Friday, February 29, 2008

The Pinoy version of you can be good again...kaya mong maging dakila.

Two years ago I had lunch with Prof. Jun De Leon (UP Humanities) and he said he has never and will never give up on the Filipino. He said something like this:

The greatest civilizations went through horrendous suffering. It is the suffering that made them great. Our people are in the midst of this suffering and they are learning their lessons. We will be great. Just wait and see.

So I wait to see what becomes of the latest uprising against those who can't "moderate their greed."

In the meantime, today I went for a long walk with one of our community volunteers organizing the June fiesta. She wants to do something different to raise the level of pride, awareness, and empowerment of the local community. Aside from the usual fiesta fare of food and tinikling, she wants to add an essay writing contest, mobilize the youth and let them provide input in the day's events, have an ethnographic display, etc. I am so glad she's super-motivated!

Been around long enough now to know that these are the same refrains I hear year after year. Sometimes I, too, feel like giving up. And then something happens to make me hopeful again...a memory of a lunch date with Prof de Leon, a Joey Ayala song, sharing native lunch with a friend. It doesn't take much really to feel good about being Pinay over and over again.

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