Social Illnesses: Hindrance to National Development
Mark Genesis C. Pareja July 16, 2009
10846166 Speech in SPEECOM
Social Illnesses: Hindrance to National Development
Good afternoon, classmates! Last week, Monday, as we all know it is the last day before the deadline to make our speech for this presentation and yet I still have nothing to say. My thoughts, principles and ideas were scattered around making me feel that I have to cram and I have to force my brain cells to work for me to have a speech. I have my sources with me but I think something is missing and lacking. I have been looking for that something that will make me inspired to do a good and meaningful speech for each one of you. After my class on that day, I took a bus on my way home. On the coastal road going to Las Piñas and Cavite, something suddenly caught my attention. The houses or what we called “tagpi-tagping bahay” or the squatters that have been built their houses along the bay struck me and made me realize these questions: is social illness has something to do with those things? Are those the product of social illness? Is social illness a hindrance to national development? Social illness damages the character and identity of a person, slowly removing and destroying the most precious gift that our Motherland can give us and that is the privilege of being a Filipino resulting to our nation’s drift towards fragmentation, stagnation and dependence.
The crab mentality of the Filipino people describes our sever tendency to pull each other down to the damage of everybody, is not at all a characteristic of our indigenous culture. It is a collective self-disobedience engendered in us by numbers of centuries of being known as backward and inferior by the Americans, whose values that we have absorbed through effective and productive manipulation of the educational system that time up to the present and the tools use for mass persuasion that they have promoted. The moment we see and view ourselves through the Western perspective, everything changes. Everything that we use became useless, our values that we have and we possessed were turned into vices, our victories turned into disappointments, our strengths became our weaknesses and anything that is indigenous and folk became a source of shame for us.
Let us consider our names as an example. Most of the Filipino believes that the more foreign our names are, the more beautiful it seems to hear without considering the derogatory meanings of their names. Like John Smith (Juan Panday), Noel Coward (Noel Duwag), Britney Spears (Britney Sibat) and others. What happened to the indigenous names that we have like Mario Malakas, Jose Procopio, and others? They were disregarded simply because we are afraid of having those indigenous names thinking that those names sucks and stinks. But take a look again the foreign names that other nationalities have. Even if their names have derogatory meaning on our context, still they are proud of it. We are trying hard to bleach our own skin into white, cover our face with too much foundation or “pulbo” and having nose lifted. Is that for beauty? Or we do those things simply because we do not accept who we are? It directly shows the manifestation of acute inferiority complex or what we called Doña Victorina syndrome that was based on the character Doña Victorina in Noli Me Tangere and El Fili Busterismo of Dr. Jose Rizal.
It rejects and confuses each one of us about our identity and character as a person. A person without a strong sense of identity will have a soft foundation that will support the person’s center wherein he or she can organize his or her life. The moment we view again the Western perspective; its principles and ideas, we begin to think that their problem is our problem and their solution can be considered to be our solution without knowing that we, Filipinos, and they, Americans are different to each other. The acute inferiority complex together with colonial mentality that continuously spreading in our soul is the greatest cause of our national disunity. Let us remember that there can be no national unity without taking the pride of being a Filipino. How can we offer our precious time, knowledge and talents for the good of our country if we don’t believe in being a Filipino? A strong sense of identity and character, and projecting what is truly ours serve as a path to national salvation culturally, politically and economically.
We shared a common past, dialects, traditions, culture and many other factors; and I think it will not be hard for us to sacrifice our vested interest for the majority if we truly and sincerely want to. It is sad to say but true, that many Filipinos do not have yet a concept of public good. Most of us treat the public interest as a bag full of garbage. They see in every government transaction an opportunity or a chance to enrich themselves and go to the top easily. Some of us see and treat our natural resources like forest and lands as their private ownership resulting to different problems like poverty, corruption and others.
It is the time to control our lives using our own perspective, ideologies, and belief as a Filipino citizen and prevent our nation’s path towards the fragmentation, stagnation and dependence that she will encounter. It is the time for the hiding Filipino soul to come out of its cage and stand on its own feet having a strong foundation. Let us meditate and bring back our own culture and regain our strength for the betterment of our country. In this way, I am hoping that one day I will not see anymore the houses that have been built along that bay; instead I am hoping to see a true shelter where safety and happiness can be found. My classmates, are you ready for my challenge? Challenge that will straighten our path through the development of our country.
Noli Me Tangere by Dr. Jose Rizal
El Filibusterismo by Dr. Jose Rizal
The Indolence of the Filipino by Dr. Jose Rizal
An Interesting Expat’s Observation about the Philippines by Barth Suretsky
Dear Country by Bino Realuyo