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REPUBLIC ACT NO. 1425

AN ACT TO INCLUDE IN THE CURRICULA OF ALL PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS, COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES COURSES ON THE LIFE, WORKS AND WRITINGS OF JOSE RIZAL, PARTICULARLY HIS NOVELS NOLI ME TANGERE AND EL FILIBUSTERISMO, AUTHORIZING THE PRINTING AND DISTRIBUTION THEREOF, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

WHEREAS, today, more than any other period of our history, there is a need for a re- dedication to the ideals of freedom and nationalism for which our heroes lived and died;

WHEREAS, it is meet that in honoring them, particularly the national hero and patriot, Jose Rizal, we remember with special fondness and devotion their lives and works that have shaped the national character;

WHEREAS, the life, works and writing of Jose Rizal, particularly his novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, are a constant and inspiring source of patriotism with which the minds of the youth, especially during their formative and decisive years in school, should be suffused;

WHEREAS, all educational institutions are under the supervision of, and subject to regulation by the State, and all schools are enjoined to develop moral character, personal discipline, civic conscience and to teach the duties of citizenship; Now, therefore:

Section 1.

Courses on the life, works and writings of Jose Rizal, particularly his novel Noli

Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, shall be included in the curricula of all schools, colleges

and universities, public or private: Provided, That in the collegiate courses, the original or unexpurgated editions of the Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo of their English translation shall be used as basic texts.

The Board of National Education is hereby authorized and directed to adopt forthwith measures to implement and carry out the provisions of this Section, including the writing and printing of appropriate primers, readers and textbooks. The Board shall, within sixty (60) days from the effectivity of this Act, promulgate rules and regulations, including those of disciplinary nature, to carry out and enforce the provisions of this Act. The Board shall promulgate rules and regulations providing for the exemption of students for reasons of religious belief stated in a sworn written statement, from the requirement of the provision contained in the second part of the first paragraph of this section; but not from taking the course provided for in the first part of said paragraph. Said rules and regulations shall take effect thirty (30) days after their publication in the Official Gazette.

Sec. 2.

It shall be obligatory on all schools, colleges and universities to keep in their

libraries an adequate number of copies of the original and unexpurgated editions of the Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, as well as of Rizal's other works and biography. The said unexpurgated editions of the Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo or their translations in English as well as other writings of Rizal shall be included in the list of approved books for required reading in all public or private schools, colleges and universities.

The Board of National Education shall determine the adequacy of the number of books, depending upon the enrollment of the school, college or university.

Sec. 3.

The Board of National Education shall cause the translation of the Noli Me Tangere

and El Filibusterismo, as well as other writings of Jose Rizal into English, Tagalog and the principal Philippine dialects; cause them to be printed in cheap, popular editions; and cause them to be distributed, free of charge, to persons desiring to read them, through the Purok organizations and Barrio Councils throughout the country.

Sec. 4.

Nothing in this Act shall be construed as amendment or repealing section nine

hundred twenty-seven of the Administrative Code, prohibiting the discussion of religious doctrines by public school teachers and other person engaged in any public school.

Sec. 5.

The sum of three hundred thousand pesos is hereby authorized to be appropriated

out of any fund not otherwise appropriated in the National Treasury to carry out the purposes of this Act.

Sec. 6.

This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Rizal Law not being followed By Ambeth Ocampo Philippine Daily Inquirer First Posted 23:06:00 02/21/2008

While the Senate is now looking for other anomalies to investigate, of course in aid of legislation, maybe we should go back to the laws of the land that have not been fully implemented. I’m sure there are a lot of these around, but just recently I was reviewing some

specific provisions of Republic Act 1425, more popularly known as the “Rizal Law.” This law turned half-century last year, and one wonders how much of it has been complied with, how much of it is continuously being applied. True, Jose Rizal is studied in school, but the manner of teaching is inconsistent, the textbooks and reading materials while voluminous vary a great deal in quantity and quality.

The last time RA 1425 came to public attention was when then-President Fidel V. Ramos ordered the Commission on Higher Education to fully implement the Rizal Law. Memos were exchanged, opinions were sought, then the issue was forgotten. One wonders about the real state of the teaching of Rizal in Philippine schools, colleges and universities today.

Young people today are different from the youth half a century ago. Can we force Generation X to read the novels when their generation is more attuned to moving pictures than hard text? Would it help if the “Noli” and “Fili” were available as graphic novels or short YouTube video clips? With the continuing decline in English and the nearly extinct reading proficiency in Spanish, how can we make Rizal’s novels better known, better read? I’m thinking aloud here and soliciting suggestions.

