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I am a Filipino by Carlos Romulo

I am a Filipino,
I am a Filipino - inheritor of a glorious past, hostage to the uncertain future. As such I must
prove equal to a two-fold task- the task of meeting my responsibility to the past, and the task
of performing my obligation to the future.
I sprung from a hardy race - child of many generations removed of ancient Malayan pioneers.
Across the centuries, the memory comes rushing back to me: of brown-skinned men putting
out to sea in ships that were as frail as their hearts were stout. Over the sea I see them come,
borne upon the billowing wave and the whistling wind, carried upon the mighty swell of hopehope in the free abundance of new land that was to be their home and their children's
This is the land they sought and found. Every inch of shore that their eyes first set upon,
every hill and mountain that beckoned to them with a green and purple invitation, every mile
of rolling plain that their view encompassed, every river and lake that promise a plentiful
living and the fruitfulness of commerce, is a hollowed spot to me.
By the strength of their hearts and hands, by every right of law, human and divine, this land
and all the appurtenances thereof - the black and fertile soil, the seas and lakes and rivers
teeming with fish, the forests with their inexhaustible wealth in wild life and timber, the
mountains with their bowels swollen with minerals - the whole of this rich and happy land has
been, for centuries without number, the land of my fathers. This land I received in trust from
them and in trust will pass it to my children, and so on until the world no more.
I am a Filipino. In my blood runs the immortal seed of heroes - seed that flowered down the
centuries in deeds of courage and defiance. In my veins yet pulses the same hot blood that
sent Lapulapu to battle against the alien foe that drove Diego Silang and Dagohoy into
rebellion against the foreign oppressor.
That seed is immortal. It is the self-same seed that flowered in the heart of Jose Rizal that
morning in Bagumbayan when a volley of shots put an end to all that was mortal of him and
made his spirit deathless forever; the same that flowered in the hearts of Bonifacio in
Balintawak, of Gergorio del Pilar at Tirad Pass, of Antonio Luna at Calumpit; that bloomed in
flowers of frustration in the sad heart of Emilio Aguinaldo at Palanan, and yet burst fourth
royally again in the proud heart of Manuel L. Quezon when he stood at last on the threshold
of ancient Malacaang Palace, in the symbolic act of possession and racial vindication.
The seed I bear within me is an immortal seed. It is the mark of my manhood, the symbol of
dignity as a human being. Like the seeds that were once buried in the tomb of Tutankhamen
many thousand years ago, it shall grow and flower and bear fruit again. It is the insigne of my
race, and my generation is but a stage in the unending search of my people for freedom and
I am a Filipino, child of the marriage of the East and the West. The East, with its languor and
mysticism, its passivity and endurance, was my mother, and my sire was the West that came

thundering across the seas with the Cross and Sword and the Machine. I am of the East, an
eager participant in its struggles for liberation from the imperialist yoke. But I also know that
the East must awake from its centuried sleep, shape of the lethargy that has bound his limbs,
and start moving where destiny awaits.
For, I, too, am of the West, and the vigorous peoples of the West have destroyed forever the
peace and quiet that once were ours. I can no longer live, being apart from those world now
trembles to the roar of bomb and cannon shot. For no man and no nation is an island, but a
part of the main, there is no longer any East and West - only individuals and nations making
those momentous choices that are hinges upon which history resolves.
At the vanguard of progress in this part of the world I stand - a forlorn figure in the eyes of
some, but not one defeated and lost. For through the thick, interlacing branches of habit and
custom above me I have seen the light of the sun, and I know that it is good. I have seen the
light of justice and equality and freedom and my heart has been lifted by the vision of
democracy, and I shall not rest until my land and my people shall have been blessed by these,
beyond the power of any man or nation to subvert or destroy.
I am a Filipino, and this is my inheritance. What pledge shall I give that I may prove worthy of
my inheritance? I shall give the pledge that has come ringing down the corridors of the
centuries, and it shall be compounded of the joyous cries of my Malayan forebears when they
first saw the contours of this land loom before their eyes, of the battle cries that have
resounded in every field of combat from Mactan to Tirad pass, of the voices of my people
when they sing:
Land of the Morning,Child of the sun returning...Ne'er shall invadersTrample thy sacred shore.
Out of the lush green of these seven thousand isles, out of the heartstrings of sixteen million
people all vibrating to one song, I shall weave the mighty fabric of my pledge. Out of the
songs of the farmers at sunrise when they go to labor in the fields; out of the sweat of the
hard-bitten pioneers in Mal-ig and Koronadal; out of the silent endurance of stevedores at the
piers and the ominous grumbling of peasants Pampanga; out of the first cries of babies newly
born and the lullabies that mothers sing; out of the crashing of gears and the whine of
turbines in the factories; out of the crunch of ploughs upturning the earth; out of the limitless
patience of teachers in the classrooms and doctors in the clinics; out of the tramp of soldiers
marching, I shall make the pattern of my pledge:
"I am a Filipino born of freedom and I shall not rest until freedom shall have been added unto
my inheritance - for myself and my children's children - forever.
Carlos Romulo.



