I am a Filipino. Like the seeds that were once buried in the tomb of Tutankhamen many thousand years ago, it shall grow and flower and bear fruit again.
Across the centuries the memory comes rushing back to me: That seed is immortal. Even the air that we breathe is no longer safe. In my blood runs the immortal seed of heroes—seed that flowered down the centuries in deeds of courage and defiance. But I tell you I love the Philippines.
I can no longer live, a being apart from those whose world now trembles to the roar of bomb and cannon-shot. I am a Filipino and above me is a canopy of blue, giving me shelter from the strangeness of foreign sky.
Are they not assurances of an abundant and healthy lives? Where there is misery, there is where divisive forces lurk waiting for their opportunity to subvert and destroy. A beautiful Philippines come and peaceful. But still I love her, I love her even she had become dangerous and polluted.
Look at the burden hills around you, the yellow grains of palay. But alas we are living in an age were much of the beauty of our native land is destroyed, destroyed by callous and heartless Filipinos who are thinking only of themselves and of earthly possession.
I shall give the pledge that has come ringing down the corridors of the centuries, and it shall be compounded of the joyous cries of my Malayan forebears when first they saw the contours of this land loom before their eyes, of the battle cries that have resounded in every field of combat from Mactan to Tirad Pass, of the voices of my people when they sing: In my veins yet pulses the same hot blood that sent Lapulapu to battle against the first invader of this land, that nerved Lakandula in the combat against the alien foe, that drove Diego Silang and Dagohoy into rebellion against the foreign oppressor.
I am a Filipino and around me are the hills that I love the clear streams, and the swaying bamboos. I am a Filipino, child of the marriage of the East and the West. This land I received in trust from them and in trust will pass it to my children, and so on until the world is no more.
The East, with its languor and mysticism, its passivity and endurance, was my mother, and my sire was the West that came thundering across the seas with the Cross and Sword and the Machine. Out of the songs of the farmers at sunrise when they go to labor in the fields, out of the sweat of the hard-bitten pioneers in Mal-lig and Koronadal, out of the silent endurance of stevedores at the piers and the ominous grumbling of peasants in Pampanga, out of the first cries of babies newly born and the lullabies that mothers sing, out of the crashing of gears and the whine of turbines in the factories, out of the crunch of plough-shares upturning the earth, out of the limitless patience of teachers in the classrooms and doctors in the clinics, out of the tramp of soldiers marching, I shall make the pattern of my pledge: I love her very much because I am a Filipino and I am part of her.
Out of the lush green of these seven thousand isles, out of the heartstrings of sixteen million people all vibrating to one song, I shall weave the mighty fabric of my pledge.
I cannot say of a matter of universal life-and-death, of freedom and slavery for all mankind, that it concerns me not. I love her even people had made her so ugly, so unfit to be called my own. At the vanguard of progress in this part of the world I stand—a forlorn figure in the eyes of some, but not one defeated and lost.
It is the self-same seed that flowered in the heart of Jose Rizal that morning in Bagumbayan when a volley of shots put an end to all that was mortal of him and made his spirit deathless forever, the same that flowered in the hearts of Bonifacio in Balintawak, of Gergorio del Pilar at Tirad Pass, of Antonio Luna at Calumpit; that bloomed in flowers of frustration in the sad heart of Emilio Aguinaldo at Palanan, and yet burst fourth royally again in the proud heart of Manuel L.
Perhaps this is an unreasonable kind of love. For I, too, am of the West, and the vigorous peoples of the West have destroyed forever the peace and quiet that once were ours.
The seas- the streams- the rivers they have become polluted. For, through the thick, interlacing branches of habit and custom above me, I have seen the light of the sun, and I know that it is good. By the strength of their hearts and hands, by every right of law, human and divine, this land and all the appurtenances thereof—the black and fertile soil, the seas and lakes and rivers teeming with fish, the forests with their inexhaustible wealth in wild life and timber, the mountains with their bowels swollen with minerals—the whole of this rich and happy land has been, for centuries without number, the land of my fathers.
A beautiful heritage of a hopeful generation. For no man and no nation is an island, but a part of the main, there is no longer any East and West—only individuals and nations making those momentous choices which are the hinges upon which history resolves.
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