by Adrian Mendizabal
September 24, 2008

OMG! ang haba ng letter! i just finished reading it... It so comprehensive, tackling a lot of issues both of the university and of the Filipino nation. But then i thought, W. SyCip is attacking a singular character! And after rereading it again, yes, he is talking about the Filipino as a symbolism of a nation. This nation, he defines, is a rather vague, unarguably full of contradictions and on the verge of extinction. However, there is no such thing as an extinction of a nation.

Human beings constituting a nation, in it's most fundamental form, are not limited by time. Of this post-modern age where technology is 'speeding' up almost literally every constituent of life to achieve it's full form or purpose, time is not limiting factor of human beings. Yes, we are behind among Asian countries rise for development. On a more acceptable level, a Filipino, generally speaking, is less developed than other Asian countryman, but this is not because we are running out of time. What is this race that we are joining into with other Asian countries? Is this race heading for that ultimate validation that we in ourselves can be considered a developed country? What is then development?

These questions involves not only the fundamental laws of governance but, for me, are questions to the fundamental laws of us, as human beings. If there is a race, then time seems to be halting us from achieving that ultimate goal. But this is not truthfully and absolutely so. Human beings are limited by their nature and tendencies. In other words, the development of a nation does not depends on issues of time, but to the issues of Filipino character that every countryman has.

The development of nation, for me, is a personal, humanistic choice that every countryman must make. it is in itself, a personal issue. Human nature is not something that we are born with, it is not even genetic. It is learned. It is shaped by education. The process of acquiring the nature that, we in ourselves have, started when we are taught by our parents the rudimentaty themes of life. It begins with color. Then with pictures, and followed by the acquisitions of numbers, symbols. And then we went into the stage of applying or realizing that this forms are forms of truth. This cognitive process programs our understanding of our world, it also recalls humanistic themes such as love, hatred, regret, happiness, sadness, dread that we have accessed before we are born. Thus, the development of a nation wholly depends on the education or knowledge of each individual citizens.

Education is most important. Without education, there would be no language to facilitate susceptibilty to various forms of tribulations.

Philippines is not suffering because of the lack of time in achieving its goals. Let us not look at our nation as a car racing with other nations for ultimate development. There is even no such thing as an ultimately developed nation (Utopia). The same as there is so such thing as an ideal man. We see our country as ourselves. We must enveloped ourselves not as separate views but we must see ourselves as the nation itself. The reason why we don't prosper as nation because we see ourselves in other nations identity. What is really a Filipino identity? We have to view ourselves as unique and identifiable citizens, in order for our country to stand on its own. This is a social and a personal responsibility.

Living in a country is more of an internal struggle than an external one.

Then what are we looking for all this time?

Haven't you realize it yet?

- yes, it is happiness. Happiness is a much more strange word for me than mystery. Happiness comes in many packages and in a unexpected ways. But, take note, that happiness is not freedom. Freedom is not a matter of choice but a matter of want. But happiness is a choice. If we look at ourselves, a self-image of nation, as not happy, we end up being sad.

The way we think about ourselves in inevitably reflected in our faces. We cannot hide our shame. We cannot hide our sadness. We cannot hide our happiness. If there are people who can do that, there are themselves unhappy people living unhappy lives. Our nation, as we look at it more of ourselves, is reflects a dismal, unlivable space. Is this what we feel right know? Is this what other people feel about themselves all their lives? Are we really empty-hearted citizens of our country? We, must begin a quest. and this is a quest for happiness.

happiness is more of cooperative than individualistic. If a person wanted to be happy all by himself, then by default, he is unhappy. happiness is shared by every people. Every human beings love each other. And we love other beings. We even love non-beings like stones. (Murdoch). We are capable of happiness if we share them with others like us.

To be good is to be happy. Good is ethically bounded. Therefore, happiness is an ethical term. Happiness is not achieve by acts of morality alone. Moral conduct is in itself a way of achieving such happiness. but that is not the most important purpose of life. A good life is a life that is simply satisfying. Simplicity is not a key word here, but satisfying. The means for satisfaction must be guided by the acts of morality. Simplicity is not a term that considers a life lived with simple things, ordinariness because such things are short lived and temporary. Simplicity refers to the level of understanding that a human must have --- and that level corresponds to the lowest level. Simply satisfying refers to understanding moral life like a child. This does not implicate that we should have a childish perspective on viewing our actions as good or bad. This, however, implies that we should view moral life as simple as a child understanding of right and wrong. For example, a child knows that lying is bad, whereas, in an adult perspective, a lie can be categorized into multifarious forms.

Happiness is leading a simply satisfying moral life.

If this is what we see in ourselves, if this what we envisioned in ourselves as human beings, the nation that we hold in ourselves shall bear fruits of development. Our nation is even more connected to us than we could ever think of. Philippines is in every heart of every Filipino citizen. It is, itself, the citizens.

Originally made(fresh with grammatical errors) by:
Adrian D. Mendizabal
2006 - 41324
B.S. Chemical Engineering
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see my blog, i posted this reply and the letter: Click! Click! Click!