I am not proud to be Filipino

The easiest way to explain it is to tell you that I did not choose to be Filipino, but please do save the negative comments, if any, until the end of this post.

I am proud to call myself an Iskolar ng Bayan. I am proud to have shifted to the BS Economics undergraduate program of the University of the Philippines School of Economics after spending my first year of college in purgatory in the Mathematics program of the College of Science. But, let me reiterate, I am not proud to be Filipino.

If my insistence on not having any pride in my race unsettles you or compels you to hunt me down and subject me to verbal or even physical harm, please do have patience. The explanation for this is quite simple. My being Filipino was a result of the lottery of birth. Whether it was by luck, fate, or the Creator’s plan I do not know, but what I do know is that I had no part in deciding of what race I wanted to be a part.

In an actual (unrigged) lottery, a ticketholder does not have any idea or any control over what the outcome will be. Thus, for better or worse, the outcome of a lottery is always an accident.

In contrast, for any one of us, passing the UPCAT was not an accident. We all did our best and studied hard and now we’re all students of the national university. In order to shift into the economics program, I had to do whatever I could to keep my grades high so I could qualify. What differentiates these from such games of chance, such as the lottery and Rock, Paper, Scissors, is the element of control we have over the result. No matter how hard you throw your Rock, if your opponent throws Paper, you lose.

My being Filipino was an accident, but an accident is not necessarily a bad thing. When we think “accident”, we normally visualize spilling coffee on our computer, slipping on a wet floor, or some scene from a Final Destination film, but there are happy accidents, too.

And I must say the happiest accident in my life happened even before I was born.

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3 thoughts on “I am not proud to be Filipino

  1. Hmmm… I agree with you that being born as a Filipino is an accident. I also agree with you that there are “happy accidents” too…
    Correct me if I’m wrong but… The way I see it, you’re trying to say that since your “being a Filipino” is an accident, you cannot be proud of it… And that’s exactly what I don’t understand…
    In lores and other narratives of old warriors, there’s always (or at least, most of the time) a part where warriors would brag about their “battle scars”. They would be very proud of these scars since they supposedly prove how many wars or battles they have survived… And I seriously doubt that they got these scars on purpose…
    So, basically, what I’m trying to say is that I don’t think that the “randomness” of your being born as a Filipino is enough to justify why you’re not proud to be one…
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    P.S. I like your last statement.

  2. I have to agree with the first comment; I’m not sure where you’re getting at. But considering the assumption that you’re not proud to be a Filipino because it was a [happy] accident, I have to agree. We must make the Filipino Identity our own.

  3. I understand what you mean by saying you’re not proud because you didn’t choose to be Filipino, but I think that’s the problem with most of us. We don’t own up to things because we didn’t make the decision. We reject our situations because we didn’t put ourselves in them. Why? I think that despite the fact the you didn’t choose to be in the situation, you could still call yourselves proud if you want to be. We need to be proud of who we are before anyone else would even begin to appreciate us. If foreigners could be proud of us because of our various achievements then why couldn’t we be proud of ourselves? I know you can’t force yourself to be proud to be a Filipino, but in a way I think you need to try to be more positive about you situation. I know you said it was a happy accident, but what if it wasn’t? What if you were made to do great things for the Philippines, but you can never do them because you aren’t proud?

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