If you’ve read my previous article on nationalism you already know my thoughts on what passes for nationalistic ideas in our country. For this installment I’d like to focus on t-shirts. T-shirts, watches, armbands, and other articles of clothing. Yes, I do believe they are bad for this country. Of course I’m not referring to every shirt. What I’m referring to are the t-shirts with the map of the Philippines on them, the yellow armbands, the p-noy glasses, and various other patriotic clothing.
The sentiments you try to express are appreciated. Believe me they are. By wearing those shirts you are trying to show your love and loyalty to the Philippines. Of course you could just be wearing them to look cool, but lets assume the best case scenario for this article. The thing we have to realize is that wearing these Philippine map shirts do not make you patriotic.
What do these shirts actually do to help our country? Nothing. That’s what. If you get hit by a sudden bout of nationalism from watching a Pacquiao fight, seeing an azkals game, or one of the myriad other reasons to feel better about being a Filipino don’t go to the nearest mall to buy a shirt. There are so many other things you can do. Report a corrupt police man or official, pay the correct taxes on time, hell pay the correct taxes even when not on time, even volunteering at your local barangay for whatever activity they are running this week. Do these ideas help the country more? Yes. Are they easier to do than wearing a shirt to the mall? No. This is probably why everyone wears these shirts and cheats on taxes.
So far I’ve said why these shirts may not be the most optimal expression of nationalism that you may do. Let me segue a little to show you why they are actually bad for us. Do you remember the Glee! episode where the boys thought of the coach so that they could cool their libidos when they are with their girlfriends? Well these shirts are Shannon Biest. The glee boys think of her when they get surges of hormones to calm them down. These t-shirts are what hot-blooded Filipinos buy when they get surges of patriotism so they don’t have to do anything else. Even if we assume that you only buy these shirts because they look cool you still get a misplaced sense of pride, thinking that somehow your helping the country.
Honestly, people are usually not aware they are doing it. They buy the shirts, feel good about being all nationalistic and gung-ho about the country, then they feel that they have done their part and do nothing else. Hey they bought a shirt right? They’re patriotic now. Pilipinas kong mahal! and all that. All the while precisely nothing gets done for the country. Next time you put on your Pinas shirt, armbands, or whatever else you have don’t feel good about yourself. It’s not special. You might as well be wearing the latest designer fad. If you really want to feel special try and do something that will actually help.
I’ve been negative about the Philippines these past two articles. Next time I hope to show any readers how much I love this country and why.