Nationalists are not good for the nation

War flag, red panel on top. [Photo source: Five Star Flags]

By JoeAm

Kindly allow me to jump from idea to idea in search of understanding.

Words have many definitions, so it is important to know which one is in play.

‘Nationalist’ in its popular usage today has come to mean a right wing racist fascist extremist, as in white power over any and all other races. Hitler was this kind of nationalist. US President Donald Trump is one. Right wing extremists are rising to power across Europe, the public’s response to fears about immigrants of other cultures coming in to overwhelm local customs and take jobs away from citizens.

There is a certain ugliness to the way rich nations have turned hostile toward struggling innocents.

There is also a certain ugliness to a mob of thousands of foreigners demanding to be let in to the US and Europe because they are needy or persecuted in their homeland. By whose moral standard are they allowed to use the rule of mob to replace the rule of law and force their way into another peoples’ civil society?

It’s hard because compassion is not a law, it is a gift.

A person who is highly patriotic could be considered a nationalist, too, I suppose. But that definition is becoming archaic, phased out by the extremist tag. Nationalism used to mean sacrifice, or giving, today it means discrimination, or taking.

I personally think that nationalists are the biggest threat to planet earth that we have, worse than climate change, because they foster the kind of nonsense and anger that prevent people from WORKING on climate change.

Donald Trump’s “America First” is about the most obscene political platform I’ve ever witnessed because it assures that America will not concern itself with the trials of other nations and peoples, just those of American citizens. From inception, the American dream has been a dream of acceptance and hope and opportunities. To shut that down makes America a place of greedy self-involvement.

The disgusting, rather creepy, US President (to me) is changing the foundation of America, and it is not a good look.

But it’s rather like most Philippine politicians, now that I think about it. About 90 percent of them also creep me out, for their absence of national values. For the absence of nationalism of any shading.

The Philippines is a place where . . . not among all, but among most . . . there seems to be neither nationalism nor patriotism. Just self-dealing.

Contributor Irineo B. F. Salizar made a statement that just about knocked me off my chair the other day. He wrote, pertaining to ROTC and patriotism:

“I still get the feeling those that care about WPS and China, and are angry at Duterte selling out, are a minority today.

Probably the kind of inculcated beliefs and values you had back then are as washed away as the topsoil of some of the denuded mountains in the Philippines, which no longer had trees to keep the rain from doing its work. I do not know what the majority cares for now.”

The last sentence was like a knock upside the head.

“I do not know what the majority cares for now.”

That led me to pen a tweet::

What inspires Filipinos, broadly?

Family, faith in the rituals of it all, gossip, and the practicalities of life: eating and getting around. Where is the MORAL foundation?

If faith is largely ritualistic and not principled and if the nation is governed by politicians who inspire resentment rather than appreciation, what is the bigger community to which one belongs and devotes oneself?

There is none, and it is every Filipino for himself.

Nationalism does not enter the picture.

If ever a nation were ready to be turned over to a new colonizer, whether it be a set of aristocratic families overseeing federalist realms or China, the Philippines is that nation.

If there is a nationalistic allegiance out there for the finding, I wish the aspiring senatorial candidates good luck in finding it, tapping it, and re-energizing the Philippines as a real nation.

Nationalistic by the definition “that people care.”


80 Responses to “Nationalists are not good for the nation”
  1. Kaginhawaan, roughly well-being, is a common word used for what Filipinos desire most..

    1) one can of course achieve that by migrating to a better run country with one’s family

    2) one can also attach oneself to a politician and benefit from it, the bonds of utang na loob

    3) one can care for one’s locality, like some Ilocanos who like what the Marcoses did for their turf

    Interestingly, the idea of Quezon’s Commonwealth and the Duterte government slogan of wanting to provide a comfortable life for all Filipinos comes very close to the idea of kaginhawaan.

    Bonifacio in his seminal “Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog” (What the Tagalogs should know) refers to the 300 year old blood compact between Legazpi and Sikatuna and says that Tagalogs have not gained in kaginhawaan from that pact, and comes to a powerful conclusion forgotten today: “Reason tells us that we must rely upon ourselves alone and never entrust our livelihood to anybody else.” Filipinos today are making the mistake that they (or their small in-group) are going to have a better life, a better deal, if they rely on China for their livelihood and well-being. Fools.


    That is probably the practical patriotism the normal man on the street will get.

    Popoy, the one I wrote to in the comment you quoted, said most Filipinos might be just to busy making a living. What I suspect is that the early nation-builders did not reach the common people.

