The Deterioration of Filipino Nationalism


by Apolinario Villalobos


If nationalism is about standing in attention upon hearing the National Anthem and ability to sing it, as well as reciting the Pledge (Panatang Makabayan), patronizing local products, interest in the nation’s history instead of “learning” it haphazardly just to have passing grades in school, familiarizing oneself with the historic heroes, and being proud of the national language instead of the Queen’s language…then something is wrong with SOME of us, Filipinos.


The SM chain of stores is commendable for playing the National Anthem in time for the opening of their doors, but many shoppers don’t give a damn, as if what’s being played is just another Christmas song – so they keep on walking and do not stand up in attention. In some school campuses, I observed that even while the flag ceremony is going on, students keep on walking and running.


In one of the TV shows, the naughty host called a student as shown by her uniform, on stage. She was surprised when asked to recite the “Panatang Makabayan” and painfully tried her best to no avail as she was good only for the first four lines. Another student was called and asked to sing the National Anthem, in exchange for a certain amount as the prize. She dismally failed and even mispronounced some words.


There’s also a TV show in which the hosts called on the participants from the audience and who were asked question about the Philippine history. When one was asked who Tandang Sara is, she answered, “ street in Caloocan”. Another was asked who was the “sublime paralytic” about which he loudly wondered, “meron ba noon?”. And, still another was asked who the mother of Jose Rizal is, for which he answered, “Gabriela Silang?”


Obviously and sadly, nationalism is continuously deteriorating, and I would say that the youth of today are victims of the country’s educational institution’s irresponsibility. From preparatory or “kinder” up to the elementary level, the Filipino youth are pitifully loaded with workbooks. They go home with assignments that their parents do for them, while their eyes are glued on TV. They are given projects to be done at home, but which “loving and caring” parents do for them, even going to extent of clipping photos from books and collectible magazines….but nothing much is done to educate them about the history of the country.


Many students who were born many years after the Martial Law are wondering today what the leftist groups meant by not allowing the remains of Ferdinand Marcos to be interred in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Many still, do not have a hint at what the People Power was all about. So many years have been wasted by the administrations that over took the reins of the government after Marcos was booted out of the country, as not a single book used in school today contain chapters that seriously deliberate on the dark years under the Marcos dictatorship. There are “mentions” but unfortunately, nothing of extensive dissertation exposition.


As the country needs to survive economically, the government has allowed the flooding of the local market with foreign products particularly those from China. This phenomenon has aggravated the already deeply-rooted “stateside” mentality. The once-prosperous jewelry industry of Bulacan has become a thing of the past as Italian silver and Saudi gold jewelries became the “in” thing. The durability of the Marikina shoes is overshadowed by the western-sounding-named products. Local factories for sweets closed shop because raw products are exported to China to be processed and sold back to the Filipinos as “made in China”…so at the supermarkets, we see sweet tamarinds made in China, mango products still from the mainland, even dried tapioca or cassava, sweet potatoes, etc.


At the rate our culture which is the foundation of nationalism is overshadowed by the intruding  “giants” , we might as well, learn their language to be competitive at all cost….as we have no choice in order to survive. On the other hand, I know that there are some who try their best to steadfastly uphold their being a Filipino, be they are living in the archipelago or abroad.

Ngayon, Hindi na Yuyuko ang Pilipino


Ni Apolinario Villalobos



Ang kasaysayan ng Pilipinas ay hitik sa mga kuwentong may kinalaman sa pananakop ng ibang lahi. Nagawa ito dahil ang bansa ay watak-watak…mga islang hindi buo. Nagtagumpay ang mga nagsulputang misyonaryo – Arabo at Kristiyano, kaya nahubog sa panibagong paniniwalang ispiritwal ang kaisipan ng mga ninuno nating pagano.


Sa simula pa lamang ay bukod-tanging pananampalatayang Islam ang niyakap ng mga taga-Mindanao na ang katawagan ay Moro. Hindi nagtagumpay ang mga prayleng Kastila na magupo ang mga Moro, na kabaligtaran naman sa Visayas at Luzon kung saan sila ay nagtagumpay. Ang tagumpay na ito ng mga Kastilang misyonaryo ang naging batayan upang palabasing nasakop ng Espanya ang Pilipinas, dahil malaking bahagi ng Mindanao ay hindi naman.