  • I read through the law last year to prepare for a seminar on the teaching of the Rizal courses, and

  • I noted that Section 1 of the law says: “Courses on the life, works and writings of Jose Rizal, particularly his novels ‘Noli Me Tangere’ and ‘El Filibusterismo,’ shall be included in the

curricula of all schools, colleges and universities, public or private; Provided, That in the collegiate courses, the original or unexpurgated editions of the ‘Noli Me Tangere’ and ‘El Filibusterismo’ or their English translations shall be used as basic texts.”

When my students took their Noli/Fili test last week, I saw that many had the versions of the novels I required: Soledad Lacson Locsin for those who read English and those of Virgilio S. Almario for those who preferred to read in Filipino (the original Spanish is the best, of course, but nobody opted for it). Walking on the aisles as they took the test, I saw students with the awful “komiks” [comic-book] version. Others came with their high school textbooks, actually dated primers, readers and textbooks that provided chapter summaries and guide questions.

Some downloaded material from the Internet -- chapter summaries again -- while a minority studied in groups and came with such very detailed notes on every character and event in the novels that I think they missed the point. It pained me to think that they read Rizal to pass the test rather than for pleasure, but then that is what the law requires.

  • I did not stress the fact that there is a little-known escape clause in the law that grants exemption

from the reading of the novels based on religious belief, but not from the course. We are told that

until now nobody has applied for this exemption simply because anyone who wants to avail of it will not know how to go about it. I have challenged students to make history and test the limits of the law. So far, no takers.

What has not been complied with are two sections of the law making the novels available and accessible: “It shall be obligatory on all schools, colleges and universities to keep in their libraries an adequate number of copies of the original and expurgated editions of the ‘Noli Me Tangere’ and ‘El Filibusterismo,’ as well as Rizal’s other works and biography. The said unexpurgated editions of the ‘Noli Me Tangere’ and ‘El Filibusterismo’ or their translations in English as well as other writings of Rizal shall be included in the list of approved books for required reading in all public or private schools, colleges and universities. The Board of National Education shall determine the adequacy of the number of books, depending upon the enrollment of the school, college or university.”

Will we find enough copies of the novels on the shelves of libraries to serve entire school populations? What was the intent of the law? To make copies available for free for every student? Or just enough for reference? Section 3 makes this clear:

“The Board of National Education shall cause the translation of the ‘Noli Me Tangere’ and ‘El Filibusterismo,’ as well as other writings of Jose Rizal into English, Tagalog and the principal Philippine dialects; cause them to be printed in cheap, popular editions; and cause them to be distributed, free of charge, to persons desiring to read them, through the Purok organizations and the Barrio Councils throughout the country.”

This last section is a financial bonanza for textbook publishers. Now, try walking into your barangay hall and ask for “Noli Me Tangere.” We have so many laws and yet we continue to craft new ones. With RA 1425 as an example can’t we just make sure old laws are fully implemented before we resume investigation in aid of legislation?

* * *

Nationalism can refer to an ideology, sentiment, a form of culture, or a social movement that focuses on the nation. [1] While there is significant debate over the historical origins of nations, nearly all specialists accept that nationalism, at least as an ideology and social movement, is a modern phenomenon originating in Europe. [2] Precisely where and when it emerged is difficult to determine, but its development is closely related to that of the modern state and the push for popular sovereignty that came to a head with the French Revolution in the late eighteenth century. Since that time, nationalism has become one of the most significant political and social forces in history, perhaps most notably as a cause of both the First and Second World Wars.

As an ideology, nationalism holds that 'the people' in the doctrine of popular sovereignty is the nation, and that as a result only nation-states founded on the principle of national self- determination are legitimate. Since most states are multinational, or at least home to more than one group claiming national status, [3] the pursuit of this principle has often led to conflict, and nationalism is commonly associated with war (both external and domestic), secession, and even genocide in contexts ranging from imperial conquest to struggles for national liberation.

