For Independence Day reflection

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas (The Freeman) - June 12, 2021 - 12:00am

"The Filipino is tired," according to a forwarded piece of Bobby Quitain. This excerpt is printed with his permission.

"Exhausted. Exasperated. Fatigued. For centuries we have fought for a better life. We succeed for a little while only to falter once again into the miry bog of desolation.

“Leaders come and go, yet the Filipino is still there. In the swamps. In the marsh. In despair.

“Faces change. Promises recycled. Hopes flicker, only to die once more in flightless fumes.

“The dying embers of hope struggle to burn yet washed away by the sweeping torrents of weeping and mourning. The children mourn the death of a father suspected to be a drug peddler. The widow weeps at the loss of a son believed to be an addict.

“The brave has gone to prison. The heathen have been set free.

“We celebrate personal freedom at the expense of the greater good.

“The children have learned to curse their elders. The powerful have continuously used their power to exploit the weak. Institutions long cherished are crumbling as we speak.

“The crowd applauds the merciless. The people abhor the righteous. The voice of individualism is amplified, echoed mindlessly by the young. The voice of unity silenced, made to endure the erroneous pluralist sentiment of a nation sadly misled.

“Face to face or in social media, we often raise a fist instead of extend a hand. We have learned to belittle our fellow Filipino, quick to the draw when they share a view against our own.

“We have peddled lies to the highest bidder. In fact, we have no qualms lying if we are to reach a so-called "nobler end".

“We have lost our reverence for the values which our elders have selflessly sacrificed for in order to protect and uphold.

“We have become a people who cheer those who trumpet their misdirected values in the guise of personal freedom.

“We justify the evil that one does by the worst evil that others do. We have learned to settle for the lesser evil, when in truth and in fact, there is no such thing to begin with.

“Evil is evil no matter what.

“Our misguided personal values have crept deviously into our bedrooms, our boardrooms and our classrooms. Worst, they've invaded our legislative halls.

“We advance agendas that seek short-term solutions without regard for long-term consequences. We have become too pragmatic to a fault. Our band-aid solutions to the problems of our country have no foresight as to its lasting impact on the minds and hearts of the future generation.

“We have become our own monster.

“Yes, the Filipino is tired.

“We are a nation endlessly pummeled by the storms of dashed hopes and broken dreams. We cry. We grieve. We endure.

“The euphoria of triumphant mass actions of yesteryears seems to have brought us nowhere. We are still poor, still destitute, still suffering.

“The idealistic youth of yesterday has now grown grey. Yet the issues that we have grappled with for many years remain vibrant to our face.

“We have lost the will to fight for things bigger than us. We have chosen to slither away as we retreat into our little corners of our world and comfort ourselves with the thought of just doing "our little part in our own little way".

“Yet what can one do if one is tired?

“Yes, we can be flickers of light in the horizon yet not enough to cast enough light into the long shadows of despair which hover above our wounded nation.

“I pray that my nation is only resting. That with God's grace and in God's time, we will find the strength to rise again. That when that time comes and for sure it will, that it's not yet too late for my beloved nation to truly rise again."

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