This June 12, the Filipino people will be celebrating the 114th anniversary of the Declaration of Philippines Independence from the long sovereignty of Spain. Days before the big event, you can witness vendors selling small versions of Filipino flags everywhere, cars with Filipino flags mounted on some parts of their car and also at the gates of houses. On Independence Day, the government officials, employees and students involve themselves in a nationwide parade. The most awaited part of the big celebration is when the nation’s president together with the police and military, will march in Manila followed by an inspirational speech and a 21-gun salute.
The Filipino people have been through a lot of troubles and mischief since the colonial rule from the Spaniards. The poor ones were treated as slaves of their own fatherland. The middle class were not merely given their privileges and opportunities as citizens of the country. The higher class saved themselves from their positions through graft and corruption.
If we try to see and understand the big changes that happened long before since Spaniard rule and today’s situation, would you say that we are already independent? Would you say that we have gained most of our rights, privileges and opportunities? Would you rather say that even though we have gained independence through writings and documents but through actions have we really achieved it?
The Philippines was not able to gain its freedom if it wasn’t for the Americans. It was more of a sad fate when America took the place as the Philippine’s ruler after Spain sold the country for a sum of US dollars. Until now, the Philippines is still hiding under the skirt of the United States of America unable to be fully independent when it comes to military and diplomatic matters. The US usually has some words to say about certain matters.
Our country, after WW2, was one of the most developed countries in Asia next to Japan until the nation’s daily issues only rotated on political affairs. The whole country progressed very slowly from most of its Asian neighbors after then. When will the country focus less on political issues and more on economic development? History repeats itself when the poor and down trod are treated little less than humans and the rich are the ones who gains from the money of the people.
That is why, during Independence Day, we need to re-learn and re-understand the essence and significance of the sacrifices of those who lived and died for the country’s bright future. The ones who died for freedom left their hopes and dreams of a better country where every citizen is treated as equal and where the government is fully steadfast for the growth and development of its people. Walk forward, my dear Filipinos! You are a nation of great potentials! Remember your ancestors who have lived and died for your future! Live on with that dream!
“I have asked myself many times: Is the Filipino worth suffering, or even dying, for? Is he not a coward who would readily yield to any colonizer, be he foreign or home-grown? Is a Filipino more comfortable under an authoritarian leader because he does not want to be burdened with the freedom of choice? Is he unprepared or, worse, ill-suited for presidential or parliamentary democracy?
I have carefully weighed the virtues and the faults of the Filipino and I have come to the conclusion that he is worth dying for because he is the nation’s greatest untapped resource.” – Ninoy Aquino