“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.”
– by Franklin D. Roosevelt

noemi-flagToday, we celebrate the 112th Independence day amidst grandeur display of our president’s so-called achievements. Never mind that the Freedom House downgraded our “Free” status to “partly free” since 2006. The sad reality is that 112 years after the declaration of independence, our nation has still to assert its sovereignty. We lack an indpendent foreign policy,our government is beholden or subservient to foreign interests, and foreign troops are still based on Philippine soil.

I have always considered freedom such a precious word. Living most of my teen-age life under a Martial law and a dictatorship, I learned to adjust to our limited freedom and to party only till just before midnight. A breath of freedom during the EDSA 1 People Power was wonderful break only to be broken once again with corruption that seems rooted in our culture. The Philippines “partly free” status makes me vigilant that there is a benchmark, that I can play a part in achieving the “free” status of our country.

To be truly free, we have to be vigilant to make sure we do our duty as good citizens to keep watch on the government and make sure that election promises are actually fulfilled. This is only the first step. The journey to complete freedom is still ahead of us.

Freedom, Victory of the people lies in our hands.