THE FILIPINO as Spaniard, the Filipino as American, the Filipino as Japanese – when is the Filipino going to be himself? He has worn so many masks, appearance is difficult to distinguish from reality. But the mimic, no matter how expert, must, sooner or later, be himself. The act must stop, when the lights go out, in the loneliness of his room, in the loneliness of his soul.
Our masks become our nature.
When we try to remove them, we find we can’t. If we could, the face underneath would prove to be the same as the masks.
To cultivate the virtues of honesty, industry and justice, to learn how to love, is to be human. To be a Filipino, in the best sense of the word. Whether as Spaniard or American or Japanese, or as nationalist, the Filipino must reckon with himself at last. He has no excuse for what he does; he should blame nobody but himself for what he is. If he has courage, he is brave; if he is honest, he is true; if he loves justice, he is decent, and if he loves rather than hates, he is at ease.
The rest is merely economics, politics, and the movies.