The real root of why foreigners always find opportunities to exploit our weaknesses is our misplaced sense of identity. We, Filipinos, think so small of ourselves and consider the white man’s opinion superior. Mind-boggling when you realize that we have everything we need here to feel worthy. More than 7,600 drool-worthy islands. Kayumanggi skin that is coveted by Westerners. A long line of bold and mighty warriors – princesses some of them. An intelligible pre-colonial writing system. Over a hundred ethnic groups, each with their unique traditions. Beautiful native languages and dialects. Traditional dishes that are rich and varied. Warmth, hospitality, a genuine sense of community, unwavering fortitude. Certainly, if there’s anybody who knows those facts inside-out, it’s us who grew up here, not outsiders who only had a glimpse of it.
The Spaniards left over a century ago. The Americans are no longer in occupation. It’s high time we draw praise from ourselves and shape our own definitions. Remaining captive to foreign standards and their hollow flattery is allowing ourselves to be continuously colonized.
The concept of Pinoy pride revolving around earning external praise depreciates our greatness. True national pride is realized and carried from within. Let your history and lineage seep into your roots and be the marrow in your bones. Invest in deeply learning about your heritage. Only when we understand and appreciate what we were born with, what our ancestors fought for, and embody it in mind and spirit can we stop seeking the validation we seek in others.
Pilipino ka. Sapat ka na.