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Proud to be Pinoy

01:34 PM February 24, 2011

EVERY Filipino in the world today stands a little taller and a little prouder.

No longer the butt of jokes and the object of pity or derision, Filipinos can take their place in the council of nations because they are one of the few races who have done the impossible.

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They have deposed a dictator without the help of anyone but themselves, and they have unshackled their country from a decade of bondage with minimal bloodshed.

When Filipinos first voted out Marcos and their will was frustrated, it seemed as if the depths of degradation as a people had been plumbed. Years of being the world’s prostitutes, coolie labor, international criminals, apathetic subjects of a repressive ruler had made the Filipino a laughing stock in the international community.

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But redemption was forthcoming.

When the revolution now popularly called People Power began, it was triggered off by two Filipinos — Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel Ramos. But neither of them would have survived if the people had not put themselves between the attackers and the leaders of the revolt.

People all over the world then saw the unbelievable.

Filipinos charging at giant tanks with Volkswagens.  Nuns and priests meeting armor cars with rosaries and prayers. Little children giving grim soldiers flowers and urging them not to fight for Marcos. People linking arms and blocking tanks, daring them to crush their fellow Filipinos which they did not.

It was a lesson in passive resistance that will be the model for all oppressed people of the world, and it was uniquely Filipino.

And in the end, when the dictator had been deposed, his followers were treated with compassion rather than anger, with charity rather than vindictiveness, and national reconciliation at last became possible.

Filipinos have regained not only their Liberty, but their pride, not only freedom but dignity, not only honor but the respect of other men.

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