Column: The Voices beneath the Pages of History Books

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Standing in lines with hands on their chests, basked beneath the scorching sun students stood. Everyone else seemed bored during the flag-raising ceremonies but we, the scouts of our school, proudly stood beside the pole with the snappy salutes as the blue-red-white-yellow banner of our country climbs to the top.

A few years ago, in one of my most favorite subjects, Araling Panlipunan, our teacher lectured about Philippine history. I really enjoyed the stories of how our ancestors fought against the oppressors. But as I looked around my classmates, I realized something—many of us are deaf, not hearing the cries of the forgotten.

Independence. This word was the motivation of the heroes who fought different races for the good of one country. The Philippines wept under the shadows of the Spanish, Americans and the Japanese as the country was colonized for centuries. The Filipinos sought for independence to release from the oppressive grasp of its captors. The Filipinos raised arms and opened the wings of the people to inspire them to fly towards independence.

With its strategic location in the Pacific Region, the Philippines is a crucial foundation for power in the region. With its rich lands and oceans, the country is a treasure chest waiting to be opened. Sadly, it is not the locals who gained wealth from these treasures; the foreigners did. Keeping this safety from harm, our people bled and died.

Everything happened in a blink of an eye. The centuries of oppression seemed to be an hour of lecture of our Araling Panlipunan teacher. The bloodshed and sacrifices of the heroes turned out to be pages in the History books waiting for a curious reader to be read. Everything is fading away in the verge of technological breakthrough and modernization; the people are indulged in the new system and left the old one away leaving the old heroes’ books in the back corner of the library.

Blinded by the wonders of the future, technology, we forgot to look back to the past and see how thousands to millions of our people died for the sake of the generations to come. They deserve to be remembered for they are part of us, they are part of the future.

The heroes are knocking on the minds of the people waiting to be noticed by the busy minds of the people who enjoyed the freedom they fought, bled and died for. They are whispering in our deaf ears the cries to remember the Independence Day as a thanksgiving for them and not a day to celebrate as a holiday. They died for our independence, not for a holiday.

Our independence is the greatest gift bestowed upon us by our forefathers. This gift is something we must cherish, for this independence is a product of our heroes’ blood and sacrifices. So let’s take a stroll to recall how our independence was attained and be proud. Be proud that you have the blood of heroes running on our veins. Be proud that we are Filipinos.

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