I’m pleasantly surprised to see the website of Marine Capt. Nicanor Faeldon (www.-pilipino.org.ph), one of the Magdalo soldiers currently detained at Fort Bonifacio, updated.
I suppose someone is doing it for him because they are not allowed internet connections in their detention quarters.
Faeldon’s website was set up immediately after he escaped on Dec. 14, 2005. It became a phenomenon in the Philippine blogging community because just a few weeks after it started, it crashed due to the heavy volume of visitors. Even after a lull since he was captured on Jan. 27, 2006, the site has recorded over a million visitors.
From recent posts, one can sense that Faeldon’s advocacy has gone up to another level. The patriotic fervor is as sharp as ever. His intellectual, even spiritual, growth is evident. The masthead now carries a Biblical verse from the book of Sirach: “Stand up for what is right, even if it costs your life.”
I noticed that “Pilipino” is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (No. CN200008847). Its stated vision is for a united and empowered people. To achieve that vision, Pilipino will work for the raising of national consciousness .
Here’s the Q and A from the site:
Q. What is the national consciousness?
A. The national consciousness is a vision that is the product of the pooled dreams of a people committed to work for the realization of their dream.
Q. What differentiates it from other goals of other political groups?
A. The commitment of the people to work for their dreams. There will be no national consciousness unless the people commit to the vision. The goals and visions of other political groups are dreams, to which not all the members of the group are committed.
Q. What differentiates Pilipino from advocacy groups, civil society organizations and political parties?
A. The commitment of their present core of leaders not to run for public office, or to continue heading the organization once the vision has been attained. The National Executive Committee as it is presently comprised is made up of people who are committed to pass on the leadership to the next generation of leaders once these are ready.
Q. Is the national consciousness based on any ideology?
A. No, there is no other ideology behind the national consciousness other than the dreams of the people. The national consciousness is based on Filipino values of self-sacrifice, hope, hard work, willingness to trust in other people, courage, and persistence.
Q. Can such unity be attained, considering the constant bickering in politics?
A. It depends on us. It depends on our willingness to sacrifice our self-interests, to work for our dreams, and to defend our future.
Q. How will the national consciousness be formed?
A. It will start with dialogue. The writing and photo contests are part of the ongoing dialogue with the people on their dreams, what these are, and which ones they will commit to.
Q. How can we define our dreams?
A. By asking ourselves, by thinking about the future, by evaluating the present and holding both our leaders and ourselves accountable for what our leaders do. By remembering that acts of omission – such as choosing not to speak out against graft and corruption – are as bad as acts of commission.
Q. Can this be done within our lifetime?
A. It depends on us, on how soon we can unite and gather the resolve to fight together.
Q. What will happen once the national consciousness is attained?
A. Then the people can move as one. One problem with reforming government is that the reforms are always painful. Unless the people are committed to their dreams, they will protest the painful decisions. This is where self-sacrifice comes in, for the pain of reforms is easier to endure when one knows that everyone would willingly make the same sacrifice once it becomes necessary.
Q. What can we do to help attain national consciousness?
A. You can start discussing with your friends and family what future you want, and what you are willing to give up to attain that future. You can join the writing and photo contests. And you can organize within your community adherents who will dream with you, and work towards the attainment of that dream.
Pilipino has launched an essay writing contest “to help shape and define those dreams”.
There will be two categories: fiction and non-fiction. Entries for the fiction category may be in English or Filipino. The entries should answer any or all of the following questions:
1. Paano nakikita ang pambansang kamalayan sa pang-araw-araw na buhay?
2. Maliban sa mga paraang nabanggit na sa PILIPINO may iba pa bang paraan na maaaring magparami ang Pilipino at mapadali ang pagkakamit ng pambansang kamalayan?
3. Paano mababago ng pagkakaroon ng pambansang kamalayan ang buhay ng bansa, at ang buhay ng pangkaraniwang tao? Ano ang kahulugan ng Pilipino sa buhay mo? Ano ang maaaring maiambag mo sa Pilipino?
Only those entries which answered any of the three questions above will be accepted for judging; entries, no matter how good, original, and creative, which do not discuss the national consciousness will not be considered.
For more information on Pilipino and the essay-writing contest, visit Faeldon’s website. Or e-mail him: firstname.lastname@example.org