In olden times, our country has been dependent on other government systems. Our forefathers based their economy and society on the Spaniards and Americans. They were even influenced earlier by the Chinese. The Filipino identity was gradually stained by foreign colors. Though this is the case, we still retain a number of our original traits, one of which is our love for freedom.
Democracy, as we all know, is a form of government where all citizens have equal participation in deciding on issues affecting their lives. The term is derived from the Greek, dēmokratía, which means “rule of the people.” The right to vote is a common characteristic of democracy, as it indicates freedom of expression. Other characteristics would be popular sovereignty, which means “voice of the people,” and majority rule, wherein decisions are selected if they have more than half of a population’s votes.
What is the state of modern-day Philippine freedom?
It is observed that being “free from dependence on or control by another person, organization, or state” is a perk that Filipinos would not give up. And for good reasons: No impositions. You are your own person. You make a living of your choice as long as it is legal. Everyone is respected.
But do we really understand our democracy? Most citizens would cry out that there are political personalities out to bring down our democracy. To start with, we aren’t in a democratic government per se; our government is also employing a combination of unitary, presidential, and constitutional republic government forms. Each has ideologies that can oppose democracy, but are nevertheless part of the system, so politicians have to try to bend these ideas unto each other.
There is abuse of democracy. People can take things too far once they feel uninhibited by the amount of freedom that they have. These citizens have gone way past what is permitted in a democratic nation. They crossed the line because no one is patrolling them; there were no patrol men in the first place because it was understood that citizens know, understand, and respect democracy’s boundaries. The ideas of popular sovereignty and majority rule have been misused for the selfish and malicious benefit of society.
Enlightenment is necessary. Philippine society has a lot more to learn about its form of government and the ideologies behind each one. It should also be imposed that people not use the powers bestowed by democracy and constitutional republic for personal means that can affect society negatively. Misunderstandings and non-negotiations can be decreased immensely if we truly understand our freedom.
I was watching the news yesterday about the increasing tension on territoriality over the Spratlys. Accordingly, each of the countries claiming ownership over the said group of islands (including the Paracels) has deployed regular sea patrols for observation. Now, over the years, China had incorporated the island groups into a new southern province and thus, built “structures” on the islands. They also released their war fleet within the territory of the island groups.
And what does our country have as patrollers? Three coastguard members and a K-9 guard dog.
Firmly standing your ground, indeed.
Impressively, the coastguards claimed that in the event of an attack, they are ready to put up a fight. They said that the island group is part of Philippine territory and they are ready to fight and die for it.
Dying for freedom of a country. Dying for the freedom of even the smallest land of your country. Welcome to the Philippines’ definition of freedom; one that our forefathers believed in, and that our generation should believe in now.
Happy Independece to my fellow kababayans!
This is my blog post for this year’s independence day. Just my thoughts on modern Philippine freedom. For my fellowmen, nakaka-nosebleed ba? Kung ganun, i-click nyo nalang yung “Page 2” sa ilalim ng paragraph na ito. Nasa page na iyon yung Filipino translation ng blog post/essay na ito. Enjoy!