Sunday, January 18, 2009

I am Filipino by Alexander Lacson (Reprint)

I am Filipino
By Alexander L. Lacson
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:02:00 01/02/2009

One of the most important things we need today as a people is a beautiful way of looking at ourselves as Filipinos, a positive and healthy image of ourselves, a wonderful definition of ourselves as a people. Our children especially need to believe that there is greatness and beauty in us as a people and as a race.

So much beauty and greatness can spring from a beautiful mind and a faithful heart.

But loving ourselves as Filipinos is not only patriotism or nationalism. There is a reason higher than that. It is primarily about stewardship. It is loving what God has given us. God gave to each one of us the Filipino and the Philippines, for us to love and care for. But how is the Filipino in our hands today? How is the Philippines, the land God gave to us as a people, in our hands today?

It is for this reason that I wrote the poem below. I give this poem as my humble gift to all of you, my fellow Filipinos. You are the brothers and sisters, the family of people, God gave to me.

It is my hope that this poem will help develop in us and in our children a healthy sense of faith and love in the Filipino, in ourselves as a people. For truly, our Creator wants us to have faith in and love for the Filipino.

Here it is:

I am Filipino. I am a child of the One God who is the Creator of all that is in our world and the universe. I am as perfect and as beautiful as my Creator planned me to be, for God created me in His image, out of His perfect love.

I am a beloved child of God, like everyone else in our world, no less than the stars above or anyone else below. As such, I have equal right and claim to all the beauty and bounty that God provided in my country and in the world.

I am an equal part of the family of humanity. I am therefore a sibling to all the men and women of our world, brethren to all Christians, to all Muslims, to all Jews, to all Buddhists, and all other peoples whose faiths lie somewhere else.

I am Filipino. My Creator planted me on a specific spot on earth, where the sun always shines, in an archipelago of 7,107 wonderful islands, which the whole world calls the “Pearl of the Orient.” Pilipinas is the country God gave to me and my people. It is the birthplace of my race. It is the home of the Filipino.

The beauty and richness of my country lured many mighty powers of the world to invade our shores. So today, my blood is a mixture of the best and the finest of the West and the East. My mind is an heir to all the great thoughts of the West, and the great virtues of the East. My heart beats with the romanticism of the West and the passion of the East.

I am Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Juan Luna, Ninoy Aquino and all those who fought for our land to become a nation of free people. I am the grandeur of Banaue, the enchantment of Boracay, the serenity of Manila Bay, and the depth and breadth of Tubbataha Reef.

I am Filipino. My Creator’s plan is for me to live my life as a Filipino and therefore, in my heart and in my mind, I shall always be a Filipino wherever I may be in the world. God wants me to belong to the Filipino family and as such, I am a “kapatid” [brother] to anyone and everyone who is Filipino, wherever he or she may be on earth.

You will know me by the word “po” in my sentences. You will know my children by their “mano po.” You will know me by the smile on my face and the warmth of my hospitality. Most important of all, you will know me by my loving and caring heart when you are in need of help, even if you are a stranger.

As a child of God, my Creator has a beautiful story for me and my people. And the story we see today is but a fleeting portion of that beautiful story that has yet to fully unfold before the eyes of the world.

I am Filipino. I am who I am today because of the role God wants me to play.

I am born to succeed. God has equipped me, within me and around me, with all the essentials I need to succeed in this world. God truly wants the highest, the best, and the most beautiful for me, because I am His child.

I am destined to be great. God planted seeds of beauty and greatness in me. He truly wants me to be great and beautiful, for God truly wants me to add more beauty and greatest to our world.

I am Filipino. I am born of freedom, in a free country. As such, I dedicate my freedom to ensuring that my people and country shall always remain free. I shall use my freedom to help other peoples, in my country or in other parts of the world, gain their own freedom.

I am born of love, out of God’s immeasurable love, in a country and in a world that can only be made beautiful by love. Love is the reason why God made me. It is what He wants me to bring into this world, so love shall be who I am.

I am born as part of the whole, as part of the answer to the question, as part of the solution to the problem, as part of the hope to our people. I am born to help the Filipino become great not only in the eyes of the world but, more so, in the eyes of our Lord.

I am Filipino. I am a faithful child of God. I shall live my life to do God’s work on earth, to help build a beautiful country for my Filipino family, and a better world for all humanity. And soon the world shall see the full measure of the greatness of Filipino, for truly the world has yet to see what God can do to and through a child, like the Filipino, who is faithful to the Lord.

I am Filipino.

Alexander Lacson is author of the Book “12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country.” Email: alacsonph@yahoo.com.

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