Love of Country
“I love my country and I’m willing to die for my country!”
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - April 26, 2022
Excuse me, but: “I don’t love my country and I’m not willing to die for my country!”
My country is already owned by only a few families (one percent and their number is dwindling, inversely proportional to the riches they stole on our land).
Many of my fellow Filipinos are homeless, sickly, jobless, squatters on the land that gave them birth and life. It’s not my country that I love but the Filipino people who have been marginalized, ignored, deprived, and excluded from the mainstream of progress and development.
The Health-care System, Pagibig, Social Welfare System, Social Security System, Medicare, and other government services are weak, exclusive, or not working at all. Worse, public funds intended for their implementation are invested for other purposes, other than for the poor, sick, and homeless.
The “Preferential Option for the Poor” is not working. Instead, it’s being used, until now, as a deodorant by the Church, televangelists, religious pastors, and clergy who proclaimed themselves messengers appointed by their respective God.
The problem has become systemic. For centuries, it has been ingrained in our society’s system of economics, politics, leadership, governance, beliefs, and culture.
Meanwhile, one can be justified to ask: “who or what can change our corrupt and oppressive system?”
The results of the coming electoral race cannot give us a clear answer. We will just have to wait and see. And we have been waiting for so long a time already.
Will the real Messiah emerge on May 9?
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – February 21, 2022
There are those people who shower us with praise in public, but at the same time stab us in the back before the same audience. This was epitomized by Brutus in his speech before the Senate. He was as devious as any politician could be.
Julius Caesar was gaining popularity in his military pursuits. Brutus showered Julius Caesar with his praise and admiration when he said: "No condemnation could be too severe if Caesar did not hold the lives of his soldiers dearer than his own."
But Julius Caesar was seen as a danger to the holders of power in Rome, especially on the part of Brutus. That's why he convinced the Senate to assassinate Julius Caesar, by his Machiavellian tactics to achieve his egotistical interests: "Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.”
And there are still so many "Brutuses" in the Upper and Lower Houses of Congress today across the globe. Their words reverberate with authority and fear, lest oppositions get assassinated. And here and there, in the thick of the electoral race, political opponents and rebels get wiped out, harassed, or bribed in exchange for silence and life.
All in the guise of patriotism, nationalism, and love of country. Yet, the people remain poor, hungry, sickly, and homeless. But let's be reminded of what Sociologist W.E.B. de Bois said: "We should measure the prosperity of the nation not by the number of millionaires but by the absence of poverty..."
Julius Caesar was warned of the ides of March, ignored it, and died; plebeians were way too easily swayed; all the conspirators died with him too. In this 1599 Shakespearean play, Mark Antony drove the conspirators out of Rome and fought them in a battle. Brutus and his friend Cassius preferred to fight it out to the end and lost, leaving Antony to rule in Rome.
But gracious goodness, Brutus. The fault is not in your political opponents, but in you. It's in you, Brutus. You are the problem. You're a traitor to the Roman people. The Roman people admired Julius Caesar as a ferocious leader who protected them in the river Rubicon. But you deceived the Senate and enlisted the help of Mark Anthony and his military.
The words of Julius Caesar followed the call of the omens of the gods and the inequity of the enemies who continued to grab lands belonging to the Roman empire. Is it perhaps coincidental that the following words still ring like a roaring thunder to wake us all up from our sleep?
“When beggars die, there are no comets seen; the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.”
Yes, blaze forth, and in your case, Brutus, it's death to guide you to that place where there are no more dentists to replace or take care of your teeth, even as the death of a beggar is never celebrated.
A wake up call to many of us. People of the world, be awake! Or, perhaps, it's me who needs to be awake. I could either be Brutus and the beggar, or even both.
Nationalism, Patriotism, or Humanitarianism?
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - November 19, 2021
Love of country is the only legacy we can be proud of. But politics is a double-edged sword. It can either lead us to heaven or hell.
How I wish this predictive statement of the Greek King Leonidas I of Sparta will be said to our country too:
“A thousand, two thousand, three thousand years from now, men a hundred generations yet unborn may for their private purposes make journey to our country. They will come, scholars perhaps, or travelers from beyond the sea, prompted by curiosity regarding the past or appetite for knowledge of the ancients."
But cursed and damned will we and our nation be if our political leaders say this to us, citizens: “Now eat a good meal, men, for we’ll all be sharing dinner in Hades” (King of Sparta).
Patriots, nationalists, armies, police forces, and veterans, let's change our target. We're fighting against the wrong enemies of our country. Our enemies are within, not outside our country.
They are our compatriots, the politicians and a few powerful elite ruling us as tyrants, who have sold their souls already to the dictates of foreign powers and multinationals, treating us like dumb oxen, slaves, lumpen proletariat, looters, thieves, not-good-for-anything, and lazy.
Ayuda, mga Kababayan, Kapuso, Kapamilya, at Kaibigan! Nakakaloko at nakakaloka na ang mga pangyayari.
Be awake and arise! Remember that we are:
Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before.
"Hell’s foundations quiver
At the shout of praise;
Brothers, lift your voices,
Loud your anthems raise."
We will welcome all new public leaders elected by the people. But we will stand firm. We can continue to unite in pursuing our common vision and purpose.
"We are not divided;
All one body we:
One in hope and doctrine,
One in charity."
Our leaders are our public servants, not tyrants. King Leonidas and his cavalry sacrificed their lives for the people of Greece in 480 B.C. at the tiny mountain pass of Thermopylae.
The same fate befell the lives of our heroes and their infantry on December 2, 1899 at the Battle of Tirad Pass. And almost a century later, or in 1986, we had another Battle of Tirade Pass at EDSA, fought not with guns and blood, but with rosaries and roses.
What will it be this time? And where will the winning politicians lead us to? Will the winners be somebody we can be proud of as a Christian country? Or, will we be continually ranked as one of the most corrupt nations of the world?
Let's think of the future and the future of our children before we leap.
For Love of God and Country
October 19, 2021
Binge watching Netflix movies is one of my ways of relaxing during the past two trying years. I didn't know that they can be very enlightening and can sometimes inspire and jolt us into action.
I saw the Pandemic, Julius Cesar, Cleopatra, Roman Empire, Templars, Illuminati, Two Popes, Da Vinci Code, Hitler, Irena Sendler, Marco Polo, Ottoman, Stalin, Gen. Luna, The Seven Trumpets of Revelation, and Before the Wrath, among others.
Anyway, I have mixed feelings about all these movies -- anger, frustration, concern, confusion, even helplessness and worrisome that what was happening hundreds and thousands of years ago is still occurring today on a global and cosmic proportion.
Meanwhile, the majority of the citizenry remain, as ever, obedient spectators. This deception and control by a few over the weak and poor should no longer be tolerated to go any further. It's high time that we rewrite history from our perspective. But what would that be? And who will write it?
I suppose this is what the "presidentiables", "electorables", presidential appointees, and we the voters are trying to do on social media. Whatever that new narrative of ours is, we can only hope it's for the common good of our people.
For love of God and country, let's get out and vote conscientiously in this coming national election.