Manila has always been my favorite place ever since. When I was a kid, I would always ask my mother to bring me there to play. During high school, I prefer to go there after Christmas parties to witness the sunset rather than go to malls and spend money playing arcades. When I went to college, Manila has been my constant refuge. Whenever I feel sad, I will go there alone and sit by the bay or walk around Quirino Grandstand. And just when I thought that I have escaped from its shadows, I found my work there. And everyday since April 2010, I pass by my favorite place and admire how wonderful it is.
There are many beautiful memories in Manila. But the image of perfection was ruined by a night of bloodshed and wron impressions. Ah! What I’d give to change the country’s fate.
When I learned of the incident, my insides burned. I then realized how lucky I was that our office just moved to Makati. Should we still be in Malate, we would surely be hearing the gun fires as we’re just a few minutes of walk away from the place.
Definitely, that’s gonna be traumatic.
But more than the fear, I am very saddened by the sudden actions undertaken and reactions expressed by different people. The Philippines is once again in the hot water… uh, boiling, if I may say.
You see, years have passed and we must admit that we are still under construction. We are a work undone, but we are trying hard. We are doing the best we can to uplift the heritage that was once on top. We’ve been trying so hard to show the better side of the country. We try hard to become a nation.
We have proven our worth for a lot of times already. And yes, we got recognized. Our people do good. Our people excel. And admit it or not, the world benefits from us too.
But one mistake, one night; the image of a beautiful Manila is destroyed. Worse, the whole Philippines was declared by CNN as the WORST PLACE TO GO TO. Ironic, isn’t it? To think that just recently, they have declared a Filipino as their Person of the Year.
And this happened because of one man who wants to be heard. Because of one incident, because of one atrocity.
Yes, it happened in the Philippines and the suspect is a Filipino. Yes, our police force is under-trained and could be mightily responsible for the bloody ending. Yes, our medics are late in responding to emergencies. Yes, our media must also take account of what happened.
But does it have to be spitted on our faces each time we turn on the TV, each time we listen to the radio, each time we surf the net? Look. We are a third-world country, yes, but we know what happened.
Honestly, it’s not the fact that a fellow Filipino did that hurts me. It is the generalization of thousands of people around the world that scars me the most.
When the issue was made known, I know this is going to happen. We’ll be banned from Hongkong and China. We’ll be called names. We’ll be tagged as a dangerous country.
But somehow, *cough*CNN*cough*, that’s yellow journalism to me.
The mistake of a few does not define who we are as a nation. The violence shown by the people involved does not mean all Filipinos are doing the same. I understand where you guys are coming from. But truth is, blaming others for the sake of blaming someone is absurd. And condemning and making our people suffer in return to what happened to your people is worse. Life is not about revenge. That is a fact that we all must get straight.
My race is more than what others think. There may be some lapses but as one forumer said, every country does have flaws. It’s just that all eyes are on us, always.
I guess that is the problem there. The world thinks so low of my country like we don’t stand a chance of changing. One wrong move erases all the right things done. We are under prying criticisms. Maybe, I’ll accept if it is the people from China or Hong Kong that will speak ill of us, but no… Comments come from people who are not involved; people who do not have even the slightest idea of how Philippines really is.
Honestly, I feel apologetic. But as one forumer said, apologies should come from those Filipinos directly involved.
Indeed, he made me realize that pride is the only thing left to us now. And at this point in time, it’s what we all need to possess. I’ve been reading posts on different sites saying the Philippines is a shit country and that they want to leave. But I say otherwise. This is the time when my motherland needs me the most. And I’m not abandoning her.
Because I believe on the ability of my people. Because believing on them means believing in myself, too.
I cried for the lives lost. I cried for the shame brought to the country. I condemn the incident. But I can’t always hide. I have to come out and tell the whole world that despite what happened, we are still moving forward.
It may be ironic to see may say these things. But though my KPOP addiction is rampant, I’ll forever be craving for balot and isaw. I’ll still watch Manny Pacquiao’s games and be proud of Ms. Venus Raj. I’ll still bring my foreign cousins to Luneta whenever they come here. I’ll still breathe the smog of Makati everytime I go to work. I’ll still play with death (^^) whenever I ride the LRT…
I’ll bring back the image of the Manila I’ve known to my mind. Because like what we’re trying to tell the world,
MANILA IS SAFE. :)
And after all, I’m still a Filipina. And NOTHING MAJOR MAJOR will change that. Even if it’s raining bullets and blood.