Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Nationalist Abroad

   Nationalism is not about saluting the flag.  The flag is only a symbol of a country's identity.  Nationalism is love of country, not the land.  Soil and sea are the same everywhere.  It is the love for one's own people.  How does a nationalist remain as one after immigration? 

   Sarah was a teen in the late 60’s when the Philippines was undergoing political changes.  She was politicized in college, a process mature people at that time called ‘brain washing’ due to the very controversial ideologies involved.  She had always been patriotic.  Unlike most Filipinos she did not dream of traveling or living abroad.  She loved everything Filipino, food, movies, and was proud of Filipino innovations like the jeepney.  She felt more than normal attachment to the heroes of the Philippine revolution. 

   As the years drifted by her life took a turn from left to right, with more ups and downs than common to most.  Sarah found herself an immigrant in the US.  She appreciated the big difference in the American system as compared to the Philippines such as the social services for the poor and the aged, the secure postal system, the hiring of middle aged and disabled and a police force that actually help and protect people. 

   She met Filipinas who would rather be called Americans.  One of them invited Sarah to dinner at her place and when Sarah asked for a spoon her host said “You need to learn to eat with fork only now that you’re in America.”  One of them claimed to have descended from the Greek while her skin color and accent clearly shouts Cebu. 

   Sarah could not understand their point of view and they could not get hers because her heart dictates a love for her nation that knows no boundaries.  She buys Colgate, Hunts, Hormel, and other brands she knew are manufacturing in the Philippines because it’s her small way of patronizing companies that invest and provide jobs to her people. 

   She takes every opportunity to speak of her beautiful Philippines, the unique culture and highlights the qualities of the Filipino as different from other Asians to an extent that her daughter told her “Mom, stop it already!  You sound like a tourism agent.”

   Citizenship is printed on paper.  The all-knowing God who created mankind put nationality in the blood.  The DNA that flows through a Filipina’s heart certifies with every beat her nationality.

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