The Philippines possess the formidable durability of the narra tree and the resiliency of the bamboo. The resilience to rise above any given circumstance. Over the years, we have witnessed the Filipino spirit survive over endless battles and crises. We surpassed almost every calamity a small nation could ever have, natural and man-made ones. The list includes the brave resistance of our ancestors against foreign colonization from the age of the Spaniards to the Americans to the Japanese, the World War II, the Marcos regime, the world-famous EDSA revolution for being an outstanding example of a “bloodless revolution” and the Typhoon Ondoy(Ketsana) tragedy . These showed the world how sturdy we Filipinos are and how exceptionally we manage to smile after a dreadful tragedy struck our way.
We have a beautiful country with people of unmatched values of hospitality, service and hard work. The Overseas Filipino Workers, our modern day heroes, continue to blaze a trail of professional and economic success in almost every nook and cranny of the globe. The migration of Filipino workers is no longer limited to blue-collar jobs or those that require manual labour. Over the years, Filipino nurses, doctors, designers, accountants, teachers, artists and technology people have joined the exodus to better jobs abroad.
The Filipinos have proven we can. Paeng Nepumoceno, Manny Pacquiao and Efren Bata Reyes in sports. Lea Salonga, the UP Madrigal Singers and Imelda Papin in performing arts. Monique Lhuillier and Rafe Totenco in fashion. And these are just the names made famous by the media. There are many more who may not be celebrities but who have gained respect on the world stage. Their individual and collective accomplishments surely serve as a source of pride and inspiration to millions of our countrymen.
We also take pride to the plenitude of our great natural wonders and resources. To name a few are the Tubbataha Reef marine sanctuary that has become a popular diving spot, the Chocolate Hills composing of around 1,268 magnificently cone-shaped hills, the Mayon Volcano that is renowned as the “Perfect Cone” because of its almost perfectly conical shape, and the recently most popular Puerto Princesa Subterranean River that is doing great in the current votes collection for the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. As of today it ranks second after the Amazon Rainforest in the category “Forests, National Parks, Nature Reserves”.
Life in the Philippines is tough but what makes me really proud of my motherland aside from its astounding beauty are my “Kababayan” – the Filipinos. That in time of adversities, we join hands together and help each other. We are strong-willed and opinionated but we easily cope to whatever change that may come our way. Anywhere you go there is a Pinoy that is making the world go round in his own little way bearing the Filipino pride.
This week, Filipinos’ strength has been tested again by the heavy rain pour that submerged most places in Manila by flood waters. Our spirit is stronger than this calamity. We’ll make it through. We always do.