Globalization and nationalism: Strange bedfellows (II)
As stated in the previous column, globalization not only affects the economies of nations but also has impact on the social,
cultural, political, technological, and ecological-environmental aspects of the life of the world. On, the other hand,
Filipino nationalism, which is supposed to soften and balance the impact of globalization in the country, has proven itself
ineffective in doing its task. This is because Filipino nationalism is considered to be weak, inadequate and backward.
There is really no denying that globalization has a lot of positive points but when it is inculcated in a people who have not
fully imbibed nationalism, it can do more harm than good.
Filipino nationalists blame the failure to promote functional nationalism among the Filipinos to the inadequacy of
Philippine education. Thus, the need to change its orientation to merely providing basic training to young men and women
who can read and write and be employed later in other countries, to a service-to-the-nation perspective. Renato
Constantino (1998), a noted nationalist, suggests that “The education of the Filipino must be a Filipino education. It must
be based on the needs of the nation, and the goals of the nation. The primary object is to produce a citizenry that
appreciates and is conscious of its nationhood and has national goals for the betterment of the community, and not an
anarchic mass of people who know how to take care of themselves only.”
If globalization is to stay in the Philippines, then it should figure prominently in the agenda of education and educators at
all levels of the educational system. The Education Forum (1999) suggests some steps:
1. The essence of global thinking and of nationalism must be consciously integrated in both formal and informal
2. The teachers themselves must consciously be aware of the workings of globalization.
3. The utilization of existing subjects, especially in the social sciences and humanities that will lend themselves to
global values education and nationalist orientation.
4. To present a balanced view of globalization, showing both its advantages and disadvantages.
5. To unmask facts about the Filipinos history and culture and place them in the right perspective.
6. To guide the people to advance alternatives to solve the harmful effects of colonialism and globalization.
7. For the Philippine educational system to undergo a re-orientation toward a nationalist and mass-based education
with the over-all aspirations of the Filipino people as the guiding light.
In the inculcation of the true spirit of nationalism among the Filipinos and to balance the encompassing reach of
globalization, the teaching of Philippine history, by virtue of its subject-matter, must take the crucial lead. However, it can
only be effective if history teachers themselves are substantially and critically knowledgeable of Philippine history and of
the nature and impact of globalization. There is no more stopping globalization but the most that can be done is to balance
its negative effects by promoting Filipino nationalism and pride. This can possibly be done by utilizing certain persuasive
elements of globalization such as the technological aspect, particularly ICT. ICT is an unbrella term encompassing radio,
television, cellphones, computer and network, hardware and software, satellite systems, and services and applications
associated with it (Dimzon 2008). They can be used to disseminate more effectively and interestingly information on
Filipino culture and history, and to instill Filipino pride.
The use of ICT should be reinforced by the conscious effort on the part of the teachers to inculcate pride on the students of
the achievements or accomplishments of the Filipino people from early times to the present. Of course, it is also
incumbent for the educational system to institutionalize this effort.
The fervent hope for all of these is for the attainment of the true essence of nationalism which Claro M. Recto described
as “a banner of freedom proclaiming the national interest of the people, to be promoted and safeguarded by themselves so
that the fruits of their efforts and the wealth derived from their God given resources shall accrue to them and thus enable
all people to rise above poverty and march on prosperity, contentment and dignity.” (Education Forum 1999)