Nationalism does not always lead to violence, however, and it plays an integral role in the daily lives of most people around the world. Flags on buildings, the singing of national anthems in schools and at public events, and cheering for national sports teams are all examples of everyday, 'banal' nationalism that is often unselfconscious. [4] Moreover, some scholars argue that nationalism as a sentiment or form of culture, sometimes described as 'nationality' to avoid the ideology's tarnished reputation, is the social foundation of modern society. Industrialization, democratization, and support for economic redistribution have all been at least partly attributed to the shared social context and solidarity that nationalism provides. [5][6][7]

Nevertheless, nationalism remains a hotly contested subject on which there is little general consensus. The clearest example of opposition to nationalism is cosmopolitanism, with adherents as diverse as liberals, Marxists, and anarchists, but even nationalism's defenders often disagree on its virtues, and it is common for nationalists of one persuasion to disparage the aspirations of others for both principled and strategic reasons. Indeed, the only fact about nationalism that is not in dispute may be that few other social phenomena have had a more enduring impact on the modern world.

Jose Rizal’s imprints on the Philippine Revolution

Inquirer First Posted 04:05am (Mla time) 01/01/2007

IN HIS DEC. 25 COLUMN, MANUEL L. Quezon III counters his review of Harold Augenbraun’s excellent English translation of Jose Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere” with a plug for a tendentious biography of Rizal by Javier de Pedro. A member of the Opus Dei, De Pedro can only see “Rizal Through a Glass Darkly.” The Catholic Church in the Philippines had, after all, banned “Noli Me Tangere” and burned copies of it for being anti-friar and anti-government.

Quezon noted that even as De Pedro sees Rizal as a “patriot,” the priest doesn’t see him as a “nationalist.” De Pedro is utterly wrong in asserting that in the “Noli,” Rizal did not treat our country as a “nation” under colonial bondage. In the novel, the boatman Elias, after complaining of the common brutalities and cruelties of the friars and the Spanish government, appealed to Ibarra, the “Noli’s” protagonist, to “Take up the people’s cause, unite the people, don’t ignore their voices, be an example to the rest, give them the concept of what one calls a nation!”

In that part of the novel, Ibarra still expressed his loyalty to Spain. But in “El Filibusterismo,” the sequel to the “Noli,” Ibarra metamorphosed into Simoun, the terrorist and revolutionary. Through Basilio, another victim of clerico-fascism, Simoun plots to bomb a gathering of Spanish officials, priests and Chinese businessmen, and trigger an uprising against the colonial rule.

Contemporaries of Rizal, like Andres Bonifacio, a member of Rizal’s revolutionary La Liga Filipina, correctly interpreted Rizal’s “Noli” and “Fili,” together with his other writings, as a call for revolution, and so they formed the Katipunan. The Katipuneros used Rizal’s name as a rallying cry for the nationalist revolution.

In his definitive biography of Rizal, titled “Rizal: Filipino Nationalist and Patriot,” another Englishman, Austin Coates, wrote: “The awakening of Asia to the concept of nationalism, and

to the demand for independence from the colonial powers—the Asian independence movement —began in the Philippine Islands with the publication of Rizal’s ‘Noli Me Tangere’ in 1887. From that date till 1901, the Philippines provided the main scene of this movement, the continental nature of which was not yet apparent.”

One hundred ten years after his execution by the Spanish government, Rizal remains controversial, despite the common tao’s undeniable veneration of him, because of the Catholic Church’s and the ruling class’ ceaseless efforts to misinterpret, distort and obfuscate his teachings and actions. The Rizal Law, enacted through the efforts of nationalists Claro M. Recto and Jose P. Laurel, is now practically a dead law, as Rizal courses on his unexpurgated writings have been suppressed in both public and private (sectarian) schools. The colonial mentality, as shown by our government’s position on the Smith rape case, persists.

—MANUEL F. ALMARIO, spokesman, Movement for Truth In History (MOTH), via e-mail

Filipino Nationalism

The Philippines nationalist movement was the earliest of its kind in Southeast Asia. Many of its leaders saw their movement as a beacon for other Southeast Asian colonies. In reality it had little impact. Nationalism took a decidedly different course in the Philippines than elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Philippine intellectual and political elites identified themselves more with Spain and later the United States than they did with anti-colonialists elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

Philippine export crops were grown predominantly on land owned by the Chinese mestizo community. The haciendas developed by powerful regional families were worked by tenants. The landowners became rich and powerful while the tenants became increasingly impoverished, trapped in a grossly unequal relationship with the landowners. Here lie the origins of the major Philippine families who continue to control the rural Philippines in the 1990s and from this economic base continue to exert enormous political power. Their wealth by and large continues to be based on large estates, even though many have diversified their investments in recent decades. The landed elite which emerged in the 19th century, unique in Southeast Asia for its social, economic and political power, educated their children in Spanish schools, seminaries and universities. Their Spanish-educated children, known as ilustrados, were influenced by the liberal reforms in Spain after 1868. From the 1870s they began to demand the same rights as Spaniards, including representation in the Spanish parliament.