    Of course the two were worlds apart. But such worlds can be bridged, one can meet halfway and the meeting halfway is what the elites as leaders of the country must do. Project Makinig by the LP is a step in the right direction. Ask the people what they care for. Build common interests from there.


    One of Will’s interviewees mentioned reading about the separation between elite “nacion/nation” and the “bayan” of commoners. Popoy said whatever, does it make a difference. Turns out my hunch who wrote that stuff was right – same generation as Popoy, my father wrote about the nacion or nation being the more abstract, intellectual aspiration of the elites like Rizal while the bayan was the real community of commoners, the street level sense of being “the same folks” – in that sense similar to the German idea of Volk, an idea to be handled with care for sure, there is always the dangerous potential of going from building unity among people to excluding perceived outsiders.

    The present-day bayan only cares about Pacquiao and other entertainments. The lofty aspirations of the project nacion/nation by the elites were never brought to them. Often they only saw the negative effects on the ground. Rule of law? Corrupt judges and full jails. Democracy? Vote-buying, I might as well sell my vote because after the election none of them really cares. Constitution. Nice sounding words by a Jesuit father from Ateneo, a school my kid will never attend. But In can see some of the present candid-8s like Tanada, Diokno and Hilbay syncing bayan and nation big time.. because you can’t run logical institutions that are distant from the people, and you can’t just run a country on a feeling of being the same folks, like in Duterte’s OFW gatherings. THAWT is needed.

    • P.S. an interesting aspect of Bonifacio’s manifesto is that it sounds like a declaration of disappointed utang na loob, which is the glue by which Filipino hierarchies work. Among Filipino politicians and their chieftain predecessors, it worked – with foreigners it didn’t.

      One can see how Duterte bumbles along, hoping for Xi to return the favors he has given him, which would be an expectation someone who helps a Filipino politician win a vote could have, and which was an expectation Duterte, in the traditional way, fulfilled for his backers. But unfortunately, Xi knows nothing of utang na loob, Filipino style. Maybe chempo can tell us more about guanxi and how they work, there even used to be such a thing as a book of favors and debts within ancient Chinese clans, might be similar to u-n-l but working different.

    • popoy says:

      What I write here in TSoH is my own particular, unique PETE (parents, education, training and experience); my write says it all; I think therefore I am; I am my father or at best a little of his huge integrity; I see the forest first then look closely at the individual trees and the littlest fauna and flora as its total ecology; I see people as wholes first like British, Americans, Filipinos, Canadians, etc then as English, Scots, Welshmen; as Yankees, Texans, Fil-Ams, Afro-Americans, WASPs, etc., etc; my curriculum vitae hints at molecules which embodies the well springs of my ideas and opinions; I look at the night sky in its panoramic brightness or darkness before I look for the brightest star or the blackest cloud; I may be unclean as the next clean man; I try to look over how the whole engine works before I dismantle it into its smallest part; I choose to be deductive than inductive and conclusive; I can write this endlessly and still fail to prove it is not a defense of my being. For example . . . .

      Pundits and whatever savour the similarities of Trump (American) and Duterte (Filipino). They are both Presidents. In deductive measures US is so rich and Philippines so poor, US is in the top ten whereas Philippines maybe is at the low eighties, to make comparisons tenable. Who or what primarily caused their election victory? Were both alleged to be killing people with bullets? Does both speak in complete sentences? Have both grew wealthy by the same means? What differences exist between a government lawyer and businessman-entrepreneur? Are they both self-dealers? What is the matrix of their differences and similarities? And so forth just to be deep instead of being superficial. To be inductive SOMETIMES, most times is to nitpick necessarily.

      • popoy says:

        My simplistic view about nationalism is derived from its GOOD root word: NATION. Bad nationalism is not about nation but about something else. By dismantling NATION into its physical parts could lead to rational analysis of its abstract parts.

        TO BE blunt is really not being sharp and to be easily, misunderstood. To interpret for example
        “I still get the feeling those that care about WPS and China, and are angry at Duterte selling out, are a minority today.

        —Such statement could suggest objective caution that admits inadequacy of knowledge and insufficiency of facts to form a conclusion and need not be said. The message can be succinct: About WPS and China, facts point out that of the entire citizenry only a minority cares and are angry at Duterte for selling out the country. This minority (if popoy might add) does not know or care about treason.

        “Probably the kind of inculcated beliefs and values you had back then are as washed away as the topsoil of some of the denuded mountains in the Philippines, which no longer had trees to keep the rain from doing its work. I do not know what the majority cares for now.”

