Note: This is only a series of excerpts. Self inserted asterisks to indicate a jump.
My American friend says:
show me one great Filipino speech to make your
people listen through the centuries;
show me one great Filipino song rich with the
soul of your seven thousand isles;
show me one great Filipino dream, forever
sword and shield —
Friend, our silences are long but we also have our
Father, with my whole heart I forgive all.
Believe me, your reverence.
Speeches short before the firing squad, and yet
My American friend continues:
you are a nation being played for a sucker;
poor fish swallowing hook, line, and sinker.
And I answer with parable of analogy:
brown brother and packed for home,
one adventured into port and called us brothers;
we fed him the milk and honey of the land;
he filled his pockets by the sweat of the little
taking with him but one song for souvenir:
O the monkeys have no tails in Zamboanga.
The little brown brother opens his eyes to the
sea where dwell his strong brothers.
sound of the Star-Spangled;
dreams to the grand tune of the American dream;
is proud to be part of the sweeping American
* * *
sings the American epic of souls conceived in liberty;
quivers with longing for the brotherhood of men
envisions great visions of the land across the
And then the fact. The crushing fact of a world no
shining through the exalted word;
the world where the deed is, the intolerable
* * *
The expatriate returns sullen and broken . . . We know
Filipino Pickpockets; the loneliness, the
the story, the black looks, the scowls, the
in the restaurants saying: Neither Dogs nor
Allowed; the warning at the fair: Beware of
Yet what say you, repatriate? America is a great
— Written 1940 by Rafael Zulueta y da Costa (1915- 1990)