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Sunday, September 10, 2006

who is juan dela cruz?

i have never met benign0, at least not in the real world. a few months back, he made a request asking, if i could write a forward for his book. it is an honor to write one for Get Real Philippines. below is the "Release Candidate version" of the forward. the final version is written in his book, Get Real Philippines Book 1, which you can download here. Get Real Philippines the website may be found here.
For the longest time, Filipinos everywhere have asked a question: why are we in a rut? Generation after generation there is this sense of melancholy, this sense that our world will never get better, will never reach our dreams as a nation. A defeatist attitude, a sense of hopelessness some might say that is. Yet all one needs to do is look into our collective past, look deep into the Filipino's psyche, ask the right questions and thyself to know. The glass is not half-empty, it is half- full!

All this glass is not half-empty mambo jumbo is just that: “crap”. Is it? Have you stared in the mirror lately? Doctors turning into nurses to fly off to the land of milk and honey. GDP that has not been spectacular. Everyday we see people begging in the street corner, people hungry and not just people but children go hungry. In our farthest barangays--- the things we in the 21st century take for granted, power, water are luxuries. The Internet barely penetrating, heck
computers are barely penetrating that far off. And school children remain locked in 19th century-ish ideas. Then we read bad news daily, which seemed to be increasingly depressing, it is indeed hard press to smile and smell the roses.

Is it?

We have not risen to greatness and we may never do. Then again, do we want to? On many occasion, Filipinos work really hard. We are an industrious people, who seem never to exhaust ourselves in the daily grind. Our people never stop to toil and smiling doing so. Our inspiration undoubtedly--- to uplift our lives. Yet in many instances it is not for ourselves but the endless string of Family that must be supported. It may be brother supporting a younger sister or vice versa. It may be children supporting parents. It may be many countless scenarios. Endlessly,
generations work for the succeeding generations.

When one looks at the grand scale of things, one doesn't find this sense of Family. There is no Filipino Family. It simply doesn't scale up--- how else to explain the squandering of resources, of divisiveness, of untrustworthiness. Have the stewards of this nation simply chosen to enslave, to work for themselves, to enrich their own and blindly and like parasites feed on this race? It is very much tempting to say so, to shout in a loud voice and point fingers but the fact of the matter is this: it isn't entirely their fault either.

Thats the whole thing isn't it? It isn't anyone person, or group of people or this or that leader that has brought this Republic, this race to this point in time, this rut. And the moment, we choose to set aside the blame, to dig deep within our own Filipino psyche, to take our own destiny into our hands that will be the moment this people will rise and make good on the myriad promise of generations. Still to get there, one needs a greater understanding of who the
Filipino is.

Get Real Philippines is one such guide.

Get Real Philippines--- is a labour of love. You'd know because it is palpable while you read it. It speaks from that great pool of frustration Filipinos everywhere know yet it is candid, straightforward, and honest and that makes it an easy read, with its only prerequisite being, is to have an open mind when doing so. Its accomplishment is that it offers a refreshing insight into the Filipino. It takes a deep unrelenting, thought provoking look at all aspects of the Filipino and brings us ever closer to that seeming unattainable wisdom of “Who is Juan dela Cruz?"

This is working smarter, not harder: it is only through an understanding of who we are, and its equivalent acceptance can we become one people, unafraid of global influences in our culture, relentless in our pursuit of economic prosperity, and certain of our identity that we will not lose it even as we interact as equals with our brothers and sisters in our global village. Who is Juan dela Cruz? That's easy, turn the page and get real.