Noong panahon ng pananakop ng mga Kastila, ang mga katutubo ay tinawag na “Indio”, at ang mga tinuturing lamang na mga “Pilipino” ay mga Kastilang hinakot sa Maynila at pinatira sa Intramuros. Indio din ang tawag sa mga Mehikano na hinakot sa Pilipinas upang magtrabaho bilang mga utusan at sundalo. Ang mga taga-India namang hinakot din sa Maynila upang pandagdag sa dami ng mga sundalo ay tinawag na “Sepoy”. Ang nakatira sa labas ng Intramuros ay mga Tsino, mga Hapon, at mga katutubo. Sa panahong yon, yumuko ang mga tunay na Pilipino sa Kastila.


Kalaunan, ang mga mahihirap nga mga Pilipino at ilang mga mestiso Kastila ay nagkaisa upang labanan ang mga Kastila. Subalit magkaiba ang kanilang layunin. Ang gusto ng mga mayayamang mestiso ay magkaroon lang ng pagbabao upang matanggal ang mapang-abusong pamamalakad ng mga opisyal na itinalaga ng hari sa Maynila. Samantalang, ang mga mahihirap na pinangunahan ni Andres Bonifacio, ang gusto ay kabuuang kalayaan. Hindi sila nagtagumpay.

Nang pumalit ang mga Amerikano ay pinaglaban pa rin ng ilang Pilipino ang layuning makaangkin ng lubusang kalayaan sa pangunguna naman ni Aguinaldo…na hindi pa rin nagtagumpay.


Nang tuluyan namang bitiwan ng Amerika ang Pilipinas, kahit mga Pilipino na ang namahala, hindi pa rin nakawala ang Pilipino sa anino ng mga Amerikano. Naging tanyag ang tawag sa Pilipino na “Little brown brother”, at sa mga Amerikano naman ay, “Big Brother”. Mula sa panahon ni Manuel L. Quezon hanggang sa panahon ni Benigno Aquino III, ang imahe ng Pilipinong yumuyuko sa mga Amerikano ay hindi nawala.


Ngayon, sa pagsulpot ni Rodrigo Duterte bilang presidente ng Pilipinas, nagkaroon ng pagbabago dahil walang tapang niyang binabanggit na isa sa mga paiiralin niya ay ang pagtayo ng mga Pilipino sa sariling mga paa…. magkaroon ng sariling paninindigan at desisyon. Malaki ang epekto ng sinambit ni Duterte na “who is he” na ang tinutukoy ay si Obama. Sa headline ng isang diyaryo ay nakabandera ang sinabi din niyang, “I am no fan of the US”. Dahil siya ang presidente ng Pilipinas, animo ay kinakatawan na rin niya ang saloobin ng mga Pilipino.


Ngayon, taas-noo na nating masabing tuluyan na tayong nakawala sa tanikalang nag-uugnay sa atin sa mga Amerikano. Ito ay pagpapakitang kaya pala nating hindi yumuko sa Amerika!


Subali’t sa kabila ng bagong paninindigang nabanggit, hindi nangangahulugang galit ang mga Pilipino sa mga Amerikano, at kahit samahan ng dalawang bansa ay hindi basta mabubuwag dahil sa mga pinirmahang tratado o treaty o kasunduan. Pinagdiinan lang natin ang sariling prinsipyong nakaangkla sa lubos na kalayaan…kaya hindi na basta na lang masisita o mapagsasabihan ang presidente ng Pilipinas ng presidente ng Amerika pagdating sa paggawa ng desisyon.


On Being a “True” Filipino…are we all, really?

On Being a “True” Filipino

…are we all, really?

By Apolinario Villalobos



First, there is a question on our culture which many “proudly” declare to be influenced by many others – Hispanic, American, Japanese, Chinese, Malay, etc. But if we go deeper into the Philippine history, the “Filipinos” referred to during the Spanish regime were the full-blood Spaniards who were settled in Manila as part of their colonization process. The natives whom the Spaniards found living on the islands were either called “Moros” or “Indios”. These natives lived in scattered communities under clannish system throughout the archipelago, including settlements along Pasig River.  What Spanish name many Filipinos use today were “dictated” as required for conversion into Christianity of our pagan ancestors who had only one name, some of which are, “Habagat”, “Maliksi”, “Malakas”, Mahinhin”, “Alindog”, etc.


