Thursday, July 21, 2011

Captain America is My Idea of Nationalism

We all love superheroes. Lively characters wearing colorful costumes and battling it out with evil forces, these protagonists are the fancy of young and old alike. With highly imaginative battles they face in their very own comic book world, they are the stars that tell the common tale that good will always triumph over evil.

Captain America is no exception: a super solider with great strength, cunning and skill. But can we truly relate to this hero?

Clad with the red, white and blue, and the star at the center of his shield, Captain America clearly represents the American flag and its ideals. Americans can definitely relate to him and his heroic acts of honor and bravery.

But in the Filipino context, who or what is Captain America to us? Probably for some, he is just one in a long line of estranged superheroes. We can probably relate more to our own set of superheroes like Captain Barbell, Darna or Panday.

Yet, with all the popularity our Pinoy superheroes have at the local scene, we don't have a superhero counterpart that bears our country's flag.

Our flag is the ultimate symbol of what it means to be Filipino. It is a sign of our hopes and dreams, and our identity as a nation. Our own red white and blue sun-and-stars flag has its own rich and colorful history that we can truly be proud of.

Captain America bears his National Pride. Many of us claim to have it. Yet we are not fully aware of the gravity of its meaning. For some, cheering for our fellow Pinoys who are successful in life is enough to show national pride. But in truth this is not enough.

To bear National Pride takes more. To do that we have to be heroes in our own right. And to be a hero, it takes a lot of heart.

In the simplest of ways, we can show our version of Pinoy heroism. It takes heart to do the right thing, like paying your taxes correctly and on time. It takes heart to give your life for the sake of others, like helping fellow Pinoys in dire need. It takes heart to be brave and stand up for what is right, like avoiding bribery and turning away from criminality and corruption. This is what I believe being Captain America is all about. A hero is one who has desire to serve his nation and fellowmen. As bearers of our own flag, we should do the same.

On a final note, every Filipino is called to be a hero and make our country change for the better. Why is it we only dream of having a country free of corruption and with great economic stature if we only continue to dream and do nothing? It's time we start to bear our flag and take action to make our nation's dream a reality.

Just like Captain America, we are not only asked to raise our flag up high. We are all called to "wear" it as well.

Captain America, The First Avenger will be showing in theaters on July 27, 2011 nationwide.

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