Thursday, October 2, 2008

Why Am I Proud to be a Filipina?

"In the Philippines, the best man is woman"-- these were the words of Leonard Wood, the late Governor General of the Philippines during the Spanish era. The Filipina woman is a combination of grace and elegance, intelligence and practicality and most of all at these present times, she is the image of a working mother who is capable of managing what she does with her time to ensure that her family comes first before anything else.

Nevertheless, your humble writer also take cognizance of non-Filipina women who are equally as capable as the Filipina, and whose achievements speak well of their respective races. But since this writer grew up in the Philippines, she offers this article as a tribute to her fellow Filipina women.

Praises for the Filipino women during the Spanish era were no less than written by Spanish writers who talked on the Filipina's industry and capabilities. Even the Philippine's national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, praised the Filipina character in Maria Clara who was half-Spanish and half_Filipina. Maria Clara's mother was a Filipina. In Rizal's book, "Noli Me Tangere", Rizal's praises of his beloved Maria Clara's were words showing in essence that he was proud of his Filipino heritage.

The first proof of Rizal's pride for being a Filipino and having brave Filipina counterparts was clearly conveyed in his letter to the women of Malolos, Bulacan in February of 1889. The Philippine's national hero was proud by the bravery of the Filipina women when they decided to take part in the fight for independence against foreign domination.

The Filipina woman has transformed herself from a mere homemaker to a working mother or an executive in the business district of Makati in the Philippines. She has proven to be an asset of the managerial world for she has multiple achievements in the corporate world as well as her remarkable successes in her personal and social lives too.

She fights hard to better the economic condition of her family that is why she has no qualms of leaving her country if only to ensure that she could provide a good future for her family. She is very flexible for she could work as a domestic helper no matter what her educational achievements are. She is more focused on the practical side of life than stay status quo and helpless in securing the future of her loved ones.

Place a Filipina woman on the job and you will find order, system, a well-monitored and accomplished tasks. She is meticulous in details as these work qualities made her gain the respect and admiration of her male colleagues.

A Filipina loves with all her heart and she is guided by the philosophy that her man is her life and therefore she is willing to die for him. Inside the heart of a modern Filipina is the heart of a woman who would never dare to hurt her man. If she is tough on love, that is only the tip of her hidden self for she just wants to protect her dignity and fragility in the face of challenges and threats on her person.

I am a Filipina Muslim and I am surely proud that I was born in the Philippines for I have subliminally learned the values of decency and integrity. Back here, we are inspired by the courage of "Gabriela Silang" --a Filipina heroine, who fearlessly fought the Spaniards in defense of her country.

The other side of the Filipina is refinement, grace and cerebralism that helped her stand against the challenges and pressures of life. This writer admires former Philippine President Corazon C. Aquino who has proven to the world that if a Filipina fights back, she could fight fearlessly amidst the threat to her very own life.

There are more examples that I could give you, dear readers. But names of great Filipinas are too many to mention for not only those written or published in popular magazines and newspapers comprise the total number of impressive Filipina women. There are millions of them. Every Filipina woman is great. That is a fact.

But the most important thing that I am happy about while writing this article is knowing that I am a Filipina and indeed, I am truly proud to be one.

This will always inspire me to talk about the goodness of the Filipina soul to correct negative impressions that judge the Filipina based on remote cases of prostitution committed by only a miniscule percentage of our women who worked overseas. I am not in the position to judge them for I am not privy to the details of their personal lives. Hence I reserve my judgment for them. But one thing that is certain is that those Filipina women who engaged in prostitution have personal reasons that forced them to act beyond the principles of a decent and pure-hearted Filipina.

At this point in time, as a writer, to be more accurate-- a Muslim Filipina writer--I am inspired by the works of many Filipino writers whose articles have transformed the Filipino minds from passiveness to heightened awareness of their roles in the arena of governance and toward the advancement of their rights as a citizen of one great country like the Philippines.

As a Filipina writer, my adamantine principles and the frailties of my mind speak of my learnings accumulated from my Filipino heritage regardless of the fact that my mother's roots was Yemeni. I am grateful for all my learning experiences since childhood that are beyond the confines of education.

I thank God that I am a Filipina who was born in my beautiful country, the pearl of the Orient--the Philippines.

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