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      Malalim ang pinaghuhugutan ng sinumang kilala ang bayan: alam niya ang mga dinaranas, mga kakulangang dapat punan, ninanasa at hinahangad, at higit sa lahat ang pinagdaanan nito.

Bukod dito, alam niya kung sino at ano ang bayan; wala nang ibang mas makapagbibigay ng malinaw na kahulugan nito kundi si Andres Bonifacio: “Gunamgunamin sa sarili tuwina, na ang matapat na pagsampalataya sa Kanya ay ang pag-ibig sa lupang tinubuan, sapagkat ito ang tunay na pag-ibig sa kapwa.” Sa madaling sabi, ang Diyos, ang tinubuan (bayan), at tao (kapwa) ay iisa bilang ang bayan. Kung saan man ito hinuhugot, ito’y walang iba kundi sa kaibuturan ng diwa’t damdamin ng bawat isang nakakikilala sa bayan, samakatuwid sa “loob.”

      Ang “kagandahang loob” ay hindi isang pag-uugaling minsan lang ipinakikita; ito’y panghabambuhay na paggawa ng mabuti nang walang hinihintay na kapalit at hindi huwad, mapa sa kapwa man o sa tinubuan, dahil ito naman ang “kalooban” ng Diyos. Ang “utang na loob” ay hindi awtomatikong ganti sa “kagandahang loob,” bagkus ay pag-uugaling huwag makalimot, patunay rito ang kasabihang “ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan, hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.” Ang sinumang “nakikipagpalagayang-loob” ay kapwa nagkikilanlanan dahil nagtutugma ang kanilang “niloloob.”

      Dalawampung kwento ng dalawampung tao sa nakaraan ang tampok sa proyektong ito; silang nagawang magtanggol sa dangal at buhay ng kapwa dahil iisa ang “niloloob” nila laban sa mga dayong hindi nila “makapalagayang loob;” silang nagawang umagapay sa mga inapi at ipinahiyang kababayan dahil hindi nila maatim na makitang “nasisiraan ng loob” ang mga ito; silang “kusang loob” na tumindig upang katawanin ang “saloobin” ng marami; silang nagbigay “lakas ng loob” sa kapwa na harapin ang mga bagay alang-alang sa kapakanan ng bawat isa at ng mga susunod pa sa kanila; at silang “bukal sa loob” na naghandog ng sarili, ‘di na alintana ang kahihinatnan dahil “tanggap na ng loob” ang kapalit, maging ito ma’y sariling ginhawa o buhay.

Hindi natapos ang “kalooban” kahapon at hindi lang iisa ang may “loob,” gaya ng hindi rin natapos kahapon ang kabayanihan… hangga’t “bukal sa loob” ang pagnanasang gumaling ang bayan. Hindi kailan man sayang ang panahon, lakas, at pangarap na “kaloob” kung para ito sa bayan. “Buo ang loob” nila na gawin ito sa simula pa lamang.

Bukas, magsisimula ang kwento nila.


Inihanda bilang panimula sa serye ng mga artikulong tampok ang “kalooban” ng mga dakilang Pilipino mula sa Gitnang Luzon. 

Sa Likod ng Bayan

Bukang-bibig ng marami sa atin ang salitang “bayan” bilang pantukoy sa Pilipinas. Ngunit batid ba ng marami kung paanong nangyaring naging “bayan” ang Pilipinas?

Una sa dalawampung serye ng Sa Loob ng Bayan, isang proyekto ng Project Saysay, TOSP Region 3 Alumni Community of Heroes, at Project Captured bilang paghahanda sa Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines Regional Week sa darating na 23-27 Abril 2015 sa Bataan.

A Nameless Hero Almost No One Remembers

Can a nation honor a hero without a name and with a hazy identity?

In all probability, Spaniards intended to down play him in their records—at least five primary sources and two authoritative secondary—so that his people and their generations would no longer remember him: the “brave Moro” (“un valeroso moro”), for Islam was a budding faith in Luzon at the time, and the “bravest on the island” (“mas valiente de aquella isla”) referred to by the 17th century Spanish chronicler Fray Gaspar de San Agustin, O.S.A.

Be with Your People

January 01, 2020

He is trivialized by many as the first native of the Philippines to author a book and to become a printer, but he should not be remembered as a mere printer but an enabler to his people.

A Hero Who Shed Tears like a Boy

January 01, 2020

“I awake soaked in tears, and at this very moment that I write this, I cannot contain the tears that drop from my eyes.”

Extranjero, Hero

He simply empowered a group of ladies in Malolos and he changed the “Maria Clara” image of a Filipino woman.

Diwa ng Bayan

Maganda ang pagdalumat ni Maypagasa at ng Katipunan sa kahulugan ng bayan; ang tanong, naiintidihan ba natin talaga kung ano ang bayan. Kung nasasaloob lamang natin ang diwa ng bayan, may mangangahas pa bang nakawan ang bayan, manlamang ng kapwa, at maging manhid?

