Be proud of our culture

ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago - Visaya - The Freeman

The commemoration of language month is one important event taking place in August. And we are aware that as in-person classes begin in earnest, we may anticipate that schools will resume their institutional celebrations as outlined in the yearly school calendar.

Although the focus of the celebration is mostly on the language, its importance in daily interactions, including its vitality, as well as the numerous challenges associated with its widespread acceptance, we also anticipate students will wear their traditional costumes during presentations in school. What causes this? Language serves as a marker of our identity, and as a peculiar race, we also correlate it with other identifying characteristics or symbolism.

However, just like language, our traditional attire represents who we are as Filipinos. Our traditional costumes likewise change with time, moving from simple designs and color schemes to elegant and more sophisticated outfits made of high-end fabric, much like how language is dynamic and ever-evolving. This is something that we can readily imagine happening at some formal and diplomatic gatherings where leaders mix business with pleasure. In the entertainment industry, for instance, we can witness them strutting with their specially-made Filipiniana and Barong attires on formal occasions.

What, though, is beneath and beyond the allure and sophistication? Does it already cause superficiality to cast a shadow on the main reason we should continue to wear our traditional attire? Why couldn't we create one that can be used every day rather than only on special occasions, making it more widely used and adapting it for daily use rather than just exceptional events? In this instance, bringing the exclusivity of apparel in special activities to regular daily use is preferable.

It becomes imperative to us, as we are supposed to know and appreciate what we have and who we are --our culture and traditions before we connect and learn other cultures that we may not be familiar with. And so in the process, we understand and learn to respect each other and it unites people from different races or backgrounds.

If we don’t know our culture and heritage, it means we don’t know where we come from and where we are going.

It puts us at risk of having a young generation growing up without an identity. We need to celebrate and practice our heritage and traditions with pride.

We must speak our own tongues freely and without discrimination. Without being frightened by anyone, we must perform our traditional dances and sing our kundimans. Since it is a part of our culture, it must be honored. We won't comprehend the value of heritage if we don't live and celebrate it.

We should always remember that we are Filipinos and we take great pride in showcasing to the world our distinct culture and traditions because these are what define our race. More than everything, being proud of our culture ensures that, even when we feel alone, we have a place to call home. Knowing that we are not alone in this world means that we are proud of our culture. We have a culture and a people that are behind us, encouraging us to continue the legacy of our forebears.

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