Avowedly anti-clerical, they demanded the separation of state and church, the expulsion of the Spanish friars who dominated rural areas and the introduction of native clergy. Their demands were disregarded by both the colonial government and the Catholic Church. In the 1890s, disillusioned by Spain’s refusal to treat them as equals and its dismissal of their proposals for social and economic reform, the ilustrados began to call themselves Filipinos.

They were led by Jose Rizal, a wealthy fifth generation Chinese mestizo. Hitherto the Spanish had appropriated the term Filipino for Spaniards born in the Philippines, referring to natives as Indios. The term Filipino now became a symbol of nationalism.

The ilustrados – the educated, wealthy mestizo elite – wanted to rid the Philippines of clerical domination in order to assume leadership of their society. In contrast to their moderate nationalism, in 1896 a rebellion broke out in Manila organised by a far more radical group known as the Katipunan and led by Andres Bonifacio, a relatively poorly educated Manila clerk.

Fighting broke out in the Manila area between Katipunan forces and the colonial army. The Spanish responded by arresting not only Katipunan leaders but also many ilustrados as well. Rizal was arrested, charged with treason and publicly executed. Philippine nationalism now had a martyr.

At the same time as Spain was confronted by open rebellion in the Philippines it was fighting a major rebellion in its central American colony of Cuba. The drain on its limited resources was immense. United States intervention in Cuba resulted in the American–Spanish war. As a consequence the United States Pacific fleet sailed into Manila Bay, destroyed the Spanish fleet and laid seige to Manila. Philippine nationalists took advantage of a weakened Spain by declaring independence on 12 June 1898 under the ilustrado leader Apolinario Mabini. The Filipinos were the first people in Asia successfully to fight their colonial power and create a modern nation-state.

Unfortunately for the nascent Philippine Republic the United States decided that occupation of the Philippines would provide it with a base in the western Pacific from which it could promote its political and economic interests in East Asia. Early in 1899 warfare broke out between the Philippine Republic and the United States, eventually involving more than 10,000 United States troops. Most hostilities ended in 1901 when the United States effectively bought off the ilustrado elite, promising to maintain their wealth and power in return for collaboration with American colonial rule. However, the Muslim south remained under American military jurisdiction until 1913. Even then sporadic violence continued against American authorities for some years.

The agreement of 1901 consolidated the power of the landed Chinese mestizo elite enabling them to dominate the political and economic structures of the Philippines in the 20th century. It also created a Filipino elite that looked to the United States not only for economic and political patronage but also as its intellectual and cultural model. The ilustrado elite in the Philippines was a powerful landed elite with no parallel elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Its members’ social and political power stemmed from an economic base independent of the colonial state.

United States colonialism

It has been argued that if Spain occupied the Philippines for ‘the glory of God’ then the United States occupied the Philippines for ‘the democratic mission’. Certainly, Americans were uneasy about their status as an imperial nation. It ran counter to their self-perception as a people who had thrown off the colonial yoke to become the beacon for free, democratic and egalitarian values in the world. Americans’ own history of anti-colonialism ensured that there were significant differences in United States rule in the Philippines from colonial rule elsewhere in Southeast Asia. From the start the United States made clear that its goal was to lead the Philippines to independence. Nationalism was a legitimate force, if possible to be moulded in its own image of course, but not to be distrusted and repressed. It followed from this that the role of the colonial state was to tutor Filipinos in the administration of a modern nation-state in order that they learn the skills necessary for independence as quickly as possible.

Given their views of themselves as being in the Philippines for the best of reasons – ‘the democratic mission’ – it is not surprising that United States colonial administrations stressed the development of education, health and democratic processes. Electoral systems were introduced at all levels of society and the national parliament was encouraged to invigilate officials and influence colonial policies. By 1934 the United States Congress mandated Philippine independence within twelve years. As a first step, in 1935 a Philippines Commonwealth was established, autonomous in domestic affairs with Manuel Quezon as its first President. Political

developments in the Philippines were unique in Southeast Asia, though in the long run the effect was to increase the wealth and power of the landed elite.

The United States government expended money on the Philippines rather than extracted money from it – another unique occurrence in colonial Southeast Asia. Much of this money was spent on developing education and health systems far superior to anywhere else in the region. At home the United States was committed to mass education at all levels, in contrast to Britain, France and Holland which restricted access to high schools and believed that a University education was only for a small elite.

