Speech delivered by the Acting Director General of the Kalibapi Camilo Osias, over Station PIAM, Manila, at the Kalibapi luncheon hour, December 4, 1943.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE
At the outset, I am taking this opportunity of thanking you for listening to the Kalibapi Radio Hour every Tuesday evening. Being an organization of, by, and for Filipinos, the Kalibapi is exerting its utmost to be of service to the nation as a whole.
This is our first program to be held on Saturday. Although the period lasts only for one-half hour—from 12 noon to 12.30 p. m.—it is our desire to give listeners as good a program as we are capable of rendering.
I might state in this connection that exactly one year ago today, the then Chairman of the Philippine Executive Commission, with the approval of the Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Forces in the Philippines, l promulgated Executive Order No. 109, now known as the Charter of the Kapisanan sa Paglilingkod sa Bagong Pilipinas. I am glad that our initial noon hour program is given on the anniversary of the promulgation of the Charter of the Kalibapi.
From time to time, we shall endeavor to give you friends, accounts of the activities and plans of the Kalibapi to enable you to grasp a comprehensive idea of what we are doing.
Recently I have been taken to task for my use of the word longanimity in a speech I delivered on National Heroes’ Day. Over the telephone and in conversation, some friends reminded me that I should have used the word longevity. There is a word longevity, which means great length of life. But that is not the word I wanted. The word I needed is longanimity, which is derived from two Latin words: longus. meaning long, and animus, meaning spirit. Longanimity is the ability to suffer long without murmur or complaint and contend that it is a virtue these days in the face of the deplorable fact that a great many of our people seem to be chronic kickers, habitual complainants and grumblers.
I am, therefore, speaking directly on the subject now to insist on the development of this virtue which is so sorely needed in these times of trial and stress. The Kalibapi is engaged precisely in the task of revising and even revolutionizing the spirit of our people so that they may become more prepared to suffer, even to suffer long, to bear their lot without a murmur, but, at the same time, to have the spirit of holy discontent, determined to elevate themselves from the level where we now find our country in these difficult times.
People complain of the shortage of food. We tell them that it is the logical result of war. We used to import huge quantities of rice from Saigon and Burma. We paid to the United States some nine or ten million pesos annually for flour, and we likewise paid a large amount for other commodities, such as canned goods, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and fish. We cannot now get all of these because of the disruption of trade and the lack of bottoms. Our population has increased. Manila, for example, had a population of 600,000 before the war. Now it has a million and a half.
But even without the war, I want our people to know that we would be suffering now. Why? Because, under the provisions of the Tydings-McDuffie Act, the export taxes would have been put into operation and the people would now be feeling the pinch. The remedy is in our hands. We must produce far more than we used to produce in order to make up for at least those food products that we used to import. We have to increase the area under cultivation. We have to adopt better farming methods and we have to see less idle lots and backyards going to waste. Men and women, young and old, have to be realistic and, in the face of stark realities, exert more effort in producing until we are well-nigh self-sufficient.
It has been said that troubles come not singly but in battalions. This is literally true for the Philippines and for the rest of the world with the difference that the Philippines has relatively less suffering than many other countries. Not long ago, we had a devastating typhoon. We had floods. Some of our rice-producing provinces have been hard hit. If we are wise if we are really determined to work out our own salvation, let us avoid whining and grumbling and let us harness ourselves both in brain and in brawn to produce more, for the patriot of today is not only he who can deliver eloquent speeches or write fine essays, but also he who can produce two or three blades of grass where one grew before. Longanimity is a real word. It is uncommonly used but I precisely choose to use it at a time when it should be used because it is opportune and it is necessary.
Those who complain of high prices of foodstuffs should know that they can lower prices by producing more food. This statement is not mere oratory. When the demand is greater than the supply, prices are bound to soar; but when supplies about equal the demand, prices become normal. When supplies exceed the demand, then the prices go down. There is your elemental law of economics. The trouble is that in this country, where one may just literally tickle the ground and watch vegetables grow, little bundles of kangkong command exhorbitant prices in the ordinary market; where in three months we could raise corn, we have scarcity of corn; where in six or seven months we could raise papayas, there are but few papayas. When poultry could be raised in little yards, this is not being done, and the consequence is that little, puny eggs are sold at 60 centavos each. Where pigs could be kept in every household for the consumption of the left-overs, pigs which could be fed with the green banana leaves, with the fruits and leaves of ipil-ipil, with stalks of corn or the leaves of chaya, kamote, or even gumamela, we are not doing this, and the inevitable result is that since the demand exceeds the supply, we hear of a kilo of meat now being marketed at even ten pesos. All these things are shocking. They can only exist where a people grumble, when they consume far more than they produce, when they are made soft and flabby by an era of false values and fictitious appearances of prosperity.
With the spirit of longanimity developed far and wide as a virtue of our people, we would even welcome these hard times, these difficulties, and even consider them as being heaven sent and ordained by God because I trust that they will instill in us, individually and collectively as a people, a new sense of value and a greater desire to work, to create, and to produce.
Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library