Sometimes, for the sake of protecting whatever dignity I have left, I just block Chinese HelloTalk users who ask me the question, “What do you think about China?” I always lie and say I like China, but quite often, the Chinese won’t play the charade and don’t reciprocate the face-saving gesture. It is very telling when the Chinese upturn the Confucian order of things (slapping their 老师 the way they do with their Anhui servants) with abandon and still have the gall to beseech my help for their TOEFL or IELTS exam. Binastos ka na, hinihingan ka pa ng tulong. Filipino pride exists only when we fool ourselves – outside, few are fooled and we are laughed at
It is because the Philippines continues to delude itself that Bangsamoro is part of the country. The reality is that there are more than one nation in Mindanao, and that only one is favored by the establishment in Manila. The majority of Mindanao’s Christian residents are interlopers, occupants of a land that refuses them. They have never treated the Moro and the lumad people with fairness and with respect to their culture and rights to the land. Maybe this is why Duterte’s fanatics are so “nationalistic” and crazy about their numerical superiority and order – they need to suck national resources to keep the peace, gloss over the immorality of their propositions, and quell dissent from both the mountainside and the mosque. The only way the imperialists can feel “safe” in Mindanao is by reframing the Moro’s desire for self-determination as a glorious war of good against evil, by invoking the “oneness” of the national polity, and by using the military to tame the “indolent,” “heathen,” albeit historical, people of Mindanao.
The occupiers of Mindanao should be guilty and not gloating regarding the unjust imposition of Martial Law – poor guys from some god-forsaken northern province are dying for them when they should be the ones defending the land their grandfathers stole. There can only be one sun in the sky: the Moros, lumads, and Christian interlopers in Mindanao can never live in peace if progress for one means the oppression and suppression of the others, if the government continues to pander to institutions antithetical to secularism and humanism. Rebellion and terrorism dwell where there is injustice and hopelessness. There’s no room for “national unity” if people do not belong to the same nation anyway. Blood to the end – that’s the price of the Philippine state’s dreams of Lebensraum und Drach nach Süd.