By Atty. Caesar Europa
Laying aside, for the moment, the various issues raised with regards the our country’s hosting of the 2019 SEA Games, fake news and all that, I do not think anyone can honestly deny the fact that the opening of the games was indeed a show to remember.
It was a grand display of Pinoy talent, culture and artful ingenuity that had many shedding prideful tears and caused, for most Filipinos, I hope, an intense swelling of Pinoy Pride. It was even quite amusing to see that our President was obviously having a hard time reining in the temptation to bust a move to the groove.
Senator Bato Dela Rosa and business tycoon, Dennis Uy, on the other hand, like most of those watching, just let it go as they were dancing the night away. I even saw the clip posted on Facebook by Executive Secretary Salvador “Bingbong” Medialdea, of himself with Sen. Dela Rosa, displaying their vocal talents as they sang Hotdogs’ “Manila”, along with the crowd.
I believe that the show left many of those who were there, or watching on television, with LSS (Last Song Syndrome). I kept hearing the lyrics of “Manila” and apl.de.ap’s “Bebot” long after the show ended.
The lighting of the cauldron by Sen. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and the massive fireworks display that followed added a lot of oomph to the shock and awe of the opening.
Over and above the fact that the show was truly a grand entertainment showcase, what I took from it was the fact that we, as a people, are indeed capable of accomplishing so much, particularly if we could get past our political, regional and cultural differences.
The slogan of the 2019 SEA Games, “We Win As One”, though intended for all of the competing Southeast Asian countries, for me, rings especially true for us Filipinos.
With depth of Filipino talent and ability, along with the rich and varied cultures and the natural resources our nation has been blessed with all over the more than 7,100 islands of our archipelago would guarantee success if we could only get our collective acts together.
More than a hundred years ago, our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, already diagnosed the major ailment of our country, the social cancer we call “crab mentality” where, instead of helping each other achieve success, there are many who would rather spend the time bringing each other down.
Should we just surrender to this as being an inevitable part of our national identity or should we do something about it?
I am not so naïve to think that this will be easy because there will always be some fault, defect or problem in the way that every administration does things. However, what I propose is that we focus on constructive rather than destructive criticism. Talk about what things can be done to improve the way things are done rather than engage in continuous personal mud-slinging, fault finding and finger pointing to ascribe blame.
Even in just the hosting of the 30th SEA Games, for example, while there have been, and will be, glitches, we should not lose sight of the fact that it is a matter of national pride for all of us to ensure that our guests feel and experience the true nature of Filipino hospitality.
A successful hosting will be a source of pride for each and every Filipino, regardless of political affiliations, cultural biases and regional rivalries. In this, as a start, we are all Proud Pinoys and, if we can do this, We Win As One.