Archive for the Opinion Category

For the Love of Country

Posted in Opinion on August 17, 2010 by mariafatimareyes

“We must transcend our petty selves, forget our hurts and bitterness, cast aside thought of revenge, and let sanity, reason, and above all, love of country prevail during our gravest hour.”
Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr.

What does it really mean to love one’s country?

For some, loving one’s country means dying for it. “The Filipino is worth dying for,” said Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, one of the most celebrated Filipino martyrs who died fighting for Philippine democracy. National hero Jose Rizal, Revolutionist and Founder of the Katipunan Andres Bonifacio and the Sublime Paralytic Apolinario Mabini are some of the Filipino heroes who showed that dying for a cause is one of the greatest sacrifices a man could ever make at the service of his countrymen.

Today, love of one’s country is frequently equated with knowing and appreciating national symbols and monuments, knowing important names and events related to the country’s history, using the native language, and patronizing local products. But is there more to these?

The people behind the Asian Journal and the Asian Journal Foundation, Inc. offer quite an inspiring sense to these words. These excerpts are quoted from the article entitled “What is this thing called Love of Country?” found on

To speak of love of country in the contemporary world is to recognize the patriotism embodied by our Filipino expatriates.

To love our country is to understand that through the symbols of our culture—the pasalubong, the kapeng barako, Original Pilipino Music, adobo—we express love for this community, and a longing for all things Filipino, all things that remind us of home.

The article emphasizes that Filipinos abroad show their love for their country by having the desires to “retrace their way back home” and “to take root in their country while in a foreign land.” It is inspiring in the sense that it stresses that no matter where in the world the Filipino expatriate is, his love for his country will prevail as long as he keeps true to his Filipino beliefs, culture, and practices. It also emphasizes the truth that being far from his homeland is never a hindrance to one who has genuine love for his country and his people.

The Asian Journal is known for its reputation as one of the largest and most respected Filipino-American newspapers in the USA. Its website highlights news, commentary, features, and other issues concerning Filipinos and the Philippines for Filipino expatriates. It is highly valued by Filipinos abroad for the simple reason that it brings them closer to home.

One of its sections, Galing Pinoy, showcases the achievements of Filipino expatriates in different fields like sports, sciences, music, and the arts. The stories provide detailed background information so every Filipino can somehow relate to the stories. What is also good about this section is that it promotes the diversity of talent that can be found among Filipinos by giving due exposure to each and every Filipino regardless of their popularity. New stories are presented almost every week so one will always continue to be fascinated by the magnitude, volume, and immensity of talent that comes from one who has the mark of being a Pinoy.

The Asian Foundation, Inc., on the other hand, is a non-profit organization in the US founded by the publishers of Asian Journal Publications. It aims to promote Filipino culture by harnessing, supporting, and encouraging the development of the talents of aspiring Filipino expatriates in the music and the arts. The people behind the organization realize that budding Filipino artists do not get much support and help and so they provide the opportunities for them to maximize their talents, so that they may contribute to the promotion of unique Filipino culture and heritage. What is also good to know about the organization is that it aims to provide scholarships to underprivileged but deserving Filipino students in the Philippines, thereby contributing to development of society by giving Filipino children the gift of education.

It is inspiring to note that Filipino expatriates have their own ways of loving their country, even though they are literally not living in their country. By promoting Filipino talent and ingenuity, they bring pride and glory to their homeland.