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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I Remember ...

I'm not sure if age has caught up with me, but I can only remember “celebrating” our Independence Day during my youth. This was the time when the day was truly special and not just any other holiday.

These remain vivid in my thoughts:
My brothers and I will wake up early to prepare for the day’s festivities. And when we're all on our Sunday best, the first major task for the morning would be tying miniature flags to the window post. All houses in the community would display at least one.

Then off we would go, running to the town plaza where the sound system would already be blaring nationalistic songs. “Mabuhay, mabuhay, mabuhay ang Pilipino”, “Ako ay Pilipino, ang dugo’y maharlika”. All these we knew by heart through school.

It would seem that the entire town would gather for the parade. A parade where nothing much is featured but us, the citizens, young and old, waving flags.

After the parade would come the perfunctory program, where the town officials would show-off their oratory skills. That, with the large sign “Sa Ikauunlad ng Bayan, Disiplina ang Kailangan” emblazoned on the wall behind them. Afterwards, the adult participants will plant trees, while we, kids would now gawk at the various booths exhibiting or peddling local products.

Those were the days…

I can no longer recall any instance when I commemorated our Independence Day with so much fanfare, with deeper nationalism. Maybe because, at that time, I still had a very unadulterated view of what freedom means. That, compared to the cynicism that prevails in my mind now.

Ironically, those patriotic moments occurred in the period when history says we were most oppressed, with many liberties supposedly shackled. I don’t know, but after our so-called liberation through EDSA, I really can’t recall any celebration which was as meaningful as in the past. What I know, is that since then, the day became just a holiday, not anymore for what it symbolized, but for us to take respite from the daily grind.

I remember, today, June 12, is our Independence Day. And since this very day is reduced to just another working day, I can’t help but recall the days when I spent this day proudly waving the flag.

Note: I have a miniature flag proudly standing in my desk now.


the donG said...

wow! we might not be proud of our economy. our leaders. but we can always be proud of how our ancestors fought for our country.

that flag in your desk symbolizes our memorable achievements as a nation.

acey said...

what a beautiful video!

and i honestly didn't even feel it was independence day. i'm kinda confused now as they moved it to another day here. :(