“Freedom (n.): To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.”
– Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
Yesterday was supposed to be the 114th Philippine Independence. I don’t know if many Filipinos still believe that we are independent in the truest sense. As a mere spectator, watching every ounce of imbroglio here and there, I would say, point blank, that we aren’t. In fact, the whole hullabaloos about independence have already become just a relic of the past. And those who try to keep on believing that we do, well… I just shrug my shoulders.
We saw our Commander-in-Chief inaugurated the historic event in Malolos City, Bulacan. But his speech gave us reasons to think that it was all political, never a shed of historical independence that our forefathers had announced regarding our freedom some 114 years ago. In the midst of chaos and mayhem, we found ourselves asking: Are we really independent? I was surprised to find the answers anywhere I look at.
… that Filipinos are still dependent to foreign companies. Ron for one has been employed to a renowned Japanese company for more than 2 decades of his life. Without this employment, we would not have food served in our table.
… that OFWs are still growing in numbers year after year. No matter how it breaks their heart to leave their loved ones here, it seems that they have reached a point of no return and simply swallow all the pain of being away from their loved ones… only to serve other foreign families, take care of their children instead their own.
… that Chinese businesses here in the Philippines thrive, their employees – mostly Filipinos.
… that many banks, malls, department stores and even air lines are all governed by foreigners.
… that English language is the main language used in various teaching methods in many schools.
… that many politicians and their children are educated abroad.
… that because of dependency, we are now able to watch more foreign TV shows and watch foreign artists perform here in the Philippines.
Just a couple of days before the so-called Independence Inauguration, we found our Chief Executive rubbing shoulders with Uncle Sam. The reason? To ask for protection from Chinese aggressiveness in the South China Sea. Clearly, his actions spoke of dependence and not independence. And I thought that a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. At least that’s what I learned from John C. Maxwell. What he showed to the world is that he is the foster child of co-dependency, always clinging to his Big Brother.
I’m not saying that dependency is an evil thing. In fact, because of our dependency to other nations, we have experienced growth. All I’m saying is that we can cut the crap and admit that we were never really independent. The end of Spain’s colonial rule 114 years ago was nothing but a hoax.
Instead of independence, what I practically see is dependence from other countries. I wouldn’t mind if we encourage a safe sail to interdependence. But as an observer from a distant, I see our ship being pulled away by great waves toward codependency. And as we try so hard to fight back the waves, the island of independence is now becoming blurry as we inch farther away.
Are we really independent?
Let’s see if the answer is much clearer over the next 114 years. Only then would the maze be finally solved.