We often hear the idea of an “American Dream” from Americans. Wherein they foresee their selves living in a nice ol’ cozy house with a picket white fence just in the middle of a suburb in a state of their choosing. However, for most Filipinos, what we often hear as the ultimate Filipino dream is to leave to live. We have this almost engrained picture of a successful, blissful life located in a different country other than our own. Because we are exposed to the comfort of well developed countries, we wind up having a desire to be a part of it, to be a part of a country that is well off rather than to be in a country that is better off left as it is.
Why do we have this mindset though? Is it because we were repeatedly colonized by foreigners in the past? Is it because of the unending political issues we encounter? The economical issues? The social issues? Is it because Filipinos are very happy by nature? Because we get on by with small, yet meaningful things? Is it because we give importance to our families? Because we have a nature of respecting our elders? Is it because we celebrate even the smallest things, events, and experiences life has to offer? Because we know how to makiramdam? Is it because of the culturally rooted dishes and food we have? Because we preserve our culture? Why?
Why do we aim for someone else’s dream when we can have our own? A dream of being a part of the development of our country. A dream of finally being able to see that our leaders are being leaders. A dream of seeing the people in poverty rise up from where they are now. A dream of watching our children grow up in the barangays where we grew up in, free to play patintero and spin a trumpo in the peaceful streets filled with the sound of our children’s laughter and neighbors chatter. We shouldn’t dream to be a part of an already finished one. We should dream of something that we ourselves desire for, will work for, and wouldn’t give up on. Because that is what the Filipino dream is about.
By Nicole Agdisel Fegcan