Alexander Martin Remollino
Patriotism is a two-way process. It's not just you as a citizen. It's also about the government that should also give you work, or something for yourself, to be able to live a dignified life...
(Back home, the expectation is) that you should become the model Filipino, doing it for your country. I want something for myself. I want to move on.
-- Elmer Jacinto, 2004 medical board topnotcher, on choosing to work in the US as a nurse "for money"
It does not become you to bear the surname
of that young man whose life
was consecrated to the loftiest of purposes.
To the moment that his eyes closed,
never to open again,
they were afire with a smouldering project
in the name of Freedom.
You are there, you say,
because patirotism is not a one-way street.
But unpatriotism is never meant to be met
with more and more of the same.
You do not confront the unpatriotism
of those who presume to run this country
by running away from patriotism.
Which brings us to the heart of the matter:
it is not about them,
it is all about you.
You could not content yourself with all the opportunities
beckoning to you in the homeland
and responded only to the greater glitter of the dollar.
And then you excuse yourself,
saying that patrotism
is not a one-way street.
In sum, you have been living a life
that is like a shadowless tree.
What a joke it was then that Destiny played,
giving you the surname of that fine young man.
Your surname does not become you.