        Beautiful prose but equivocal and lacks concrete example of the what and why of beliefs and values washed away forever by nature into the atmosphere. In a democracy or autocracy to say and admit not to know what the majority cares for at anytime by anyone is like being Socratic: “It is only I who know, that I know nothing.” Wait, wait, the 16 million voters MAJORITY who elected Duterte KNEW (perhaps erroneously) WHAT THEY CARED FOR at the MOMENT of voting.

        How to say it then without faulty allusions to nature? Filipino beliefs and values morally upright and noble before had been corrupted and made dysfunctional by inroads of greed for power and wealth by those who governs which is now SEEMINGLY re-emergent and accentuated by the Duterte Administration.

        • Magbibigay ako ng halimbawa ng mga topsoil na itinutukoy ko, pati na iyong mga uod doon..

          Kayong mga binata noong 1950s, para sa inyo may kahulugan pa ang flag ceremony.

          Maraming DDS ngayon na tumatawa tungkol sa paglingkod ni VP Leni kahit umuulan, sinasabi nila “e ano kung tumatayo siya doon sa flag ceremony, may nagagawa ba iyan para sa tao?” – hindi iisipin ng henerasyon mo, o ni NHerrera, o nila Manong Sonny at Edgar, magsabi nito.

          • Kung ganyan mag-argumento ang marami ngayon, puwede rin ba ito:

   ninakaw sa gobyerno, hindi sa bayan. Ang “gobierno” ba, salitang Pilipino? Hindi! Kaya parang nagnakaw na rin si Bong Revilla sa mga Kastilang mang-aapi, sa mga banyaga! Kabitenyo pa man din si Bong Revilla, Tagalog na talagang matapang at mabagsik! Ipinanindigan niya ang ginawa niya kaya huwag kayong mag-isip nang paninirang-puri! Lalo na kayo diyan, mga dilawan, mga Inglesero, mga baklang Atenista at Makati boys! Akala ba ninyo masosolo ninyo ang pera sa Pilipinas? Subukan niyo siyang kalabanin!

            Kayong dada ng dada diyan, puro kayo morals-morals, puro human rights at dimokrasi! Iyan pati sa mga akala ninyong kakampi ninyo talo din kayo, tunay na Pilipino panalo! Batas at katarungan magkatugma na muli! E ano kung tax money ninyo iyan, dilawan? Iyang pera ninyo, ninakaw ninyo sa bayan mula pa noong panahon ng mga Kastila! Kaming mga tunay na Pilipino, hirap na hirap, panahon na para makabawi kami sa inyo! Kita ninyo ang taongbayan na tuwang-tuwa sa pagpapalaya ng Pangalawang Panday?

            • popoy says:

              As trainor with little experience in Sensitivity Training (Erhard ST) in the seventies—the decade when M Law was in full ferocious flower– I became aware how a person’s behaviour sensitizes to make others behave the way they do, no words suffice for an accurate description; it is so complicated like saying my thoughts put into words sensitizes others to behave or write the way they do.

              FOR EXAMPLE (only): at the start of a session, I have to stand behind the Chairman’s chair of my Executive Panel; to test the Panel midway of a Course; In expressionless eyes I will look at each and every member for a full minute may be more without a word from my lips until the Panel become restive and ready to explode and then I blurt out: “We are halfway in this course, in some agency in the private sector you guys aren’t safe yet for downsizing. Think and discuss that.” Then I go and sit on my chair in the corner of the meeting room. I can’t know what will happen next because . . . I really know nothing about infinitesimal possibilities.

              My bad . . I can claim not to know my write-speak smacks of academe when I put into TSoH or IBRS’s pen my own pretentious academic style.

              • popoy says:

                As when I was then a permanent junior academic, I thought part of academic freedom was to ask students silly unacademic questions like: are there graduates here from the Assumption, St. Scho, Ateneo or other sectarian schools (for under grads); Will this class at the end of the semester be ready to recommend the abolition of the Governor positions in local governments (for masteral students)?

                As when after more than a decade in retirement I will ask TSoH bloggers: Why can’t Jesus Christ really assume many human or animal form as can be portrayed by Hollywood saying this, behaving this and that divine way? Why NOT?

                And why does Beelzebub outside Hollywood can effortlessly assume any form or anything saying this, behaving that way? Why is it impossible for politicians to be like Jesus Christ and highly probable for political leaders to assume form and power of a Beelzebub? Can anyone think of examples?

