we popularly hear the american dream, which is more inclined with the economic aspect of living in the land of milk and honey, not only among americans but even among people living outside the us. but then i wondered, here in the philippines, do we actually have a dream of our own? is there such a thing as a filipino dream?
yes, we do. as silly as it can be imagined.
40 years ago, the national dream of every filipino is to become an actor/ actress. it was rooted within the extremity of the fan culture in the country during the late 60s to the early 70s. it was something more than the japanese people are now. it reached its peak when it reached the phenomenal vilma santos and nora aunor rivalry, where the country was literally put into half: the vilmanians and the noranians.
vilma became the icon of the tisay fairness that was typically the common definition of beauty in the country even up to now. but she proved to the people that she is more than that. she excelled in her craft by giving out sheer talent in acting (again, its acting, not singing), the same reason why she was loved and still love by her audience.
on the other hand, nora aunor redefined the philippine film industry by proving that a young, typically looking girl, who was once selling iced water along train rails in the province can actually be big in the industry. thus, it gave hope to almost all typically looking filipinos.
i even remember myself when i was a kid saying that i also wanted to be an actor someday, regardless how embarassing it was. but who doesn't wanted to be one, right? now, i am thinking, is it still the dominating definition of the filipino dream?
if the philippine dream before was reflected on how the show, "that's entertainment" rated. today, we could no longer determine it by watching the same host's show, "walang tulugan." darn, it will definitely show us an entirely different scenario.
if you want to know how is it still holding atleast in the metro, just turn on your tv and switch your channel to the tons of reality shows we have. if you are lucky enough, you might bump into the audition episodes and feast yourself upon the long pile or even seas of people doing everything as in EVERYTHING to win a slot in the show. as an audience we just get tired of hearing all the well fabricated and sometime inconsistent stories of their lives and their common aspiration to lift their family from poverty--- the typical filipino drama. most of these people are stuck with the belief that the only way to help their family is to become a star. but with all the challenges that a common filipino struggles with his everyday life just to land a decent job, who can blame them, right?
nonetheless, i believe that the filipino dream of becoming an actor/actress already seized down. in comparison, with what it was before. probably, after the stardom of nora aunor, no typically looking filipino followed her. thus, the filipino dream shifted from becoming an actor/actress to the filipino diaspora of leaving the country.
accept it or not, today, most filipinos mindset of success is anchored upon leaving the country and having a job elsewhere. this is clearly manifested on the kind of college courses we have. as of the moment, nursing, engineering and maritime are the three most populated courses in the country; and all of which are in demand professions all over the world.
then i wonder, is this really our filipino dream? and how is it different from the american dream? there are just too many questions running in my head right now, that i could no longer decipher how my personal dream differs from both dreams. at the end, i just have to ask myself, why do we really have to tie everything about ourselves to america?