Learn­ing about na­tion­al­ism and in­de­pen­dence

Cebu Daily News - - OPINION - sofiel­og­a­rta@gmail.com SOFIA ALIÑO LOGARTA

It was very sad­den­ing that many young peo­ple were un­aware about what June 12, In­de­pen­dence Day was all about. One pos­si­ble rea­son is that many school­shaveno­topene­donthis­dayandteach­er­sletgo of a teach­ing op­por­tu­nity. Many so­cial stud­ies classes are also bor­ing, so very un­mem­o­rable. This is part of the gaps in our ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem. But learn­ing to love our coun­try and care for the na­tion should not be lim­ited to schools. We have to learn it at home also. But there are many chan­nels of com­mu­ni­ca­tion that have cre­atively given rise to an ac­tive na­tion­al­ism.

Emilio Aguinaldo was aware that at the point of the dec­la­ra­tion many con­tin­ued to strug­gle against colo­nial forces. The dec­la­ra­tion was meant to gather more forces for the cause. But it is also true that as many have screamed out that we are not ac­tu­ally in­de­pen­dent and free. Tiglao also de­clared that we are not united as a na­tion, we do not have this sense of na­tion­hood.

Free­dom was not ac­quired all to­gether at one time. In fact in Cebu the vic­tory against the col­o­nizer was real and cel­e­brated only by the end of that year. But reach­ing free­dom, in­de­pen­dence, gen­uine na­tion­al­ism is a long jour­ney.

But as the his­tory teacher, Xiao Chua, said we still have to tell the story and the mean­ings. He said this is be­cause their lives have the power to in­spire and can pro­vide lessons needed for the jour­ney. Mel­chora Aquino’s faith­ful­ness to our coun­try was awe­some; she would rather be ex­iled than give up her loy­alty to our land. Very use­ful is the in­for­ma­tion that the KKK aimed not only for the end to colo­nial rule but also to pro­mote strong and good char­ac­ter, a sense of mu­tual as­sis­tance, and the re­place­ment of ra­tio­nal­ism in­stead of ob­scu­ran­tism.

We need to start with know­ing and lov­ing our lo­cal­i­ties. We have to get in touch with the beauty of our land. Our lo­cal he­roes must be fa­mil­iar to us. We need to be­con­sciousoft­his­be­cause­many­ofusareusing­books pub­lished in Metro Manila. We have to know its story but we can­not stop here; it is im­por­tant to get into the na­tional per­spec­tive.

But most of all we have to be con­scious of what we hold dear as a peo­ple. And do we have dreams, do we have as­pi­ra­tions that we will work to­gether for as a na­tion?

TheTha­iandAmer­i­can­diplo­matswhow­ereguestsin the DZMM TV pro­gram, Light Mo­ments were very touch­ing as they com­mented about the warmth of Filipinos; they have never en­coun­tered peo­ple with such warmth and ac­cep­tance as these. The Thai lady nar­rated the ex­pe­ri­ence of Thai sculp­tors sent by Thai­land to sculpt life-size ele­phants to cel­e­brate 7 years of Thai-Filipino diplo­matic ties. They did not speak our lan­guage but they be­came very close to the Filipinos they left not only the cer­e­mo­nial ele­phants but they sculpted the rice ter­races.

With such valu­ing of re­la­tion­ships and the dig­nity of the hu­man per­son, can we not build to­gether a na­tion of in­clu­sive­ness and abun­dance for all?

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