Letters of Youth


/ 23 July 2021

“A nation will perish not because of evil men but of good men who just watch and do nothing.”

The city of Tanauan, Batangas recognizes every 23rd of July as a Special Non-Working Holiday to commemorate the birth anniversary of National Hero Apolinario Mabini. The Apolinario Mabini Day is also observed throughout the country.

Apolinario Mabini y Maranan was a Filipino revolutionist, educator, lawyer, and diplomat who served as a legal and constitutional adviser to the Revolutionary Government who then became the first Prime Minister of our country after the Philippine Republic’s first establishment. He is also known as the “utak ng himagsikan,” or “brain of the revolution,” and is recognized as a Filipino hero.

Mabini’s ideas on governance and work influenced the country’s battle for independence throughout the following century.

The ‘battle for independence’ made me realize something. We might be so relaxed as Filipino citizens but our country isn’t truly independent until now. With this realization, I come to ask myself, “’Why is the Philippines celebrating Independence Day if we are far from being independent?’” The government itself would admit that we still rely and depend on the influence and support of other countries to gain resources and aid economically, politically and culturally just to achieve enough of our necessities.

If you come to think of it, we celebrate Independence Day annually, every 12th of June to commemorate the country’s freedom from Spain and not literally as a country of independence. You might be wondering why, but the mere fact that we look forward to expecting more COVID-19 vaccine donations from other countries because of our lack of supply only shows that we still should have a lot more to hold to be able to call our country an independent one.

However, how can we be assured that the price in exchange isn’t as big as giving up our territories, like that of the West Philippine Sea?

Mabini once said, “’Woe to the Revolution when the day comes, when the people, overburdened by contributions and consumed by abuses, turn to their enemies for salvation!’”

He reminds us on how we should handle things with intellect which would not result in regretful decisions afterward that could possibly risk the lives of our fellow countrymen in the future.

The real deal is to know the pros and cons whenever we agree on uncertain things. We should have it developed beforehand so that when the time comes that you’ll have to pay for your debt, you’ll know how to outsmart the ones in the opposition.

Not everyone is a friend. Some call themselves your friend but are enemies underneath. Some would say that they are concerned towards you but they really want you dead. Some would even extend help to be able to get something from you assuming that you can never say NO when they ask for it because you owe a lot to them.

Moreover, we should not let anyone take advantage of anything that belongs to us, for it not only makes us foolish but is paralyzed more than the ones with disability. Speak up whenever necessary, in every way possible.

Thus, know your limitations but never let your countrymen feel that they are limited.