i ate too much during lunch so i decided to walk to the mediation center from the office. it was a good 15 minute walk, no mean feat when you consider the tiny heels supporting my not-so-tiny-food-enhanced frame.
borce went with me and during the walk we noticed several posters mounted on the inside of the establishments lining session road. it said "Pilipinas kong Mahal" or loosely (i think) "Philippines my Love." i prefer My Beloved Philippines.
it struck me in its simplicity. i considered it a bonus that there is absolutely nothing written on the front or back indicating which agency, government or otherwise, had the posters and stickers printed out and distributed.
it got me thinking. i have had my share of statements along the lines of "hay, pilipino kasi," or "ang mga pinoy talaga," always in the same exasperated and frustrated tone. i have also had my share of "why can't we be like the __________ (insert nationality here)?."
but i also have instances when i get frustrated, i get pissed, and i just want to get up and just strangle someone and say nakakahiya ka, pinoy ka pa naman.
often i feel the misery and fear of living here. to think that i am gainfully employed, and i have food and shelter. i don't have to worry about what i will eat tomorrow or the next day, or even next week. but i feel the misery, albeit vicariously, and i see it everyday.
when my high school classmate sam asked me why i don't leave this forsaken place (his words, not mine), i said "mahal ko pa ang pilipinas, but ask me again in 2 years" and we both left it at that.
when i saw the posters i got struck a bit and felt almost weepy. that's it. that's why i'm still here. (but like i said, ask me again in 2 years.:)
in the meantime, suffice it to say that the poster stirred up very deeply rooted feelings of pride and nationalism. i wouldn't go so far as to say that it stirred me enough to take a big bolo and take a swipe at the head of... let's not go there. it stirred me.
well, enough to have my picture taken at least. so here it is. "Pilipinas kong Mahal"