Education policies in the Philippines reflected American domestic educational philosophies, in the same way as education policies in British, French and Dutch colonies reflected their domestic policies. The contrast between the Philippines and Indonesia on the eve of World War II is illustrative of these differences.

In the Philippines in 1938–39 there were 7,500 students at the University of the Philippines in Manila. In the same year in Indonesia there were a mere 128 students at Colleges of Law, Medicine and Engineering. In 1941 the literacy rate in the Philippines was five times that in Indonesia.

Nationalist movements in most of colonial Southeast Asia flourished from the 1910s, demanding independence, by and large rejecting colonial cultural mores and vigorously debating the need for radical social and economic reform. They were generally led at the ‘national’ level by the western-educated sons of either the traditional aristocracy or the bureaucratic elite and at the local level by upwardly mobile clerks, schoolteachers and government officials. There was a wide spectrum of parties, ranging from conservative ones, which wanted independence and little social or economic change, to the communist parties which wanted revolution. The Philippines was once again an exception. Its nationalist movement was dominated by the Nationalist Party under the leadership of Manuel Quezon.

Leaders were from the landed elite, even more wealthy and powerful under American rule than they had been under Spain. While publicly demanding immediate independence, in fact their personal economic interests were well served by continued United States rule.

Enjoying self-government after 1935, and under a relatively benign colonialism, the Filipino nationalist elite remained pro-American. In many ways they were bi-cultural. The shape of Filipino nationalism – in ideology, myths and symbols – was very different from elsewhere in Southeast Asia. With no need to foster a strong ‘national’ consciousness and few ‘national’ symbols, regionalism and regional loyalties based on regional landed elites remained strong. This had significant consequences after 1945. Filipino nationalists were barely conscious of the events going on elsewhere in Southeast Asia. It left a legacy of separateness from the rest of Southeast Asia which had only partially changed by the 1990s.

Entry Number: 00273108

The evolution of Filipino nationalism

Nationalism is intrinsically second nature to all Filipinos. The spirit of nationalism came to exist even before the era of Spaniard occupation of the Philippines. The ardent bravery and the heft fortitude to fight the conquerors to preserve the land of our own and the future generation were inherent in our blood.

Several factors paved the way for the developmental gestation of Filipino nationalism. Tracing to the root where nationalism first came to emanate, history tells that the racial prejudices of the Spaniards against the natives had proved to be one of the strongest unifying factors. The racial discrimination controversy that led to the execution of the fathers Jose Burgos, Mariano Gomez and Jacinto Zamora led to the birth of Filipino nationalism in the year 1872.

The powerful force that charged it all out, igniting a fresh volley of courage was the time of Dr. Jose Rizal's martyrdom. We experienced three centuries of Spanish rule but our ancestors always attempt to resist the colonizers, and never desist on dissenting the Spaniards imposing nefarious laws to the natives.

U.S intervened in the year 1898, but they never succeeded in stifling the Filipinos' love for his country and made her submit to their authority. U.S. recognized the ballast of Philippine nationalism, and they established Commonwealth of the Philippines in 1935, which eventually led to Philippine independence in 1946. In 1986, Marcos was forced out from the Malacanang palace by an overwhelming massive revolt, which led to the parturition of "People Power". The Philippines is the First South East Asian country to experience political and cultural nationalism that touched even our Asian brothers and gained fine adulations all over the world from many enlightened figures. Time and again Filipinos did the same thing in behavioral genealogy of expressing frustration and indignation sentiments by ousting Ex-president Erap from the power of presidency, forcing him to leave Malacanang and left him swimming into an ocean of lawsuit charges.

And now in the age of 21st century world working at full pelt, Filipinos' spirits are still felt diametrically raging with a different sense of nationalistic gamut, even in a fast paced time zone where science and technology is highly galvanized by transporting us to a different world of luxurious convenience. And where global information and communications revved up an undulating wave in making us all au courant to the events and most talked about issues of the world. But with all these information superhighway breakthroughs, Filipinos remained traditional in spirit, never fading in character, and yet always dauntless and vigilant to rampart its freedom, peace, and democracy.

The heroism of overseas Filipino workers abroad is a paragon proof of human sacrifice for the love of family and the love for country. To be away from home and deal with the difficulties of life in a country whom you knew no one and to risk yourself into a lot of foreboding perils are exemplary especially when serving a well-formulated mission of helping the needs of our family back home by sending remittances that would in turn help boost the country's economy, making it more stable through the dollar reserves. For most Filipinos, the essence of existence is to make their family and their country a part of their lasting commitment. They may even express commitment to unpopular decisions that are born to benefit the majority (meaning, our extended families). We feel a strong attachment to our commitments. Filipinos make an all out effort working around the clock over the weekend drudgeries, and making personal sacrifices. These values, teamed with bottomless reservoir of patience, were inculcated to our young minds by our beloved parents.

