The freedom we all need

SunStar Lacson
SunStar Lacson

So I bet every one of us is frantically looking forward to this coming Wednesday which is a national holiday. Yes, we all love and await these days when we don’t have to wake up early in the morning, do the same routine, and go to work. In other words, it is a free day.

On June 12, the whole country will mark the 126th year of the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain in 1898. The Independence Day, also known as Araw ng Kasarinlan or Araw ng Kalayaan, commemorates the day when Emilio Aguinaldo, through the Acta de la Proclamacion de la Independencia del Pueblo Filipino, declared independence from the Spaniards, and when the Philippine flag has been unfurled for the first time.

Simply speaking, this day is intended for all of us Filipinos to venerate what is regarded as the most significant parcel of our history because that is the day that we became free from the conquistadors, and that finally, we have been recognized as a sovereign nation. Undoubtedly, this event symbolizes the bravery, unity, and patriotism of our countrymen, who courageously fought for our land and its people.

Independence, according to Merriam Webster is “the time when a country or region gains political freedom from outside control.” Looking at this definition, we can say that we are a free country, in the sense that we have our democracy and we have our own government that steers the entire nation toward its supposed progress and development. We are indeed a free and independent nation.

But there is another meaning to the word independence, and that includes the concepts of self–sufficiency, self-reliance, self-subsistence, or self-support. This definition encompasses the ability of each individual to be independent because he or she can provide all his or her physical, emotional, psychological, and other needs to live meaningfully. And this my friends, is the saddest reality that has overwhelmed most, if not all of us, as we move forward in this age of development and globalization.

We are not free—the privileged few get more privileged, and the poor only become poorer. Because of this, we are not free as we cannot fully sustain all of our necessities and consequently, we are inevitably faced with constraints that will enable us to achieve our fullest potential.

We are not free—because this nation is robbed of its sense of morality and dignity because we keep on making rash and foolish choices amidst the destitution that shoves us all to forego our rational thinking to be able to feed not our minds, but our mouths.

We are not free—our nation is beleaguered with corruption, immorality, poverty, delinquency, futility, despondency, and treachery. What is worse is that we do not even know that there are hundreds or thousands of alien nationalities taking refuge in our own land and the people we put in power are the ones perpetrating this illegal practice.

The freedom from all these ordeals, essentially, is what we desperately need---Bagong Pilipinas! I hope I get to live the day when we will be privileged to enjoy this kind of freedom.


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