Manila, Philippines – Today we celebrate Philippine Independence Day. We, as a people, have more than enough reasons to celebrate as we also have significant challenges being an independent nation.
General Emilio Aguinaldo, together with the revolutionary forces during that time, declared Philippine independence from the Spanish colonial rule by raising the Philippine flag and playing/singing the national anthem for the first time on June 12, 1898 in Kawit, Cavite.
Though our country was not totally independent from then on (as Americans and
Japanese forces took over until 1946), the Aguinaldo declaration of independence remains to be a significant and meaningful expression of the Filipino people’s resolve to achieve freedom from colonial rule.
In my view, the single most important reason for celebrating Philippine Independence Day is the collective heroism of our leaders and people in serving our country.
During the Spanish, American and Japanese colonial years, our country had an abundant supply of heroes who were willing to sacrifice their life for the interests of our country.
While there was also political factionalism, it was evident then that political leaders and those who committed themselves to the service of our country were primarily serving national or public and not personal interests.
The challenges we face, 114 years after General Emilio Aguinaldo declared Philippine independence, are principally about the heroism that our leaders and we, as a people, need to serve our country with.
As an independent nation, the present and the future of the Philippines are determined, shaped, and defined by us. We need modern-day katipuneros who are willing to serve in freeing our country and people no longer from colonizers but from poverty, injustice and social inequality.
Essentially, we are the katipuneros that our beloved Philippines needs. While we do not need to sacrifice our life to serve our country, we need to commit ourselves in serving the best interests of our country and not only our personal interests.
Less than a year from now, when we once again elect our leaders, let us all be katipuneros in electing the katipunero-leaders who will lead us in gaining the “freedom” that we deserve.
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Happy Birthday to my dearest nephew – “son”
LORENZ! I will do everything to make you happiest and most successful. Nothing but the BEST for you.
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