Along with the Spaniards, natives from their other colonized nations were also brought in, such as Mexicans and mercenary Sepoys from India. These natives were also generally referred to as “Indios”. In Pampanga, there is a town called “New Mexico” because the Mexicans settled in that area when the Spaniards left to give way to the Americans, while the Sepoys chose to settle in Rizal province,  reason why many families in that area have strong Indian features.  On the other hand, Chinese were called by the Spaniards, as “Sangley”. It was only during the later part of the colonization that “mestizos” and “mestizas” were called Filipinos, and much later on, the “cultured natives” were included in the reference. But those living in the mountains and forested villages were still called as “Indios”.


When finally, “Filipino” as a racial reference has been given to all citizens of the archipelago by virtue of legislation, instead of taking the opportunity in flaunting to the whole world our distinct culture, early Filipinos tried their best to act, speak, and eat like Spaniards or Americans. Instead of taking pride in our “barong Tagalog” and “kimona”, they preferred European and American garbs. That is how the “amerikana” which is referred to the coat has been developed, as well as, the “mestiza dress” a gown with butterfly sleeves which is common in other countries colonized by the Spaniards. In full contrast, peoples of other Asian countries have become easily distinguishable because of their national costumes that they proudly wear during special occasions at home or abroad.


The colonial mentality has practically seeped into the system of Filipinos, so that there is now a prevailing general preference of foods assimilated from other cultures. Among these are the “pansit”, spaghetti, menudo, adobo, kare-kare, kaldereta, arroz a la valenciana, fruit salad, sandwich, etc. It is no wonder then, that while foods of other Asian countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, China and Japan became popular in other countries, those of the Philippines are not. As an example, right in Manila, one can savor in trendy restaurants, the Thai rice which is actually flavored with “bagoong”, the Japanese rice which is sprinkled with vinegar, “kiampong” a Chinese fried rice flavored with whatever broth is boiling, the “Java rice” flavored with the “luyang dilaw”…..all expensive fares. But, nothing is being done to introduce our own fried rice, because, obviously, we are ashamed to let other people know that we eat “recycled” cold rice or leftover rice or overnight rice! The obnoxious pride among some of us dictates that whatever food left on the table after dinner should go to the cats and the dogs or worse, the garbage. As a consolation, the lowly “sinangag”, Filipino fried rice which many families abhor, can be partaken at carinderias whose one way of surviving stiff competition is by recycling leftover foods.


Filipinos just love sandwiches such as those bought at American and Italian joints. Parents take pride in how their children easily recognize even from a distance, the golden arc of a popular brand of American sandwich and spaghetti. What is funny is that, we do not even have a local name for the sandwich. Many so-called “cultured” Filipinos laugh at the idea of the pansit as filling of two slices of bread or inserted in the pan de sal. But they delight in eating American sandwiches filled with pasta or spaghetti. These same “cultured” Filipinos are laughing at the idea of a sandwich filled with “paksiw dilis” or “tortang talong”,  but they spend enormous amount of money for a sandwich in expensive restaurants with a filling of pickled herring (relative of “tamban” and “tunsoy”).


They also laugh at the idea of pan de sal eaten with grated fresh coconut, but they eat with gusto a sandwich filled with mayonnaise and spinach! They smirk at the idea of bread eaten with ripe mango or papaya, but they proudly eat open half-sandwiches or crackers topped with thinly sliced radish, strawberry, kiwi, celery stalk, sweet onion, etc. served at cocktail parties in high-end restaurants and homes in exclusive subdivisions. They are also ashamed of our own “bagoong” and “patis”, but the fact is that Thailand is proud of her own, which practically made their dishes very distinctly “Thai” and world class. On the other hand, “cultured” Filipinos would rather let their friends know that they partake only of Western, as well as, “exotic” Asian foods….from any Asian country for that matter, but Philippines!


The problem with some of us, especially, the “cultured”, is that they are ashamed of their own. They even try to sound American in pronouncing the letter “R”, as they speak in dialect, which unfortunately, even teachers do…so how can we expect rectifications when those who are supposed to be “molders” – the teachers, themselves are guilty of doing what are wrong? It is no wonder, therefore that the young generation, especially, those who are in their learning stage of development are not “molded” properly. It is a shame that many years from now, our country which is already known in the world,  as one with the most corrupt government system (just check the internet), shall also be known as one whose people are with diluted culture, hopelessly murky with repugnant pride of some….the so-called  “cultured”.


I love my country and proud as a Filipino…unfortunately, blogging is the only way I can do to open the eyes of ALL who claim to be Filipino!

