Home        About        Contact

February 26, 2017

Fanaticism


I am a Humanities and Social Sciences student. And this is my second time to write about History and Politics in my blog. I usually just write my thoughts on a piece of yellow pad and give it to my teacher. But now, I decided to post my thoughts online. I think that this topic is very timely in my country, the Philippines. Even as a youth, I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion and all should respect that right.

I watched I-Witness last night with my family. It was a documentary by Mr. Howie Severino. With the title "People Power sa Davao (People Power in Davao)". And this provoked me to write this article. 

 Davao is a city in the Philippines, found in the island of Mindanao. It is our President Rodrigo R. Duterte's hometown, in which he had been the Mayor for 22 years. The documentary by Mr. Severino was an eye-opener. As a youth, I didn't know that there had been a People Power Revolution in Davao.  All I thought is the People Power Revolution all happened in EDSA only. To my surprise, Soledad "Soling" Duterte, the President's mother was one of the icons in the Davao People Power which aimed to topple the current President and dictator, Ferdinand E. Marcos. 

If you do not know what the Philippine People Power Revolution was, It was
 a series of popular demonstrations in the Philippines that began in 1983 and culminated on February 22–25, 1986. There was a sustained campaign of civil resistance against regime violence and electoral fraud. (*)

This documentary by Mr. Severino was a revelation to me in a lot of ways. It made me question about the motives of President Duterte why he allowed the burial of Ex-President Ferdinand E. Marcos in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani. Despite the fact that his own mother was an avid opposition of the said dictator.
Jocelyn "Baby" Duterte, Rodrigo's sister, mentioned that Soling Duterte was a strict teacher and a disciplinarian and Rodrigo was a "mama's boy". 

. In an article written by Ranada in Rappler dated March 30, 2016, Rodrigo Duterte was quoted; 
"So I will dishonor the memory of my mother by following the person she helped put down?"
What happened to President Rodrigo Duterte? What made him change his views? I just can not think of any valid reason why he let the dictator, whom his mother helped put down from power be buried in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery) while his mother was one of the leaders of the Yellow Friday Movement, an anti-Marcos campaign in Davao back then. I noticed when an avid Duterte supporter learns all about this most often than not, he will not question this anymore. But will justify to anyone who will criticize the President.

On the other hand, in the case of Mr. Jim Paredes wherein he was involved in a confrontation with a Duterte youth in the EDSA rally last February 25. 2017, commemorating the revolution of the 31st anniversary of the EDSA Revolution. In CNN Philippine's articleParedes was caught on video taunting the Duterte Youth members and daring them to look him in the eye. Personally, I feel that the act by Mr. Paredes was uncalled for. People justifying his act, whether it was provoked or not is already a sign of being a fanatic. Because this group of youth does not deserve the "trash talk", so to speak, which he gave them. I may like Mr. Jim Paredes as a singer, but I will not support and tolerate the inappropriate  action he did.

We, the Filipinos, should open our eyes and not be blinded by the things we see and read only in the news. Before we take sides, we must make sure that we have heard both or all sides of he story. Our love for our country should supersede our love for any personality. Coming from the words of US President Theodore Roosevelt, 


“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”
Patriotism is very much different from fanaticism. "Fanaticism is a belief or behavior involving uncritical zeal or with an obsessive enthusiasm. Philosopher George Santayana defines fanaticism as 'redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim'. The fanatic displays very strict standards and little tolerance for contrary ideas or opinions." (*)

I am personally urging the youth of today to imbibe patriotism and do away with fanaticism. We should put a good head over our shoulder and be analytical and not purely emotional. But as a sensible person, always take sides. 

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.”- Elie Wiesel

I may like a lot of things, and I am passionate in some. But being a fanatic is not me. 
We should not be influenced with what we see or hear in the media, or be influenced with another person's view. We should have our own conviction based on our own values and principles. And we should stand by it.