COTANGENT – By Daphne Cardillo
A hundred years for America is enough. A hundred years for that anti-colonialist stance is enough.
Anti-colonialism is still seeing things, people, and events from the colonialist perspective; only, it is negative. It is still standing from the outside looking in; with a foreign eye, a prejudiced mind, and at an obtuse angle. It is still within the context of colonialism.
Since the Senate voted “No” to the continued presence of American bases and other US military installations in 1991, our country has taken a paradigm shift; from colonialism to sovereignty. So the time has come for us to shed that anti-Spanish, anti-American, anti-Japanese, or even anti-Western stance. They only prolong our national schizophrenia.
It’s time for us to start saying “aton ini,” waray hira labot,” “pasagdi iton hira,” “saho,” and say them habitually. We need that for psychic cleansing.
Sovereignty requires us to see things from within, from where we stand, and from our own perspective. It is like a farmer planting fruit trees and realizing that apples don’t grow in our climate, throw the seeds away. We need guavas for our children and for our birds.
Sovereignty requires us to generate strength from within and not from an outside force. It is building and fortifying anything that we have irrespective of whether they are favorable or unfavorable to others outside us. If our capacity to say “No” had been continually practiced and mastered, Filipino hospitality would have not left us ravaged and lost.
Sovereignty requires us to basically accept ourselves; our environment, our inherent culture, and our pagkatao. This might lead us to know more about ourselves, define what we want, and be sure where to go. And maybe starting this century we should stop apologizing for not being fair-skinned. Snakes will forever be changing their skins but Filipinos will always be brown.
And if we say that we have been living under a culture of fear then maybe we can counter that with love by starting to love ourselves and stop playing “sipsip” to those whom we fear. We can therefore stop sending our men and women to work abroad thus breaking our families in exchange for dollars. We can also stop selling the best of our harvests from rice, shrimps to bananas for other people to eat and leave the crumbs for our own use.
Indeed, sovereignty requires us to build power from within, let it take roots and allow it to grow, in order to create a space enough to sustain us, and leave no room for an outside power to reign.