We, the Filipino nation, have celebrated our independence for 111th time this year. But 111 years after the first Philippine flag was hoisted and the first republic in Asia was born, nothing much has changed. Only the foes have transformed into other forms. Yet the problem remains, and worse, it has even evolved to a scenario more complicated and more absurd than a century ago.
During Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo’s time it was an intruder, the Imperial Spain, that was our enemy. The conquering Spaniards sucked what our ancestors had. They have robbed us of our property, identity and dignity.
But now it has gone worse. Some of our own compatriots are pillaging what’s best in us, corrupting and plundering not just the prosperity of our land but more, importantly, our very soul.
How can someone be proud of his country if it’s terrorized by its own leaders? How can we assert that we are an independent republic if we are being defrauded by them?
Yet Filipinos have managed to live under this despicable malady for 111 years and is currently transcending it. Despite bearing scarlet letter, Filipinos around the world are grappling to gain pride and recognition; not ignominy and notoriety. Thanks to our fellow Filipinos who bested the world in their respective fields, the once unknown Philippines is now recognizable in the world’s map, not as a lapdog of other countries but as a haven of world-class professionals, entertainers, and workers sought the world over.
But we should never be contented. We need to use our freedom and independence to make our country peaceful, prosperous and prominent. This we must do in 2010.
More needs to be done in our course towards a developing, mature and united republic.
And we have to start it now.
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