This day is both historic and significant. May 11, 2012 will be one of the most important watersheds in Philippine history for one thing alone--we have re-discovered the Katipunan within us.
While hundreds of Filipinos protested against the Chinese government's actions in the Spratlys, it also shows how politically mature we have become as a people. That peaceful action against the Sino government in Beijing shows clearly what we really want to express before the world--that we are opposing the imperialistic actions of the Sino government because it harms or puts in harm's way other countries in the region.
China's overreaction when it issued an advisory to its citizens staying here in the Philippines to stay indoors shows China's insecurity and immaturity.
Probably, the Chinese government fears that riots would explode in the capital against Chinese residents and tourists here. IN other countries in Asia and in another time, yes, riots broke out against the Chinese because of perceptions that the Chinese have gained significant economic wealth and advancement than others. The 1969 riot in Malaysia is one such incident.
In the Philippines, there is no such thing and there will never be such a thing. Filipinos are militating against actions by the Chinese government, not by the Chinese people. We are not even angry at their government. What we are militating against is their imperialist ambitions in the region, which truly places regional security under great risk.
The Chinese people and the Filipino people both share a great historical legacy. When the Filipinos launched their revolution against Spanish power, the Chinese were there, as allies and as warriors. When the Chinese militated against their own government, the Filipinos were likewise there, by their side.
The Chinese people and the Filipino people share the same heart, the same goal, the same vision and mission--to create change in their respective societies. This explains why the 1949 Chinese Revolution remains an inspiration to hundreds if not thousands of Filipino ideologues and idealists.
It pains us, Filipinos, that China is now threatening us and even considers us an enemy. Filipino-Sino ties have existed for centuries. It remains strong because both peoples respect each other. Without respect, nothing good emanates from it.
The Chinese government must exercise restraint and show respect to its neighbours. If China wants to be the foremost leader in the region, it must show respect towards its neighbours. Leadership and power comes from respect, not from fear. We all know what happened to imperialist and totalitarian leaders--history destroyed them.
IN the modern age, leadership does not proceed from the barrel of the gun but from the virtue of benevolence.