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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hotdog-Eating Christians and the Promise of Greatness

Over the weekend, I watched two WW II films - Back to Bataan (1945) , starring John Wayne and Anthony Quinn, and No Man Is An Island (1962) , starring Jeffrey Hunter and Barbara Perez. Two great Hollywood films that tell you the Philippines ought to be the most advanced economy in Asia today.

No Man Is An Island is a film on Japanese occupation of Guam during World War II. It was shot in the Philippines and used a host of Filipino actors and actresses including Barbara Perez and Chichay. Ms. Perez was outstanding in all aspects. Her beauty was world class, her acting defined Hollywood. However, there was a little booboo in one of the scenes that escaped editing. That scene where the American Navy Tweed celebrates Christmas with the Cruz family. Go check Youtube for No Man Is An Island Part 9 posted by user Alchemy618.

In Back to Bataan, Col. Madden (Wayne) told Maximo, a school boy, that the boy would help the Philippines be a great country after the war. You watch that film and you know that line isn't just a script but a promise. Albeit, still unfulfilled. In this movie, I learned that the Philippines had 17 million population. About 65 years and additional 73 million Filipinos later, we are still in our own war against poverty and corruption. From 17M to 90M Filipinos over the span of 65 years, what an achievement in human reproduction! Surely, the Catholic Church is happy to note.

In a classroom scene in Back to Bataan, the pupils were asked what Spain and the US contributed to the Philippines. The pupils said Spain gave us saints and Christianity. The Americans gave us hotdogs! Now, we've become a nation of 90 million, majority of us, hotdog-eating Christians.

I stay in this country, not feeling stuck in it. I'm staying because I'm waiting for that breakthrough. Of the promise of greatness. Over that seemingly far horizon is a ray of legendary hope that this country will be the greatest in Asia. And I will not be in Europe or the US or in any other part of the world when that happens.


  1. You love your motherland the same reason you love your mother. She is not perfect, you know all her flaws, but you love her. Why? Because she is YOUR MOTHER.

    BTW, favorite WWII film is Midway starring Charlton Heston and Henry Fonda.

  2. I don't remember having the chance to choose the country I would want to be born in or through whose womb I would come out. One just has to be grateful to be born in a place that cradles you like a mother's arms. This country, as a whole, has been good to me. It has given me Rizal and beautiful sunrise and breath-taking sunsets. During summer, it offers me the best mangoes in the world. At Christmastime, it embraces me with carols. When catastrophe strikes, it comforts me with childlike smiles. Do I love this country?