Musings of A Canadian Nationalist (or, a Prose Poem Attempt)

01 Jul 2013

They say the Canadian nationalist is dead. Or extinct. Or irrelevant. Or plain unnecessary. They say he or she is no longer needed in this globalised age, that at best the Canadian nationalist advocates for what’s impossible, at worst an enemy of diversity. The Canadian nationalist may have been relevant for the sixties and seventies, when this country was just trying to find (again) itself, but no longer so today. Hey, maybe the goals of the Canadian nationalist have been achieved. This country is now distinct from the United States in numerous ways, like in healthcare, importance of military, the “French fact,” our reputation for tolerance and open-mindedness.

Or maybe not.

Well, take a look at it. Most of what we think as “Canadian identity” came from a party that was historically until recently, pro-US. And human rights, individual liberty, all those things? They don’t make this country different from the US. And now, the current Conservatives are implementing emphasis on the military, less government and deregulation – things no different from the Republican party. Some say this country is “America-lite.”

If that’s the case, then why Canada? Why the need for this country to exist? Why not just join Uncle Sam’s embrace? Healthcare? Well, that was a recent phenomenon – not much accepted in the days before Mr. T. Douglas established it (or maybe I’m wrong, but that was piecemeal!). Parliamentary democracy? The monarchy? We don’t think much of them as special, anyway, except on events where they are celebrated. How about Quebec? Its fate different than Louisiana’s? Remember, Quebecois desire to separate is strong.

Why Canada?

I think the Canadian nationalist is still relevant in this day and age. Regardless, arguably, of the ideological leaning – “old” Tories who still see this country as based on the ideas and principles of Sir John A., or those coming from the New Left whose nationalism is of course, more left-leaning. And even those patriots from the Liberal party and other groups.

What matters most here is that, if this country is ever to be truly relevant in this day and age where globalisation has made everything minor and irrelevant that which is not in-tune with it, if Canada is ever to truly assert itself on the crowded stage, the Canadian nationalist, the first defender of this country, its front-line defence, is still important and necessary.


Dalawang tulang Tagalog

12 Apr 2013

Ang Ating Identidad

Wala sa mga sambahan ni Krishna
Sa mga batong kastilyo ng mga Normando
Sa palda at pipa ng mga Eskose
Sa harang na dambuhala ni Qin Shi Huang
Sa mga hukbo ni Karloman
O paglilingkod ng mga bushi.
Hwarang? Tigilan mo na ako.
Sa mga bandera at awit
Wala rin.
Kahit pa si Atahualpa at Osmano
Walang maambag dito.

Hindi sa espadang pilak
Kundi sa harang ng itak.
Wala sa kariktan ng palacio
Pero sa pagod ng katawan.
Mahalaga man, kalinangan
Sa ating nakaraan at ngayon
Laban at revolucion naging kolumna natin.
Huwag mainggit sa civilizacion
Kontra sakim, pang-aapi, daya
Pagkakilanlang lahat.

Basta’t siguro’y huwag lang
Galing sa naka-“top hat” at mahabang balbas.

Maganda ang Bughaw na Liwanag

Dito sa madilim na silid
Tanging tumatagos sa bintanang tabas
Liwanag na bughaw.

Mga kaloobang dumadaloy
Sa langoy ng dagat.
Sumisingaw na dilim ng paligid.
Bughaw na puno ng kapaguran.
Mga alaalang sana’y ‘di mo pinaghawakan.
Walang alam sa kung ano’ng nasa ibayo
Ng mga bakod at tarangkahan.

Linalangoy, nililipad.
Daloy at lipad ng agos.
Walang katamisan o kagalakan.
Pait at asim
Kinikilabot at tinutunaw
Hatid ng malinaw na dagat,
Mahinahong hangin.
Ngunit.

Hindi makatakas.
Ayaw tumakas.
Suungin ay sariling gusto
Ang sa ilalim ng mga tubig
Sa ibabaw ng mga ihip.
O liwanag, imulat mo sa akin.
Aking dahas, gunaw
Pagnanasa ng katawan, isip, sarili.
Ang iyong asul ay pagpakita
Sa dumi sa puti.
Hindi ilaw, kundi gris,
Kagandahang bahid ng sala.

Sa silid na ito
Tanging bughaw ang madadatnan mo.
Huwag mo siyang katakutan.
Pagninilayan ang salaysay
At kahulugan ng buhay.