we had no time to catch our breath

What are you proud of, kabayan?  Why do you say, “Be proud etc.”?  Is being able to speak in English something to be proud of?  Is being trendy? fashionable? artful? musically competent? able to dance? winning international beauty pageants? international sports? international whatever? something to be proud of?  In what way? In the sense that these achievements define you? us? Sacadas? In what do these achievements connect to being who we are? That we can compete with other nations? That we are acceptable in America? in Europe? are we? acceptable? and if so, what significance does it make?

So what if Rizal has a statue in Wilhelmsfeld?  What does it mean to us?  Why should we be proud of ourselves at all?  Do we really know what Nationalism is all about?  Do we really understand what it implies?  Why do we say, “Be nationalistic”? –WE DO NOT EVEN KNOW YET WHO WE ARE.  Did Rizal die for nothing? did Bonifacio? Mabini? and the millions of unknowns who did not even know how to speak Spanish? or English?

Wake up, Sacada.  Before the Spanish came, that’s what we were.  We are.  When the Spaniards came we became an unwilling host to her.  The Spanish went away, then the Americans came, then we had no time to look for our selves.  We had no chance to breathe.  We had no chance to catch our breath.  We had no chance to clean our house, and a new visitor came, and the visitor is now rearranging our house for us.  We eat her food.  We watch her shows.  We laugh at her jokes.  We copy her curses.  We speak her tongue.  We write in her grammar.  We argue and take down notes in her language.  We are so hospitable that we have been giving out our own selves.  Diin na dira ang kita?  Nasaan na diyan ang tayo?  Asa na diha ang ato?  Nawala na ba ang atin? ang tayo?  Have we lost our selves?  Who are we, really, kabayan?

Our psyche is confused, Sacada.  Our worldview is Asian, Australo-polynesian maybe, if we look at the roots of the many words in our many dialects — but we have made a Germanic language an official language.  How do we harmonize these two differing ways of thinking?  Are we really able to express what is inside of us? from our inner thoughts? from our livers? kidneys? bituka? atay? ang halin sa sulok-sulok? sa kaibuturan?

Wake up, Sacada, and heal your self.

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