From the freedom that we have against the colonizers to the liberty that we have from establishing democracy in this country, we have taken everything for advantage. And have we ever thought of how we got to reach this point? We have become loose and lost.

Like what has been said “Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan.” It is never old enough to tell this to people as long as we have not learned it in a way that it is also applied in reality.

But, we hardly do it. We never learn, because up until now we have been living with a colonizer that is just within ourselves.

Attorney Rita Linda Jimeno has mentioned in her article on Manila Standard Today that former President Fidel V. Ramos said in one of hisspeeches that we have three colonizers: the Spanish, the Americans, and the Japanese; and in addition, there is the fourth one – the homegrown kind which speaks of inequality against each other that causes the problem in our society.

In fact, from the 333 years of Spanish colonization in this country, the Filipinos have been influenced with the Christian spirit and humanistic approach as recognized by the historians. It is praiseworthy for it is a step to stop the racism or slavery in the world, though it is not how other history books have made to view this approach by the readers.

Despite all these, we still have not applied to ourselves the true spirit and approach we should have implanted in ourselves. Why is it that we cannot get hold of this discipline, which mainly discourages such inequalities?

Even in our present time, the academic right that we have encompasses the religious and values subjects that we have taken in school. It was never lost even in our teachings, but we remain to be negligent, being blinded by the utmost privilege saying that once we have been forbidden, we automatically think that freedom is being taken away from us.

Do the freed really know freedom?

Rizal must have been disappointed that he may suddenly rise from his sleep. For with the present condition of his fatherland, the man who had wished to free his people may be forever stressed because they have not given even a second thought on what they have right now — the liberty they have received from their liberators at no cost.

We have been lost, and we have not yet seen the dawn that Rizal wished for his people to see. (Caryl Lynn Surio)