In the beginning, God decided to create man. So he got some clay, molded it and put it in an oven. After some moments,
he pulled out his creation but it was burned so much that it was black all over. He got some more clay, molded it and again put it inside
the oven. This time He removed it too soon that His creation was very pale. The third time around His creation was burned just right.
The third one became the Filipinos.
This Filipino version of Genesis has been told and retold, not with pride but only as a humor.
There are about 90 million Filipinos, 55% of whom occupy the largest island of Luzon where Manila,
the capital of the Philippines, is located.
They are composed of around a hundred cultural and linguistic groups of Malayo-Polynesian origin, with varying degrees
of Chinese, Spanish, and American influences. Majority are Roman Catholics. Others are Protestants and Moslems.
The national language is Filipino which is based on the Tagalog dialect. English however is used as a medium
of instruction and for commercial as well as legal transactions. In fact, the Philippines is the world's third largest English-speaking
country after the United States and United Kingdom.
How to describe the Filipinos? Let me count the ways: fun-loving, religious, hospitable, family-oriented, politically astute.
To a fault or almost. We are actually what we are - a product of different cultures and we live where east meets west.
Or could it be said, we are western people with Asian skin.
Once upon a time, the Filipinos were very proud of their country and race. We were then a model Asian Republic.
We had the first university, the first bank, the freest press, and yes, we were the first republic in Asia. We had the first public
school system and the first public health system. We only have to have a sense of history.
Not a few acknowledge that we Filipinos are still in search of an identity. Hopefully this would not be forever.
With the following pages and with a collective effort, we can be proud to define ourselves as we are. And then...every Filipino here
and abroad can hold his head high and tell these men and women that they did not die in vain.