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[Y-SPACE] The true meaning of independence

Updated: Jun 13, 2021

By Nico Aquino

According to Herbert Hoover, “Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.” At first, my idea about freedom is just all about being free and being able to do whatever you want. However, through this definition and by studying global politics, I realized that freedom is directly connected with two powerful words: democracy and human rights.

A nation showcasing democracy where its people serve as the game changers and at the same time, being able to promote and safeguard their rights and welfare. - This is the ideal meaning of gaining independence for me. It’s all about the system governing these people and the value they emulate.

In the Philippines, we annually celebrate our momentous day of independence every 12th of June but whenever we celebrate this occasion, my heart wanted to ask my fellow countrymen, are we really free? Have we really destroyed the chains of poverty, corruption and inequality which disrupt the very concept of freedom? Have we maximized our independence by expressing our rights and welfare?

Questions still linger as I see news everyday about violence and political discrepancies in the country yet I wanted to look at it with a silver lining. Young Filipinos are trying to voice out their concerns now, showcasing their skills and talents in the different parts of the world and most of all, promoting initiatives to help out and support their fellow underserved Filipinos. These undertakings inspire me to keep on moving forward and to keep on serving the country I hold dearest, the Philippines.

Every time we celebrate our independence day, I do hope that it may serve as a catalyst in continuously protecting not just our own rights but also for the entire country and Filipino people. May it serve as a torch to lighten our path towards promoting the true value of democracy and human rights protection. Lastly, may it act as a strong bridge towards our dream Philippines where it is truly for the Filipinos and by the Filipinos.

Nico Aquino is a Filipino international graduate student studying politics and foreign policy.

YSPACE is a platform open for young writers to contribute their worth-sharing thoughts and stories to the world. It is a space for young people and by the young people which aims to promote a strong sense of empowerment and inspiration to young Filipinos.

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