(This is a reaction to the Philippines’ August 23 bus siege)

The 12-hour hostage drama between a dismissed decorated police officer and a bus loaded with foreign tourists and three local citizens at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila elicited a myriad of ambivalent reactions; mostly negative comments at the way the Media, the police force, even the government handled the whole harrowing ordeal. While another unfortunate event puts the Philippines in a bad light internationally, being that it was also broadcast on major cable TV stations, we must not forget that—“this storm shall also pass.”

As tension gripped the entire nation yesterday, many were worried that this will be another big blow to our tourism and our government’s efforts to invite more foreign nationals to invest in our country. But while pondering, I realized that no “bad light” could ever put a Filipino down. We find inspiration and comfort from the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Efren Peñaflorida Jr., Charice Pempengco, among others who give our country a reason to be proud of, a reason to be Filipino.

The Philippines is not the only country where bad and despicable things exist, yet we rank high as one of the most corrupt and terror-laden nations. The problem is how we will surmount these challenges. Time and time again, we Filipinos are in a perennial battle to prove ourselves respectable to the rest of the world. Our image as mere domestic helpers still lingers in the minds of our neighboring countries. But as we participate in this magnificent fray and continue to stumble along the way, our resiliency and indomitable spirit keep us getting back up again, and carrying on the fight that we know we will win one day.

I read about a Filipino teenager who personally wrote an apology letter to the entire world for what transpired yesterday. In the complete letter, the teenager wrote that not all Filipinos are like the hostage-taker; that our nation is comprised mostly of loving and good-hearted people. I agree.

Back in 2008, I created an image which resembles the Philippine flag: where the three stars represent a clock’s numbers, and the sun’s 8 rays reduced to two to form its hands, with a message that reads: “Wake up, citizens of the Republic. Time to shine.” I was waiting for the right moment to show this. Now I find that this is an opportune chance to reveal this, as it is during these trying times that we must all unite and outshine the “bad light” that keeps us being hidden in the shadows of hindering events. May this image I have conceived reflect our nation’s awakening for change after the crisis and yearning for our own shining moment; that in the end we can truly say that this world is a better place because Filipinos are in it.


My supplemental post regarding the incident can be found here
  1. Shayne Ebanks says:

    Stumbled on your blog post via google the other day and absolutely like it so much. Carry on this fantastic work.

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