First of all, let me tell you that I am grateful for our forefathers who relentlessly struggled to gain our independence a long time ago. Independence literally from foreign oppressors.
But personally, this day feels like celebrating my 13th birthday. Cakes and gifts and party hats didn’t bear much delight anymore. Suddenly it became irrelevant.
Today, Google is celebrating Philippine Independence Day. And lots of government officials. And organizations. And Filipino people, too.
But an in-depth research casts some doubts on this patriotic day. According to Wikipedia:
On June 12, 1898, Aguinaldo led the declaration of Philippine independence from Spanish colonial rule. Philippines independence was not recognized either by the United States of America or by Spain. The Spanish government later ceded the Philippine archipelago to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris. The Philippines Revolutionary Government did not recognize the treaty. When the Americans sought to execute the terms of the treaty, a three-year conflict, now called the Philippine-American War, ensued.
The United States of America granted independence to the Philippines on July 4, 1946 through the Treaty of Manila.
Reads like a very serious matter of bullies and their underdog. Like when you were little and you planned to set a runaway voyage to Cebu or some faraway land – armed only with a stick, five of your shorts and sandos, and what’s left of your grade school allowance the day before.
Nobody cared for whatever you declared on top of your lungs. Life went on with very little changes.
What should we be celebrating, really?
There’s no harm in commemorations. But let’s put this whole thing into perspective and context.
Independence isn’t much about being not dependent on something but more about being free. Being free from the shackles of pressure to buy the latest iPhone; being free from mindlessly and unwittingly browsing Facebook. Being free from crippling substances. Being free to believe in whatever we want and act on it with responsiblity.
And independence is not even much about misguided freedom to do what ever the heck we want because that’s what gets us into trouble.
Personally, I’m glad to live in a country wherein I’m free to jaywalk (I hated Singapore) without any serious consequence. If at all.
And this very thing – the lack and absence of serious consequences – allow us to be stifled by jokesters who happen to be making our laws and imbeciles who happen to be running this country.
We have a contemporary oppressor – this time it’s not foreign – it’s in our midst. It’s the corrupt system in which our government is built upon.
I have the faintest idea how we will achieve true independence. If everyone in the government, or at least those who have powers entrusted to them, is simply playing his/her old role, then we’re towards a dead-end.
Until that time comes when everyone is satisfied by the justice that we deserve, I will continue to recognize this day as Flag Day.
In an unrelated note, what’s new in our government? Here’s an entry I posted on March 25, 2011.
Seven Hundred and Forty Million Pesosesoses
That’s a lot of money. I could buy souls and still stand on a city made of coins and bills.
PHP 740,000,000, how shall I spend thee? Let me enumerate the ways:
For portraiture shoots
For walk-around shoots
|Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III Digiral SLR Camera
For on-location shoots
|Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Lens
For mapping the moon
|2011 Chevy Camaro Coupe
For everyday ride
|2011 GMC Savana Passenger Van
For out-of-town vacations
|2011 Ducati Superbike 1198 SP
For heavy traffic
|Shell Service Station Franchise
For big-buck income generation
For own religious community
|Red Cross Donation
For feel-good philanthropy
For vintage luxury
I still have four hundred twenty-five million seven hundred ninety-five thousand five hundred twelve Philippine ckufing pesos. I couldn’t spend it all. If only there’s a blender large enough to contain all those money, I could literally swim in my riches.
I hope the gun comes with an expanding bullet so I could blast my damned stupid head to smithereens.