Lupang Hinarang

We caught the 12:40pm screening of Pinoy Blonde last Saturday at Robinsons Galleria. That was the first show and so, as is the practice in movie theaters, the first screening is preceded by the playing of the national anthem ("Bayang magiliw...")

I had just stepped out of the restroom when I heard the strains of the national anthem. I stopped right where I was, stood as straight as I could, and waited for the song to end. That was how I was taught in school before.

Enter a group of about 4 or 5 teenagers, the movie's supposed target market. Did they bother to stop? No. They were noisily talking, walking -- totally oblivious to the fact that the national anthem was playing. And as if to prove further that they were not deaf or blind at all, they playfully made salutes while facing the screen -- proving to me that they were aware that the national anthem was playing. Where did these kids come from? Haven't they been taught properly by their school or their family?

Too bad I didn't have anything hard or solid with me. I honestly felt like flinging a hardbound book at them to knock some sense into their heads. (I'm sure the country would forgive me if I moved a little bit to do just that.) What's a few minutes of keeping still?

I guess that's why our country finds itself in a mess every now and then. We people (that includes you and me -- from time to time -- we are all far from being perfect citizens) don't respect it enough. If we did, would there be power grabbers, corrupt people, etc., etc.? I know it's a long way from not minding the national anthem to national destruction -- but hey, all big problems start little. We were all children once, right?

[By Angelica Viloria | Tuesday, July 19, 2005]

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