". . . We are doing so
at a time when the nation is torn, anguished, and bleeding, when 54 million Filipinos cry
for succor, when our countrymen are fast losing hope that nonviolent means can restore
those freedoms . . ."
Joaquin "Chino" Roces
Chairman, Cory Aquino for President Movement
(from a speech delivered on October 15 1985)
home > the spirit > freedom
through the timesThe value of freedom is immeasurable. None understand
this more than the proud members of the Filipino race, who through countless generations
have fought for the right to be, recognized as free men. The blood of their heroes that
light the path of history stand testament to the continuing struggle of the Filipino
people for independence.
The fight for freedom that
the Filipinos have been waging has not been an easy one. The chief of Mactan,
Lapu-lapu, fought against the new weapons of the Spaniard Magellan to insure his
peoples freedom. His battle of steel bolos against guns and cannons was but
the first of many threats his proud people would have to face.
Eventually, the western
world would catch up to the Philippine Islands. The Spanish would eventually succeed in
their quest to colonize the islands. However, the Filipino spirit could not be dampened or
chained into submission. Those times gave rise to heroes such as Jose Rizal, who through
his literary works stirred a sense of nationalism in his countrymen, and Andres Bonifacio,
who brought together the first organized revolutionary movement.
The course of history
identifies many heroes in the Filipino fight for freedom. In the ensuing years of the
American occupation, several men rose up to fight for freedom. Men such as Emilio
Aguinaldo, Antonio Luna, Gregorio del Pilar and Miguel Malvar rose up against their
colonizers and demanded their independence. Unfortunately, their common dream was
not to be achieved in their lifetimes.
Eventually, the Philippine
Islands were freed from American rule. However, the invasion of the Japanese during the
Second World War called forth a new fight for freedom. It took the lives of countless
brave men and women before tyranny could be overcome.
From the ashes of the Second
World War, a new nation was built. The Philippine Republic prospered, pushed forward by
the desire for progress. However, a new threat to freedom emerged, the threat of
The Marcos Era, and the
ensuing years of Martial Law, again threatened to demolish the freedom for which our
country's heroes had so eagerly fought past. This new threat was countered by people such
as Ninoy Aquino and many political activists who opposed the obvious trampling of civil
rights that the Marcos regime perpetrated on the Filipino people.
The ensuing revolution that
deposed Ferdinand Marcos stands as the greatest testament to the Filipino desire for
freedom. It shows the peoples hunger for independence, a hunger that cannot and
would not be threatened, even by death.
The fight for freedom
continues, from the time of Lapu-lapu to the present. Today the Filipino struggles with
poverty and various domestic problems that, like the foreign invaders of the
past, limit the freedom of the citizenry. However, like their forefathers before them,
Filipinos will prevail because of their constant tenacity. The hunger for freedom
is insatiable, but the fight must be continued.