On Filipino Identity, Facebook Mobile, The Huggybear Story , with videos of The Black Eyed Peas, Desiderata, Rhonda Byrne, Tiffany, Third Eye Blind, Joe McElderry and the greatest Coca Cola TV commercial
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A Celebration of the Filipino Identity
In the afternoon of June 12, 1898, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo stood valiantly in the window of his home in Kawit, Cavite. Below, Filipinos and Americans burst into thunderous applause as the young conqueror announced the birth of a new nation. Soldiers cried as he waved the new flag – woven in Hong Kong – as the national anthem was played for the first time. This unforgettable scene galvanized Dr. Sun Yat-sen of China and Mustafa Kemal of Turkey, igniting the flames of freedom in Asia.
Our destiny as a people is woven into the tapestry of world history. This was crystallized by President Manuel Roxas in his 1946 Inaugural: “The problem of Palestine is our ptoblem. The Poles and the Czechs are our neighbors. Their fate concerns us as intimately as the destiny of China, the future of Manchuria, or the welfare of Malaya.”
The Filipino as citizen of the world was epitomized by Secretary Carlos P. Romulo. As adviser to Gen. Douglas McArthur, he was a principal player, like President Sergio Osmeña, in the historic Leyte Landing. His reflections on the war and the “inscrutable” Oriental mind bridged East and West, and made him the first Filipino (and the first Asian) to win the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism. Like President Manuel L. Quezon and boxing legend Gabriel ‘Flash’ Elorde, he sparkled brilliantly on the world stage as the first Filipino (and the first Asian) to become Secretary-General of the United Nations General Assembly.
The most penetrating insights on world brotherhood came from some of our best writers. The imagery of Senate President Camilo Osias is both simple and visceral: “The nation is a family of families. The world is a family of nations.”
Salvador P. Lopez shatters the myth that creative expressions are bounded by culture. After all, “how can we explain the fact that most of the great plays of Shakespeare deal with nationalities other than his own?” Or, “more to the point, how would we explain Rizal’s choice of Spanish, and his evident success in it, as the vehicle for two novels of Filipino life?” And President Jose P. Laurel proves that the “one indispensable force” in unity – transcending language, geography, race, religion and economics – is the “possession of a common imperishable tradition.”
It is both humbling and exhilarating to know that we all share a common legacy. Modern life has been sired by the titans of Ancient Greece: Solon, Plato, Hippocrates. Herodotus. Our lives have been blessed by the greatest visionaries, writers, musicians, artists, physicians, builders, pioneers, voyagers, philosophers, scientists, freedom fighters, prophets and leaders of the world. And above them all stands Jesus Christ – without whom, civilization itself would have been impossible. The wisdom of the ages was handed down to us by the countless scribes and translators throughout the millennia – and the noble monks who guarded the ancient scrolls when Huns and Visigoths attacked the Roman Empire.
A man’s life is like a pebble tossed in serene lake, creating ripples that flow through us all. We are reaping the harvest sown by the untold millions who gave their lives that our world many become a better place. A shining exemplar is Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., whose moral stamina continues to strengthen us so the voice of freedom will never again be silenced He was the catalyst who sparked the 1986 People Power Revolution — reviving our liberty and inspiring other nations to unshackle the chains of tyranny through peaceful change. This philosophy of non-violence by Aquino, a Filipino and a Catholic, was deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, an Indian and a Hindu, whose other disciple is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an American and a Protestant – all of whom changed the course of history in their own corners of the world.
Aquino’s life is an uncanny parallel to that of an equally superior Filipino a century earlier: Dr. Jose Rizal, our European-educated national hero and one of the greatest men who ever lived, whose beautiful mind and supreme sacrifice led to the ultimate victory of Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan—and eventually, to our Declaration of Independence. And so we have come full circle, as history moves in mysterious ways, marching to the cadence of infinity’s parade.
Today, the triumph of universal brotherhood is our glorious heritage. It fills the heart with joy, pride, hope and a sense of purpose to see complete strangers from all corners of the globe banding together in the name of freedom, social justice, human rights, world peace – and the end of poverty, terrorism, disease, ignorance, dislocation, genocide, corruption, dictatorships, global warming and the destruction of the environment.
In our collective human pilgrimage, we have come a long way: Olympics, Nobel Prize, Red Cross, Habitat For Humanity, World Vision, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Oxfam, CARE, Live 8, We Are The World, International Space Station, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United Nations.
As President Ramon Magsaysay addressed the International Students’ Festival: “Nothing opens the way more quickly to peace and world unity than the realization that all national cultures are based on universal foundations common to every civilization – faith in Supreme Being, and concepts of goodness, of truth, and of beauty based in this faith.”
In Perfect Harmony
When you update your Facebook status through your mobile phone, the ideal message length is 96 characters, or 64/1 on your phone screen. Here’s my FB Mobile post Tuesday morning, something adorable and upbeat: Huggybear would like to teach the world to sin in perfect harmony, U R a child of the universe.
The Story of Huggybear
I have always known that good things always come my way, and even the things that hurt me taught me lessons that made me a better person, someone I am proud to be – which perhaps explains why I have never been intimidated or envious of anyone.
I always think positive, knowing that Like Attracts Like is the fundamental law of the universe, even years before I came across The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. “All this time, I’ve no regrets,” as Tiffany sings. “The sun still shines, the sun still sets; and the heart forgives, the heart forgets …”
Here’s one of my most recent Twitter tweets that defines my semi-charmed kind of life: I am blessed with warm memories of the past, beautiful moments in my present, facing good times in the future.
But wait, there’s more! Here’s my Facebook Mobile post Friday morning: Do not wait to do good things. Do good things and wait, and success, health and wealth will come.