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Questions that Matter
Thursday, June 12, 2014
TODAY, we celebrate with jubilation the Philippine Independence Day. It is met with great jubilation not because of what we commemorate but rather it is significant for it is a non-working holiday. Nowadays, the meaning of the celebration of holidays is no longer significant. A holiday will only become significant once it is celebrated with a presidential memo or local legislation making such a non-working holiday.
Looking at today’s event in history, one is reminded of the first time the Philippine flag was waved freely by every Filipino following the waving of Aguinaldo at the balcony of his residence in Cavite. It was a signal of victory and freedom from a foreign regime. It signaled the start of the bloody revolutions and eventual expulsion and surrender of the Spaniards to Filipino sovereignty. It was a declaration of a very shortlived Philippine independence.
While the whole country was rejoicing for the defeat and surrender of the crown, it was kept from all of us that the event was not done through the help of the Americans but rather it was an event resulting from the defeat of the Spanish Armada due to the internal conflict between the crowns in Europe. A wrong the King of Spain made led him to surrender his colonies. US having perceived the dying force of Spain entered the arena and took some of the natural resources-rich colonies of Spain. Through an international treaty Spain has to sell the Philippines to US without the conformity of the Filipinos.
Few months after Spain left the country, US took over and won the hearts of the Filipinos. The Americans taught the Filipinos the real essence of independence. They taught our ancestors to treasure their freedom and democracy. They taught them that this is very precious and US is willing to help protect these for them . While doing their mind-setting for the Filipinos, they (Americans) were also using up our resources for the benefit of the Americas and not the country. Our good trees and wood were used to build and support their houses. They exported our logs back to their homeland.
So until today, we are still under the clutches and wings of the bald eagle. Our economy is dependent on the dollar. The major industry (sugar) is still dependent upon the pricing (quota) US will give us. Our educational system is still tagged with the US system. The K to 12 model is patterned after the US system. Many more are still under the influence of the US forces.
Now, are we glad to celebrate an event in history that has no significant reason. Parades and flag raising ceremonies are just mere sacramentals and rituals. I hope that we could see the real meaning and essence of the celebration.
St. Ezekiel Moreno, Saints Pedro Canlungsod and Lorenzo Ruiz, Pope St. John Paul II, Mons. John Su and John Liu, and Sir Faraon Lopez, pray for us.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 12, 2014.