              • popoy says:

                To exaggerate a bit, I shudder at the validity of the thought that the Filipino youth – a big number of them everywhere in the country could have TURNED lukewarm in their respect for the flag. I thought them to be UNLIKE the proverbial apples in a basket. Inspite of the few rotten ones, they could be many kinds of unripened fruits which could (yet) turn sweet or sour for the country.

                A national leader’s respect for the flag tells a lot about his/her integrity (think of contemporary examples). In theory and practice of politics, intelligent followers can opt to be morons; morons to be idiots and imbeciles only FOR A HEFTY PRICE. Whereas, Real and true comedians whom people admire pretends to be stupid or idiots for an honest livelihood.


                Most noticeable in this connection are some breaches in protocol especially in the welcome ceremonies at Malacanang Palace. No Philippine flag on the left side of the aisle was borne by any flag bearer unlike in other state visits. Only the Chinese flag was carried and displayed as the two leaders marched to the Palace for the formal meeting. People are also wondering why Duterte was walking behind rather than beside Xi Jinping. Such scene has elicited so many uncomplimentary comments, like that which says that we have already become a “colony or province” of China.

                The reaction of Malacanan to the criticisms was that it was no big deal.. BUT

                may mga maliliit na bagay na makahulugan pa rin..

                like you have written about your being in front and silent – the seat in front of a lecture hall is the place of power, how you use it says a lot even if you say nothing. As for comedian, maybe Digong is just the “Philippine Mayor” to entertain the natives with comedy while the Chinese and Arroyo run the real show – shows what the Chinese and Arroyo think of the natives BTW. Unfortunately the natives are accepting the role of fools in this game, as willing victims.

      • – just more food for thought about “Nacion vs. Bayan”.. is it like Batman vs. Superman?

        Eleksyon 2016: Ang Bayan kontra sa Nacion

        John Gabriel Pabico Lalu | Editor-in-chief, The Muralla

        ..“..Ito mismo ang paliwanag kung bakit ang masa ay nasa likod ni Duterte at Binay, at bakit ang mga estudyante at mga intelektwal ang pawang sumusuporta kay Roxas, Poe, at Santiago. Si Duterte ay nagbibigay ng pangako ng isang magandang kinabukasan, matapos ang pamumuno ng isang elite, na para sa karamihan ay wala hindi naman nagbunga ng maganda. Si Binay, nagsasabi na kaya niyang ayusin ang problema, bilang isang taong nanggaling sa hirap. Takot ang mga negosyante na suportahan ang kandidatura ng dalawa, sa kadahilanang populist o maka-masa ang plataporma nila — at walang basehan o kasiguraduhan na aandar ang mga plano nila.

        Si Roxas ay nagsasabi na itutuloy ang pagpapa-unlad sa ekonomiya, habang ang iyak ng masa ay ang mga nasa nacion lang ang pawang nakakaramdam. Si Poe, na nagsusulong ng sabay-sabay na pag-unlad, ay hindi sigurado sa pagtanggal ng contractualization na umaapi sa mahihirap. Si Santiago, ibinabalandra ang kanyang mga napag-aralan habang minamaliit ang mga hindi nakapag-aral, sa pamamagitan ng pagsasabi na mas mahalaga ang boto ng mga edukado.

        Ibig sabihin ba nito ay palaging matapang, mapagmahal sa bayan at sa mahihirap ngunit padaskol-daskol, marahas, at hindi nag-iisip ng mabuti ang Bayan at si Bonifacio? Ibig sabihin ba nito ay palaging mapanuri, lohikal, ngunit makasarili at ganid ang Nacion at si Rizal?

        Hindi ba maaaring misrepresented lamang ang mga lider ng bawat paksyon? Kung pag-uusapan ang galing at moralidad, at kung pamantayan si Bonifacio bilang pinuno ng Bayan, at si Rizal bilang utak ng Nacion, gaano ka-lapit o ka-layo ang mga kasalukuyang tumatakbong para maging pangulo?

        Malapit ba si Duterte o si Binay sa pagiging katulad ni Bonifacio? Si Roxas, si Poe o si Santiago ba ay kapara ni Rizal?

        Naniniwala ang mga dalubhasa na darating ang panahon at mangingibabaw muli ang Bayan. Pero kung sila ang kandidato ng mga nasabing ideya, mukhang matagal pa bago mabuhay ang Haring Katagalugan. Pero magiging mabuti rin nga ba kung ipagpapaliban ang pagbabalik ng Bayan at bumoto ng kandidatong mula sa Nacion?”..

