The Gift of Independence

A Privilege, A Responsibility

Our independence is a gift to us from our ancestors. Unlike other gifts, the price they paid for it was eternal. People such as José Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo gave their all in a white flame of sacrifice on the altar of their nation. They lived, suffered and died for their noble cause, knowing they might never see the next sunrise. Still, they fought on.

Andres Bonifacio said: “In the fury of your struggle, some of you might die in the midst of battle, but this is an honor that will be a legacy to our race and our progeny.” Together with Jose Rizal and countless others, their words of inspiration fill our minds and hearts like blood clots of revelation from the wounds of humanity. They, like many others, answered the call of our native land—the call of freedom.

We should look back on the glories of the past with profound pride, remembering the sacrifices as we till the fields that have soaked up blood from countless battles, as we idly cruise through cities that stood witnesses to the marks of history and as we look upon the faces of our fellowmen, knowing that it is for them they fought. Lives were lost all throughout the dark moments of history and yet these moments are the ones that have further strengthened our patriotic love for our motherland.

Our independence is tempered by a responsibility. This responsibility calls for all of us to work hand in hand to make sure that the efforts of the heroes behind our liberation will not have been in vain.

Because of our freedom, we are now of a mind to make our own personality as Filipinos. We shoulder the responsibility of creating our own history to add to the golden pages of time.

Some say that the age of heroism is past. But if we observe closely, we will notice that at one time or another, someone, somewhere is bringing new meaning to the name Filipino. We will all stand firm, fighting for God and country. After all, for what greater or nobler cause is there than to fight than the ashes of our fathers and the temples of our gods? An age without a name is equal to one hour of sweet liberty.

The Philippines is no longer an obscure blot on the map. We have passed the test of time as the Centennial Celebration has doubtless proven. The Philippines is enjoying a century of independence, but we must also move out of the past and into the hands of the new generation.

Our country is a work in progress. As citizens of this country, we must do all we can to help. The people are the nation and it is up to us to keep the torch of freedom burning.

(This an inspirational essay for teenagers in the Philippines, my country)

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