Thursday, November 18, 2004

Suckers for morsels of national pride
I never quite understood our national preoccupation with stacking up national pride points from relatively minor and personal achievements of our fellow citizens. Take the case of Faye, who allegedly won in a quiz in Australia despite receiving no support from the Philippines whatsoever. Extemporaneous speaker Patricia Evangelista, whose English was praised by the British stiff upper lips (and thereby confirming that we brown monkeys can also speak the Queen's language), brought Faye's case of lack of publicity to the fleeceable bourgeoisie of our sorry republic, who, it must be said, still yearn for the imprimatur of the superior WASPs more than half a century since national independence.

Yes, it's nice that some of our countrymen win in student competitions abroad from time to time, but they should not expect to end up front page everytime, that the whole country would go gaga over them--as in the case of Ms. Evangelista, who was asked everywhere she went to re-deliver her "extemporaneous" speech on cue like a pretty parrot. (The first time I heard Ms. Evangelista "extemporaneously" deliver her piece on tv about how she dreamed of blue eyes, the first thought I had in mind was how similar her opening lines were to the opening passages of Toni Morrison's Blue Eyes.)

I find these ephemeral celebrations of national pride obscene. Are we this devoid of sources of national pride that we must hitch our national wagon to every student star who has won an international prize, however minor or, in the case of Faye, illusory it may be?

Let's admit it: We are all like Faye's delusional mother. She wanted to get back at her husband so she invented the story of her daughter's achievement; we want to feel good about ourselves so we go ecstatic at the news of every international contest result. This episode should teach us all a lesson, to put things into proper perspective. All the student prizes in the world will not compel the world to treat us as equals when we have a president who kisses white ass.


R. O. said...

I take it as a measure of our national depression. We are that depressed to cling to anything, no matter how trivial it may seem. This is not the first time. Remember the national celebration after Lea Salonga snagged that Miss Saigon role? It was a celebration at a time when Filipinas were looked down upon as domestic helpers, at a time of Flor Contemplacion-like sagas.

I'd rather have that kind of opium than nothing at all.

Ronnel said...

But then again Lea Salonga won a Tony award for it.

Lucia said...

i believe its more of a symptom of the Filipino's convoluted search for an identity, any identity that will somehow make himself feel better.