        Yes, I agree that deductive is dangerous because you can jump to conclusions. Abstraction may lead to not seeing the white carabaos or black swans. Inductive can lead to not seeing the forest for the trees Getting a clear picture of an archipelago, not just of islands but also of different people and subcultures and languages and viewpoints and backgrounds is even harder than picturing a forest. What do the windswept, almost Irish hills of Batanes have in common with Jolo? At first glance, almost nothing. How many dimensions does this have?

        • Ibig sabihin ba nito ay palaging matapang, mapagmahal sa bayan at sa mahihirap ngunit padaskol-daskol, marahas, at hindi nag-iisip ng mabuti ang Bayan at si Bonifacio? Ibig sabihin ba nito ay palaging mapanuri, lohikal, ngunit makasarili at ganid ang Nacion at si Rizal?

          maybe the answer to this question is Loresian Thawt.

          If not, 42.

          • popoy says:

            Hindi kaya ang lahat na masusing pagsusuri
            sa nakaraan halalan ay eche bucheche lang
            sa tunay pangayayri kung ang tatanungin ay
            ang mga nakangiting dating Pangulong Gloria
            at buong angkan ng mga Marcos at
            mga Romualdez? Meron pa rin natutulog
            sa pancitan na ang hilik mapagkakamalang
            katalinuhan kung COMELEC ang kumot at unan. .

  2. karlgarcia says:

    On dictionary meanings and pejoratives.
    Chempo was offended when he was called an apologist by LCX.
    LCX deescalated the situation by giving the dictionary meaning.

    Pejoratives like nationalists were not originally used to offend until someone weaponized it.

    Lesson from LCX: if someone is offended whom you do not wish to be offended, look for a dictionary.

    • Preferably a thick one like the classic Webster or the Tagalog Panganiban.

      Useful as both shields and weapons towards those you have angered.

      • karlgarcia says:


        • karl,

          The confusion is in the two usual meanings of apology today— apologist (defense of) isn’t quite the same as apologetics (justification of), the first is more subjective, while the last one is objective.

          chemp’s not “defending” China, he’s laying out a case for parity (arguing for fairness in how we discuss China). He’s as critical with China, I sense he’s probably even more anti-China than most here.

    • chemrock says:

      @ Karl
      I was’nt offended Karl. As like I wanted to spring up and draw sword. I just felt misunderstood and a quick refute was in order. That’s all to it. If my words displayed displeasure, I do apologise.

      If you go to an arena of ideas and learning and get displeased with contrarian views, you better stay at home.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I was out of line.

        I really have to apologize for this misunderstanding and mentioning you and LCX.

        • No apologies needed, karl. When chemp and I disagree I’ve noticed it’s usually somewhere in definitions (he’s a facts and numbers kinda guy), so going to definitions was natural.

          Me and edgar and Joe, we differ in values, so definitions don’t usually clear things up for us, and that’s why things get heated.

          I too don’t feel I offended chemp. Though awhile back, i believe i have stepped on his toes once and it was my fault, forgot now exactly what about and that was a different interaction. Here it was just clarification. No de-escalation needed really.

          If there’s any lessons to be learned, I’d say : Take the time to know who you’re talking to.

        • chemrock says:

          No offense taken.
          Last line not directed at you. See how careless one can be with words that lead to misunderstandings.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    Our discussions about the environment, society, economy and politics shows that we care and not just arm chair intellectuals.

    Chemrock showed a meme or a quote about that recently.
    Maybe LCX did but they are too many to remember.

  4. madlanglupa says:

    Ultranationalism is a serious problem, in that it does promote hatred and intolerance in the name of obtaining pure identity (race, language, creed, religion, etc), it creates divisions as well as elevating the ruling political/neo-aristocratic class — a fellow rightly described it the principalia — while erecting more barriers and other impediments to commoners.

    Speaking of intolerant blustery asshats calling themselves leaders and elected to power by bloodthirsty mobs, here’s an example of human garbage on wheels:

  5. karlgarcia says:

    Any extremism including ultranationalism must be tempered.

    Nationalists should not hate and hurt.

    Like in Quebec, they lack skilled workers, but the Quebec premiere is not open to accepting immigrants, that is very Trumpish.
    If people from Quebec hate America and accept Chinese then that is Dutertian.

  6. Sup says:

    Revilla home now….
    Maybe Joeam now you understand why Filipinos selling their votes during election time.
    It is the maybe only time they get something from the government…….Justice they will get never.

