You know, Aetas are not natives of the Philippines. They were from Australia. There are countless of tribes in this country who can truly claim and trace their ancestry to ancient "Filipinos" and they are still here, in their own lands too.
These tribes, all of them are brown and with straight black hair. They also have many common denominators. But look at the Aetas and other few surviving black tribes who were called "original Filipinos", none of them has any similarity to true Filipinos.
That speak volumes about who is who. How can a few tribes be the "originals" when all other tribes everywhere on the Philippines look the same and share a lot of things in common but the black tribes, like Aetas, doesn't?
They are not natives or "katutubo". They are foreigners. The true natives are you and me. The Cebuanos, the Illonggos, Ilokanos, Warays, Igorots (is this the proper name?), Tagalogs, Kapampangans, the Moros, Bikolanos, and many more brown tribes. Our ancestors constantly drove out the black tribes. They even reached ancient China and then they were drove out again. They went back to what we know today as Zambales, and the Tagalogs, Kapampangans, and Ilokanos, finally left them alone. Maybe out of compassion, they let the Aetas have the area of Zambales. The same in some parts of Visayas where there were also a few surviving black tribes.
No, I'm not saying that we should kick out the Aetas or treat them as second-rate citizens. The point is, don't believe the lies the Western conquerors told us who the original natives are. The Spaniards did it first, then the Americans. They destroyed our own records and rewrote our history according to how they can ensure we'll never rise up again.
We have a Filipino proverb, a very wise one, "ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan" ("someone who doesn't know how to look back from whence he came from won't reach his destination"). As long as we believe we are the foreigners, not the natives, our attitude and mindset will always lack patriotism, care, nationalism, and ownership of these lands. We are also living yearly with an identity crisis.
My fellow Filipinos. We are the natives of these 7,107 islands we call today collectively as the sovereign State of the Philippines. Our ancestors tilled this land. Our ancestors wore the most perfect golds and silvers ever. We traded our natural resources as far as Egypt back in B.C. years. We taught the Chinese how to build huge ships. The pirates were afraid of us. Our neighbours were hiring us to Captain their ships. They feared us. The Chinese closed their doors to the world except to ancient Philippines. They landed here and they let our merchants take their wares all over the archipelago for weeks, with no guarantee whatsoever we will return, yet we did return carrying far more goods and money the Chinese can ever bring back home. We effectively taught the Chinese how to do business!
That was who we were. That is who we are. That is who we will always be. Yes, you, him, her, the person behind you, besides you, that Filipino driver, your fellow passengers and movie goers. We are the true natives of these islands. The true owners of all the natural resources here. We are the Pearl of the Orient Seas! It is us, the people, the Pearl of the Orient Seas!
Claim your birthright for it is ours. This is the only way we can move forward. Time to make a stand. The Westerners are afraid of us. Our neighbours doesn't want us to rekindle our golden eras. But it is our destiny and no one can ever stop us from reclaiming it all.
We are Ophirians. We are Shebans. We are Timawans. We are Maharlikans. We are the Oriental Hebrews, from the line of Yoktan.
We will rise. This time, the world will tremble as we judge this generation!