Monday, 11 June 2007

Independence Day Quotes

Few people care nowadays. But more should. And since I'm too busy with work, I can only offer quotes. Nonetheless, I care. And I do something about it. When will you?

Jarius Bondoc on 'GOTCHA' (Mon, 11 Jun. 2007)

They can switch around Labor Day or National Heroes Day. But no country in the world moves its official Independence Day fête — except the Philippines. For the first time since her dad President Diosdado Macapagal asserted June 12, no longer July 4, as Freedom Day, President Gloria Arroyo is celebrating it on June 11, Monday. It’s to expediently oblige one business bloc that wants less holidays and another that wants more for tourism’s sake.

The belittling of a most historic event came in the heels of Arroyo’s entreaty to China last week to hitch RP in its development strategy. To complete the kowtowing to China, Justice Sec. Raul Gonzalez’s sneakily released also last week 24 Chinese poachers — as demanded by their embassy and against his public promise to prosecute them to the hilt.

Are they surrendering the country’s sovereignty just so China would lend $330 million for an unnecessary yet overpriced broadband network?

Instead of fining poachers millions of pesos each as law prescribes, and confiscating their ships and equipment, the government will return everything to them and fawningly see them off to China. No wonder it’s observing Independence Day on the wrong day.

F Sionil Jose on HINSIGHT (Sun, 4 Feb. 2007)

The colonized intellectual must first free himself, his mind most of all, from the subterfuges of the colonizer. He must recover the pristine self even if this means, as Nick Joaquin once charged, "to be an Igorot" ---as if being one is to be stigmatized. Start from the mud at our feet, from mythic incense, the life-giving impulse of the cosmos, and from this purity, recognize the inputs of history, all the precious elements that contribute to the building of a nation.

Only when the colonized has achieved this innate freedom will he then be able to assume his true identity. Otherwise, his thinking will always be a monotonous echo of the colonizer's dulcet spiel.

So it goes today: our modern ilustrados have yet to free themselves from prisons of the past, from the chains of colonialism, particularly the domestic variety. Until they recognize this bondage and oppose it, we will continue to wallow in blissful ignorance, and worse, in the muck of spiritual poverty left by the ghosts of colonialism.

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