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What price, freedom?

All of these — like the unseen but deadly virus — are as deadly as any sword, rifle and cannon that the heroes of Philippine independence had to face

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The Philippine flag flies proudly at the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite days before the 12 June celebration.

As the Philippines celebrated its 123rd Independence Day on Saturday, 12 June 2021, Filipinos from all walks of life were forced to confront their very definition of freedom and liberty.

Is it freedom from foreign encroachment at West Philippine Sea after our hard-earned liberation from servitude at the hands of the Spaniards, the Japanese and then the American World War 2 “liberators?”

Young boy rides his bike past by the philippine flag in Malate,Manila

How about freedom from this Covid-19 pandemic that has so far robbed Filipino families of about 23,000 loved ones and hundreds of thousands if not millions of jobs, the latter an effect of debilitating economic losses?

The country’s colors fly with the wind days before 12 June.

As Philippine flags were unfurled, waved and displayed in homes and whatever vehicles were on the streets, Juan and Juana de la Cruz have had to look at themselves in the mirror for the enemy within.

The self-doubt, the crab mentality, the defeatist attitude, the creeping depression on a scale as yet unfathomable as the end of Covid-19 is nowhere near in sight.

Workers clean a statue of Emilio Aguinaldo, who was the key figure in the declaration of the country’s independence from Spain in 1898.

All of these — like the unseen but deadly virus — are as deadly as any sword, rifle and cannon that the heroes of Philippine independence had to face.

But the Filipino is descended from a noble race, one that does not turn tail from any fight. The Filipinos today will make Rizal, Bonifacio and Gomburza proud. We’ll declare our independence from this menace, too.
It’s just a matter of when.

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