Today, the Philippines commemorates it’s 68th year as a Republic.
Philippine independence happened twice, first from the Spaniards, after 300-plus years of colonial rule, and then, from the Americans on July 4, 1946, after 48 years as a US territory (the Spaniards ceded the Islands to the US in exchange for the amount of USD20M – how traumatic for Filipinos, if they really think about this fact). That day, the Philippines was hailed as a Republic, with Manuel Roxas as the President.
July 4 in the country though is downplayed as Philippine-American Friendship Day (or Flag Day), but history tells us that today was so much more. Today, in schools it’s a regular school day. Do young Filipinos realize the significance of reaping the benefits as citizens of a Republic? There ought at least a program of thanksgiving and renewal of faith in the country’s future. Not only in schools but in the villages (barangays) and towns.
Married folks take time out to celebrate their anniversary. The country should too, on significant dates. It’s not the technicalities of celebrating but the commemoration, giving thanks, being grateful, renewal of promises, and looking forward as one community. These celebrations keep the faith in and love of country alive.