It’s June 12 once again – marking the day when the Philippines earned its liberation from Spanish colonizers in 1898. In this trying time of the pandemic – how significant is Independence day for us Palaweños? Or is it just a day employees look forward to because of the double pay? In the past, celebrations in Puerto Princesa is done through different programs in Rizal Park, forums and contests in schools, concerts and shows that uplift the Filipino spirits and be reminded if not encouraged of our history.
We asked Palaweños active in social media to share their thoughts in this year’s Araw ng Kasarinlan, and the following are their response.
“Birthday ng tatay ko, aside from that Independence Day for me is just a normal day,” Anthony Baesa, -Businessman.
“Hindi ko ramdam na malaya ako, because lahat ng bagay eh monitored and controlled by the government, hindi ko alam kung me (may) kabuluhan pa ba ang pag-gunita ng araw ng kalayaan sa Pilipinas” Alvin Palanca, -Student.
“Honestly, I don’t really think it as that important aside from reminding us that once, us Filipinos fought hard for our freedom, and that somehow severed the ties that we have from those who chose to colonize us,” Shani San Juan – Online Entrepreneur.
“Wala na, kung noon malaki ang kahalagahan ng Independence Day dahil nakalaya tayo sa mga Amerikano at Hapon, sa ngayon na kung saan merong COVID-19, nagkaroon ng pagsikil ng kalayaan sa lipunan at karapatang pantao, na hindi naman puedeng isisi lahat sa pamahalaan” Janet Sumagaysay, – Capitol Employee.
Fighting an unseen enemy, many Palaweños believe that it’s time to recognize new heroes wh risk their life at the frontlines.
“Sa panahon ngayon, pareho noon kung “sacrifice” ang pag-uusapan eh nandyan yung mga frontliners natin na handang mag-sacrifice ng sarili, ang mga doctors na pilit nilalabanan ang virus para sa kaligatasan at kalayaan ng lahat” Bitoyz Cortez, – Vlogger.
“Site tayo ng example, ang mga bayani natin ngayon ay ang mga frontliners, kaya nila makipagsapalaran at harapin ang pandemya ng walang halong pagdu-duda” Albert Himpayan, – Teacher.
“Ang mga bagong pinakamahusay na bayani ay ang ating mga frontliners ng COVID-19, iba’t ibang labanan upang mailigtas ang ating bansa sa pandemya” Pinky Llado, – Pharmacist.
“Para sa akin ang kahalagahan ng Araw ng Kalayaan ay ang pagkakaisa, pagsunod sa batas at pagtutulungan nating mga Pilipino na labanan ang COVID-19 pandemic” Ryan Abiog, – Jail Officer.
“Right now we are facing another conqueror which is COVID-19, it is important for us to stay safe and enjoy Independence with our family inside the house” Ariestotle Buera, – Call Center Agent.
But still many Palaweños believe that celebrating “Independence Day” still matter today, it is our freedom that we have to be thankful.
“Independence Day is one of the most significant dates in our history, it is relevant to all the Filipino people because we were colonize by many countries before,” Kurt Everfresh, – Vlogger.
“Mahalaga ang kalayaan, lalo na ang Spratlys” JC Enon, – Moto in Can Artist.
“Ang hindi marunong tumingin sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan, commemorating our Independence Day gives us direction to move forward, but also put our feet on the ground by reminding us of our humble beginning” Ferds Cuario, – Brgy. San Miguel employee.
“We must remember and be thankful for all the hardship that they went through, so that we can live free, safe and proud of our heritage” Romanita Calunsag, – OFW.
“We celebrate Independence Day every year to commemorate historic events in our country, para siyang reminder na wag tayo makakalimot sa mga naging sakripisyo at paghihirap ng ating mga kababayan, dapat ingatan at ipaglaban ito,” Mary Vhalerie Guzman, – City Government Employee.
“As a member of LGBTQ community, I am grateful to those who are fighting with and for us, Independence means not tolerating any practice that curtails another rights,” Adrian Andrea Arias, -Event Organizer.
“As a law enforcer and servant of my beloved country in this day and age, Independence is the breath of living, many of us in the field have sacrificed our men while trying to protect the nation from communist group, Independence not only lies to the country’s defense, but also on the hands of its citizens, we should all be responsible caretakers of our home,” Rodolfo Labayo, Jr., – Police Captain.
“It also reminds us that to value our hard fought freedom, if our ancestors did not do it, we might be under another country’s rule right now” Sofia Santos, – Travel Junkie.
The current situation we have now is very much different in the past, but Palawan islanders think that is worth celebrating no matter what guidelines we need to follow. It is a time for us to reflect if we really are free.
“Now more than ever, it is important to ask ourselves what it means to be really free, in this present time of mask wearing and being stuck at home, our liberties are being challenged, however, our bodies can be imprisoned but not our minds. Freedom is inherent in us as humans” Cynthia Sumagaysay, – Environmentalist.
“For what is happening in the Philippines and the world, I think it is a constant reminder for us all how we fought every step of the way to get our freedom in the olden days and even with the present situation,” Mika Goudo, – Teacher.
‘‘We are all experiencing hardships and a lot of challenges, may it be at work, peer, family or whatnots, there might also be a time when we feel like we are prisoners of our own doings, prisoners of darkness, thus, making it healthy for us to celebrate freedom at least once a year, Jenica Canaveral, – Vlogger.
“Sa panahon ngayon tila ay bumalik tayong lahat sa pagiging bilanggo, at hirap makakilos dahil sa pandemya na maituturing nating kalaban, ngunit ang araw ng kalayan ay maaari nating gamitin bilang instrument upang lahat tayo ay maging matatag,” Teddy Laab Manaeg, – Student.
“Naniniwala ako na sa araw na ito hindi lamang kalayaan ito mula sa kolonisasyon ng mga kastila, ito rin ay araw ng kalayaan sa pagpapahayag ng nararamdaman ng bawat isa,” Kat Arvie Valones – LGBTQ Advocate
“Isang katotohanan na magbago man ang anyo ng kalaban, o ang panahon ng sigwa, kung tayo ay magkabuklod sa pakikibaka, kaya nating lumaya! Mabuhay ka Pilipinas, sa paggunita ng iyong ika 122 na Araw ng kasarinlan!,” – Majal Bautista – Batang Puerto Princesa Administrator.
“Paalala kung tunay nga bang nakamit natin ang kalayaan sa mga nanakop na kastila, saan tayo nagkamali at saan tayo tama, anung direksyon ang tinatahak ng ating demokrasya? O gumawa lang tayo ng makabagong kastila sa mga maling tao na ating ibinoboto tuwing eleksyon,” Homer Capinig – Businessman.