I am a Filipino
By Carlos P. Romulo
I am a Filipino – inheritor of a glorious past, hostage of the uncertain future. As such I must prove equal to a twofold task – the task of meeting my responsibility to the past, and the task of performing my obligation to the future.
I am sprung from a hardy race, child of many generations removed of ancient Malayan pioneers. Across the centuries the memory comes rushing back to me; of brown-skinned men putting out to sea in ships that were as frail as their hearts were stout. Over the sea I saw them come, borne upon the billowing wave and the whistling wind, carried upon the mighty swell of hope in the free abundance of the new land that was to be their home and their children’s forever.
This is the land they sought and found. Every inch of shore that their eyes first set upon, every hill and mountain that beckoned to them with a green-and-purple invitation; every mile of rolling plain that their view encompassed, every river and lake that promised a plentiful living and the fruitfulness of commerce, is hallowed spot to me.
By the strength of their hearts and hands, by every right of law, human and divine, this land and all the appurtenances thereto – the black and fertile soil, and the seas and lakes and rivers teeming with fish, the forests with their inexhaustible wealth in wild life and timber, the mountains with their bowels swollen with minerals – the whole of this rich and happy land has been for centuries without number the land of my fathers. This land I received in trust from them and in trust will pass it on to my children, and so on until the world is no more.
I am a Filipino. In my blood runs the immortal seed of heroes – seed that flowered down the centuries in deeds of courage and defiance. In my veins yet pulses the same hot blood that sent Lapu-lapu to battle against the first invader of this land, that nerved Lakandula in the combat against the alien foe, that drove Diego Silang and Dagohoy into rebellion against the foreign oppressor.