Awkward dilemma Filipinos face today
The phrase “I love my country” is a deep-seated catchphrase for many people around the world. But do we Filipinos love our country and honestly seek to secure its interest before our personal interest?
During the Spanish regime, such question would have been answered with a resounding “Yes.” It was the time when Filipinos were caught up between a rock and a hard place, so to speak — tyranny on one side, and the fight for freedom on the other.
Either way spelled pain and suffering for everyone.
Life was agonizingly difficult, but our early brothers and sisters bravely refused to capitulate, and contended with the noble choice of dedicating themselves to the task of freeing this country from the colonialist yoke.
Today, tyranny is over and freedom is at our disposal. Yet, service and dedication to our country are as important as
ever. Strength of character, faith in justice and fairness,
and vigilance must be particularly embraced, because they also happen to be our greatest weaknesses.
The country’s problems are numerous, and we are called to tackle them boldly and diligently, whether they be aggression by another country, corruption in government, greed and abuse of power by our leaders, etc.
These are the new enemies that threaten our institutions and could bring this country into disarray. Our country can stand strong only if we stand strong, and will ourselves to face the enemy both from outside and from within.
Unfortunately, the concept of sacrifice has become passé and unimportant to many. A lot of our countrymen busy themselves with personal interest and ambition beyond anything else, without regard to the well-being of the nation.
Many of our leaders continue to struggle with honesty, accountability and integrity in public office, drawn to duplicity which they disguise as service to the nation.
Our situation today may be different from the situation during the Spanish occupation. But our ideals as a nation stand the same — our passion for freedom should be our foremost aspiration, and our ardor to serve the country should take precedence over much anything else and should never fade.
Such ardor is the only fuel that can keep this country going.
JULIUS TURGANO, firstname.lastname@example.org
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