make her interested, and the spur of the moment can make her thoughts be filled by the man. However, she won’t fall in love with the man unless she gets to know him. I believe instilling nationalism among our citizens is something like that. A particular event or moment can ignite the love, but passion unless continuously fueled dies. Events are forgotten and become a mere textbook content. The future generations will not be able to relate, no matter how much we pound the ideas on them. We can tell them stories, but unless it is their own story, it won’t have a continuous impact.
Even though I haven’t joined any rallies, nor took part in any huge event, I’m proud to say I do love my country, because I have a genuine concern for its well-being. I think it’s about enough that we relate creating a nationalistic heart through events, but rather we should aim for instilling a collective love for people who are nearest to us. This is really best achieved through education. Exposing children to the different cultures across the nation, and establishing the need to love everyone and respect every individual’s human dignity will help us create a nation of loving people.
[Point of clarification: What’s the difference between creating the atmosphere of a family and respecting human dignity? Well, not everyone can share with the feeling of a family, most especially if they don’t understand the nature of a good family. However, if everyone respects a person’s dignity, then even if they have differences, they will have respect that goes beyond branding someone as your family member.]
By Dianne Argamosa, 2012 – 03335