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Thursday, March 31, 2005

In the name of our flag

The disunity among us Filipinos is the major factor that keeps country from moving forward. We are a deeply divided nation. Since the 1986 People Power revolution, our division has never been healed. When Cory Aquino was swept to power, we had the loyalists making so much noise. It is really hard to tell how huge the following of Marcos loyalists but they indeed created a lot of noise not just in the streets but also the media. Cory's presidency was marked with a lot of coup attempts. These coups also show the deep divide inside the military.

When Fidel Ramos came to power, his presidency was marked with relative calm in the political front. Miriam Defensor Santiago created some noise with her allegation of cheating but her supporters simply faded away after the election. With relative peace on the political front, Ramos was able to make some headway in our economy until the financial crisis struck in 1997.

Erap's ouster from Malacanang brought back the deep division. Another people power, another divide. The Erap supporters were almost able to storm Malacanang on that fateful May 1 incident. Since then, Erap supporters have been very critical of this present administration and almost swept FPJ to presidency, if only they were not cheated, as they claim.

And the divide is always there. This does not even take into consideration the divide of the left and of our Muslim brothers. They have their own ideological agenda. The divide mentioned here is not about ideology but personality and it is pulling us down.

But we do have our moments of unity. Everytime Manny Pacquiao goes to the ring, we're all united cheering for him. In times of calamity such as the earthquake of 1990, the Pinatubo eruption of 1991 and the recent landslides in Quezon, we have shown how we can come together to help our affected brothers and sisters. Do we need more Angelo dela Cruz and Flor Contemplacion to come togetehr as a nation? In 1998, we came together as a people to celebrate the centennial of our independence. But on June 13, 1998, when the fireworks are gone, so did unity, nationalism and patriotism.

When will we ever sustain a sense of unity among our people? A sense of nationalism that doesn't happen only every June 12. Do we have wait for the next calamity to hit us? Or do we have to wait for our bicentennial? Can't we forge that sense of unity NOW?

Not now, not yet but it can be done. It can be done. We don't have to wait for the next disaster to happen nor the 200th anniversary of our independence. We don't need to see another adventurism in the military imposing their will on us. This will only make matters worse. We only need ourselves to do the things necessary to forge unity. It can be done through our flag.

Our flag knows no political persuasion, regional affiliation, ethnic division nor economic status. Our flag is our symbol. It represents our nation. We may differ in our political opinions. We may speak different dialects. We may differ in our religious convictions. We may differ in cultural practices. We may differ in so many things but one thing cannot be denied. We cannot differ when it comes to flag. Red, white and blue. Three stars and sun with eight rays. That's the flag for each and every Filipino.

Our disunity is a reflection of how we have been treating our flag. We do not take our flag seriously. We let old and tattered flags flatter on their lonesome reflecting the sorry state of our nation. To most of us, the flag is just a piece of cloth that doesn't deserve respect. How can we be respected in the community of nations if we cannot even respect our symbol. For as long as we remain disunited, our flag will always be treated the way we treat it now. Or is it the other way around? That is, because of how we treat our flag, we have remained disunited.

Let each and every Filipino treat our flag with respect. Let us revere our flag. Slowly we will see some form of unity. There will be no political issues. It will simply be a call for the respect of our flag. But it has to go beyond that. We should call on our people to display our flag proudly wherever they can. We should embark on a massive campaign to reach the most number of Filipinos here and abroad to display our flag proudly. With this call, our people will no longer be passive but become active participants of social transformation. Social transformation that will be inspired by our flag.

Let us admit it. We have cultural defects. Filipino time, ningas cogon, bahala na, pwede na, baka sakaling makalusot just to name a few negative attitudes. We lack discipline. Ours is a spending instead of a saving culture. We are not innovative and afraid of risks. Putting up a sari sari store or having a tricycle is the only business that we know. Buy Filipino still has a long way to go. But what has the flag got to do with these cultural malaise? We will inspire change through our flag.

After embarking on a campaign of displaying our flag and sustaining it, we will move on to the next level. Through a media campaign, we will call on our people to reject these attitudes that don't help in our advance as a nation. Just like a new religious convert who rejects Satan in the name of Jesus, we call on our people to change our attitudes in the name of our flag. And in the name of our flag, we will not bride nor accept bribes. And in the name of our flag, we will reject trapos and elect only those that who will truly serve the people and not enrich themselves in power. In the name of our flag, we can transform our society and make a better future for the next generation.

We do not need a bloody revolution or another people power. We are tired of coup d etats. We have had enough dose of political bickering. We cannot wait for the next election. We have to move now. We have to act now. Time is running out. Let us effect change through our flag.

THE CELL

I sincerly believe that the success of this revolution is in the cell. The cells will be the heart and soul of the revolution.

What is a cell?

A cell is a group of individuals who will come together and promote the display of our flag. Through a massive information campaign to be conducted by the group, people will be encouraged to form into cells. Cells can be a barkadahan, officemates, classmates, relatives, chatmates, neighbors, villagemates, etc. This will be an opportunity for Filipinos who still have some love left for their country to be part of a social transformation.

The cell can initiate their own activities depending on how they were formed. If its among neighbors, they could agree to display flags outside their homes and encourage others. If its among students, these students can take the initiative to call to the attention of authorities or bring it to the attention of the group whenever they see flags that are old, tattered and faded and yet still being hoisted. A cell in a driver's association can convince their association to reguire all registered vehicles in their association to have a Philippine flag sticker. The possibilities are endless. We just have to be creative on how we can promote our flag.

