THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez - The Freeman

We just love to change things, even in the absence of a real, good reason to change. Take for instance, our coins. The new series of coins has already been released and already causing confusion. Almost every time a change in coins is given to me, they are checked at least once to make sure the right coins are being given. The color of the ten and five pesos, along with the twenty-five, ten, five, and one cent coins are all the same. Unlike the old coins, you could tell right away if it were a ten peso, five peso, and one peso coin. The twenty-five, ten, and five centavo coins also had their own distinct look, such as the hole in the five centavo coin. Now, you need to take a good look at it, especially since the Central Bank has not yet issued a circular regarding the older series of coins. Even the bills have gone several changes. It is interesting to note that countries like America and Hong Kong very rarely change the look of their currency, and have never demonetized. The only changes are the "security features" to make them difficult to counterfeit.

The same can be said of our roads. If you have not been back in the country for some time, and want the driver to take you to Buendia, a much younger driver may not know where that is, until directions from Waze show that you want to go to Gil Puyat Avenue, its new name. Those who are much older will remember Dewey Boulevard, Herran, Highway 54, Isaac Peral, Calle Azcarraga, and Jose Rizal Blvd. Do you know their new names?

And now, Senate President Sotto wants to replace the last line of our National Anthem, "Lupang Hinirang." According to him, the line "Ang mamatay nang dahil sa ‘yo" seems defeatist. He is suggesting a more ‘positive’ ending to the anthem. Of course, he has a suggestion. The Philippines has been singing this anthem by Julian Felipe for one hundred and twenty years. Why change it? And isn’t there no greater and more noble a sacrifice than to die for the country? Julian Felipe wrote the song at a time when the country had just gained its independence, after a long struggle with Spanish colonization. So each line has a personal meaning to everyone. I also don’t think the lyrics are outdated or defeatist. I feel they even serve as a warning to would-be invaders that our people would gladly give their lives for this country.

There is a saying that if something isn’t broken, do not fix it. There are much more issues to fix than tweaking the national anthem. And if Senator Sotto does not like defeatist issues, he should talk to President Duterte about his stance on China.


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