Aling Ising is one of our many domestic helpers that have proliferated from Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and as far as Israel. She should be regarded with great veneration for she is our first line of defense. She hesitantly leaves her motherland to a foreign country, had there any signs of an ailing economy in the Philippines, making her own family's day to day living unbearable. Aling Ising is on her 40s and yet she still thrives to work. She constantly sends dollars in the hope to give her children the passport for a better future. She dreams that her

children would turn out to become responsible, educated, and highly skilled members of the society. These future Filipino warriors would one day emancipate our country from being poor to a developed industrialize nation. And even afar our fellow "Kababayans" are united together by being always on the rescue of each other by forming non-governmental organizations that would help the traumatized fellow Filipinos who are in a morass predicament, easing their pain to a degree lower through moral and financial supports and outpouring commiserations.

Ka Mario has been in the Middle East for 10 years and he has been successful in combining Filipinos belonging to different ethnic dialects together by putting up programs and activities that will develop nationalism, unity, camaraderie, encourage sportsmanship, and creativity that would in turn prevent the frequent strikes of the pangs of homesickness, which all of them are not exempted to suffer. With his wife Ka Josie shading the occasion with more color by consistently presenting the culture of Filipino gustatory delights through sharing Filipino home-made dishes, like "adobo", "lechong paksiw", "menudo", "sinigang na baboy", hmmmm and many more. This is where eating and drinking involved strain the toughest gastric stamina, under fine friendship, good cheer, and grandiose conversations - a very remarkable traits of a Filipino.

Our engineers, nurses and caregivers strewn all over the world are world class professionals, intelligent and supremely empathetic to the grueling demands of their work and even in terms of emotional whims of their foreign employers. Even with the chromatic experiences of their explorations abroad they have always been Filipino at heart, conservative in values yet aggressive at work. They are fraught of achievements and yet remained low-profiled. Mrs. Liza Cruz is a computer programmer in one of the most respected and reliable company here in Japan. Mrs. Anna Casis is also working in a well-established Nippon company. Both of them are playing the role of a loving wife, and at the same time, caring mothers to their respective children. Noteworthy to say that our Filipino women are also jostling their way up to the precipitous corporate ladder and not only confined to the bounds of a talent occupation. Mmes. Liza and Anna are the modern day Filipino women who are able to manage both success at work and family, without sacrificing their growth to learn and achieve more, and fulfill their duties as a devoted wives and doting mothers to their children. This is an exemplary Filipino tradition of a happy and a complete family, with a tinge of the 21st century attitude.

Nationalism is also self-evident especially in spite of Filipino diaspora all over the world. More than 8 million Filipinos now outside the Philippines support Philippine-made goods and products. With the advent of information-based world economy propelled by free trade, market economy, and open capital markets, everything is possible. I especially like mangoes (from Guimaras), avocado, and papaya. We have bought clothes from Guess (Japan), with a brand "Made in the Philippines". The Philippine products in all modesty meet the quality standards of global competition.

The migrant Filipinos who practically grew most of their lives abroad almost always come back to the Philippines and explore our beautiful beaches and the feature sights offered by a country comprising of 7,107 islands. Filipinos like me and most housewives keep a regular subscription of TFC to get in touch with everything Filipino, to forget homesickness while in abroad, and to instill the Filipino values we see on TV to our children that we be able to preclude our propensities of adapting or copying the culture of our adopted country.

Everywhere you go you will recognize a person a Filipino because he or she has always been respectful to the elders and others, using the hackneyed but definitely classic "ho", "oho", "po" and "opo". And even while in abroad we have kept ourselves in the prism of our national uniqueness with our passionate affair to our political, social and economic freedom as the zenith

of our concern. We may be full of plurality in terms of our divided islands, language, religion, and ethnicity but we do share a common LOVE for our country, and vision for a better Philippines.

Time may have changed, technology may have advanced, and Philippine history may have been written down with stories of different characters, time, scenarios, and events. Yet the message and the theme of the story remained clear - Patriotism, Nationalism, and Heroism. To this day, we have been fighting for our principle, and we have never budged in. Filipinos are like diamonds, the more we chip it the more it shines.