F. Sionil Jose Quotes
The ethnic differences among Filipinos are very real. The paucity of arable land, for instance, explains the industry of the Ilokanos and the Cebuanos.
I regret that I have not written more, shouted louder, and acted out my beliefs.
We must know our own roles. We should also know the roles that others play, and the rules such roles follow. In this manner, social harmony is maintained. It is when we overstep our roles, or act without knowing them, that social anarchy ensues.
I can't understand Urdu, Bahasa or Russian, but when the Pakistani Faiz, the Indonesian Rendra and the Russian Rosdentvensky declaim, I can feel the living throb of rhythm and music, the warmth and passion of their poetry, as do the hundreds, not a mere roomful, of poetry lovers in the audience.
I have always admired teachers because teaching, like the priesthood, medicine and writing, is a vocation. You don't become a teacher because you want wealth. It is the same with writing.
Like so many poor Ilokanos, my grandparents left their village, for it could no longer sustain them. The Ilocos is a narrow coastal plain where, so often, the mountain drops to the sea. Land hunger had always afflicted the Ilokanos and made them migratory.
A weak people and its equally debilitated leaders are bludgeoned by history. It maims them into the cripples that they are meant to be.
Industrialization starts with the formation of capital - it does not matter how. It can be created by saving, by the state enforcing its will on the people, by the very rich themselves.
From antiquity, Latin died but is still studied in seminaries and elite universities. So did Sanskrit in Asia. iI was replaced by Pali, but even Pali died, too. Linguists say the only ancient language which was resuscitated from the grave was Hebrew of Israel.
Of course, we are all egoists. Egoism is so much a part of our humanity.
My wife and I often visit Rosales and the Ilokos as a matter of habit or whim induced by nostalgia, homesickness - whatever draws pilgrims to worshipped sanctuaries. Or, perhaps, what compels moths to seek the votive flame.
Writing is a solitary profession; you are really alone when you write. Then the emotions become well shaped and distinct. But their transition into words must be done deliberately and with rigid artistry.
Class - or the economic status of individuals - is evident in all societies, some very well stratified by a rigid caste system determined by birth.
I envy those Hindus and Buddhists who have in their religion philosophy and ancestor worship which build in the believer a continuity with the past, and that most important ingredient in the building of a nation - memory.
You can't have integrity for breakfast, but try and keep it because it is perhaps the single most important word that defines not just writers but all human beings.
I write entirely in English; Tagalog chauvinists chide me for this. I feel no guilt in doing so. But I am sad that I cannot write in my native Ilokano. History demanded this; if it isn't English I am using now, I would most probably be writing in Spanish like Rizal, or even German or Japanese.
The Japanese covet important symbols - their heroic past as enshrined in Yasukuni, the Imperial family which has never been sullied by scandal.
To fund major cultural efforts, we must not rely alone on government and foundation patronage; if the farmer can spend for beer, he can pay for good entertainment which he can understand, which he can identify with and which will fortify his spirit.
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