Are Filipinos the bravest and most courageous people on earth? Let us go back in history and find out.
The Filipino is at his bravest when provoked and when someone tries to compel him against his will.
Ask Ferdinand Magellan about it. Magellan is the Portuguese maritime explorer who led the Spanish navigation team in crossing the pacific to search for the Spice Island. He is the first ever European to lead a navigation team in circumnavigating the globe.
The Portuguese, though, did not finish his journey as he got entangled in a war against Filipino natives led by Lapu-lapu. The captain offered Catholicism to Lapu-lapu but the latter rejected it. Their disagreement led to armed conflict between their groups. Their confrontation caused the death of Magellan in Mactan.
The Filipino shows courage when his freedom is suppressed.
The Spanish colonization in the Philippines lasted for about 300 years. It culminated in a revolt led by Andres Bonifacio, the founder of the Katipunan. The revolution was sparked by the writings of Dr. Jose P. Rizal attacking the Spanish colonial rule.
Rizal, believing that the pen is mightier than the sword, wrote novels exposing the Spanish friars and the atrocities committed in the name of the Church. His writings have caught the ire of the friars and eventually led to his detention and execution. He practically denounced the Catholic Church, which he perceived to be the true government at that time. This was evident in the last poem he had written before he was executed, “Adiós, Patria Adorada” (literally “Farewell, Beloved Country”), where he wrote “I go where there are no slaves, no hangmen or oppressors, where faith does not kill…”
Bonifacio on the other hand, realized the futility of a peaceful struggle even for mere reforms. He then founded the underground organization that in the coming years would grow and send shock to the Spanish colonial rule and would drastically change the course of Philippine history and would give pride to every Filipino – the Katipunan.
The Filipino boldly showed to the world that a bloodless revolution is possible.
In 1986, millions of unarmed Filipinos, locked arms and courageously went to the street in protest to a wide spread election fraud. This revolution was later known the world over as the “EDSA Revolution”. The election fraud was the last straw for the Filipinos in what was a 20-year authoritarian rule by then President Ferdinand Marcos. The uprising was a swift and a peaceful one which had caught the attention of the world. It ended in just a matter of few days. Many people around the world rejoiced and congratulated Filipinos they knew. Bob Simon, an anchorman at CBS said, Pinoy Tv “We Americans like to think we taught the Filipinos democracy; well, tonight they are teaching the world.”
History tells us that Filipinos are indeed brave and courageous, no question about that. We may or may not be the bravest… but we are certainly up there.
Sadly, we tend to forget. We were fearless before, as we have witnessed from our forefathers. There’s no reason for us not to be… today. Lapu-lapu proved it, Bonifacio demonstrated it, Jose Rizal died with it. You and I… must have it.
This is not a call for a revolution against our government, although you may raise a case about this. This is rather a call for a revolution against our own fears, our laziness, our selfishness, our covetousness, immorality and all evil thoughts and deeds. We cannot point fingers at anyone if we ourselves are guilty of the same things. We should start changing our old ways. Let us conquer these negative thoughts and deeds which continue to vanquish us and prevent us from realizing our full potential.
A good way to start is to read the Bible. It is complete with principles that would assist us in our daily lives. By reading, we open up ourselves to Biblical truths that would guide and lead us to spiritual renewal.
We can help change the world if we can help change our country. We can help change our country if we can help change our community. We can help change our community if we can help change our family. We can help change our family if we can change ourselves. Yes my friend, it begins with YOU.