I dreamed a dream for the Philippines

April 23rd, 2009

Last Sunday, I noticed that my wife and daughter were teary-eyed. I asked them what was wrong. Did someone die? They were glued to the internet then they told me to watch this singer. I asked what about this singer and what was so special. I did not cry watching Josh Groban live or even Andrea Bocelli. They insisted that I watch and that it was different. They said it was this inspiring lady in a reality show entitled Britain’s Got Talent. I was quite curious because of how they were moved and inspired. So, I watched the video on Susan Boyle, and then I understood.

Susan Boyle is a 47 year-old Scottish church volunteer. She has lived a simple life, and has never married. She looked much older than her actual age, maybe because she has gone through hard times in caring for her mother. With her father who passed away and her siblings who left home, she was left to look after her old mother who died in 2007. In fact, it was her mom who encouraged her to join singing competitions, particularly Britain’s Got Talent. In an interview, she mentioned that she joined the show as a way of paying tribute to her mother. Because of her “unpolished” appearance, she got the attention of the crowd and the judges even before her performance. They were skeptical and seemed to have pre-judged her performance. This mentality is seen in all levels of our society. It is a fact that many of us are guilty of this mistake. As the music started and as she opened her mouth, the same skeptical judges and audience stood up in awe and they were stunned.

For me, our own country resembles how the judges primarily perceived Susan Boyle. At one time or another, Filipinos have prejudged the fate of our country. People keep thinking that we are hopeless, that we have so much corruption, and that we are doomed to fail. We always seem to remind ourselves that our president has not done anything to bring the country forward; that Filipinos are lazy; that we are an old economy providing jobs that people in other places do not want to take; that Filipinos have to leave the country as there are not enough jobs here; that negative news sells a paper or gives rating in a station; and so on.

On a positive note, so much of Susan Boyle resembles the Philippines. Now, the Philippines is starting to perform its song number. People are proud that we are doing better than the rest of Asia. Let us now be reminded and be proud that being a country serving the world has proven to be a resilient business model in times of world recession; that positive news does sell a paper or does give a station high rating; that by being inspired gives us the fuel to go through life’s ups and downs; that by simply wearing a shirt carrying the Philippine map or a hat with the Philippine flag brings about greater nationalistic pride; that Filipinos are now finally enjoying their own country by bringing their families around the Philippines; that more and more Filipinos are investing in tourism by setting up tourism related businesses like hotels, bed and breakfasts and tour operations as their commitment to our country’s future; that our country’s culture is rich. Finally, more and more Filipinos believe on the YES the Filipino Can attitude. All these show that the Philippines is no ugly duckling.

Susan Boyle did dream a dream. Her audition on Britain’s Got Talent is becoming the most viewed clip in YouTube. Her video has been watched all over the world for more than 100 million times. She is now on her way of fulfilling her dream.

It all starts from a dream – a vision. All it takes is the guts to walk up that stage, looking as simple as Susan Boyle. Face an audience and some cynical judges. While the world and even some Filipinos have prejudged the Philippines, they are now starting to see God’s gifts to the Philippines.

Let me share with you the thoughts of like-minded Filipinos who believe in our country:

“Dear Joey, I am truly inspired everytime I read ur column…you are a God given gift to those who want to hear inspiring words in this crazy world of ours. We are bombarded daily with so many negative news. What we need are inspirations to get us through hard times. May God’s wisdom be always with you. How I wish to see you in person and hear your inspiring and encouraging words.Thank you ! God bless!” Belcy Gonzales

“Dear mr.conception, ‘our treasure is our people and our country’-this was one of the last sentences of your article last april 16…we,filipinos, are definitely the key for our nation’s progress.few of us realize our value,and you made us believe that.your column provides a great inspiration to every filipino.you made us understand that business is not just the concern of those ‘businessmen’ but also an enlightenment to us,common people.there’s no need for us to study in business schools or any related courses just to grasp the ideas of your articles-you made it simpler for us..you made mention of ‘service’ and i agree to you…no one can ever surpass the value of being a ‘servant’, who are called for service. Thank you.please keep inspiring us.may god always guide you in everything you do!be a light to everyone!” monica joy daloos

You’re right, I really believe that the Philippines will rise as a new wealthy nation in Asia and the world, will be the USA of Asia, surpassing Singapore,because God ordained our nation to become one,RICH in Resources and People with a SERVANT attitude,no matter what other nation say about us,we should be proud as a Filipino,We should only BELIEVE. Derick Alba