On Jonathan Yabut, G.K. Chesterton and Loyalty to Country

by joanabagano

I had the privilege of watching the taping of Boy Abunda’s Bottomline interview with Jonathan Yabut, Apprentice Asia’s first winner, a few weeks ago. I haven’t watched the series yet but from sheer observation and listening, I instantly developed an admiration for the guy.

What strikes me most about Jonats, as most would call him, is his love for his country. It’s not the kind of crass and “we’re superior” nationalism that would turn one off but rather this humble admission of the country’s weaknesses and the drive to shout to the world that weaknesses warrant strengths and that Filipinos are as capable as any nation is when it comes to the intellect.  He did not deny being ashamed of his humble beginnings (it’s a natural feeling, I could say) and shared the realization that these beginnings allowed him the springboard to catapult himself into success.

All throughout the Bottomline experience, I couldn’t stop thinking about some of G.K. Chesterton’s words from Orthodoxy:

“To put shortly what seems the essential matter, he has a loyalty long before he has any admiration.”

“The point is not that this world is too sad to love or too glad not to love; the point is that when you do love a thing, its gladness is a reason for loving it, and its sadness a reason for loving it more.”

“Men did not love Rome because she was great. She was great because they had loved her.”

And that is what is exactly admirable about Filipinos like Yabut: they love their country despite her flaws and ills and even if they do recognize her imperfections and temporarily develop a dislike, they will continue loving her still. But does that have to end there? I’ll leave some more GKC for everyone to think about:

“Can he hate it enough to change it, and yet love it enough to think it worth changing?”

 

from Yabut’s Facebook Fanpage.

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