The Philippines is still fighting the same battles even after 125 years of freedom from foreign colonizers.    Sen. Risa Hontiveros made this assessment on Monday, June 12, in her 125th Independence Day message.    “Today, as we commemorate our 125th Independence Day, we remember the sacrifices made by our ancestors. They didn’t just fight foreign colonizers and bullying regimes. 125 years ago, our lolos and lolas persevered and mounted gallant battles against oppression and inequality, lack of opportunities, and the widening gap between the rich and poor,” Hontiveros said.   “In this light, our country's fight for independence did not end with the heroes of the past,” she pointed out.    But what ignited their fight for independence then, she said, “are the same battles we are waging now.”   “Today, we are also making a stand for a more just and equitable society. Time and again, we stand up against oppression from poverty, abusive foreign powers, and the tyranny of some of our own,” the senator noted.   “It is disheartening to think that we are repeating the same mistakes. Today, just as before, poverty, corruption, and inequality are still rampant. Historical revisionism, disinformation, and the violation of human rights are also just some of the many issues that hinder us from reaching our full potential,” she lamented.   While it is true that the nation’s struggle against foreign oppression and internal problems had helped shaped the country’s identity, Hontiveros said it is necessary for present-day Filipinos to pour all efforts in shaping the country’s future.   “Let us commit ourselves to a path to progress that will never, ever, leave the most vulnerable behind,” she said.   “Mga kababayan (my fellowmen), democracy and freedom are hard-fought battles. But ours is a legacy full of resilience, perseverance, determination, and of course, bayanihan. Just as our heroes, let us look at our past and inspire ourselves to reshape our future, regardless of the many differences that we have,” she added.   “Let us continue to show the world what it means to be Filipino— sa isip, sa salita, at sa gawa (in mind, in word and in deed),” Hontiveros reiterated.    

Source: Manila Bulletin (