26 May La Independencia Ano Ka Nga Ba?



Freedom. Independence. That one word that means a are basically human yet everyone takes for granted. If there is anything that sets us apart from our primitive counterparts – the monkeys, that would be the rational ability to choose. We are supposedly rational beings yet in many ways, we show the world that we are just like our supposed ancestors – primitive.


There is a saying that goes we are a product of our own decisions and not merely the victims of circumstances, yet we tend to choose by using our primitive default mode – survival.

Let’s take the world as an example. We at JUAN believe that the kind of world we are living today is a product of past decisions made by human beings before us. We have unearthed coal, fossil fuels to service our own needs. We have cut down trees, dirtied bodies of water and drove animals to extinction because we believe that our own needs precede the needs of other forms of life when we were in fact if the Bible were to be believed, tasked to take care of mother nature for it to survive from generation to generation.

Man’s evolution through the years has made this world a hateful place. From the genocide of the Jews to the Syrian wars to consistent bombings all over the world, the most recent of which is within the Philippine shores, we have proven that time and again, we continue to let our primal instincts rule over our freedom to choose. We have created slaves based on economic classes, on races. We have deduced human life to a mere currency.

And there is the self, the choices that we make for ourselves are once again ruled by needs instead of the common good. The basic principles of living a decent life, of loving our selves, have long been forgotten. When we get to choose, we choose what is comfortable no matter if it cuts across our basic values system, no matter if it robs us of basic human dignity. Basta nasaan ang pera andun tayong lahat.

And for some, we have put a higher premium on the self that we have begun alienating those who think differently from us. We have chosen to the worst form of choice there is – entitlement. The smarter you are, the richer you are, the more elite you become, the more entitled you seem to be. We have become so closed with our thinking that we have forgotten that the whole world does not revolve around us – our needs. We have put too much premium on our lives that we have forgotten that we were brought in this world for a purpose.

And then there is love, the kind that we worship above the higher being that made us, the kind that destroys us and makes other human beings question our integrity. We have let romantic love rule our lives that we can’t, we refuse rather, to live without it. How many more families do we destroy because we believe that there is morality in love? How many more futures do we destroy because we have become so selfish with our needs that to “let go” of people we love for the sake of a better life, a better partner is non-acceptable? We choose manipulation over freedom. We choose emotional black mail – the slavery of “utang na loob” over freedom because we believe it is the right thing to do. Hanggang kailan? Hanggang kailan mo babayaran ang utang na loob bago mo pagpahalagahan ang sarili mo? Hindi ba kung totoong minamahal ka, pakakawalan ka at aalis yan sa buhay mo dahil alam nilang mas mapapabuti ka kung wala sila?

What have we gotten ourselves into? What have we done with the world? What have we done with freedom? And freedom? Ano ka na nga ba ngayon?

Today, we begin to explore the real meaning of it, and maybe we can make even one soul understand what it really means. Because in changing one’s perspective to choosing what is right for the common good is a step to changing the world. Let change begin within ourselves – our perspectives, holding on to what is right, just and dignified. We all deserve freedom, but we have to choose it.


Sisa Zaragoza


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