A Letter To The Young Filipino Generation
Will it be hard for you to believe me if I tell you that we have a beautiful country that is worth dying for? Perhaps you might have heard from the older people that our government is a paradigm of extreme injustice, graft and corruption and lacking of integrity. Perhaps, you have also heard that our education system is mediocre; and, worst, in spite of mediocrity, it continues to deteriorate. Furthermore, you might have also heard that we are once the glory of academic institutions in countries such as Germany and France during our Dr. Jose Rizal’s time. Yet, now, most of our mothers and grandmothers are slaves in a foreign land, ripped of self-value—all these just so they can earn money and feed you well.
The state of our country is devastating. I will not keep you from knowing that our own countrymen have a distorted understanding and regard for leadership. I have many times wept because I feel that our countrymen no longer understand the value of a leader. With the kind of people vying for seats in our government, I have often wondered if leadership has really been understood as a call to serve and not a race to positions that satisfy whims. Probably, also, this distorted understanding of leadership gives birth to a distorted regard for a leader. For one, I have realized that terrorism is no longer a stranger to us—for we have always had it in different dimensions; simply masked by varying reasons just so rebellion can be justified. We are a people that have always rebelled. And I doubt if we do so because we are courageous; for probably it is because we have lost the patience and perseverance to respond meaningfully to a desperate circumstance. We blame and withdraw rather than contribute and support. I grieve at how emotional tantrums remain to be an involuntary response to discontent and weariness. Sometimes, we are too lazy to reflect and to contemplate that we give up on thinking. As a result we act in haste. Best of all, we are too arrogant, too preoccupied to even pray and seek divine wisdom. We contest even the infallibility of the Bible as if we know more or that we can offer a more meaningful and inspiring message.
And for all these, I apologize with deep regret and repentance that my generation, and the generations that have come before me, failed you. We could have given you a meaningful past, a hopeful present and a promising future if only we have worked with the right “lenses”.
I encourage you to work with the right lens by choosing to see not the death of our country but the new life we can give her. From this, I realize that we move in parallel with the disciples’ response when Christ resurrected. Probably the grief over Christ death was enough to paralyze the disciples’ hope for something beautiful and redeeming to still happen. All they saw was death; so, they responded in grief and fear—and lack of faith when Christ, finally, resurrected. I think that our countrymen are going through the same circumstance also. We only see the hopelessness of our country; and, thus we no longer move with spirits willing to conquer.
I beg you to no longer follow our footsteps. Wear the lens that clings to faith and let go of the stubborn refusal to believe that resurrection does come. So, you will neither move towards the most comfortable escape nor refuse movement at all. In effect, you will strive for better solutions and work hard to contribute instead of merely cursing the system, looking for and pointing at faces to blame. In effect, you do not leave the country in disillusion that you deserve a better place—for you understand that a better place is not what you see around you; but, rather what you strive to cultivate inside you. Thus, you will understand that hardship is meant to prune your character and teach you to let go
of your comfort zones, which disables you from exploring your greatest potential to conquer and lead. Move in faith; do not give up; do not surrender in understanding that you deserve to fight a good fight. Nomatter the difficulty of your circumstance, keep the hope by persevering and enduring. When the bleak circumstance of your country weakens you, remember to focus not just on Christ death; but, rather on Christ’s resurrection. It is because He did not just die for you—He resurrected for you so that you would believe and hope amidst the grief and loss. Claim this as His faithfulness to you. He gave you this country; this is your territory, so be steadfast vanguards of it.
Second, as you remember the story of Christ’s resurrection, recall all those who do not believe the testimonies of those who have seen Him. This same thing may happen to you, also. My generation, and the generations that have come before me, carry stories of those who have dared to effect meaningful changes in our country. It pains me to tell you that these stories began with beautiful dreams for our country; and yet ended in frustration. Why? When a population did not support their cause, these people began doubting not just their ability to succeed but also the meaning of their cause. This is very much unlikely to the disciples who have kept their stand in spite of opposition. I grieve to admit that most of us failed to keep our stands when our foundations are shaken.
I beg you to no longer follow our footsteps. Wear the lens that will humble you to fervently and sincerely pray for God’s purpose for your existence. So, when God finally reveals Himself and His plans for you—you will hold on to it dearly even if the swift tide of discouragement and unpopularity struggle to take it away from you. Then, bravely, you will go into the world; speak, live out and die for the greatest cause He has given you. You will go out into the world and reach out to as many countrymen as you could by inspiring the younger ones and encouraging the older ones. You will strive hard to live a good life not for your own good but for the next generations’—because you understand that this country is in need of heroes to emulate. Soon enough, the burden for excellence and meaning will not just be an output; but your way of life..
Third, as you remember the resurrection of Christ, realize that even after He went up to heaven, He has not forsaken His disciples. As His disciple carried out their tasks, Christ went with them by working with them and fulfilling His promises to them. What makes it easy to discontinue our battles in life is not the realization that we are weak; but, the realization that we are fighting alone. So, we shudder and cringe, bearing the dark just because we are too scared to stand in the light, only to realize that we are standing alone.
They say that if you want to see the future of a country, you should listen to the heart of its youth; for the song that echoes in there shall be the law that will soon rule the land. To my dear young Filipinos, each of you is destined to win. Dare to not give up: keep the faith, live your mission. Claim victory and raise this country to a new life that it deserves.
It is my fervent prayer that your generation would no longer carry our regrets and failures. Death prevails when one stubbornly refuses to hope and witness resurrection. Do not just curse the darkness; dare to light a fire.