Three Stars and A Sun (With 9 Rays)

by Niel the Satirical

So are you telling me we have to reprint all these shirts???

So are you telling me we have to reprint all these shirts???

We Filipinos are very sentimental people. We see to it that we lessen our garbage production by attaching a lot of emotions to our meager possessions. We keep shirts which are too small to fit because it was given to us by someone special, we don’t use that antique china collection our grandmother has because it bears the history of our own kindred and we go way extreme when we refuse to shred receipts from expensive dinners just to remind us of that very special day which we skipped a lot of meals for (talk about a million pesos for a night out which we are not even invited to). So it is safe to say that when one of our national icons would be altered, Juan dela Cruz would take out his bolo and march angrily to the streets making sure that heads will roll before they touch our sacred symbols.

Recently the old senator with the funny nickname succeeded in his quest to add one more ray to the sun contained in our flag. The extra ray would symbolize the cooperation and bravery of our Muslim brothers and sisters who shed their blood in order for us to finally topple the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. This move was lauded by some and criticized by others. According to Senator Gordon, this would help in fostering peace in the battlefields of Mindanao and would serve as a ray of hope in promoting understanding and cooperation with our fellow Muslim Filipinos.

My opinion in this delicate matter is somewhat divided though I am keen on making a stand. Whatever that promises peace among us warmongering Filipinos then you should count me in but I see this as an act which fits the praise “too little, too late”. Yes, we love to romanticize our national flag for it brings hope, patriotism, love, understanding, humility, bravery (put words that feel awesome to say here), but the main issue here is that our government’s strategy to quell this uprising has gone from hopeless to hopelessly uncreative. What other country in the world could boast that an action star (yeah you know him) is the first one rebels seek to negotiate with during hostage takings? Our government’s plan to appease the rebels using the Metro Manila film festival went down the drain that’s why their using the good old switcharoo hoping that the descendants of the Mighty Sultan Kudarat will fall for the oldest trick in the book (If you can’t beat them, then include them in your country even though it is too late).

I am one with the fact that we are officially recognizing the Moro’s contribution to our independence but this simple act of acceptance required decades of bloodshed and thousands of lives lost due to hate, neglect and intolerance. A simple stitch in a piece of cloth colored in red white and blue (I’m talking about the flag of the poorer country) will not stop people from dying. It takes money, priorities and a revamp of our strategy in Mindanao (which I call Operation: Clueless). Build schools, create jobs and industries that will give our countrymen a reason to believe that we do care for them as Filipinos. A flag is still nothing but a piece of cloth. What matters is the history behind that tattered sheet, which is a history of our neglect of the land down south.

So “Dick”, I am one with your advocacy to finally realize that the Philippines is made up of Luzon, Visayas and yes, MINDANAO, but I want you to live up to your name. Thrust it in, you sly politician (pun intended) and make more concrete acts. America did not become a united congregation of states just by adding stars to their banner. It was fought for by people who wanted a united nation in a spirit of tolerance and helping hands. Give jobs, books and better leaders to the suffering Muslims, that is the ray of light that they want to see.

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