Hindi lang Dapat sa Passport Ibatay ang Isyu sa Nasyonalismo

Hindi Lang Dapat sa Passport Ibatay

Ang Isyu sa Nasyonalismo

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Walang kapalit ang damdamin at puso sa pagpapatunay ng saloobin ng isang tao pagdating sa isyu ng nasyonalismo. Sa panahon ngayong talamak ang kagutuman sa buong mundo, lahat ng naghihirap na tao ay nakatutok sa ano mang bansa na makakatulong sa kanila, kahit  pa umabot sa puntong isuko nila ang nakagisnang pagkamamayan o citizenship kapalit ng sa bansang kasasadlakan, na kalimitan ay Amerika. Isang malaking sakripisyo para sa isang tao ang magpalit ng citizenship dahil ang nakasalalay ay pangangailangan ng pamilyang naghihirap. Nakakadanas pa siya ng kantiyaw na “mukhang pera” at “mababaw ang kaligayahan”. Subalit lahat ay tinitiis niya sa ngalan ng kanyang mga mahal sa buhay.

Nailabas ko ang ganitong pananaw dahil sa komento ng isang nakabasa ng isinulat ko, na nagsabing kahit nasa ibang bansa daw siya at ang hawak ay hindi na passport ng Pilipinas, nasa puso, damdamin, at isip pa rin daw niya ang pagiging Pilipino. At, ano man daw ang mangyari o nangyayari sa Pilipinas ay handa siyang tumugon. Kahit pa raw sabihing korap ang gobyerno, naniniwala siya na may mangyayaring pagbabago, dahil tao lang naman ang papalitan. Ganoon katindi ang kanyang pagka-Pilipino! Naramdaman ko ang kalagayan niya kaya hindi siya nagkukulang sa pagpahiwatig ng kanyang pagka-Pilipino sa pamamagitan ng pakikipag-ugnayan niya sa facebook at pagko-comment tungkol sa mga usaping may kinalaman sa mga nangyayari sa Pilipinas. Talo pa niya ang mga nasa Pilipinas na hanggang tanaw lang ang ginagawa, hindi nagpapahiwatig ng kanilang nararamdaman at iniisip – ugaling “parang wala lang”.

Nais ko lamang ipabatid na ang mga sinusulat ko ay tungkol sa korapsyon ng mga taong nagpapatakbo ng gobyerno. Ang kinakalaban ko ay ang sistemang ginawa nila at ang mga batas na pinanukala nila na sinadyang lagyan ng mga butas upang maikutan nila sa paggawa ng mga kaaliwaswasan upang sila ay makapagpayaman. Pinapalabas ko sa mga isinusulat ko na biktima ang Pilipinas kasama na ang mga mahihirap at ordinaryong Pilipino. Hindi nangangahulugang anti-Pilipino ako dahil galit ako sa mga Pilipinong korap. Nagpapasalamat ako at may mga taong nasa ibang bansa na nagpahiwatig din ng kaparehong damdamin, kahit pa ibang passport ang hawak nila ngayon.

Para sa akin, ang passport ay libreta lamang na maaari namang palitan sa anumang pagkakataon, at ito ay gawa lang ng tao….subalit ang pagmamahal sa bayan na nakaukit sa puso, damdamin, at isip ay hindi mawawala hanggang  kamatayan, dahil gawa ito ng Diyos!

On Being a True Filipino

On Being a True Filipino

By Apolinario Villalobos

It takes a lot of nationalistic fervor before one can honestly claim that he or she is truly a Filipino. It is not enough that one is born of Filipino parents on Philippine soil, or in other countries, with either of the parents, a Filipino. It is not enough that one can sing the “Lupang Hinirang” with utmost sincerity or recite the “Panatang Makabayan” by heart.

Nationalism is best seen in times of tragedy, calamity, catastrophe – misfortunes that call for sharing and compassion. Being a Filipino is not the exploitation of the victims who are already neck-deep in distress. It is not the betrayal of trust given by the electorate to the glib-tongued politicos. The more, that it is not the filching of the people’s money by unscrupulous government officials and their cohorts.

A Filipino is one who toils in foreign lands, so that he or she can send money back home to his family who may then be empowered to make purchases, which at the end, benefits the government. He or she is the Green Card holder in the United States who does not cringe in shame due to the bad image of the country. He or she takes time to explain that the Philippine Republic is just a victim of unabated corrupt practices committed by “hardened” members of dynastic political families. He or she never say that the American system is better than what the Philippines is having now, as there are clear indications that Filipinos with good intentions are joining hands to remedy the situation.

