How timely! A triumphant Fil-Am donning the PH flag-at-war during the 28th SEA Games in Singapore!
Whoever stitched that on, must have been inspired by the honest mistake of the website of the Office of the President’s in May 2011!
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Ah this “wardrobe malfunction” just makes me go on a throwback on a May 2011 Facebook post:
Is this an honest mistake or a subliminal message from the Office of the President based on PNoy’s warning to China regarding the disputed Spratlys? To quote: ““We may not have the capabilities now, but that might force us to increase our capabilities also,”?
Or is this a message that the PNoy administration is dead serious against corruption that it chose to call our people to pride the Philippine flag in a symbolic gesture of war towards the “Daang matuwid”?
More than the mistake or whatever underlying metaphor there is, the relevance of our flag should go beyond symbolism. Sure, place in it on your car, wear it proud on your shirt, make it as your wall paper or screen saver, but it doesn’t do much for a people who has forgotten that the flag should represent a proud nation based on merits.
Proud of real triumphs and everyday accomplishments that heroes are but common members of the society and don’t deserve recognition; Proud of a President who go beyond friendship when failure is seen to be at a nation’s detriment; Proud of every citizen based locally and abroad because each, best try to live according to the ethic of reciprocity, to a predominantly Catholic nation, this is what most can refer to as the Great Commandment found in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31.
“What is the use of independence if the slaves of today will be the tyrants of tomorrow?” says Padre Florentino to the dying Simoun in Rizal’s “El Filibusterismo”.
Jose Rizal’s words were relevant then as it is relevant now.
As our Philippines, celebrates another year commemorating an Independence dictated by Aguinaldo, let us be reminded of the lessons of history, so that this day will not just be another non-working holiday to spend on pageantry.
Let us be reminded of a most relevant timeline:
- June 12, 1898, a Declaration of Independence by the Aguinaldo government that was neither recognized by Spain nor America;
- December 10, 1898, the Treaty of Paris was signed. This marked the end of Spain’s colonial power over the Philippines and the rise of the power of the United States of America over the Pacific;
- July 4, 1946, is the date the United States of America chose to give independence to the Philippines through the Treaty of Manila.
The dates validate what Rizal wrote in his manifesto that expressed his disapproval of the armed revolution against Spain, he opposed and made clear that armed revolution was futile and disastrous. Reforms must not be violent and transitory.
Rizal, like any Filipino then and now, desired our country’s freedom but his plea for genuine emancipation was rarely heard. Centuries hence, EDUCATION and HARD WORK that he stressed so often that makes the Filipino people worthy of that freedom, is still ignored by many:
- “Our liberty will not be secured at the sword’s point… We must secure it by making ourselves worthy of it. And when the people reach that height, God will provide a weapon, the idols will be shattered, tyranny will crumble like a house of cards, and liberty will shine out like the first dawn.” (from “El Filibusterismo”)
- “Ignorance is bondage, because like mind, like man. A man without will of his own is a man without personality. The blind who follows other’s opinion is like a beast led by a halter.” (from “Letter to the Women of Malolos”)
- “Man works for an object. Remove that object and you reduce him into inaction.” (from “Indolence of the Filipino”)
“The gift of reason with which we are endowed must be brightened and utilized” (from “Letter to the Women of Malolos”)
Another “Araw ng Kalayaan”, but are the Filipinos really free?
Does the majority of Filipinos have genuine awareness and prestige, knowing that each consciously makes an effort to serve our fellowmen? Knowing that we are not contributors to the flash floods?
Knowing that we have a popularly elected leader who made heads roll, , regardless of POLITICAL AFFILIATION, because they have shamed the country? Knowing that our faith has made Filipinos, a citizen of the world with real physical meaning, engaging in, not just one’s own but in each other’s destinies towards new levels of cooperations and shared responsibility?
Ignorant of the above are many, thus another commemoration to invoke patriotism based on an emblem and pageantry is nothing more than just hypocritical respect.
The Salt Lake Herald headlined on August 19, 1898 : “ALL OF PHILIPPINES GIVEN TO THE AMERICANS”.
When was Philippine Independence proclaimed again by Emilio Aguinaldo?
June 12, 1898?
Say that again?
Manuel Luis Quezón y Molina’s words during his 1935 campaign speech for presidency against Aguinaldo has never been so prophetic:
“I would rather have a country run like hell by Filipinos than a country run like heaven by the Americans, because however bad a Filipino government might be, we can always change it.”
So it has been, we have the freedom to hope for change but we know not what entails to make that change.
So it has been, over a century hence, since that shortlived declaration of Independence over at Aguinaldo’s balcony and almost three decades since Edsa Revolution, what has that freedom brought to the country but the freedom to fall prey to the whims of a foreign creditor and the freedom to elect into office the false.
What has that freedom brought to the majority but a freedom, superficial?
There is freedom but bare are many homes of the most basic of needs.
There are laws and we have rights but the simple man cannot even be protected by the same.
They say we have the freedom to be a Filipino but so many are displaced and enjoy not the right to live with their families, options diminished to answer the need to provide.
The worse are the Filipinos, who know not the honor to be a steward of a land blessed with beauty and bounty.
Freedom is a privilege, bought with blood and sacrifice by those who came before us.
A privilege that entails responsibility.
A responsibility that only a few, know anything about.
Happy and independent, is the Filipino?
SEA Games photo from http://www.mb.com.ph/sea-games-flag-gaffe-puts-filipino-americans-on-war-footing/
Philippines warns of arms race in South China Sea http://globalnation.inquirer.net/2247/philippines-warns-of-arms-race-in-south-china-sea
Image of Salt Lake Herald courtesy of http://philippineamericanwar.webs.com/mockbattleofmanila.htm
Mike is the author of “Minsan may Isang Puta”, an allegory which has been circulating since 2004 and with over 50,000 likes and shares in social media alone. It won a film grant in 2010 to be included in the multi-narrative Indie film “Ganap na Babae” (International title: Garden of Eve). The teaser, reviews and commentaries are here. The movie was honored as Cinemalaya 2010’s opening film and has won international and local recognition.
The royalties from the initial 150 copies of Mike’s first sole-authored book, The Dove Files, went to a Project Malasakit scholar who graduated Cum Laude in April 2013, the rest was also paid forward to baby Mark who underwent a liver transplant in March 2013.
Part of the royalties of the “Minsan may Isang Puta” book at Barnes and Noble Online goes to support the education of a young Yolanda survivor taking up B.S. Accounting at U.P. Tacloban.