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Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Delayed ID Post


When was the last time you had a significant observance of our Independence Day?

For me, I’m not quite sure. If my recollection serves me right, it could probably be six years ago, while I was still abroad, when I was tasked to sing the national anthem during the opening rites of the usual grand celebration for the Filipino migrants. Standing (no, trembling could be the more appropriate description) in front of thousands of beaming Filipinos, I was so moved by the unity that we as citizens exhibit when we are thrown out to foreign lands in search of opportunities we wished were available in our country. Needless to say, our nationhood is more felt by those who are outside the boundaries of this country, where many of our countrymen can only wish for the many freedoms we irresponsibly exercise and the comforts we wantonly disregard here.

I cannot think of any other instance immediately before or after the above incident when I felt or acted with a deep sense of patriotism.

Why?

Whatever happened to the idealist that was the younger me? Where was the student-activist who moved other students to stand up for their right to respectable education, and braved rallies in Plaza Miranda, Morayta and Mendiola, agitating for more respect to our hard-earned freedoms?

I’m now groping for answers as to the whereabouts of that part of me. I wish I could offer excuses to save face but I guess, like many of us, I could easily be found guilty of apathy without need to face trial. That part of me is therefore gone. Not necessarily dead, but would surely require intervention more than CPR to resuscitate.

I am tempted to say that maybe, time indeed has slowed me down. I mean time plus all the trappings we gather through its passage. The older we get, the more we take care of ourselves and the interests we have acquired as we matured. We are now more possessed with fear, no longer wanting to cause ripples that could eventually create currents that may just sweep us over to the dangerous seas (like why would I even dare shout repression when I could end up becoming a Jonas Burgos anytime?). We now define independence in personal terms – until we or our relatives and friends are abused, we feel that we are free as free can get.

Maybe, idealism is the luxury of the adventurous young. But hold it! If that is the case, why is it that even the youth of today is as uninvolved as I am? As I see it, most of them cannot hold a candle to the civic-consciousness our generation once had. Could it be then that non-involvement (some say cowardice) is more a function of the era and not of one’s age?

I cannot speak for today’s youth. I cannot apologize for them.

I can only speak for myself. And admittedly, the many personal travails I had caused me to me clam down and made me focus my energies to nothing but the pursuit self-redemption. Everything else became secondary. I am not proud of it, and I hope things will change.

Looking at myself, past the uneventful Independence Day of 2007, I admit to my shame. My apologies. But with the continuing brazen disregard for our democratic ideals as backdrop, I hope to do better next time.

5 comments:

theTripper said...

i strongly think that idealism is a mindset, a mental thing. it never is with the age of a person. idealism would retreat u to the mountains and to the margins of our society. that is not realistic.

our era today does not call for idealism but realism. so u r probably right that it is more of a function of the era and not of age.

:)

aajao said...

mas maganda sana kung sa Filipino mo isinulat yung ID Post mo. but then again, ano bang pakialam ko? hehehe...

maligayang pagbati sa iyo, sa araw ng ating kalayaan! kahit sa tingin ko ay marami pa tayong dapat gawin para malubos ang ating kasarinlan, kailangan nating magsimula sa isang punto--- pinakamainam siguro sa sarili natin. :)

aryo said...

thetripper: Realism meaning pragmatism? I guess that's what one teacher of mine said before - "idealism will bring you nowhere". Looking back, he was quite right. I'm not just sure if I am guilt-free.

Nonoy: Oo nga no? Naisip ko lang po kasi na baka magtampo ang aking mga dayuhang mambabasa. He he. As if ...

Bakla Sa Banga said...

Hi sir, kumusta ka na?

the bystander said...

"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." -Elie Wiesel

By the way Reo, I moved to a new blogsite at sikwati.wordpress.com. Hope you change the link with the new one.

Good day and more power!