Through the society's info campaign, the cells can sprout everywhere, from Batanes to Tawi Tawi. We don't need to take in members but cells will be advised that they inform the society of their formation. The society has to know where the cells are in order to coordinate activities if ever the need will arise.

The cell is the key to the success of this revolution.

the third meeting

held on the 21st of March at Figaro Baywalk. seven attended. discussed the mission/vision of the group which will be incorporated on the group's by laws.

Everybody was given the opportunity to express themselves on what they believe should be the mission/vision of the group. essentially, most member want to see unity, promite heritage, be proud of ourselves. I was different. I said I want the flag to be a way towards economic progress. Well some viewed my statement more in the line of buy philippine products. That's just part of it but not wholly. I'll discuss more on that later.

In the middle of the discussion, I brought to the attention of the group about how we started our meeting late. We set our meeting at 7 pm. I was at the meeting place before 7 but we started the meeting at around half past 8. Most came in late. I brought to their attention that we ourselves have to change. Let's do away with the FILIPINO TIME concept. I challenged the members of the group to be on time on our next meetings. If we want to change the attitudes of Filipinos, we have to start with ourselves.

Another agenda was the activities of the group. Member B said that we need to coordinate with other groups. I agreed on that. We really have to network with other NGOs in the promotion of our flag. On my part, I suggested that we should encourage the formation of cells that will support the mission/vision of the group. These cells will not be members of the organization and will operate independently. So the group does not need increase its membership. It only has to promote to foramtion of cells. My proposal was not seriously taken. I believe what everybody has in mind in an organization that increases its membership through time. The more members you get, the stronger the group becomes. I don't buy that. It just won't work that way. I will try my very best to convince the group that the cell formation is the key to realization of the group's mission/vision.

Meeting was adjourned and agreed to meet March 30. It was postponed. I am still awaiting for our next meeting which is usually coordinated by Leon since he knows most of the members.

FLAG SOCIETY PHILIPPINES

as stated in the previous post, our second meeting was held at the Aristocrat restaurant along Roxas Blvd. in Malate. Some members present from the first meeting did not make it on the second meeting while there are new faces on the second meeting, again, mostly buddies of Leon who are all behind him in his cause for the flag.

When the name for the group was raised, a newcomer (ill call him member B) was quite adamant that we should keep the name FLAG SOCIETY PHILIPPINES as this was the name suggested by Leon and that the name has already been reserved at SEC. Member B stated that if we change the name, then we change everything. It will no longer be the one he will be supporting since it is Leon whom he is supporting. Leon would also want to keep the name FLAG SOCIETY PHILIPPINES as he has already contacted people using this name of the group.

Well, what's in a name. I would have disagreed violently with the group's name. First, walang dating. Napaka bland. It is a name that we will be using throughout our existence. So un Filipino as we Filipinos love to play with words and acronyms. Leon, however, finds the name BANDILA too leftist ang dating. And it was also raised that Guingona already has a group named BANDILA. So when voting came, I was the only one who did not vote for the name FLAG SOCIETY PHILIPPINES. But I have to accept the decision of the group. So our group will be named FLAG SOCIETY PHILIPPINES.

it's not a walk in the park

Our second meeting 18March 2005 was at the Aristocrat restaurant in Malate along Roxas Blvd. There nine of us this time. Four new faces. Four absent from first meeting. It was agreed that the name of the group will be called Flag Society Philippines. I objected to the name. Walang dating. I would have preferred Bayang Nagkaisa sa Diwa at Layunin (BANDILA).

A backgrounder

In 2002, I set up the yahoo group groups.yahoo.com/group/philippine_flag. It was an attempt to identify people who might be willing to support my idea that the solution to our problem as a nation is our flag. It may look too simplistic but I sincerely believe it is our only way out.

After some invites, some people joined the group but it never flourished. I would have wanted to put up the group/organization myself but I simply don't have the resources. I know how to execute this "revolution" but financing is a major issue.

I wrote through email to prominent personalities from polticians, columnists and government officials with regards to my vision. Not a single response came in. The only response I got was from the Office of the President which referred my case to PCSO for the funding issue. I did not pursue it.

So I just lived my life. I certainly believe that there is something that can be done to our situation but I just can't execute it. Then can LEON.

Leon suddenly appeared on Pinoyexchange detailing how he was arrested when he was selling Philippine flag stickers at the Baywalk along Roxas Blvd. I immediately contacted him through email and private message. With our communicatiopn, I decided to re activate the yahoo group I set up in 2002.

Then se had our first meeting. The very first entry on this blog.

Leon had four buddies with him. Neighbors and friends who supported the cause. A lady, and her friend, met Leon through another forum. While I met Leon on Pinoyexchange. So we were eight. It was then decided that Leon would be the Founder/President and I was (s)elected to be the vice. The name of the group was left hanging. Three names were suggested:
FLAG SOCIETY PHILIPPINES
BAYANG NAGKAISA SA DIWA AT LAYUNIN (Bandila)
WAGAS AT TAPAT SA WATAWAT (WATAWAT)

It was suggested that we will decide on the name of the group on our next meeting.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

first time to meet

March 15, 2005

it was at starbucks. the one beside shangrila hotel. eight revolutionaries plotting to do something different. not looking for what the country can do for them but what they can do for their country.