In my first semester in UP, I took up Fil 40 and I had this classmate who could barely speak Filipino. While some of my classmates spoke in Filipino despite their difficulty, this guy chose to speak in English. You’d think that our prof would’ve gotten mad at him, but she didn’t. In fact she was happy because more than most of us, this guys answers were heartfelt. He spoke in English but Filipino blood flowed in him. He talked not about idealistic things, but practical things. He talked about reality. He told us how he could serve the nation as an individual.
Many Filipinos attempt to show their heroism or love for their country by joining rallies, boycotting different things or whatnot. I’m not saying that it’s wrong, but at times it seems that some people don’t even know what they’re doing. Some people could go and and on about the issues of our country, but with the way they move or act, they barely even embody a Filipino. Minding our country is not all that important. What’s more important is keeping our country in mind. Sure we need to know what’s going on, but the mere knowledge of things wouldn’t change who we are. Mere knowledge wouldn’t change our identity. Filipino knowledge, actions and words do not equate to being FIlipino. You need to think not like a Filipino, but of the Filipinos. To be a good citizen you must keep the welfare of others in mind.
There is no clear cut description of what a Filipino is and maybe the word Filipino doesn’t need to be defined after all. We need to stop treating “Filipino” as a noun and starting turning it into a verb. Being a FIlipino is moving. It’s working. It’s thinking, inspiring, shaping and changing.