There is still a desire in the heart of a Filipino who lives in other countries to go back to the Philippines where he or she had a first lungful breathe of air. A true Filipino misses the fiestas, colorful and jolly Christmas – noche buena, nightly caroling of children, dawn or evening Mass, and noisy New Year. The heart of a true Filipino aches for weekend jaunts and unannounced visits from friends. The true Filipino abroad misses the “bagoong”, “ginamos”, “pinakbet”, “laing”, “lechon”, etc.

A true Filipino who works abroad, never forgets to fill a “balikbayan box” with goodies bought from flea markets and garage sales, such as “Gucci” (kuno), shoes, watches, used laptops, toothpaste, Ivory soap, coffee, bars of chocolate, etc. – symbol of their love for those left in the Philippines. And, a true Filipino does not hesitate to come out in a video to denounce the nincompoop government officials who do not know what they are doing, such as those who occupy the agencies involved in raising funds every time an election is forthcoming.

A true Filipino bravely accepts faults and limitations, as he or she knows that such honesty can give him impetus to exert more effort for the better. Most especially, he or she does not pretend to be intelligent!

And who are not the Filipinos but still insist they are? These are the inept in the government, the heartless and uncompassionate hypocrites. These are the glib-tongued who betrayed the trust and confidence of the poor. These are the “political butterflies”, with the habit of changing their color depending on the party that they think is strong and can help them filch money from the government later on!

Kapit-bisig Tayo sa Pagsulong!

Kapit-bisig Tayo sa Pagsulong!

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Huwag sayangin ang pinaghirapang kalayaan

Na upang matamo’y maraming buhay ang naibuwis

Dumanak din ang masaganang dugo

Sa ati’y pamana ng ating mga ninuno.

Mga banyaga’y nagpumilit, sa atin ito’y maagaw

Subali’t ‘di nagpanaig, mga ninuno nating matapang

Nag-iisa itong pundasyon ng karangalan –

Karangalan ng ating lahi, ng Inang Bayan.

Kapit-bisig tayo sa pagsulong upang makipaglaban

Huwag hayaan, ito’y maagaw sa atin ng ganoon na lang –

Ng mga banyagang nais ay likas na yaman-

Yamang pamana sa atin ng Inang Kalikasan.

Kapit-bisig tayo sa pagsulong laban sa mangangamkam

At mga tiwaling opisyal, animo’y mga tuko sa pamahalaan

Hindi nagpapatinag sa kapangyarihang hawak –

Na kung humawak, akala mo’y tuko o bayawak!

Nationalism should not be Barred by Distance

Nationalism should not be barred by distance
By Apolinario Villalobos

Filipinos who are fortunate to be living elsewhere – United States, Europe, Asian and Mediterranean countries should not distance themselves from their country of birth, short of despising the suffering Filipinos left behind. First and foremost in the mind of the overseas compatriots should be the thought that their host countries granted them citizenship or green card, because they are hardworking and trustworthy “Filipinos”. The color of their skin, accent, and aching for indigenous Filipino food, are lifetime marks that will never be erased from their persona, anywhere they go. They should not be ashamed of the present situation of the country. The Philippines may be run by corrupt officials, but these selfish citizens should not give overseas Filipinos reason to detest the country, as those who are left behind, and who still have the true Filipino spirit in their person are moving heaven and earth in their fight for changes, how elusive they may be.

Although, it is true that during campaign period prior to election, vote buying is rampant, there is a question on how the hungry compatriots can be blamed in the face of desperation, so that some Catholic bishops, even would go to the extent of telling their hungry flock to just accept the bribe but follow their conscience. A person who did not experience going hungry for days will never understand the feeling of being tempted with fifty pesos…how much more for a thousand pesos in exchange for one vote?

It is not enough that those who got paid for their votes be told that they should have not accepted the money in the first place. Perhaps what brothers and sisters out there can do is think of suggestions on how those wallowing in grief can alleviate their lot through other doable means. Unfortunately, it might be difficult to make suggestions if one has not been to slums. Looking at the flat shared photos and videos in the social media is not enough, although, they can move viewers to tears.

My suggestions are for those out there to stop making remarks that cannot help but just emphasize the sorry state of the unfortunate as seen in photos and videos. They should offer prayers, instead….as something is being done anyway, and despite the difficulty, the fight goes on – a hurting reality. At least, with prayer, those out there are able to let the Lord know, that they are showing their “realistic” concern and sympathy….yes, realistic, and hopefully without a tint of hypocrisy!