‘The Filipino is worth fighting for’

Published July 8, 2021, 12:17 AM

by Sonny Coloma

ENDEAVOR

Sonny Coloma

At his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) in 2014, President Benigno S. Aquino III rallied the nation to carry on with efforts to demonstrate that, “As long as our faith and trust remain strong, as long as we serve each other’s strength, we will continue to prove that “the Filipino is worth definitely dying for,” “the Filipino is worth living for,” “and if I might add, ‘the Filipino is worth fighting for.’”

To grasp more fully what he meant, it is well to review his speech to the Filipino community in Japan during a state visit in June 2015. He began by commenting (he spoke in Filipino, translation follows) –

“Alam po ninyo, may mga nagmungkahi nga po dati: Bakit di na lang i-extend ang termino at ituloy ang pagbabago sa ating pamumuno? Nang naging malinaw po sa kanilang hindi ako sang-ayon na baguhin ang Saligang Batas para pahabain ang termino ko, ang naging bagong version po ng tanong ay ganito po: Baka raw po gusto kong tumakbo sa ibang puwesto? Isa pa po: May balak daw ba akong mag-asawa? Paulit-ulit na nga hong tanong ‘yan e. Sabi ko, ako, matagal na akong nagbabalak pero iniisip ko nga po kung ano ba talaga ang ipinapahiwatig ng mga tanong na ito.”

“There are those who proposed that my term be extended to ensure the continuity of changes introduced during my watch.  When it became clear to them that I was not in favor of changing the Constitution to extend my term, they proposed instead: Why not run for another position?  They even asked, ‘Why not get married?, to which I said, ‘I have been thinking about (getting married)’, but I am still wondering what these questions really meant.”

Ang totoo po yatang ibig nilang sabihin, “Tumakbo ka sa ibang puwesto, dahil mabuti nang nandiyan ka para manguna ka ulit kung kakailanganin namin ang iyong tulong.” Sa pagpapakasal naman po, hindi naman siguro sila nag-aabang ng imbitasyon. Ang nasa isip po yata ng mga ito, sakaling palarin po tayong magkaanak, maganda na ‘yung may reserba silang tatawagin kung may problemang darating.

“I’ve realized they really meant, ‘Run for another position. It’s good for you to still be around so you can lead (us) again if we need your help.  On their wish for me to get married, I don’t think they were asking to be invited.  They seem to be thinking, ‘If (I) would have children, that would be good, so we have somebody available to be called upon to serve when problems would arise.”

“Kaya ang tama po yatang pananaw at akin pong mungkahi: ‘Di ho ba kayo ang gumawa nito, kayo ang nagdala ng pagbabago, at kayo ang magpapatuloy nito. Marami na po talaga tayong narating, pero marami pa rin tayong kailangang gawin. Ang tanong: Magyu-U-Turn ba tayo pabalik sa baluktot na daan? O itutuloy natin ang pag-arangkada sa Daang Matuwid?”

“I think this is the right perspective: You (the people) are responsible for bringing about change and you will carry this forward. We have accomplished many things, but much more needs to be done.  Are we going to make a U-turn back to the crooked path? Or are we going to accelerate the pace of our journey along the straight road?”

“Nasa kamay ng mamamayan ang patutunguhan ng Pilipinas. Lalo pa po’t papalapit na nang palapit ang halalan 2016, marami na ang nagtatanong kung sino ang magpapatuloy ng maganda nating nasimulang pagbabago, lalo na sa pagbaba natin sa puwesto. Uulitin ko po: Kayo ang gumawa ng pagbabago, at kayo ang magpapatuloy nito. Nasa inyo ang pagpili ng tapat at matuwid na pinuno, na talaga namang gagamitin itong tinatamasa nating mas mataas na estado, upang lalo pang paangatin ang Pilipinas tungo sa katuparan ng ating mga pangarap.”

The future of the Philippines is in your hands.  As the 2016 elections draw near, many are asking who will continue our initiatives on meaningful change when we step down from office.  I wish to reiterate: you are the authors of change, and you will continue these changes.  It’s your task to choose upright leaders who will lead us from the higher ground we have attained to lift up our country toward the fulfillment of our dreams.

“Mga Boss, hayaan po ninyong idiin ko: Hindi tadhana ng Pilipino ang habambuhay na paghihirap. Hindi nakakabit sa pangalan natin ang walang humpay na pagdurusa. Nasa dugo natin ang pagtindig para sa tama; nasa lahi natin ang paglaban para sa katarungan. Tangan na po natin ang pagkakataong ituloy ang positibong transpormasyon ng bansa. Huwag na tayong bibitiw pa. Ipamana natin sa susunod na mga henerasyon ng Pilipino ang maunlad na Pilipinas na matagal na nating pinapangarap”.

“I will emphasize this: It is not the Filipino’s destiny to languish in poverty or suffer forever. We are inherently courageous in standing up for what is right; fighting for freedom is our heritage. It is within our power to continue the positive transformation of our country. Let us not lose our determination to carry on.  Let’s bequeath to future generations of Filipinos our aspirations for a truly progressive Philippines.”

Patunayan nating “The Filipino is worth dying for,” “The Filipino is worth living for,” at talaga namang “The Filipino is worth fighting for.”

 

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["opinion","opinions-and-editorials","opinions-and-editorials"]
[2752735,2848932,2848935,2848938,2848929,2848941,2848926]