Of writers,national pride, and the environment


Sorry if I’ll write one more on this but I really can’t get enough of the Chip Tsao issue or at least relate some things to it. So out of curiosity yesterday I asked my wife to get me a copy of the Philippine Star on her way home from work. My main purpose? Just to check if someone wrote an article about this most talked about shenanigan. Well, someone did and I was all smiles as wifey handed over the thick Sunday issue.

F Sionil Jose

F Sionil Jose

The writer was no less than the national artist for literature himself, F. Sionil Jose. And not only that, his article, “Why are we a ‘nation of servants’? appeared to be a well-revised composition (no pun intended) of my two recent post about the Chip Tsao issue. And here are some excerpts from that article:

“Such insults hurt profoundly but the pain fades quickly and soon after all that enraged outburst, we settle down to the same complacency, we continue sending more of our women abroad to be raped by Arabs, demeaned by Malaysians and Chinese, heckled by the Brits. What has our sense of outrage brought us?”

Chip Tsao

Chip Tsao

“Do not kill the messenger (referring to Chip Tsao) who comes to us to tell the horrid truth about us. Ingest his message, then [sic] turn all that outrage, that vehemence, to the Filipinos who turned this beautiful country into the garbage dump of the region.”


F. Sionil Jose’s words rang like ever resonant tuning forks in my ears. “…then turn all that outrage, that vehemence, to the Filipinos who turned this beautiful country into the garbage dump of the region…” He wasn’t after all just talking about how most of us reacted to this recent release of racial slur but it was as if he’s hitting two birds with one stone. He’s whipping most of us with what has happened to our environment.

It’s a pity, but while most of us are trying to defend our national pride by loosely attacking someone from outside, we failed to recognize the fact that within us, Christians, and some self-declared devout are people who blatantly made our surroundings like one big trash can. How many times have we seen plastic cups come flying out of rickety tricycles, and heck, even from brand new cars? This just goes to show that neither social status nor educational attainment doesn’t guarantee ones concern of the environment. Our love and respect for Mother Nature needs a conscious effort that we all need to do. And we need to start doing it now.

In my opinion, wearing a shirt with the three stars and the sun, or wailing as if on cue once we feel discriminated, isn’t one way of showing our nationalism. It is by recognizing and acting accordingly to the problems that we face right in front of us, that we earn the respect of other people – especially foreigners. Let’s not just get contented with being labeled as being hospitable, resilient (if this still counts), skilled workforce and religious. Let’s do more than these and let’s show the world that we aren’t a nation of servants, nor we are living in a nation of trash.


If you can still see us, then well do better next year.

Wifey, son and I on a candle lit alfresco dinner. If you can still see us, then we'll do better next year.

Looking at the bright side, it’s good to know that at least there are a million Filipinos who heed the call to participate in the Earth Hour celebration – and if it was by choice or not, I actually don’t care. For me, just to learn that most of us have “voted” for Earth even just for an hour is enough. Hopefully, we raise this level of awareness and be a part of the majority (is it?) who starts to recognize that something must be done about the environment.


Other tidbits from yesterday’s Philippine Star Sunday edition:

  • Finally, I read something sensible in Joey De Leon’s column. Hope he keeps it that way.
  • Until now, I still can’t stop feeling the hypocrisy over some charity drives. Bulgari is selling rings intended to help some children. 20% of the P19,000 they say will go to Save the Children campaign. You can do more than that, Bulgari. And why can’t those buyers just give the whole amount instead in the first place?
  • This I find alarming: Explosives chemicals were found in US baby formulas. 15 brands are in question for having perchlorate, an oxidizer in solid fuels used in explosives, fireworks, and rockets. Isn’t this the reason why our baby boy seems to act like the infamous coyote who has taken acme stuffs? Hmmm.
  • Demi Moore saved one man from committing suicide through her Twitter network. Great Job mrskutcher, crisn73 is now one of your followers.




Photo credits:

F. Sionil – Wikipedia.org

Chip Tsao – gmanews.tv




Mood: 3/10 Honks!


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