Our generation is blessed with the independence that our forefathers fought for with their lives. What we now enjoy is the fruit of the blood and lives that were offered at the altar of our freedom and democracy. After centuries of slavery under abusive colonial masters, our brave countrymen fought long battles that won us back our lost freedom. Armed with inferior weapons, our heroes fought with courage against the artillery of our foreign oppressors. They could have opted the convenient road to self-preservation and lived longer under the rule of their foreign masters. But our forebears decided to fight a justified war that will win freedom for the future generations to enjoy. Ours was that future generation that now reaps the benefits of their hard won battles.

As we mark this 126th commemoration of that momentous victory for our freedom and independence, it is but apt to look back at the heroic act our heroes took. Their unselfish concern for our generation led to the attainment of our independence from our oppressors. We were able to establish our own government and fly our flag independently. Our colonizers placed us under an authoritarian regime that considered us no more than slaves under the Spanish crown. After the Spanish rule, we still have to be ruled by American and Japanese invaders before we obtained liberation by a victory in a war whose credit was grabbed by the Americans, obliterating as it did, the win of our Filipino soldiers.

We could take the sacrifice of our forefathers as their decisive move to free us from the burden of oppression and slavery. They risked their lives fighting a battle against well armed foreign invaders, so that we could enjoy a life of freedom and liberty. We got an inheritance that was the offshoot of their struggles and sacrifices to see our nation and people free. We got our independence in the battle seven years more than a century ago. We have turned undeserving of that supreme sacrifice but we got our share of the freedom and liberty we inherited no matter what. Taking a look at our present setup, we seem to have lost our worthiness to the cause our heroes fought for.

Our country may have been granted independence during that historical rites more than a century ago but we seem to have lost its essence over the years. After that raising of our country’s flag as a sign of our independence during that historic event on June 12, 1898, it looks like we have bungled the great benefits of that feat. Our political and economic landscape had been bastardized by foreign intervention. We have been held captive by our foreign creditors to the point that we no longer have the right to set the course of our destiny. We owe so much and we have to pay at all costs even if it means trampling upon our constitution and our sovereignty.

On another front, the independence that we have may have pushed us too far in the exercise and enjoyment of our freedom. We are a people that are prone to abusing the freedom and liberty that we have. Our democratic setup had been chaotic in many instances because of our tendency to play beyond the limits of our freedom. By and large, people with vested interests and hidden agenda are toying with our freedom to do the things as they will without regard to its consequences to our democratic institutions that ensures the protection of our freedom and . . . independence?