When a Spoiled Brat Becomes a Hero

“We are born, grow up, reach old age and die… [but] love of the country is perhaps the most constant of emotions, if there ever be anything constant in the human heart, and, it seems, will not leave us even in the tomb.”

From Olympics to Death March

He could have been saved if he just accepted the efforts of getting him out of Capas by a fellow Olympian who bested him silver place in the 1928 Amsterdam Summer Olympic Games (a difference of only eight seconds) and happened to become a lieutenant in the Imperial Japanese Army.

Be a Young Hero

Not because he was a nephew of the first Katipunan president and of the editor of La Solidaridad he automatically became general; he was overlooked, intentionally, because of his young age; he was a self-made hero, and will be a reminder that one is never too young to serve the nation.

A Beloved Novo Ecijano

This youngest Filipino general had enjoyed his entire youth in loving and be loved in return not only by his fellow Novo Ecijanos but also by the people whom he liberated.

A Networking Hero

“[L]et us seize back our nation from the usurping hands of our oppressors; let us do so in order to cause happiness; let us recover the manor where we were born, [and] return to our children the home we have inherited from our parents.” -Mariano Ponce to Domingo Villaresa, Hong Kong, 10 September 1897

A Nurse and the Two Warring Generals

January 01, 2020

Women’s suffrage in the Philippines could have been predated Pres. Manuel Luis Quezon’s Commonwealth Act No. 34 in 1937 if only the Revolutionary Congress in Barasoain, Bulacan had accepted Apolinario Mabini’s Programa Constitucional in 1898. Mabini’s constitution is the earliest known Filipino political document to champion women’s suffrage. Aside from political rights, Mabini’s constitution fosters gender equality in education; the only thing the women are barred from is the judicial function. Even though Mabini’s constitution was never realized, women were still held in high esteem during the two periods along the birth of the Filipino nation: the continuing revolution and the outbreak of War against the United States in 1899.

The People’s Champ before Pacquiao

January 01, 2020

America’s most famous lawyer Clarence Darrow had just won the famous Leopold and Loeb murder case when the Filipino community in Chicago, Illinois hired him in 1926 to defend a Filipino Northwestern University law student jailed by a group of Americans. This student, who happened to be a part-time professional boxer, just saved a fellow Filipino ganged upon by those Americans. Darrow won the case and the law student later decided to return to the Philippines after 11 years in Chicago.

The Spirit of Ginebra

January 01, 2020

“Our heroes — not their ‘pop exaltations’ — were not perfect and yet they shaped history. We, too, do not need to be perfect to do the heroic. We need not be flat. Or boring. We need not be ideal role models. We need not have ideas that sit well with everyone. We can be complex, contradictory, conflicted, and yet still be beautiful, gifted, and extraordinary.” –Ebele Mogo, “Not Perfect, But Heroic: Humanizing Our Heroes”

The Emo from Baler

January 01, 2020

She is gifted by breathtaking scenery shaped by the movements of the Sierra Madre and by the currents of the Pacific. As the sun rises on her eastern direction, light strikes everywhere, unleashing her natural vibrancy: the bluish horizon and the seas, the lush green forests, the rocky monuments of earth’s movement millions of years ago. As the sun sets on her mountains in the west, wistful shades paint her surroundings in nostalgia… and she seems bringing you to your roots

A Love Story behind a Cemetery

January 01, 2020

This story, although quite morbid, proves love lasts forever, and that when the protagonist and his better half died they were buried at the same site where they both fought the Japanese in the bloodiest battle in whole of Panay during World War II, in Balantang, Jaro, Iloilo City. The battlefield, a hallowed site in that part of Panay, was made into a Balantang Veterans Cemetery. The protagonist, who commanded the guerrilla movement across Panay, Guimaras, and Romblon, died earlier of cancer in 1965 and was buried not in his hometown in Moncada, Tarlac but in that cemetery.

She Wants to Wear Tutu

January 01, 2020

“I was rebelling against being, I was escaping from being, a Malolos girl, a tradition-bound Filipina. I was already, well a nonconforming spirit.” -Estefania Aldaba-Lim

The Last Speech

January 03, 2023

“With a little experience and direction, those are the energies that make the leaders who will eventually shape the nation and determine the course of history.” -Ramon Magsaysay

She Will Never Become a National Artist

February 23, 2023

She was more than just a cousin to the great Asian leader Ramon Magsaysay. She was no less than but Anita Magsaysay-Ho, one of the most celebrated Filipina(o) artists in the world.

Wearing Lipstick in the Battle

May 28, 2023

“One of the proudest features of the Hukbalahap,” wrote Luis Taruc, “was the role played in its ranks by women. In no other wartime guerilla organization was this true , except in minor capacities.” The Huk Supremo observed that in most units of the USAFFE, women usually played the role of the “guerilla wife,” tasked only with menial jobs like nursing, cooking or chopping wood. In Hukbalahap, the women were leading military commanders and mass organizers.

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