  7. Bannon called Jared & Ivanka “Globalists”. Trump calls himself a “Nationalist”.

    • Much as I loath extreme nationalism, I don’t believe in total globalism either.

      Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his new book “Skin in the Game” says “Fences make good neighbors”. And I also believe it is naive to believe all people are the same.

      Germany had to reform its sexual harrassment laws after the New Year’s Eve 2016/2017 incidents involving North African Arabs. Most of what they put in would have been normal if one is raised with Western cultural norms, no need to spell things out.

      so you do need some sort of compass, and that compass is usually what the majority believes, the rest follow that lead. Do as the Romans do. Total liberalization lacks skin in the game because the typical Clinton liberals just meet non-Westerners from NGOs, not working class people – or as Taleb would write “they never drank with Russians” and “get all their opinions from New Yorker”. OK, Taleb is a blowhard, rants a lot, but is sometimes right.

      You need around 80-95% mainstream + some additives as extra salt, pepper and spice.

  8. chemrock says:

    When we look at any issue or idea, I think we must first understand the very foundation of the subject matter.

    Ernest Renan the French historian, famously asked “Qu’est-ce qu’une nation?” (What is a Nation?). Out of the dust of the French Revolution that gave the world the idea of “Liberte”, Renan posited the nation is formed by a people with shared past, a present desire to live together with the common heritage, and a will to do great things together in the future. It has a soul and a spiritual principle, It is not united based on race, religion or geography. To a certain extent Renan’s idea was tinted by his experience of polltical Europe of the time.

    The general precept of nationalism then, was to champion what is good for the nation. Nothing inherently wrong with that. But the means is often at odds with the ends. Take all these great nationalist endeavours : French revolution, Pax Britannica, Hitler’s Third Reich, Japan’s Greater Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, etc etc. And OBOR?

    The mistake is all politicians are easily tempted to drum nationalist feelings to will the people under their control. This is easily done simply by creating a common enemy. Marcos tried with the Reds and Borneo claims, Duterte with drugs war (and dilawans?). For Nazi Germany it was the Jews. it’s easy to create the catalyst for mass fervour and gain servitude of the people. So a nation goes down the slippery slope of ultra nationalists. In the US, we get a new for of nationalists — the xenophobic nationalists.

    Yet it is clear that nationalism can be a great force for good if it is driven to get people behind objectives that are good for the nation. That is a form of nationalism called civic or liberal nationalism. It is a nationalism that drives the nation towards traditional liberal values of freedom, tolerance, equality, and individual rights. This is the form of nationalism that all politicians must champion. There are still many Filipinos that believe in this, but inertia is a disease they must overcome. They have to find the fervour that will drive the masses to their feet. Unfortunately, often times, the catalyst for civic nationalism comes from great sacrifices — assassination of Ninoy for example. The jailing of Delima and ouster of Sereno is not enough. I don’t think the possible jailing of Trillanes or Raisa will mean anything.

    • I wrote about the washed away topsoil. The more recent layers of the Filipino identity such as democracy, and also rule of law which came earlier, are heavily damaged. Christianity is not as heavily damaged as it came earlier and has been there half a millenium – even if much of it is superstitious, medieval European plus Mexican half-pagan plus Filipino voodoo religion. There is at least in Filipino Christianity the concept of “awa” or pity, which is what mobilized people when Gomburza (Gomez, Burgos, Zamora = three priests) were executed in 1872, when Rizal as shot in 1896, when Ninoy was killed in 1983. “Martir” or “santo” may be a foreign concept originally but with time some foreign stuff is assimilated, some is rejected.

      Duterte will have a harder time trying to cast off all after 1521 if he tries it with Catholicism.

    • P.S. my main unease with my father’s (and Bonifacio’s) idea of “bayan” – as opposed to the elite “nacion” which had more structure – is that it is very similar to the idealized “kampong” of Malay bumiputrisono nationalists. Or the Volksgemeinschaft of Germans, a bit further and not exactly the same, but the Volk in its most radical incarnation excluded not only those of Jewish origin but also Germans who were “Undeutsch” (Ungerman) in thinking, including the likes of Thomas Mann who had to leave. That his pantayong pananaw intellectual group uses terms such as “Inglesero” (English-speaker) and “kanluranin” (Westernized) in a somewhat derogatory manner, like the DDS uses “dilawan” is a bit disturbing at times. In fact two of his disciples represent two major political directions. Xiao Chua is “dilawan” while Van Ybiernas is DDS, posting stuff like “don’t learn too much English just to be slaves of others” – just seen by chance as even I don’t look at everything, and I have a strong stomach already.

