The Azkals were the first victim of this controversy as statements from GMA broadcaster Arnold Clavio, saying that the players were not really Filipino (points to his heart and head). This caught the ire of most azkals Fans that led to a twitter war against what they call "Crabio's" racial slur.
Recently the Philippine Volcanoes Rugby Team were also under attack, as Fiji Rugby tweeted:
“The only thing Philippines about the Philippine team playing in the Hong Kong 7s is the name of the team,”
Which brings me to the question: What is a true FILIPINO??
Allow me to present my definition of a Filipino through the "Oath of Patriotism" (Panatang Makabayan), one of the 2 national pledges of the Philippines, the other being the "Panunumpa sa Watawat". Both are being recited during flag ceremonies, after the singing of the National Anthem.
1. Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas...
- Well, first and foremost, to love the country, you must be proud of it, the people, the culture, and the places. Dirty or Clean, ugly or not, we must accept the whole fact the Philippines is not a perfect country just as any other country in the planet and we must love it for what it is. As for our athletes, they would not choose to play for the country if they don't love it in the first place. I bet they love the Philippines more than those who were born here, who steal from government, destroy our natural resources, and defile our culture by not buying pinoy.
2. Ito ang aking lupang sinilangan, ang tahanan ng aking lahi...
- As for being born in the Philippines, well that would not hold true for most Fil-Foreigners, but what connects most of them is the blood that runs through their veins...ang lahing Pinoy! a part of them will always be Filipino, the smallest gene of their genetic code will always scream "Pinoy Ako"!!
3. Ako ay kanyang kinukupkop, at tinutulungan upang maging malakas, maligaya at
- As the word "foreign bred" would say, fil-foreigners were born and raised in a foreign culture, but the fact that they had at least a Pinoy parent, does not entirely alienate them from the Pinoy culture. Their father or mother would influence them in the Pinoy values, the same way they were influenced by their own parents. In fact, most of them would even practice "mano", and using the "po" and "opo" better than those who were actually born and raised in the Philippines. So to say that they are not Pinoys in heart and values is actually an insult to their Pinoy parent.
4. Bilang ganti, diringgin ko ang payo ng aking mga magulang. Susundin ko ang mga tuntunin ng aking paaralan.Tutuparin ko ang mga tungkulin ng isang mamamayang makabayan at masunurin sa batas...
- Parental guidance: Check...
- Law abiding citizens: not everyone is perfect, Fil-Foreigners they have their flaws, like all of us. We have no right to single them out and judge them directly with out due process based on their race and skin color.
5. Paglilingkuran ko ang aking bayan nang walang pagiimbot at buong katapatan...
- Pagiimbot (greed), katapatan (faithful)
- Being Pinoy means you should serve the country with all your heart, mind and strength. Playing or performing for National pride really defines this line of the Oath. So why question them for being Filipino? When they would allow themselves to be injured and bloodied for the sake of Flag and and Country.
6. Sisikapin kong maging isang tuny na Pilipino sa isip, sa salita, at sa gawa.
- 3 things are highlighted here; way of thinking, speech and deed. To be Filipino, we must do our best to live the Filipino way of life. I believe that our foreign bred brothers and sisters are really trying their best to learn the Filipino values and speech, thanks to media who is bringing the Pinoys to the world.
Racism is probably the worst enemy of humanity that led to the holocaust and racial prejudice. We should shun away from it and embrace our Filipino brothers and sisters who are searching for their Pinoy identity in our beloved country, for it is in discovering their roots here that would make them whole and accepted. Let us be proud of them and support them,and treat them fairly, just as we also want to be treated the same way.