Once again, our country is experiencing trials. The crumbling of the centuries-old churches in Bohol is devastating. I cannot imagine the terror they must have felt while the 7.2 magnitude earthquake was happening. The pain of seeing the houses, hospitals, old churches and other buildings falling apart and knowing that there are people trapped inside. I saw the news last night and a son was being interviewed because his mother was trapped inside their house. He said it was so hard looking at the house and he could not do anything to get his mother out. It was so sad that his mom did not make it in spite of the help of the rescuers.
In TV Patrol last night, the Loboc Children’s Choir sang “The Prayer” in front of the fallen old Loboc Church in Bohol. I was teary eyed watching them sing because the children embodied a mixture of sadness, hope, and love for nation. Watching them sing last night stirred in me a patriotism that I don’t usually feel.
If you have lived in this country all your life, you will be immuned to children begging in the streets, people jaywalking, cars parked at the wrong places, the “me” first attitude of most drivers, the attitude of people working in government, the poor services that we receive, the corrupt officials who act like saints, and the everyday experiences we have that can make us say that we truly are a third world country.
That being said, in my heart, I am still proud to be a Filipino. Because despite of all the negatives, Filipinos by nature have a heart of gold. We are hospitable and when need arises, ordinary people become heroes in their own way. We value families and friendships. We are a happy nation and it is easy for us to overcome tragedies because of our camaraderie. Most Filipinos, Muslims and Christians, turn to God/Allah for strength and guidance and for me, that is the most important value that we Filipinos possess.