Exactly one hundred sixteen years ago, we were “officially” free.
After a long-term captivity by the Spaniards, our country finally waved its national flag as the first president of the Republic of the Philippines, Emilio Aguinaldo, declared freedom on June 12, 1898.
When foreign countries interfered, we did not stop battling for this freedom. The powerful countries of America and Japan tried to colonize our land but were not successful in the end. This proves how determined our nation is to keep its independence.
Even when a Filipino president, in the person of Ferdinand Marcos, controlled the whole nation, our countrymen revolutionized.
This present day, we can say that we are totally free – as a nation; but individually, can we really say that we are?
Are our choices of fashion independent from the latest products of other countries? Funny how the streets under the tropical sun everyday become the Filipino’s catwalk for western fashion – coats, gloves, boots with a fur – all imported from foreign countries. When was the last time we bought a CD or downloaded from App stores an OPM music? Does the new generation still know that OPM means Original Pilipino Music?
Of course it is not a sin to be influenced by worldwide fads. It will be unrealistic if we insist that we only patronize what is ours. Impossible. Hypocritical, even.
What is saddening is when we, ourselves, look down on, when other nationalities are awe-stricken by the unique Filipino products and services; when we are the first to call “baduy” and “jologs” the things that we are supposed to be proud of.
Honestly speaking, do we really think that the quality of “Pinoy” products and services are ludicrous? Or are we just influenced by those produced by other countries?
Maybe, what is bad, after all, is not appreciating the works of other nations; but depreciating our own. Let independence come from within. Anyway, sino pa bang magmamahal ng Pilipinas kun’di tayo ring mga Pilipino?
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Mango Mix is a weekly column of Mango Tours in the Asian Journal. The column celebrates Filipino culture--from must-see travel destinations and advice, social events, culinary delights, arts, and everything interestingly mixing under the Philippine sun.
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