Seldom do we encounter news that brings hope if not a confirmation that the Philippines is not a lost cause. In the December 19 headline of inquirer.net, the result of the survey conducted by Pulse Asia Inc. said that 7 in 10 Filipinos won’t lose hope in RP.
68 percent of respondents, asked if they agreed with the statement that “This country is hopeless,” said they disagreed. Thirteen percent agreed while 18 percent were undecided.
Asked if they would migrate to another country if given the chance, 54 percent disagreed, 20 percent agreed, while 24 percent were undecided, the independent survey showed.
The study was conducted from October 14-27 and had a margin of error of +/-3 percent and a confidence level of 95 percent. It polled 1,200 adults nationwide.
The Filipinos are a resilient nation who despite the looming economic crises that will worsen their current status, ubiquitous corruption taken as a fact of life, crime, disunity, remain hopeful that tomorrow will be something better and the problems will soon go away.
A lot of my friends, including myself, get cynical sometimes about this country’s future. We’ve been too embittered by the current situation of the country that the only plan left is to leave the country, find a work in a foreign land, send money home, and let the politicians do what they please as long as we save our families from the quicksand of a failed state. It is a difficult thing to do to place your trust on a country that seems to be going nowhere but down the drain. If only our leaders could realize that they’re not doing the right thing all these time. Such an understated line, if I can comment to what I have just written.
The result of the survey above however made realize me several things:
1. There is a staggering percentage of the population who remains hopeful about the Philippines, or at least who does not believe it is hopeless.
2. That hope becomes stronger if it is shared communally.
3. And that the spirit of a nation, like hope, exists only if it is shared. In Benedict Anderson’s word: an imagined community. This community that exists in the mind is only possible if the members dream of the same dreams.
If six other Filipinos and myself believe that this country can be made better, then I do not see anything that can get in the way of making this country great, except of the the three other of whom two are undecided.
I’ve always dreamed of getting an education abroad even since when I first entered school when I was seven years old. The dream remains although the motives changed through the years, from finding a beautiful Caucasian wife during the height of my naivete, acknowledging that a US education will give me a better access to social mobility during the height of my poverty, to getting a good education and going back to the Philippines to help my fellowmen at the peak of my idealism. Regardless of my motive I know that this time I spend away from my country now will let me look from a distance into the reasons why we remain a fragmented nation unable to find its own identity and constantly in conflict with its own self.
Our struggle as a nation has a lot of facets. According to Joseph E. Fallon in his Igorot and Moro National Reemergence: The Fabricated Philippine State the Philippines is not a nation-state; neither is it a voluntary multinational association. Rather, it constitutes a new, post World War II, colonial order centered in Manila, and dedicated to the political and economic hegemony of the local Christian-Europhile community over the entire territory of the former American colony. That which separates the Philippines from all other multi-ethnic states in Asia is its unique nationalism.
The Moros in Mindanao and the Igorots in the Northern Luzon are separate nations who do not see themselves as part of the Filipino nation. I am a non expert on this topic and all the politics involved regarding this. In this time when a the very concept of nationhood is made obsolete by the emergence of the European Union and to a certain degree the United States do we need to reconsider our being a Filipino and rethink whether it is still worth fighting for. For I believe it is.
Aside from sharing a common identity, a common language, a common sense of being one, we all should have a shared hope; as much as imagination is an attempt to concretize the intangible, hope is giving a physical character to an abstraction. I thought this hope has long escaped this nation, but the survey is just one of the proofs that this nation will never remain suspended on a pipe dream.
The countless other Filipinos who brave to be away from their family in order to give their children and relatives back in the Philippines better life may be pessimistic sometimes but don’t lose hope that somehow things will be better about the country. They will one day go back to a place where they started hoping and made these hopes realities. This for me is just a start of the road to Filipino nationhood; the road ahead is dotted with potholes and is perilous, but I am happy to think that the journey continues.