It’s amazing how a very small nation could actually break itself free from other nations’ aggression. In one of Lee Kuan Yew’s speeches he said, “You can enter our nation and take away our sovereignty OVER OUR DEAD BODIES.” And all his people rallied behind his patriotic cause in defending their country without questions, without complaints. On this political stance, one thing is sure: Love for one’s country casts away all doubts, fears and apprehensions on whose rights should prevail and whose rights should be protected. No nation, however small, should ever feel intimidated just because of its limited territorial jurisdiction.
Singapore is a very small nation. A little bit larger than Metro Manila. It had its own share of being bullied by both neighboring and western countries. Today its military is considered as the most technologically advanced in Southeast Asia. But, how did it repel possession by Malaysia? Despite a very small population which was not even half a million then? When they decided to be independent, they did it with passion. Everyone joined to fight for their freedom.
In the light of these events in history, we as Filipinos can learn from the Singaporeans’ passion and patriotism. One of our national scientists, Dr. Edgardo Gomez says that the Philippines should start taking some risks in asserting its claim over its territory in the South China Sea. History has proven time and again that any political system anywhere in the world arrives victorious given a strong leadership, cooperative citizens, and a political will so strong no one can threaten even with the most advanced and sophisticated weapons of war.
In the Philippines and across the globe, Filipinos sum up to a hundred million. We may not be the richest or the most advanced but our Filipino character has brought us to our 117th Year of Freedom! Our ability to survive, being hardworking, faith and strength have made us to continually enjoy our freedom. Endurance is one of our characteristics that we remain resilient in the face of adversities even in foreign lands! However, we should not stop at this point, we must pass on these positive characters to our youth and educate them to love the country more than oneself. Let us instill in them the fact that the nation is the threshold of their identity.
Let us fight for what is truly right. Every politician must have a genuine concern over our rights to our own territory. There is no need to be afraid. People always rally behind a noble cause. No oppressor can kill a nation comprised of 100 million minds, hearts, strength and courage. If Vietnam had stopped China from building an oil rig in their disputed waters, why can’t we? Yes, there will be confrontations but there is a need to assert our rights. I believe we are psychologically bullied as a people. We should therefore start by passing through our contested waters, waving the Philippine Flag, and should aliens try to stop us, we should know what should be done. God forbid if they have to pass OVER OUR DEAD BODIES!