National exercise: pull-ups

In conjunction with the "It's more fun in the Philippines" campaign, an old friend from highschool recently brought up the topic of Filipino pride. Out of my habit for finding alternative interpretations (blame literature classes), this got me wondering if Filipino pride (or perhaps patriotism in general) is indeed as noble as people claim it to be.

Whenever Paquiao wins a fight, the nation celebrates. When The accomplishments of Lydia de Vega and Lea Salonga from past decades are mentioned, our countrymen claim that they are proud to be Filipinos. Hell, some of us still insist on giving credit to figures such as Agapito Flores and Lapu-Lapu even though more sober historians concede that this may be undeserved.

However, I must ask: What gives us the right to brag about the accomplishments of a few individuals whom we have no direct relation with? Do their feats really say something about the country they supposedly represent? Are we simply pretending that our cheers, prayers, purchased tickets, and bets on the matches somehow contributed to their performance? Are we that desperate for a bit of glory that we latch on like blood-sucking ticks to titans who just happen to be of the same citizenship? Just so that we could brag, "Look! We have the same blood running through our veins!"?

In short: Could it be that our so-called pride is merely a manifestation of crab mentality's mirror image? Hindi ba parang mga sabit lang tayo sa karangalan ng iilan?

Just a random thought from a guy who has never understood the popularity of the UAAP games.

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