Philippine Independence: The Long Road to Ruin? By Christian O.

Vicedo One would be frustrated after discovering the different forms of torments and crises that our forefathers experienced to contribute to what is now labeled Philippine Independence and Filipino Nationalism. From Gom-Bur-Za’s sufferings, to the struggles of the Solidaridad spearheaded by Jose Rizal’s brilliance and martyrdom up to the Philippine Revolution led by the valiant Katipuneros whose vehemence for sovereignty even led to internal conflicts; of Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo who genuinely labored for our freedom…to proclaim ourselves as a sovereign nation capable of holding their own fate…we end up where we are…perplexed and confronted with predicaments that had been long problems of the old. It is only through a close examination of our history that we discover the loss our identity. Have we remained true Filipinos? Or are we indifferent enough to regard nationality as a mere ethnic classification? It would be difficult to outline a detailed difference between the past and the present national character of Filipinos but one dominating element arises from such comparison and it is our National consciousness. It is evident that not all are ignorant of their historical and cultural heritage but the very core of Nationalism had been disregarded…that is the “nation”. There cannot be a true Filipino without a true Filipino nation because his existence does not lie in the individual level but in his relationship with the community of individuals which he considers his own…bound by history and fate. Thus it is necessary to include the relationship of the individual with the Filipino community once he examines his degree of nationalism. It is not through simple acts alone that we become true Filipinos. It is evident that pride and respect for one’s national symbols, strict observance of the laws of the land and the just execution of one’s national niche are essentials in the constitution of the true Filipino but these only speak about what the individual can achieve for his own contribution in the ought to be comprehensive national movement for unity and progress. Bear in mind the sense of a nation that lies in the cooperation and camaraderie among men to resolve pressing predicaments that hinder the nation’s progress. It is exactly what Jose Rizal envisioned in founding the La Liga Filipina that was supposed to unite the Filipinos into a compact body. Filipinos should attempt to imitate his example to develop a common movement against internal oppression, corruption, injustice, inequality, poverty and illiteracy so that all torments and crises that our forefathers suffered be not in waste…so that the common struggle which they all passionately shared be not another long road to ruin.