Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Independence Day and its Multitude of Meanings

It’s amazing how we, as a nation, were able to maintain this annual celebration of our independence. We have our own history to brag about, when we were able to break the occupation of two foreign rulers after the Spaniards. Every year comes with a challenge to uphold this freedom, the democracy that we literally enjoy in different aspects at this time.

I feel proud personally seeing our national flag being displayed in many different places. We must enjoy it as much as we can. For those who interpret the Independence Day in a different way, let them. The alleged subordination of the country to a Western superpower is to a large extent subjective and sort of misses the essence of the celebration. Looking back in those last years of 19th century, the declaration of independence (although quite problematic given all those problems being faced by the Aguinaldo’s group at that time) was a pivotal event in the struggle towards a free archipelago. It was a trophy like no other for all those who fought for the centuries-long bondage from a foreign rule. And the present generation should definitely treasure this. We can reserve the other sentiments on the different concepts of independence for other days. June 12 is a day of celebration.

There is however a rather inconvenient truth about our Independence Day celebrations as pointed out by a weather reporter on TV earlier: that no matter how many Independence Day trivia we share amongst most of the Filipinos, they seem to trivial to be remembered; Pacquiao’s loss on his bout last Sunday seem more important to them than any historical detail. There is a tinge of comic truth in this but it is actually disconcerting. I hope there will come that time when we will freely and easily discuss history as easily as we talk about Pacquiao or showbiz gossips in public places. There is more to history than meets the eye.

*This blog also appears in Back Trails blog

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