Informal essays have no set structure and they are typically shorter than
formal essays. Informal essays also use first and second person, and often
include thoughts and opinions. The subject matter of informal essays is
brief and a subject does not explore the topic in depth. Rather, informal
essays are usually informational in nature and only include the most
relevant and basic information needed to inform the reader.

Unlike an informal essay, formal essays have a specific structure and are
often very lengthy. Although the structure varies depending on the type of
essay, formal essays have a defined introduction, body and conclusion.
Formal essays also require the use of a professional tone and third person
narrative. Since formal essays are often written to summarize research, intext citations and references must be listed to add credibility to the
document. Additionally, formal essays usually have a narrowed focus and
explore a subject in-depth.


Thesis: your main insight or idea about a text or topic, and the main proposition (though it may
have several parts) that your essay demonstrates. It should be true but arguable (not obviously or
patently true, but one alternative among several), be limited enough in scope to be argued in a
short composition and with available evidence, and get to the heart of the text or topic being
analyzed (not be peripheral). It should be given early (not just be implied -- though its fullest and
sharpest statement may be withheld for a time), and it should govern the whole essay (not
disappear in places).


Motive: the reason, which you establish at the start of your essay, why a reader (someone
besides your instructor) might want to read an essay on this topic, needs to hear your particular
thesis argued and explained.* How is it that your thesis isn't just obvious, that other people hold or
might hold other views (which you think need correction or adjustment) or need enlightening. Your
motive won't necessarily be the reason you first got interested in the topic, or the personal
motivation behind your engagement with it, which could be private and idiosyncratic: indeed it's
what you say to suggest that your argument isn't idiosyncratic, but rather of interest to all serious
students of your topic. Nor should the others you posit who hold another view, might be puzzled or
surprised, might have missed something, be straw dummies. Your motive should be a genuine: a
misapprehension or puzzle that an intelligent reader would plausibly have and argue for, a point
that such a reader would really overlook. Defining motive should be the main business of your
introductory paragraphs, where it is usually introduced by a form of the complicating word "But."


Evidence: the data -- facts, examples, or details -- that you refer to, quote, or summarize to
support your thesis. There needs to be enough evidence to be persuasive; it needs to be the
right kind of evidence to support the thesis (with no obvious pieces of evidence overlooked); it
needs to be sufficiently concrete for the reader to trust it (e.g. in textual analysis, it often helps to
find one or two key or representative passages to quote and focus on); and if summarized, it needs
to be summarized accurately and fairly.


Analysis: the work of breaking down, interpreting, and commenting upon your data, of saying
what can be inferred from the data such that it supports a thesis (is evidence for something).
Analysis is what you do with data when you go beyond observing or summarizing it: you show how
its parts contribute to a whole or how causes contribute to an effect; you draw out the significance

or implication not apparent to a superfical view. Analysis is what makes the writer feel present, as a
reasoning individual; so your essay should do more analyzing than it does summarizing or quoting.


Keyterms: the recurring terms or basic oppositions that your argument rests upon, usually literal
but sometimes metaphors. These terms usually imply certain assumptions -- unstated beliefs
about life, history, literature, reasoning, etc. that you don't argue for but simply assume to be true.
An essay's keyterms should be clear in meaning (define if necessary) and appear throughout (not
be abandoned half-way); they should be appropriate for the subject at hand (not unfair or too
simple -- e.g. implying a false or constraining opposition); and they should not be inert clichs or
abstractions (e.g. "the evils of society"). The attendant assumptions should bear logical inspection,
and if arguable they should be explicitly acknowledged.

