Anong Bastos Sa Pagsuot Ng Flag? (A Response)

Date posted on September 22, 2008

This is a actually a response to Rey’s post in his blog, “Anong Bastos sa Pagsuot ng Flag?”I started to compose a reply, but like Norms, felt embarrassed that its length made it look more like a post on its own. So I decided to publish my reply here.(Of course, among friends like Rey and the people who responded in his blog, we know better than to think that this constitutes picking a fight – as other people are inclined to intuit. I guess it is simply a natural consequence of keeping an opinionated company like the one I have).

Going back to the object that inspired Rey’s post, lemme just say: I love that jacket. The one Adidas released a few months back, brainchild of a Filipino designer working in the Adidas HQ (in Germany I think). Nandito pa lang ako sa UK, nabalitaan ko na tungkol dyan sa Internet. Nagpabili nga ako para ipadala sa kin dito, pero ubos na sya nang magpatanong ako.

Having said that, I must say, I agree with the law (the Philippine Flag Code). I know that tailoring the flag into a shirt or a jacket does not necessarily constitute disrespect. The tricky part, however, is knowing the clear, definite line that tells us when we’ve gone too far. Kumbaga, when do you start to say that it is? Disrespectful already, that is?

I’d also be wary in arguing under the banner of “freedom of expression.” I think we all agree that the flag deserves no less than utmost respect. I find it a bit incongruous if we are to defend our manner of ‘expression’ as a form of respect, as in the case of that jacket. Being asked to preserve the proper form and depiction of the flag is not the same as preventing someone from expressing his respect for it. One might even say that adhering to the prescribed formalities constitutes part of that deference.

Whereas on the flip side, abrogating that law could eventually allow for underwear and swim suits to be adorned with three stars and the sun, and that might be in bad taste. Some of our Kabayan might even take offense in it. (Liberal naman ang panlasa ko sa ganyang bagay, pero kahit ako, medyo mababastusan kung magkaron ng Pinoy counterpart yung Union Jack swimming trunks).

Moreso with the National Anthem. I think enough argument against the amount of liberty we previously gave to the singing of “Lupang Hinirang” can be found in the tragedy that Jennifer Bautista was.

I can perfectly see why Rey thinks the way he does (after all, I’m still bummed that I didn’t get to buy that jacket. At kung meron ako non at hinuli ako ng pulis… I’d argue the same thing – that I am not wearing it as a sign of disrespect. Quite the contrary). But should none of my points fly, I guess I’d be content making my case by saying that I’m simply a stickler for traditions. I believe there are things that must not be compromised in favor the human spirit’s predilections.