Thursday, June 12, 2008

Philippine Independence Day – Freedom from Spain

Philippine Independence Day – Freedom from Spain

110 ten years ago, on this day, June 12, the year was 1898. After decades of Spanish rule, the Philippines finally had its freedom and independence from colonial rule. Emilio Aguinaldo waved proudly our flag in front of the Filipino people who gathered in Cavite el Viejo as the first play of our national anthem was heard among our brethren. Marcha Filipina Magdalo and now known as Lupang Hinirang.

I would like to thank the people who own this day. Because of them, we enjoy free speech, democracy, liberty and free will. Who are they? Who are these people? The true Filipino who owns this day are the Katipuneros, who are farmers, peasants, and fishermen who sacrificed their lives for their family to enjoy freedom, also, for us today to enjoy it. These people did not go to school and study the French Revolution like Rizal did. Nor they have great minds that made them famous like most of our National Heroes. These people just followed their hearts’ desire. The desire for truth and freedom.

I could not imagine what joy that would have been, especially for those who lost their love ones during the struggle. Maybe in this present time, we could not see the significance of that / this great day, June 12. For most people this day is just like any other holidays wherein you receive double pay or a time to take a day off, a day away from school, another time for strolling, a time to play or go out. Just like any ordinary day.

But if you would just imagine, if you were to live 120 years ago, every morning you wake up with fear, discomfort, and uncertain of your future. Like the Katipuneros did, every moment of their lives, controlled by people that is not of their own race. Deprived of the things that belong to them, land, property and even life. And then one day, you wake up and everything changes. Unspeakable joy and happiness, knowing your family’s lives would be much better. Experience the feeling to be free at last.

110 years may pass and so on. Our nation changes from time to time. Some say its getting better, and some say its getting worse. All I can say is, I hope the Katipuneros who gave us this freedom are proud and happy. I hope each and every one of us, on this day, or even everyday in our lives from henceforth, let us all embed in our hearts and minds the principles of the Katipuneros. Let their blood flow within our veins and become Katipuneros as well.

The Katipunan Objectives
Under the leadership of Bonifacio, the Katipunan laid down three fundamental objectives or aims: political, moral and civic. The political objectives consisted in working for the separation of the Philippines from Spain. The moral objective revolved about around the teaching of good manners, hygiene, good morals, and attacking obscurantism, religious fanaticism, and weakness of character. The civic aim revolved around the principle of self-help and the defense of the poor and the oppressed. All members were urged to come to the aid of the sick comrades and their families, and in case of death the society itself was to pay for the funeral expenses. For the purpose of economy however, the society saw to it that the funeral was of the simplest kind, avoiding unnecessary expenses so common under the rule of the friars.
History of the Filipino People. Teodoro A. Agoncillo

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