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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Foreign Ideals and Local Traditions

A nation will not long endure if it is wrought in the midst of foreign and exotic ideals. Just as a tree will not grow up straight, strong and luxuriant, unless it is native to the soil and air, so a nation will not assume girth and strength unless its roots are planted deep in its own traditions. This does not mean that we should reject everything that is not Filipino, but it does mean that we should discard that false concept that everything foreign must be good and, therefore, must be imitated. We must use discrimination and prudence in adopting foreign models. If we have to follow foreign patterns, we should blend them with our own customs, traditions and ideals, but purifying them first of whatever grossness or imperfection they may have.

- Jose P. Laurel, Forces that Make a Nation Great (Manila: n.p, 1991), p. 27.

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