Filipinos always reflect on national identity in November because on the 30thof this month we commemorate the birthday of the quintessential nationalist, Andres Bonifacio.

For Filipinos residing outside of the Philippines, this annual introspection is especially relevant because many of us constantly struggle with our sense of identity and feelings of unresolved patriotism.

Indeed, we often find ourselves asking – is being Filipino simply about citizenship? Or should our conception of national identity be rooted on qualities much deeper than, as many Filipino-Australians would tell me, a mere piece of paper?

Personally, I would be very wary with our national identity being defined by law for two reasons. First, doing this would automatically create an “others” category within the polity. I reckon a Malaysian of Chinese descent would readily testify that such a scenario makes it doubly difficult to establish cohesion and harmony within the nation-state. READ MORE

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