I am probably not as vocal as everybody else, or even look like it, but I am proud to be a Filipino. Despite the flops and fails we see in the news, there are many good things that weren’t really much appreciated. Yes, there were news about them but they never were really given as much attention as the President’s love life. What we see on the news and what seems to be trending in social networking sites are mostly on the negative angle of things, which gives the international media a very bad reputation of the Philippines.
THE MEDIA IS SUPPOSED TO BE A TOOL IN NATION BUILDING
As much as I wanted to defend the media about this but most of the blame can be pointed to them. One of my teachers gave a one-hour lecture on media biases last week and she mentioned that news is supposed to be a tool in nation building. Now that is one thing we rarely see in our media. They are more interested in featuring controversial stories that could make or break our nation. Examine newspapers and television news, and you’ll see the ratio of good and bad news are obviously in favor of the latter. For example, we see news about our corrupt policemen and army generals but we rarely give our soldiers and policemen, who were dedicated in their work and are risking their lives for us in pursuit of national security, the right recognition and honor. That is because we are all given the impression that they are corrupt because of the negative news that the media releases to the public. One fault of the media, in my opinion, is that they often forget the news that would uplift our nationalism and patriotism and not those that would make us sad, infuriated, and even be ashamed of being a Filipino.
We have a rich culture. Why not focus on the promotion and preservation of our culture? Giving that focus would definitely help us preserve and enrich our heritage. For example, we rarely see news on TV about what’s happening on our local theaters (not the movie theater), museums and indigenous people. If we see one, it would involve either a controversy or a politician/celebrity/personality. They rarely showed how socio-anthropologists are struggling to preserve our indigenous culture. The media rarely shows us that the what used to be one of the seven wonders of the world found in our country is nearing destruction.
Why not the media and all of us Filipinos join the Philippine Heritage Watch in their advocacy to the “protection and preservation of our built heritage, cultural and historical sites and settings”? There are many of these heritage sites that are forgotten, damaged and even demolished which are actually relevant to our national-identity as Filipinos. Why don’t the media help spreading the news that these people needs help and not focusing on the President’s smoking issue?
Why not focus on the promotion of our own literature? In Prof. Christine Godinez-Ortega’s article, “The Literary Forms in Philippine Literature”, she stated that “The diversity and richness of Philippine literature evolved side by side with the country’s history” , thus making literature an important aspect in building our national identity. There are many talented Filipino writers who are seemed to be unrecognized and unappreciated by us, and to most of us, they are even unknown. The recognition given by the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature is one of the biggest recognition that any writer in the Philippines could get, though, only a few knows the weight of the recognition. In the circle of writers, it is one big thing but for others it seems to nothing. Why not the media talk about these things? Why not help these writers be known to the Filipino youth? They could inspire every youth to help preserve our culture, history and heritage.
Why not focus on the various moves that are being made for the improvement of the Philippine commerce? There are many developments in the cities outside the National Capital Region. Why not help their efforts be recognized? Why don’t we focus on the developments that would help our economic growth and not the problems that we face.
IT STARTS WITH US
As I said earlier, the media isn’t the sole reason to be blamed in this problem. We, too, are to be blamed. We get easily infuriated by a small controversial issue but gets disinterested to issues about our culture. We forget that there are far more important things than those issues that would only bring bad vibes. We often forget that our culture is rich and that our country is beautiful. Let us start within the four corners of our home, then extend it to our community. You could start in the social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter in promoting various groups which advocates and our national tourism.
I am not saying that we disregard the issues that the people should know about. All I am saying is we give more importance to things that would help us in nation building. Let us love our country and our culture. I dare you to write something about your hometown. Tell the people about the good spots in your places. Give suggestions to your local government units as to what areas to improve.