Is it merely speaking the language, and embodying our culture by practicing our traditions or staying, even if it means being robbed of the opportunities overseas. The fact that more and more people leave every year is a vicious circle, when people leave for a greener pasture it makes the situation worst for those who stayed. This “problem” about the Filipino diaspora have been addressed by Patricia Evangelista in her winning piece entitled “Blonde and blue” during the 2004 International Public Speaking competition.
Now to feed your curiosity on how she was able to raise the Philippine flag out of 37 different countries with 59 other contestants let us take a closer look to her astonishing performance where she utilized her resources and used her strengths to her advantage. The dominant image that her speech had presented revolves around nationalism, love for our country, and the search of Filipinos for a better quality of life that one’s own cannot give. Her speech offered us a different perspective about the Filipino diaspora that our country considered a “problem”. We can observe that she used emotional appeal by describing how she felt when her relatives migrated. What I like about her work is that she presented her before and after point of views about the matter of Filipino diaspora and it added to the effectivity of her speech. The manner in which she constructed the content of her piece in her own unique, precise and creative way made her stand out among the many competitors. In conveying her message, she used rhetorical questions, she even cited her childhood experience that made her work highly relatable to the listeners. She was able to mention facts about the different contributions of the Filipinos working overseas that made her argument more convincing. She was consistent all throughout her performance. The minimal gestures she did was appropriate and was enough to reinforce the words she said. Her body movements are not distracting and her calm demeanor added to the confidence that was already pooling from her since the beginning of her speech. She was able to deliver her message with the right conviction and emphasis on important matters.
The different strategies that she used from writing to delivering the speech had earned her the award. After watching Blonde and blue by Patricia Evangelista I now realized what patriotism means to a Filipino. It is not anymore only just about the language, culture or living in the country because it is something bigger and more genuine than that. I realized that no matter what language you choose to speak, where you live abroad or how many times you change your residency at the end of the day it’s what have you done to make your country a better place to live in that really matters and that is patriotism in its real sense.