Greater things

Nina Terol posted this on her site, a piece by Dr. Rodriguez from the school paper. (Nowadays, that is not something I, as an Atenean, am proud of, to be honest.) Well worth reading. I suppose it does raise questions of its own.

If you ask me, while I am proud to be Atenean, there are greater identities to possess that we should even be prouder of. Being part of one nation is one thing. We ought to be celebrating that these days. In fact, I have a pin with the Philippine flag on it, and I’ll wear it on some occasions until the real Independence Day on June 12.

(On this note, I have a suggestion: why doesn’t the Government emulate the Europeans and mandate that at 12 noon of June 12, everyone stops everything for two minutes to remember those who died for their country, and then sing the National Anthem in the national language everywhere after that? I think having it on a working day should make such rituals easier.)

I suspect that some Fil-Ams studying in the best universities in the US may have a better sense of pride in their country than some Filipinos in Ateneo.

But I don’t really have much truck with nationalism, to be honest, because as one who believes in God and in the Church which God established, this is the aspect of my identity that I celebrate more. I may be Filipino, but I am first Catholic and Christian. I was baptized before I registered to vote. And I am speaking of something that extends through time, and subsists in every place where the Gospel has been spread. This awareness has helped me to see beyond my identity as an Atenean, and I discovered this, thanks be to God, working with those who aren’t, who are sometimes much better people than some of my fellow Ateneans are.

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