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Commentary: The ‘F’ in Filipino means ‘forgetful,’ to a fault

Filipinos might have taken the adage, “forgive and forget” to a whole new level. This time, it’s involving actual historical events that have shaped our society into the way it is at present.

The upcoming 2022 National Elections have brought out the best and worst of Filipinos these past few months, especially during the campaign period. Supporters of presidential candidates have been throwing aggressive words at each other online, and others have been spreading fake news, disinformation, and misinformation about different candidates on every known platform on social media.

This circulation of fake news has made gullible Filipinos into ill-informed citizens, choosing to believe what they see on TikTok or Facebook rather than reading more reputed sources released by news sites and professionals. Though, it probably can’t be helped since these pieces of disinformation are delivered in a way that is easy for some Filipinos to understand—without any highfaluting words or words that seem to make them feel inferior or dumb.

With election day just around the corner, misinformation is spreading like wildfire, causing many Filipinos to forget true history and primary sources tucked away in books. A lot of Filipinos are falling victim to misinformation and end up learning fake history instead of what really happened in Philippine history. Historical revisionism is an actual reality happening in the present day, and just when we thought only our past colonizers are the ones doing that, we as Filipinos fail to see that we are also perpetrators of this phenomenon.

We ourselves are allowing this to happen, and all eyes are on the Philippines as it is happening. In fact, news outlets from other countries have been covering this unfortunate reality, with a headline from Hong Kong’s The Standard reading, “Filipinos fall for fake history”.

Sadly, the ‘F’ in Filipino doesn’t mean anything positive—it now only means forgetful. We, as a society, have forgotten historical events and have chosen to rid ourselves of those experiences of the past to create a distorted future.

If other countries with similar histories like Hong Kong, France, the United States, and others can see this terrible situation happening, why can’t we? Why are we so adamant about forgiving people who have caused our country so much pain and suffering and giving them a second chance when they aren’t even qualified to do so? Why are Filipinos asking others to just “forgive and forget” and move on?

Moving on is a concept fit only for toxic relationships and minor blunders, never for events that have transpired to cause this country’s downfall decades ago. If we choose to continue forgetting our country’s past, then what did José Rizal die for? What did those people who chose to fight for our democracy in exchange for their lives die for? What did those people who marched along EDSA on that certain day in February 1986 fight for?

Was it all for naught? Was it for us to just forget everything our Motherland has experienced? Certainly not. But, unfortunately, we’ve chosen to give in to seemingly influential platforms calling to come together as one than to listen to actual plans of action.

In the face of this time when many Filipinos are either forgetting or belittling our history, the situation begs the question: Are Filipinos still worth dying for?

The truth is, and it really is sad to say, that we Filipinos have become so forgetful. When can we wake up from this disillusioned daydream?


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