Talks about moral issues can be unsettling for many. Religion, politics, sexuality and gender bending are some of the topics that are best tackled with a ten-foot pole. They are also listed among the no-nos for social conversations. Try brushing them up and you’re damned for the rest of your waking hours. The said subjects are relatively touchy that by mere remark of any of them one gets both cheers and jeers, flak and encouragement, praise and censure with no one came out unscathed.

And veer from them, I shall. But not altogether and not so fast.

Allow me then to ‘temper’ one moral subject by dissecting nationalism with outmost objectivity (I can feel the rush of my neurons shooting out conflicting views each one wanting to be heard… talk about objectivity and chaotic views at once.)

We are again at the threshold of changing the course of our history. With the national elections at hand, it has never been timely to talk about nationalism than now. Not the stuff we have heard on political rallies, seen on talk shows, and read in the editorials. But the nationalism which translates into sense and cents, to bread and butter or simply lack of them.

Personally, I submit that the best barometer for the economy is the queue of calls at the US embassy, snaking warm bodies at the Foreign Affairs and folder-tucked hopefuls at the overseas placement agencies.  The leftists, rightists and centrists have all the labels for those joining the exodus. Some label them as ‘cowards’ for turning their backs on armed struggle for change; ‘opportunists’ who know where to butter their bread and butter them good; ‘leeches’ who leave their prey dry or after they have their fill; ‘traitors’ for feeding whatever remains to the vultures in the political arena. But if there’s anything balmy and ironic at the same time about name calling, it’s how the government calling them the ‘present day heroes’ if only for sustaining economy yet subject them to indignities, if you know what I mean.

Nationalism today has indeed gone a long way — down the pits. Commercialism has invaded his sacred turf, dressed him up with Versace, sprayed with Chanel, shoed him with Valentino and put up for sale to the highest bidder. Nationalism has long been prostituted, mangled and disfigured right in our very homeland by our very own people long before Human Rights advocates put up their placards on the streets quetching for justice. Nationalism has become chic that even the authorities are having a hard time recognizing him.

In the face of clear and present danger when the boat is sinking and life is on the line, wouldn’t flight be more prudent than fight?

Bottom line: expediency. Expediency in the light of survival. In this regard, nationalism together with its moral ramification takes a back seat hoping it will not get lost in translation.


About Kenneth Theodore

I translate ethnic slurs. View all posts by Kenneth Theodore

27 responses to “Plight

  • G

    medyo nosebleed ako sa mga post mo pero kk lang. :) I just have to stop and think really hard before I understand what you’re saying. lol.

  • Doc Mike

    Ang puso, Ken! masyado ka atang mainit sa post na to. hehehe.

    Anyway, nice read kahit na pinadugo mo ilong ko. hehehe

  • Doc Mike

    Hahaha. meron. hmmm, pano ko bibigay kaya sayo. :)

  • TheRetardDork

    It’s wrong to believe that the country is sinking. Because it has indeed sunk.

  • pol

    nice read. didn’t know that you still care for the philippines. lol.

  • MC

    expediency pota. hahaha!

  • super sawsaw

    kinda nosebleed din ako sa post mo.

    But react lang ako dun sa ” The leftists, rightists and centrists have all the labels for those joining the exodus” who labeled us, OFWs, as “cowards turning our backs on our country”. Heard it before a lot of times and the sad part is that those “patriotic people” shouting in the streets are those who do not even bother to pay their taxes that’s the bloodline of the government and the country.

    F*ck! More than 30% of my salary goes to tax month after month for the 10 years I worked in Manila (ganun na pala ako katanda) and I never complained. Because as a citizen, we certainly have to do our share for our country. And so the last thing I wanted to hear is for those leftists labeling us as “traitors”.

    And working outside the country doesn’t mean that we are turning our backs on our country. As a matter of fact, it’s the other way around for some of us. It is here, in this foreign land, where some of our fellow Pinoys appreciated our country and being a Filipino. And it’s true that all they thought before they went abroad to work is money. But experience here also changed their views on our country and our responsibilities as a citizen.

    • Ken

      There, I’m waiting for someone who would comment on that, and thank you for pointing that one out.

      That’s what’s fallacious about the political groups here in the country. They can quetch all day, but at the end of it, they’re all futile. Of course, it’s a fact that there are loopholes in everything.

      Thanks for commenting on this note. :)

    • pol

      i was supposed to point that one out rin eh, pero i can’t speak naman for people working abroad kasi i really don’t know what their situation is. but super sawsaw made sense.

  • Aldrin

    Ah, nationalism. Although I prefer patriotism, either way I think the “truest”, unbastardised forms of both are dying if not dead. All for the love of comfort and ease and money. Sigh. I hope I’m wrong. I can sometimes be a cynic or a misanthropist but at the end of the day, I still cling to hope…

    • Ken

      While I think that clinging to hope is better than the acknowledgment of bleakness, I can’t help but be bearish about it. I really want to look at the brighter side of things, but they are being overshadowed by desolation. Well, for what it’s worth, expediency still. :D

      • Aldrin

        I understand. One can’t help but say “shit” whenever one sees it. It’s true. We’ve got shit all over the place; it’s a natural thing to cover one’s nose and turn away. But we also have a choice to clean the toilet. Wahaha! What a stinky analogy. :D

        Right now, I’m juggling misanthropy and hope for – not just our country (or countries, in my case) – but all humanity. I hope the latter wins.

  • Ken

    I love humanity, it’s the people I can’t stand. :D

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