Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Visions for the Nation and the Filipino

A vision of Restoration
Restoration of a nation in rediscovering its true identity and its mission to the rest of humanity;
Restoration of a people, liberated from the fear of change, to reform and transform our society;
Restoration of our leaders, free from the spell of power and wealth, to regain the people’s trust;
Restoration of the marginalized and the oppressed to the fullness and dignity of human life.

A vision of Reconciliation
I see the rich and the poor, Christians and Muslims, the Leftists and the Rightists, Juan dela Cruzes, one and all, united, aspiring and striving for the good of the Motherland, para sa Inang Bayang Filipinas – one country, one aspiration, one vision.

A vision of Juan dela Cruz
I see a vision of the Filipino, reconciled and restored to his Maker, to himself and to society.
I see a vision of Juan dela Cruz, the common Filipino, the collective Filipino awakening, rising up and breaking free:
Free from the darkness of ignorance and idolatry,
Free from the bitterness of oppressive colonization,
Free from the sickness of a corrupted culture and a damaged identity,
Free from the shackles of selfishness and envy,
Free at last to be true Filipinos.

A vision of the true Filipino
A people who is proud to serve and is humbled to greatness,
A people who is endowed with talent and strength, eager for adventure and enterprise,
A people who is hospitable and generous, self-giving and resource-sharing,
A people whose thoughtful caring (malasakit) for family extends to community and country,
A people whose abandonment to Divine Providence (bathalana) is an inspiration to his pursuit of excellence,
A people who is paradoxically, a servant and a royalty, aliping maharlika, a noble servant who serves with honesty and empathy, with ability and dignity.

Indeed, the Filipino is gifted because he is called to give.
The Filipino is able because he is called to serve.
The Filipino is brave because he is called to sacrifice.
The Filipino is innately humble because he is called to greatness.
You are a true Filipino!

Ang Pilipino ay biniyayaan sapagkat siya’y tinatawag upang maghandog.
Ang Pilipino ay may kakayahan sapagkat siya’y tinatawag upang maglingkod.
Ang Pilipino ay may lakas-ng-loob sapagkat siya’y tinatawag upang mag-alay ng sarili.
Ang Pilipino ay may kababaang-loob sapagkat siya’y tinatawag sa kadakilaan.
Ikaw ay tunay na Pilipino!

Juan dela Cruz

Monday, April 17, 2006

On Journeying as a People, as Global Filipinos

“Our lives are God’s gifts to us, what we make of our lives are our gifts to God.” This quotation came to mind when I was wondering, musing what we have built that we can be proud of or what we have come to be that we can offer as a gift to God, as a people. We all know, and people in other countries will agree, that Filipinos are gifted. And most Filipinos in almost every part of the world can say that their native land is richer than the land where they now stay. We have much to thank God for as a people. Instead, our people complain of hardships and hunger, while our nation sinks in debts.

“Our nation is God’s gift to us as a people, what we make of our nation is our gift to God.” This thought easily reminds us of the nation of Israel – the people, the land and the journey. Many of us are familiar with the story. A people in exile under a mean ruler, went on a journey across the desert to their promise land, which, compared to ours, would be like a desert. But it was the journey itself that strengthened their bond as a people and became their legacy, their pride and their gift to the rest of humanity. And perhaps this is what we are missing, the journeying as a people, and the sense of it. We have either lost it along the way or never had it from the start.

A people who are in exile and are aware of it are better off than others who are not. At least they know where to start even if they do not know for sure where they are going. And people become aware of their exile when they start to believe that there is a better place, a place that they truly belong to, a place where they believe they should be, a promise land. Starting on a journey, it seems, starts with the people themselves, what they think, feel, and believe in – the journey within – the journey of the heart.

Many, if not most, Filipinos in foreign lands feel a sense of belonging – assimilating, giving and finding acceptance. They discover a sense of home that seems to have been lost, that they are missing and still long for in their own native land. Overseas Filipinos, together with the many who are home but who would rather be out there wishing they were home than be home desperate for a way out, have become a people in exile. Going out and moving out are just outward and outbound expressions of what is deep inside the hearts of the Filipinos – hearts in exile, hearts in search of a home, pilgrims for a better life. ‘Home is where the heart is,’ is for everyone, everywhere. How, then, do we start journeying as a people?

We start by believing that our lives and our nation are God’s gifts to us, and that He is showing us the way. For as we journey as a people, wherever we may be, we start lifting ourselves up, as a people, and building our nation up, as our gifts to our Beginning, who is the End to our exile, and Home after our journey.

And may this journeying itself become our legacy – the journey of the hearts of the Filipinos – journeying as a people, as global Filipinos.

Juan de la Cruz

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Juan dela Cruz is the common Filipino, the collective Filipino. Let us all rediscover ourselves, who we are, should be, as Filipinos. Let us rediscover the goodness in us – kabutihan ng kalooban ng bawat isa. Do we still remember the folk song refrain: “sa kabukiran may gintong kalooban”? Let us complete a portrait of Juan dela Cruz by contributing, each, his/her unique piece or pixel without which the picture cannot be completed. We may not like, or even recoil at an ugly or even obnoxious image of a sick stranger – how we have become to each other, as Filipinos. But we cannot be healed unless we overcome the intolerance or revulsion at an ugliness or ineptitude that we easily see in others but not in ourselves. Let us embark on a journey of rediscovering: On Journeying as a People, as Global Filipinos @