ALL SALUTATIONS are meant to invoke into our collective memory the reality of something good.
Evil being devoid of the excellence we tend to honor and admire is not something we commonly salute as individual human beings and as human nations together we do not openly invoke them in our salutations.
Therefore, we may safely exclude from this particular reflection anything else but the good in things.
"Mabuhay" is the salutation commonly associated with the Philippines. As such, it is something quite familiar to all of us Filipinos and even to other nations.
It is not a salutation of individuals.
Therefore, it can never be something meant to refer to any individual or anything about the life of an individual or about his or her virtues no matter how excellent.
So what does it mean when we Filipinos say "mabuhay"?
And when we Filipinos say "mabuhay" to whom or to what in particular do we tend to commonly - or even unconsciously - address it to?
Mabuhay simply means "to bring to life". It is a salutation that invokes "life" or the quality of it.
Now, the life of any nation is the product of the quality of the communities that exists within itself. It is therefore, a measure of the sum of all its relationships.
This sum is always positive no matter how deteriorated any nation becomes. There are no last peoples only disappeared cultures. There will always be remnant nations for as long as there are nations upon our world.
Because just as there are no such things as false hopes, only real ones; there are no such things as false relationships, only real ones.
But the quality of these relationships within the nation is a product of the quality of the national remembrance. For it is remembrance that dictates the quality of the national peace.
- selah -
Mabuhay is the salutation of our nation in its entirely and so must refer to the quality of the life of the nationhood in each ourselves as well as the completeness of the sacred remembrances we must keep through all our generations as a nation upon this earth.
It intends to invoke in the Filipino heart, a memory of itself.
It is a salutation addressed directly and simultaneously to all Filipinos from everywhere and from every time and is meant to return our every present generation to the timeless memory of our people.
It reminds us of the reality of our nationhood; its duties and responsibilities, its mission, promise and destiny. It says to every Filipino heart, "long may our remembrances serve us".
So when we Filipinos say "mabuhay" it should mean that we do love the Philippines as citizens to each other, and that we do understand it as truth in our hearts.
When we say it with substance, this truth empowers us.
It must elicit in our hearts a love that is not distant or abstract.
It must remind us of something real to our common hopes as a nation, something we can all meaningfully understand.
It must continuously rekindle in ourselves as citizens to each other a kind of ownership proper to our national trust and empower us with a love of Country that reaches right down to the ground of our national communities enabling every Filipino to freely bring the blessings of our peace into lives of the very least of our brothers and sister, the littlest Filipinos.
- selah -
The life of every nation is derived from its particular sense of unity and this particular sense of unity is derived from the strength of its peace.
Upon this peace (and the abundance or the lack of it) is established the order and the cohesion of all its national community.
A nation's life therefore, is measured by the sum of all the relationships within itself.
Mabuhay is meant to recall us to a memory of all of these relationships and in particular, to the poor and needy, not to remind us of what we lack but to return us to what we all must be, to the labor that our nation is purposed for by God, the trust that bind together all our generations, and the remembrance of the peace that must constantly live in each of us as citizens, one to another, equally engaged in our one Republic undertaking of Country - mabuhay!
(The Wisdom of Learning)
We are - because -
we have come to know who we are not.
This is why we must ask our questions
sincerely seeking for answers.
For when we learn any truth,
we do not learn to use it - unless -
we are led by an understanding
of our need of it.
We become wise
not by the conception of what we know how to do
- but by the sheer weight -
of what we know we ought not to do.
Wisdom never applies where danger is absent.
We become wise - only -
when we become broken enough
by the wrong things to ask ourselves why.
Fear of the LORD must lead to a reverence of Him.
For the safety of God is the beginning of wisdom.
Or we could learn to listen, to ponder and to observe -
To be able to surrender a measure
of our own freedom to the ennobling of others,
submit our independence to their discipline
and strive to remain in the humility of our youth
- the agelessness of little children -
to be able to absorb their constant teaching.
Fear of the instruments of the LORD
must also lead to a reverence of Him.
For wisdom that is learned
and wisdom that is transmitted
are one and the same thing.
In the former,
we expose ourselves to the presence of things
we must learn to never trust.
And in the latter,
we expose ourselves to the presence of things
we must learn to trust.
Both of these - being those things -
that we should never expose ourselves to in the first place.
Such is the condition of our exile!
For if our bliss is to never know danger,
to never know wisdom, makes it perfect.
The safety of God is the beginning of all learning.
And a knowledge of the truth is its own lineage.
For all true things ascend to God - just as surely -
as all our learning must eventually disappear
from the confines of both mind and heart
to return again to the infinite depths of the Divine.
All knowledge is a giving that begins with God
and a receiving that must end forever in God.
All our learning is nothing we can possess.
All our knowledge may only be kept in trust.
We possess it for a while as a means to find our way
and then we must return it - again and again -
to the LORD Who possesses all means.
learning that does not lead to wisdom
is like water that never flows - without purpose -
and like a river with neither beginning nor end - meaningless.
All learning that is kept like a treasure rots.
For every knowledge that must remain - as truth in the heart -
must be something we forever give away.
A Filipino is a kind of love and this love binds us all together as one nation.
Today, we remember Ninoy - his life, his loves, his hopes, his labors, his sacrifice.
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! God bless us all.