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25 November 1984


Looking at my homeland from here, I see that it is huge and incredibly beautiful, and I do not understand why it is in such a mess.

The people here have such a tiny country, with scarce natural resources (the mountains and sea are a poor excuse for mountains and sea).Yet they have worked themselves to the forefront of the world scene, and are capable of leading it. The devotion to hard work and the striving for excellence are already second nature to them. It is their blood, and the air they breathe. Where did this incredible talent come from?

The Filipino simply cannot hold things together. Does his mind lack the capability to grasp the relations of things? When he gets something in his own hands, it disintegrates. Especially the ordering of society. Is it entirely the fault of the colonial master who, through hundreds of years, systematically brutalized his spirit?

Sure enough, there are individuals who have a talent for organization. But they lack courage. There are individuals who have courage, but do not have the talent for organization. And there are those who have both, but have no depth and vision. And those whom I know who have all are either old or long gone—fought lonely battles in their lifetimes, and died with broken spirits.

I need this peace, far away from my homeland, to be able to understand it. The sad insanity had taken its toll on me, too, though I am only twenty-six. In this quiet existence here I am trying to exorcise the anger. And the impatience with my people. The vain, blind struggle with nature.

I want to grasp the Ideal, but with a full measure of consciousness, and the readiness, and patience, to devote a whole lifetime of striving for it. In the gentle way that my father and mother have taught me.