      • chemrock says:

        Kampong, bayan, and Volk are examples of enthnic nationalism, This form is non-exclusive, It’s divisive and leads at best to balkanisation, at worse to ethnic cleansing.

        • Balkanisation.. reminds me of dinner table quarrels between my parent in the 1990s, with my mother supporting the Croatian right to self-determination and my father seeing the Serbs as the “Staatsvolk” (state people) with the right to a kind of cultural hegemony. Similarly, some proponents of Visayan languages have been pretty rudely put off by my father at conferences – not that he would have any Tagalog Chetniks to send there.

          Even worse was this man who originally invited my parents to a conference in Dubrovnik in good old Yugoslavian days – later he mutated into a Milosevic supporter and even yelled at my mother on the phone, calling her a German fascist. The radicalization of Serbs/Croats in those years was awful. Each side was calling the other side non-humans, carriers of bad blood or wrong religion (Serbs, Macedonians, Montenegrins = Orthodox, Croats = Catholic, Bosniaks/Kosovars = Muslim) so basically we had a kind of Mindanao right in front of us, Munich just hours away.

    • edgar lores says:

      Have to agree with this.

      In particular: “Yet it is clear that nationalism can be a great force for good if it is driven to get people behind objectives that are good for the nation.

  9. Micha says:

    In other news, nationalism takes a backseat as the streets in the heart of Paris burn. Former Rothschild banker and now President Emmanuel Macron fumbled on punishing the ordinary French while handing out favorable policies for the already rich.

    Western democracies are in a flux.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Here lifting the suspension for the excise tax on fuel did not elicit as much outrage compared to France.
      But I don’t wish for street riots, or else we will be threatened with their anti-lawlessness measures.

      • Micha says:

        That’s the marked difference. When French students, farmers, truck drivers, and even ordinary housewives get on the streets to protest, their government cower in fear and will usually give in the their demands.

        Here, it is the criminal government who is the bully.

        Macron though is now a self-confessed neo-liberal punk with a low approval rating of around 28% so it is worth watching how events will develop.

          • Micha says:

            As the commentator in the video said, Frenchmen are revolutionaries. One very significant contribution of course is when they overturned the feudal system and cut off the heads of their feudal masters following the raid on the Bastille.

            Present day France, or, for that matter, present day western democracies are also ripe for revolution against the capitalist juggernaut and the severe inequality it fosters.

          • Micha says:

            Margaret Atwood has warned that a “French Revolution” is inevitable if the American political system does not change.

            The famed author of dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale said several factors have bred inequality in the United States and warned that it could lead to a seismic event similar to that seen in 18th century France, where the ruling class was overthrown.

            “There are other factors in this country that make for quite a lot of inequality, so let’s talk about the healthcare system, let’s talk about incarceration policies and let’s talk about the big split between very, very rich people and everybody else,” she said, speaking at Equality Now’s Make Equality Reality Gala in Los Angeles on Monday.

            “So the dangers in this country have to do with not just gender inequality but also class and race and wealth. So you cannot go on indefinitely having lawmakers write and enact laws that make them richer.

            “You just can’t go on with this forever, you’re going to get the French Revolution if you go on with that too long.”


        • I haven’t followed the collapse of his popularity. What do you think are the main lessons to be learned?

          • Micha says:


            It went from a high of 67% or thereabouts during the initial phase of his presidency and went down to 28% currently.

            He used to be a member of the French socialist party but after his career at Rothschild Bank he is now an unapologetic neo-liberal punk. He became a millionaire brokering the sale of a Pfizer subsidiary to Nestle’.

            Lessons to be learned? Austerity kills. Neo-liberalism is only for the rich. Losing your own currency and become a slave of the euro is a big mistake.

            • Three excellent lessons. Thanks! I’d think being a member of the EU would certainly be confining, but there is apparently a groundswell of belief in Great Britain that leaving would be a huge mistake.

              • Micha says:

                Theresa May is not handling the transition very well. Big concern is losing access to the EU market and London losing its primacy as a financial center.

                But they still have the sterling and that would be a significant advantage in case the transition goes through.

              • Yes, makes sense. It seems Germany is filling the vacuum of the UK’s departure (thinking of financial hub and economic strength) though Macron made a run for influence.

              • Micha says:

                Without full political union, the EU project will forever be haunted by membership viability problems. Having a single currency will not solve it.

