I found refreshing this Editorial from Pasa’Yo, a newspaper which will be distributed for free in major commuter routes in Metro Manila starting this month. It is a private sector initiative to spread the good news about the country for a change. The proponents believe that we’ve had enough of the bad news and sensational stories; all that bitching, blaming and criticizing will only have the effect of further pulling ourselves down. Being a nationalistic chick, I believe that there’s no better time in our history to be pro-Philippines and to hope that we can rise like the phoenix from this mess we’re in. Read on:
Happiness is a state of mind. A highly optimistic child, given a gift of a barn-full of horse dung on Christmas Day, instead of sulking, said, “If there’s a horse dung, then the horse might just be around here!”
Filipinos are indefatigably irrepressible. We choose to be happy, shed a tear, feel slightly depressed, but no sooner bounce back at the thought that if we just suffered defeat, then victory must be near!
It takes a resilient people to move on in the face of overwhelming trials. In 1983, we were at the brink of economic collapse. In 1986, our nation was at a standstill evicting iron rule. And until 1992, it was a rollercoaster ride, with each triumph being quickly decimated by a series of six military uprisings.
Hardly had we recovered from the devastation of the killer quake in Luzon did Mount Pinatubo blow its guts out after 600 years of slumber, Cebu was ravaged by a destructive typhoon, and Ormoc was dealt a fatal flood leaving over 3,000 dead. Then we sweltered in the heat as we cursed the darkness of a long power shortage. Then, as we began to feel some relief from 1993 to 1997, the Asian region was swept by a financial crisis that crippled our then emerging tiger status.
What more must the Filipino endure to kill our hope? A survey of nations shows Filipinos to be the happiest. In contrast, the Japanese, despite their economic success, rank among the lowest. Recently, an HB&A survey in Metro Manila shows, despite the no-so-rosy anticipation of a better life, 63% of respondents are quite hopeful that things will get better.
Because we have had a large share of natural and man-made disasters, it is difficult to fathom what is at the core of Filipino optimism. We can only surmise that it is because the Filipino is never at a loss for things to be happy about. Despite the trials, the Philippines has never been dry of things to be joyful and proud of.
We were ecstatic over that one bright shining moment of EDSA ’86 when we taught the world People Power. Many Filipinos living abroad remember those days when strangers would congratulate them with high-fives!
We sent legions of our best and brightest to the world,saw them succeed, yet continue to keep tight bonds to our homeland. More than Paeng Nepomuceno, Lea Salonga and Efren Bata Reyes, there are hundreds of thousands of less heralded yet equally high-achieving Filipinos. Dado Banatao penetrated the Fortune 1000 achievers with his success at Silicon Valley. Patricia Evangelista bested more than 50 speakers in England. Several choral groups won gold medals in various international competitions.
There are other good news to brag about. Ford is now exporting finished automobiles from the Philippines. Nestle Phils., wit its exports, accounts for over 65% of the breakfast cereals of East Asia. And last week, Toyota proudly announced the export of Philippine-made transmissions to Japan! Yes, not all is gloomy. It is how we look at things and ourselves. We are indeed what we think we are.