De Leon: The Black Panther offers subtle lesson in respect, democracy

"Wakanda forever!"

Marvel Studios has been no stranger to huge blockbuster success stories, but their most recent cinematic effort, the Black Panther, is kicking things to a whole new level.

To internalize the impact of how monumental the film is, one must #throwback and attempt to understand the experience of a race subjected to centuries-worth of oppression. It is not just another super-human story, but a subtle narrative of colonization, pilfering of traditions and resistance to forceful influences.

Since then, comic books and a number of films have become the perfect medium to ponder 'what could have beens?' In the case of Black Panther, Wakanda---a country in Africa had never been enslaved, kept traditions, but is now the most technologically-advanced in the world.

This made me wonder. What could our country look like in an alternate world where intruders never triumphed over our borders? Could a future lead by the multicultural and the Malay origins of the Philippines become more prolific?

However, history happened and I believe it took place for a good reason. Thus, what we can only do now is to work on today, impact the future while respecting the past--- Yes, the good and the bad.

Traditions are all about long established or inherited ways of life. The personal emotion invested in them is perhaps the biggest part of their value and that varies from person to person and culture to culture.

As a true-blue millennial, you've heard me defended this generation over and over again against 'Ang mga millennial kasi ngayon...and so on...' I've bluntly called out our critics---the man in the office and the man in the pulpit---not to demonize our technological advancements nor slow down the evolution of this age group---while I, myself, (modesty aside) have always showed deference to the laws, doctrines and values of the past.

Is there a way, we can all respect cultures and traditions while modernizing and allow each one to coexist with the basic tenets of democracy? There might... no, there must be a way to compromise, because we need to find a way to compromise.

The Wakandans respected traditions and cultures and did not simply accept new forms of ideas, just because it worked for others. But at the end of the day, they've decided to gradually open up their gates, not by force but by self-accepting that there's a need to do so.

Democracy is essential for every state and it's communities to aspire for. But don't you think it comes in many forms and not a one size fits all system?

Yes, it may be just another Sci-fi story, but until when are we going to allow fiction outdo us?

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