President Aquino’s Independence Day message is clear as he raised the Flag in Kawit, Cavite, birthplace of the Filipino nation. He wants to inaugurate a chapter in our nation’s history where every Filipino can take destiny into their own hands. With national issues like the reproductive health bill, divorce, with the government’s efforts to fight corruption and improve efficiency, with the clear and present danger of Chinese intrusion, Destiny and Freedom seem zeitgeist. The wheel turned. Filipinos want to be unshackled. The Filipino wants to take destiny into his own hands.
The American President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that there are four freedoms. The Freedom of Speech, and Expression, the Freedom of Worship, the Freedom from Want, the Freedom from Fear. United States Secretary of State Hilary Clinton added a fifth freedom: The Freedom to Connect.
Big words, certainly. Words wrapped around much philosophy. What is clear is this. I think it is best explained by the sentiment of these words which were written to express cautious optimism as the United Nations report declared Internet rights, a human right, as important as freedom of speech and expression, “It just goes to show that freedom of speech is a paper-thin construct that requires constant vigilance – not by governments, but by the people.” And so as we Filipinos struggle to grasp destiny in our hands, to run with Freedom wherever future she may take us, let us not forget that Freedom requires constant vigilance. Such is the never ending battle.
Photo credit: Mike Gonzalez , some rights reserved.