Sunday, 12 June 2011

Philippines, 113

Today I saw a flag unfurl amidst a backdrop of blue sky. Today’s no ordinary day for this piece of cloth to wave in the deep blue sky because today, all eyes gaze on it with a sense of euphoria and nationalistic pride. One hundred thirteen years ago, our forefathers saw the rise of three stars and a sun and today, I saw the same. It’s the 12th of June and it’s Philippine Independence Day.

Tagum City was not left behind. Tagumeños from all walks of life gathered at downtown Tagum to celebrate our country’s independence from the Spanish rule. Political leaders, students, veterans, teachers, doctors, nurses and ordinary folks converge in joining the whole nation’s observance of Independence Day.

The events I saw earlier would not be possible without the sacrifices of our heroes and they deserve all the credit for the freedom we enjoy nowadays. Without them, we wouldn’t be enjoying our blogs or facebook.

Foremost of these heroes is our national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. For him, the dream of nationhood is a top-most priority. Seven days from now, the whole nation will be joining together once more in the observance of his 150th birth anniversary.

The elements of nationhood and the birthday of Jose lead me to think what’s deep within the word “freedom.” Standing at the crossroads of these two important aspects of Filipino nationhood, we can see how one fits with the other, and how the two make sense together. Rizal, who represents the best in the Filipino, manifested the bright prospect of a Philippines without foreign rule. On December 30, 1896, Rizal sacrificed his life on the altar of martyrdom to solidify his desire.

The declaration of Philippine Independence from Spanish rule justified Rizal’s martyrdom and fulfilled his dream. Rizal dreamed of nationhood; Aguinaldo and his comrades spoke out its name, waved its flag, and sang its anthem.

The rest is history. 113 years had passed and I don’t know what happened. As a nation, we are facing a horrible ghost creepier than being colonized: bonds of poverty and corruption. As the heirs to the freedom we gained from our heroes, it is our prime role to break these bonds, not just for ourselves, but for future generations as well. As what Tagum City Mayor Rey T. Uy quipped when I interviewed him this morning, the celebrations nationwide is dedicated to the country’s children and future generations. It is our duty to work for a brighter future the future generations rightfully deserve. As what we had declared in the preamble of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, to promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality and peace.

Today’s one of the moments to feel great and be proud to be a Filipino.

I have a dream that someday the future generations will be able to see what I saw today: a flag unfurled in the deep blue sky. When they see it, I know they will stare at it with great pride and honor. 113 years ago today gave birth to the Republic of the Philippines, the first republic in Asia. Today, the remaining task of living up to its rightful place in history lives on.

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