6. Structure: the sequence of main sections or sub-topics, and the turning points between them.
Your sections should follow a logical order, and the links in that order should be apparent to the
reader (see "stitching"). But it should also be a progressive order -- there should be a direction
of development or complication, not simply be a list or restatements of the thesis ("Macbeth is
ambitious: he's ambitious here; and he's ambitious here; and he's ambitious here too; thus,
Macbeth is ambitious"). And the order should be supple enough to allow your to explore the topic,
not just hammer home a thesis. (If the essay is complex or long, its structure may be briefly
announced or hinted at after the thesis, in a road map or plan sentence.)
7. Stitching: words that tie together the parts of your argument, most commonly by (a) signaling
transitions, acting as signposts to indicate how a new section, paragraph, or sentence follows
from the one previous; but also by (b) by recollecting an idea or word or phrase used or quoted
earlier. Repeating keyterms is especially helpful at points of transition from one section to
another, to show how the new section fits in.
8. Sources: persons or documents -- referred to, summarized, or quoted -- that help you
demonstrate the truth of your argument. They are typically sources of (a) factual information or
data, (b) opinions or interpretation on your topic, (c) comparable versions of the thing you are
discussing, or (d) applicable general concepts. Whether you are affirming or challenging your
sources, they need to be efficiently integrated and fairly acknowledged by citation -- see Writing
with Sources.
9. Reflecting: acts of pausing your demonstration to reflect on it, to raise or answer a question
about it -- as when you (a) consider a counter-argument -- a possible objection, alternative, or
problem that a skeptical or resistant reader might raise; (b) define your terms or assumptions
(what do I mean by this term? or, what am I assuming here?); (c) handle a newly emergent
concern (but if this is so, then how can X be?); (d) draw out an implication (so what? what might
be the wider significance of the argument I have made? what might it lead to if I'm right? or, what
does my argument about a single aspect of this suggest about the whole thing? or about the way
people live and think?); (e) consider a possibleexplanation for the phenomenon that has been
demonstrated (why might this be so? what might cause or have caused it?); and (f) offer
a qualification or limitation to the case you have made (what you're not saying). The first of

these reflections can come anywhere in an essay; the second usually comes early; the last four
often come late (they're common moves of conclusion).
10. Orienting: giving bits of information, explanation, and summary that orient the reader who isn't
expert in your subject, enabling such a reader to follow the argument. The orienting question is,
what does my reader need here? And the answer can take many forms: necessary factual
information about the text, author, or event (e.g., given in your introduction); a summary of a text
or passage about to be analyzed; pieces of information along the way about passages, people, or
events mentioned (including announcing or "set-up" phrases for quotations and sources -see Writing with Sources). The challenge is to orient briefly and gracefully.
11. Stance: The implied relationship of you, the writer, to your readers and subject: how and where
you implicitly position yourself as an analyst. Stance is defined by features such as style and tone
(e.g. familiar or formal); the presence or absence of specialized language and knowledge; the
amount of time spent orienting a general, non-expert reader; the use of scholarly conventions of
form and style. Your stance should be established within the first few paragraphs of your essay,
and it should remain consistent.
12. Style: the choices you make of words and sentence structure. Your style should be exact and
clear (should bring out main idea and action of each sentence, not bury it) and plain without being
flat (should be graceful and a little interesting, not stuffy).
13. Title: should both interest and inform. To inform -- i.e. inform a general reader who might be
browsing in an essay collection of bibliography -- your title should give the subject and focus of
the essay. To interest, your title might include a linguistic twist, paradox, sound pattern, or striking
phrase taken from one of your sources (the aptness of which phrase your reader comes gradually
to see). You can combine the interesting and informing functions in a single title or split them into
title and subtitle. The interesting element shouldn't be too cute; the informing element shouldn't
go so far as to state a thesis. Don't underline your own title, except where it contains the title of
another text.