                To the extent that bankers wield significant role in policy decisions and have basically hijacked the whole EU, it’s highly doubtful that the attempted union will survive. If ever it does, it will be at a cost of so much economic suffering for those on the periphery. In which case it becomes undemocratic and unbecoming of its original intent.

  10. Zed says:

    Nationalism have always meant devotion to one’s country. It’s illogical to let every poor soul in the US. Thousands of homeless veterans and jobless on the streets. You help other people in THEIR country so that the people there can flourish and not have to migrate. How many did saudi qatar uae let in? Leftists have lost their minds. They have strayed so far from classic liberalism that they view conservatives as far right. China taxes US goods at a higher rate, requires tech transfer and chinese ownership and the should be response it to just let that happen? Thats why the Chinese will dominate the world eventually. The west thinks in years, the chinese think in Millenia. Thousands of british children were groomed and raped by muslim immigrants. This happened for many years. Authorities acted late because they didnt want to be branded as islamophobic/racist. I talked to a british student and she said she can no longer wall at night for fear of being raped or killed. Sweden is now the rape capital, etc. Obama’s platform is the most obscene political platform Ive ever witnessed. It will destroy western culture and its people. Its not multiculural. Just mono cultures in different locations within the country. Maybe the west shouldnt have bombed the middle east and stayed out of it. Maybe the west shouldnt have invested deeply in china and the Philippines wouldnt have to deal with Chinas military. I agree though that environment should be a top priority. Also, 100% of Philippine politicians creep me out. As long as Filipinos let corruption stay in the culture, the country will always remain a failure. Revilla and his family should be dead by now and his estate returned to the country.

  11. andrewlim8 says:


    While some countries legalized marijuana, which country decriminalized plunder and corruption, thereby ensuring continuous poverty of ignorant millions of fools? 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Clue: Starts with the letter P.

  12. karlgarcia says:

    Aside from the unli term, Congress disregarded the meaning of Vice President (in place of).
    The VP will not be next in line to the Pres in case of any untoward events.

    Since Mary owns Aargh, I will just Grrrrrr😠😠😠

  13. Alyas Lorelei says:

    Nationalism is just glorified tribalism, IMO. Migration is the most human thing: after all, did we not all come from Africa an migrated elsewhere? Five thousand years ago, my Austronesian ancestors moved from Taiwan to Luzon. Four hundred years ago, ethnic Chinese started to settle in the Philippines and became an important fabric of the state

    Nations are never a fixed concept. Like organisms, it is constantly changing. Look at what is left of the Roman Republic? The once country of Gran Colombia? The Philippines as a cohesive entity didn’t even exist as a nation prior to 1898, and whether people admit it or not,the country is a direct result of Spanish occupation. Malaysia nd Singapore did not exist until the 1950s.

    Nationalism is overrated. We should think beyond the fantasy of the political borders we create.

    • Alyas Lorelei says:

      A prime example of this are the case of the Sangirs. Many of them have been traveling between what is now the Philippines and Indonesia BEFORE these countries were even countries. Now, they fall victim to such concepts of “nationalism” and a lot become stateless with no rights simply because of legal technicalities.

      • The Badjaos are like the Bedouins of the Middle East. Romas (gypsies) , legend has it they come from India, kept going west and they’re now all the way in California too.

        The Badjaos are treated like crap by other Filipinos, but you see them in their element in the sea, you see a glimpse of what you’re talking about, ala “Moana” (with hei-hei and pua, this is what they brought, plus coconuts & bananas).

        Bedouins are the opposite, though poor, they have freedom of movement and respect from their sedentary progenies.

        Romas working outside the system of nations and modernity, resort to crime.

        As late as pre-9/11 , I knew Yaqui Indians who with their indian identification papers could cross from US to Mexico and Mexico to the US , w/out a California ID or US passport. Yaqui s, and there were other frontier/border indian tribes also recognized (forgot their names), were allowed unrestricted movement.

        The fact is the world as we know it is changing for the worst. That’s why there’s not just regular friendly “migration” going on the way you describe it, it’s in waves and waves of refugees (“asylum seekers”), etc. inundating Europe and the US, more difficult to go Australia.

        Like lemmings, everyone in the 3rd world is leaving. The question is should the US and Canada, like Western Europe, play bleeding heart and risk things going topsy turvy or should English speaking nations be more responsible now, take care of their citizens, and affect

        wiser immigration policies, and not listen to speeches like Locsin’s. You know my answer.

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  1. […] was thinking about my situation when I came across this article from one of the blogs I follow and usually comment on.  It is asking about nationalism, how it can be a bad thing, and finally, […]

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