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Arceo, Jerika Marie A.

The Rise of Philippine Nationalism I am a Filipino-inheritor of a glorious past, hostage to the uncertain future. As such I must prove equal to a two-fold task the task of meeting my responsibility to the past, and the task of performing my obligation to the future. - I Am a Filipino by Gen. Carlos P. Romulo According to Filipino diplomat and author Carlos P. Romulo, we Filipinos hold in our hands the responsibility to exemplify Philippine nationalism for the sake of preserving the freedom that our many ancestors have selflessly died for. He emphasized that nationalism is our obligation to the country, not something merely ideological. Philippine nationalism itself did not come into being overnight, nor did it remain the same after common objective of independence had been achieved from our colonizers. Indeed, it took on different forms, expressed in various ways, but nevertheless geared towards a better understanding of the Filipino identity and belongingness to one nation. For some historians, nationalism is first and foremost a reaction to Western imperialism and antagonism that robbed the Filipinos of their freedom and autonomy, hence the emphasis on the revolution in their discourse of history. But the case is different now, with the present society under different circumstances. We have now attained our freedom, and nationalism is the key to protecting that. Nationalism, if it is to perform such task, should be anchored on solid foundation on which temporal aspects of nationalism can find a firm footing such that long after the challenges had been addressed, the spirit of the nation still remains, ready to move forward from that point on. Moreover, the bulk of the nationalist spirit should be coming from the nations most precious human resource- the youth. Nationalism should be within the hearts of the youth of the generation, partly because it is for them whom this freedom is being offered. The youth has the power to be dynamic and to mobilize, and therefore holds the most opportunity to exemplify nationalism. We are still hopeful and optimistic towards what kind of future this country promises us, and we, somehow, have control over it, as the future caretakers of the Philippines. But in the end nationalism is really one among the many forces that needs to be mapped out in relation to many other things that concern the country. In other words, it is quite easy to have a nationalist sentiment, but to enact pertinent policies in view of other issues is another thing. The nationalist spirit always start from within us, and then branches out through our everyday actions that eventually will affect our family, our friends, then the community. If we want so badly to spark the fire of nationalism, like in a Michael Jackson song, the change must start within us. When each one of us realizes this obligation of ours to our motherland, it is only then when we attain the optimum benefits of our so-called freedom.