Last Sunday, the 21st of August was the death anniversary of National “Hero” Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. That date is significant to me because I remember back in 1983, how his brother Agapito — what’s-up-with-the-nickname — Aquino in a stroke of marketing genius began to fly a flag bearing the acronym ATOM (August Twenty One Movement) that was to go on to become indelibly associated with the Edsa “Revolution” of 1986. The ATOM flag firmly secured the Aquino clan’s claim to the official in-retrospect narrative of how an Aquino death created a “destiny” for us — that “miracle” of “people power” that briefly touched our sad bunch of volcanic islands.
It is no surprise that the modern-day proponent of this official narrative is none other than an esteemed employee of one of the biggest beneficiaries of this “revolution” — the Inquirer.net. According to that man, Conrado de Quiros, in his latest Inquirer.net blurb, Filipinos clearly are “capable of acting and thinking for themselves” and “[made] their own history” in the recent elections — the third “Edsa” according to de Quiros — when President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III ascended to power in an election that was an Edsa in disguise daw.
Poor old man.
Perhaps it is because he struggles painfully and heroically to give the breath of life to the concept of dying for Da Pinoy, a quaint idea that has been circling the crapper of Filipino “thinking” in a progressively rapid and smaller spiral for some time now since the assassination of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr in 1983. That de Quiros now pins “responsibility” for heroic deeds on the increasingly abstract is a sign of sad desperation…
The luminous examples of the people’s capacity to become their own heroes are plentifully there, like the beating heart of our history.
In essence, from pinning “hope” on heroic individuals, de Quiros now proposes that we pin our “hopes” on the nebulous concept of “The Filipino” — a term that to this day defies all intelligent attempts at objective definition.
I seriously doubt if “The Filipino” is inclined to play along with such lofty titles as “hero” of our sad Republic that poetic bozos like de Quiros create for them. One other Inquirer.net hack, Jose Ma. Montelibano, failed epically to make a similar case when he presumed to ascribe the $8 billion in routine annual remittances of Filipino Americans to the Philippines to a sign of “love of country”. The essence of the failure of such a quaint attempt to heighten our stunted stature as a people can be gleaned by considering the simple questions I was begged to ask:
Do Filipino Americans push the money to the Philippines motivated by real “generosity”? Or do impoverished Filipinos in the Islands through their victim-esquely irresistible appeals to familial sentiments pull the money from their “more fortunate” kin overseas?
The only motivating force at work in the Philippines is none other than that oldest underpinning concept of the dubious field of “economics” — poverty. As I mentioned in that same article, the poverty of Pinoy society in all aspects (financial, ethical, and intellectual) is…
[…] the very fundamental reason why the most talented Filipinos live overseas and why this humungous amount of money gets routinely sucked out of the economies of their host societies.
The point highlighted by that failed interpretation of overseas Filipinos’ intentions when batting a few hard-earned dollars towards the homeland is further sharpened by the findings of a recent Gallup study that showed that…
[…] the Philippines’ population would fall by around one-fifth if migrants were allowed to leave. The Philippines had -22% Potential Net Migration Index or PNMI.
The Philippines is lumped with poor countries, such as Iran (-22%), Yemen (-23%), that have many citizens who want to migrate.
Nice to know we are in such classy company.
The Potential Net Migration Index or PNMI estimates the net change in the adult population of each country, given hypothetical unhindered human migration over the face of the planet.
Singapore had a score of 219 percent. Which means that if all migration restrictions worldwide were relaxed, migration into the tiny state would effectively triple its population from the current 4.8 million.
Here’s how selected countries fared in this study:
– Singapore (219%)
– New Zealand (184%)
– Saudi Arabia (176%)
– United States (60%)
– Botswana (39%)
– South Africa (13%)
– Zambia (13%)
– Namibia (13%)
– Philippines (-22%)
– Iran (-22%)
– Yemen (-23%)
– Dominican Republic (-43%)
– El Salvador (-45%)
– Nigeria (-46%)
– Ethiopia (-46%)
– Zimbabwe (-47%)
– Haiti (-51%)
– Sierra Leone (-56%)
Still wanna “die for your country”?
For many Filipinos, the options seems to be more around the prospect of dying in their country as I doubt that most of the 22 percent of surveyed Filipino adults who want to leave will ever get to where they really want to go.
It’s hard to wrap one’s head around the concept of dying for one’s country — at least one such as the Philippines — considering (in modern-day contexts) that some of those who did had the option not to and those who don’t want to do not have any options at all. Perhaps we do need people like de Quiros and Montelibano — to serve as the continuous empty hope drip-feeds that Filipinos subsist on nowadays.