14 June 2010

The Philippine Flag

Since Saturday, the 112th anniversary of Philippine Independence, all the students in my art workshops were requesting to do the Philippine flag which they enjoy doing because of the story behind it. (I always include stories on history and art in my sessions) Now, when you have kids ranging from 2 to 11, you get a roomful of children singing the Philippine National Anthem as well. But when you have another room full of children with different nationalities drawing the Philippine flag and singing the Philippine National Anthem WITH PRIDE (!), you just get emotional and you thank the heavens for such young passion, energy and pride that I hope skeptical and tired adults will always have.

Nationalism is not just about loving your country. Nationalism is about loving and understanding the things that you have in your country (culture) that makes you unique, resilient, talented, nurturing and proud. It is the heart and the essence behind great communities and great countries. And children, in their innocence and youthful energy, embraces the people and the things that they believe gave them their identity. I am amazed that even foreign children based in Manila have embraced their foreign host country! Some of my foreign students can even recite the Panatang Makabayan!

Identity. Our personal stamp. Embrace it and be whole.

The drawings of the Philippine flag above were done by Vivienne (including the one with President-elect Noynoy Aquino!), Chantrice, Calla, Chiara, and Caitlin. Thank you girls!