Ningas Cogon

by creativejuiceswithice

I can’t believe I failed in this endeavor. Well, I’ve got to try again soon! I copy-pasted this from my previous journal.


<ningas cogon>

When I was in elementary, the curriculum made sure that we tackle Filipino values. I’ve learned to accept both the negative and the positive values that we discussed, although I’m having a problem now on how they were agreed upon. For example, whoever decided that Filipinos have the so-called Crab Mentality? I don’t recall my teachers saying anything about the statistics of it. Is there a 90 percent chance that a randomly-selected Filipino citizen actually possesses such a mentality? Another thing is hospitality. Even in media, I recall hearing that hospitality is one of the greatest values of Filipinos, like somehow it is uniquely a Filipino characteristic. But I find that rather unbelievable. When I watch, say, a Hollywood movie I see that Americans are also a tad hospitable. In fact, Anime also show that the Japanese also possess hospitality. The thing is, the Filipino youth is told of Filipino values as if these are a matters-of-fact. I don’t know. It’s just that, looking back, I don’t really see why they had to instill to us how xenocentric Filipinos are. Or, how Filipinos are so fond of the manyana habit – that is, of procrastination.

Anyway, my point actually is that I’m very dedicated in removing one very nasty, disgusting “Filipino value” called ningas cogon from my system. It’s all about how a cogon burns. Initially, the flame is so alive and furious. Then suddenly, after a short while, it dies down. Filipinos are said to possess this kind of attitude. They start so willingly and lively, but end up not finishing the task. My mother told me once how I never finish anything I start, that I always stop at the homestretch. It hurt a little for two reasons. One is that mothers often sugarcoat their children’s ugly characteristics with whatever is good about them. They see the best in us. But this time, my mother didn’t. The second reason why it stung is that I think she’s right. I often do my best on everything I do up to the drop before the very last drop. And that’s the problem. I don’t give everything all the time! Sometimes, I don’t even finish what I start.

Today I’ve made a progressive start on this endeavour. I finished two laps straight in less than 24 minutes! I know, what’s the big deal right? Well I think before I could change the big things, might as well make changes on the micro scale first. Little steps bring us…well, somewhere. What can I say? I was short of breath already before halving the second lap! But I did not stop. I went on and on, step after step, left right left. And then I did it! It felt really nice. It feels nice to finish the target. Next time, I’d have to do the same. Hopefully I get to finish those laps with relative ease. Then after five repetitions, I would have to increase the difficulty of my goal. That’s it. I’m on my way towards a more driven and a more focused way of life. I hope I can maintain the flame.

</ningas cogon>