Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ten Things to Be Thankful for In the Philippines

Yes, yes, Thanksgiving is not really a Philippine Holiday, but in light of recent events, we thought it would be a worthwhile exercise to just think of things we can all be grateful for - as and for Filipinos.

1. Be thankful that we still have heroes - and not just Manny Pacquiao or Efren Penaflorida - but the countless other everyday Filipino heroes, here and abroad, who unfailingly serve their families, their communities and this country... whether they realize it or not... and whether they are thanked for it or not.

2. Be thankful that, despite all the disappointments our "elected" officials have dumped on all of us, we all still hope and believe in elections and democracy.

3. Even with all that is wrong with our educational system, the vast majority of Filipinos do read and write, and are functionally bilingual. Be thankful for, but don't be satisfied with that.

4. Be thankful for our art and music and literature and culture and history... it's alive and thriving and growing and all around. Just look, listen and see.

5. Be thankful for adobo and munggo. And sinigang. And lumpia. And sisig. And of course, San Miguel Beer.

6. Be thankful for the Internet. That we have it, and that by and large, it remains free and uncensored here. And while we're at it, be thankful for Skype - which makes it really FREE and easy for our OFWs to call and see loved ones back home.

7. Boracay, Palawan, Bohol, Quiapo, Intramuros, Banawe, Sagada, Camsur, Donsol, Vigan, Batanes, Cebu, Davao, Lake Sebu, Lake Lanao, Calatagan, Taal, Mayon, Mt. Apo...

8. Of course, the press... be thankful we have a jealously free and colorful (though sometimes irresponsible) press.

9. Be thankful for long lines... whether it's at COMELEC to register, or at the movies to see New Moon, or in the grocery to pay for purchases, or at 5pm everyday at the MRT station, or even in traffic to get to work or return home. These are signs that, here in the Philippines, there still are goods, services and people worth lining up for.

10. And finally, to paraphrase Cory Aquino, be thankful to God, for making us Filipinos.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

***"Success" by Roel Obemio. 32"x72" acrylic on canvas (2008), for the book "Message in the Sand."

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