People say that that is the key solution to the country’s intricate problems; that perhaps, if we Filipinos start to take pride in our own blood, and put importance into matters relating to our country then maybe we’d start getting somewhere instead of going into circles.
I remember memorizing a lot of names when I was young, staring at them from my black and white textbooks. I remember looking at faces that have come to embed themselves with familiarity in my mind now. And I remember being told of the prided culture that my people practice.
I used to believe that all of those are important. I used to believe that those are what would make me a true-blue Filipino.
I used to.
But growing up, the kaleidoscope that you once peered through start to morph into a black and white picture. And I knew that being a Filipino is more than standing up straight during the National Anthem with my right hand above my heart, staring at the National Flag and making sure that my feet are in 45 degrees position. I realized that being a Filipino is more than choosing Cloud 9 over Snickers. And that being Filipino is much much much more than having that Filipino blood circulating in me.
Perhaps my voiceless textbook was teaching me on how to be one through actions.
But Nationalism is more than that.
It’s more than being aware of the matters involving your motherland. It’s more than having a say on the issues discussed in the Senate. It’s more than joining the mobs in front of wherever that is to rally.
It’s much much much more than that.
Nationalism involves the HEART.
It is not limited to reflex actions to fight for a cause!
True nationalism involves true love for the mother country without any trace of personal motives.
Nationalism is selflessness. Nationalism is unity. Nationalism is pure love for the mother country.
And that is what our textbooks will always, always fail to teach us.
Kristel Shayne M. Sigua