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Identity crisis

VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Perez (The Freeman) - April 17, 2021 - 12:00am

This week in class my students and I talked about identity and how it is closely knit to communication. You see, it takes one to know one and without this knowledge no message is conveyed effectively. We talked about certain messages that need to be sent across the public for development. At that they saw, how important it is to define oneself so that the purpose of being the one delivering the message will be fulfilled. All these concepts sound so ideal to begin with but when the discussion shifted to focus more on the identity of the Filipinos, the exchange of ideas just went out of hand.

The youth today are bewildered because they cannot clearly define who they are as Filipinos. Yes, they can introduce themselves individually and can tell you about their likes and dislikes. Others even went to the point of describing their star signs, making it the basis for their character traits. However, the sense of who they are in this nation has somehow lost its touch with today's time. I can't blame them. We are caught in a whirlwind of retaining the qualities of our ancestors while giving homage to our colonizers.

This week we celebrated the 500th year arrival of Christianity in the Philippines. Despite quarantine restrictions and the threat of the virus, a reenactment of what transpired in the first baptism was held. Several masses were offered with the representative of the Pope and a declaration of the Basilica Minore Del Santo Niño as a national treasure. We remember that day that made us Filipinos very faithful Christians. However, that they also started the regime of three centuries of oppression. We lost what we learned from our ancestors and became like the Spaniards.

Heck, my surname is even of Spanish descent! They said my great-grandmother married a Spanish soldier hence the Spanish surname. Our words are more Spanish than Filipino, but we don't look like them. That spells the difference. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate celebrating 500 years of anything because that is one for the books but then we should also learn to ask, are we really celebrating for the right reasons? Or what about, are we really spending money for the right reasons? Pertaining to the money spent in this celebration.

But that has now passed and maybe we can move on from the quincentennial hype or not. What's important right now is that we get back on track to know who we are. I know it’s never too late. There are still many remnants of our past before the Spaniards came that we can all be inspired by, or we use the pain of the colonization period to become better Filipinos. I'd like to do the latter and not the other way around. You know how it goes these days, it's rather quite confusing if you ask me.

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