An upsurge of "Patriotism?"
Notes after people taking interest in history
After watching Jerold Tarog's "Heneral Luna"
By Lualhati Madlangawa Guererro
It's been days passed as Jerold Tarog's Heneral Luna has been shown in cinemas around the country, and in it lies hundreds, if not thousands of individuals becoming "patriots" if not "nationalists" overnight after seeing a movie about a hero whose love for country costs his life, worse, from a fellow Filipino or rather say, from a fellow Ilustrado.
At first, it deemed strange as this person knows that in the middle of continuous Yankee-isation of the Filipino mind, of favouring selling one's patrimony to vested interests, it seems that the movie has almost changed everyone's minds, if not swaying away from the typical chick flicks commonly shown both in movies and in TV. That through comments on social media sites, isn't it that amazing for a patriot to see an upsurge of patriotism over those of consumeristic fantasies that is commonly peddled in Television and in the Internet? How amazing.
However as the trend continues, this person also thinks that despite these "upsurge" does it also mean these people watching and commenting in social media sites "serious" in being patriotic citing Jerold Tarog's movie as its reference? Or simply just joining the bandwagon all after watching Rayadillo-clad men raising the battle standard if not well-known artists venting the human side of textbook demigods? Are they willing to lessen their usual Yankee-ness, Pseudo-Korean fantasies and the like, and instead harnessing their acquired skill and knowledge for the betterment of their Compatriots? Well, this person, like the others concerned, knows that certain Filipinos are actually Filipinos out of convenience if not easy to give up their own country all for "greener pastures" as they equate their homeland with those of poverty and despair. A few of those who left for developed countries maybe trying to resuscitate their patriotic fervor as they recall their origins, as others unjustly threw their origins altogether and simply "move on" as if everything as irrelevant in favour of a new life abroad.
But on the other hand, certain Filipinos at home has forgotten its own history especially those of its revolutionary heritage; maybe because with fads such as those of a distorted interpretation of "moving on", studying history has nothing to do with themselves, irrelevant besides part of one's schooling like any other subject like Mathematics and English. Yet with the "Heneral Luna" fad, these same people eventually put questions if not laughing every scene, particularly those of Epy Quizon's role as Apolinario Mabini doing nothing except sitting down and telling Aguinaldo (played by Mon Confiado) if he can able to "catch the wind" or drinking brandy with Felipe Buencamino and Pedro Paterno.
Sorry to say this, but are these people ridiculing (rather than questioning the person or the scene) didn't know that Apolinario Mabini was the well-known "Sublime Paralytic" working hard for his country despite afflicted by Polio? Perhaps these people whom are just disregarding history for chrissakes reminds of those who listen to rumours about Mabini striken with Syphilis (according to his enemies) and mistaken for a whole truth! Quite worrying to some including yours truly, to think how existing educational policies if not the intentional apathy of most people resulted to such questions people may deem it as unworthy of a question and instead criticisisable because of its statement.
Well, despite all these problems be it those of shallowness and really existing apathies, it is the duty of Filipinos to educate people in spirit of rekindling heritage and reencountering one's identity as a Filipino. True that it is easier to malign them for being stupid rather than ignorant after seeing such ridiculous "questions", of disregarding their heritage in favour of today's shallowness commonly featured in Television and in Social Media. But also come to think that this person finds it amazing, especially in watching every scene enough to make everyone applause, of "becoming historians overnight" after watching that movie with all its cast, storyline, as well as cinematography, compared to the past ones that were as if these viewers were compelled by their teachers to watch: like Romnick Sarmenta's "Tirad Pass", Robin Padilla's "Alab ng Lahi", or even Jorge Estregan's "El Presidente" that made everyone even question Aguinaldo as a leader, a revolutionary, or even as a person driven by power.
Sadly, "Heneral Luna" is not even encouraged by the Education Department compared to those earlier movies stated, while the Board of Censors rather gave the movie rated "R-13" that limits viewers to 13 years of age and above, that somehow one would ask "of what is enlightening the children then if the Education Department did not encourage watching Jerold Tarog's work?" In fact, that movie, despite its political incorrectness featured (foul language et al.) as well as graphically bloody scenes, is ideally for all audiences given its call for rekindling patriotic consciousness!
Anyways, admittingly speaking, it would take years for everyone to be educated, and be inspired by the lessons of the past in order to rekindle their almost forgotten Filipinoness. If not mistaken, Imelda Marcos was right to say that culture has to be cultivated in pursuit of making the "New Filipino" regardless of its mediums knowing that in their respective work lies the intention of instilling a cherished value, the so-called force that makes a nation great and lasting as what today's "Heneral Luna" tends to invoke.
Hope that the quest for reviving one's patriotism via today's "upsurge" of having most taking history for an interesting topic is more than just a trend, for the really concerned knows that anything has been treated like any other fad, and after these series of patriotic fervor that has been tempered with words be it those of "love" and "forever" these past few months, everyone will return to their frustrated illusions such as what commonly shown on their idiot screens.
That's all for now. ¡Adelante Compatriotas!