Mmkay. Today, we remember The Katipuneros waving our bandila in Emilio Aguinaldo’s crib in Cavite. This is done for the first time after fighting against the Spaniards. June 12 really wasn’t the original date for the Independence Day but NAH… I’m not going to give another history lesson here. If you just happen to come across this article because you were left with some Philippine history homework on the Independence Day, I suggest that you hit that back button and click that next link on Google. I’m kidding. You should go on reading. This stuff might actually help you somehow. Welcome to Pinoy Teens, by the way if you’re a first time visitor.
I am going to be honest. I look forward to every year’s June 12 only for the holiday that comes along and spares me from a day of classes. Yeah, I personally commemorate the day by sending my friends via group messaging a line that goes like “Happy Independence Day. Yay, walang pasok!” or stuff like that. I also read some Independence Day blogs and view some Philippine Flag shots on Flickr or on some photo blogs somewhere. I can even remember me and my dad purchasing a medium size flag from a street vendor along CCP a couple of years ago. The holiday that comes before and after June 12 (the government was awesome enough to give us one additional Friday or Monday off these couple of years) becomes for me a one day extension of the summer vacation. Really, I’m not joking and I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one stuck in the same situation. I can sense and I pretty much know that it is not only me who oversleeps, transforms into a couch potato, and spends the remaining time of the day in front of their PC screens stalking people on social networking sites or leveling up on online games while the whole country is having this so- called “Commemoration of the Independence Day”. It is only now during my last year in high school; after 11 Independence Days and holidays, that it came to me that there really is something more into this day other than being my mini summer vacation.
Believe it or not, there are two separate entries on the dictionary for Independence and Independence Day. See? Even the lexicographers think that it’s important enough to give it its own meaning aside from its root word. The simple definition of “not relying on another” becomes “freedom from another ruler”. For the Philippines, it is freedom the Spaniards. I know, I know. What do some of us care about some Spanish Era history shizz, right? Well aside from the fact that if it not for the Katipuneros, you may not be able to speak in your native tongue today without spending a day or two in jail, there is this classic history concept that things from the past pretty much contributes to what we are as present Filipinos and what we are made of right now.
But come to think of it, June 12 does not always have to be about something from the past. Our nation is in the deepening dents of different social issues that challenge our being Filipinos. We, as young Pinoys could also be Mondern Katipuneros, or even Cyber Katipuneros; fighting for freedom and voicing out our opinions on the recent election controversies- the recent election controversies, the never-ending cases about graft and corruption, and a whole lot more of that kind of stuff they air on the evening news. I know it sounds cliché –ish but as what our National Hero said, we, the young Pinoys are the hope of our country.
So what does a typical teenager to do? For me it is writing this article for my fellow youth with the hope of giving them some sort of a wakeup call. I highly believe that reblogging an “I’m proud to be Pinoy” graphic on Tumblr sometimes just isn’t enough. A couple of months ago, different social awareness programs like Ako Mismo and Ako Ang Simula launched. People started to wear shirts just to show everyone that they love being Pinoys. It really is fascinating that a lot of us young Pinoys supported these advocacies and showed our love for our native land but unfortunately for some, these things became merely a fashion statement. I’m not suggesting that you go buy yourself an FMCC shirt to commemorate the Independence Day (but they really are cool shirts) or something but why not take a minute and ask yourself this question: “How can I help my country in facing these different social issues?” It doesn’t have to be something major, really. Why not hang along Luneta or Intramuros? Or why not dine in an all-Filipino restaurant? Why not take a minute or two to tweet about the recent elections? It may be quite tough to overcome those deepening dents but I know that these little things that we can contribute as young Pinoyes would be like giving a big virtual hug to our Inang Bayan. You still have more or less twelve or thirteen hours to make the most out of your June 12.