Proud to be Pinoy!
Today marks the start of the celebration of National Flag Day.
From May 28 to June 12, Filipinos are encouraged to display the Philippine flag at home, schools, government offices and other buildings in celebration of National Flag Day. Some of my friends in Facebook have already changed their profile pics, showing their pride for our flag and for our country!
I am changing mine today with this photo, which shall serve as my account’s profile pic until June 13.
I am always proud to see how a hoisted Philippine flag flutters on air as it gleams with the sun.
I’ve had countless goosebumps whenever I attended ceremonies or programs that featured extraordinary tableaus. Though always controversial, the singing of Lupang Hinirang as the flag is raised before every fight of boxing champ Cong. Manny Pacquiao has always amazed me. I also loved how the La Divas sung the anthem.
I can recall very few instance how the national flag etched a personal impression on me.
* / The flag that embraced the coffin of my late grandfather was personally touching. For me it was also a symbol of his dedication to his profession. For many years he served Magallanes as police. The flag is kept by mother and was out only every Independence Day.
* / The Centennial Celebration of the Philippine Independence in 1998 has left me with great awe. I was just a second year high school student then… That very rare occasion has made every Filipino together. It even united [for the very first time] all media entities as that very significant event was covered; rivalries were set aside. The spectacular festivities were more than enough for every Filipino to be ineffably grateful and ecstatic.
* / I’ve seen the flag on half-mast for several times but there were only three particular events I’ve found it to be very poignant: the death of Pope John Paul II, the death of former President Corazon C. Aquino and the proclamation of the national day of mourning a few days after the ghastly Ampatuan Massacre on November 23, 2009. It pinched a pain from within; seeing the flag on half-mast exacerbate the grief.
* / Cong. Salvador H. Escudero, III, Congressman of the first district of Sorsogon, in his unannounced visit to our school ordered us to lower our slightly torn flag. He then replaced it with a new one. I’ve learned that the congressman always brings with him flags especially when he’s up to visit schools in his district.
* / Usually, I found myself glaring on schoolchildren who heed no respect to the flag while the national anthem is sung. But one particular occasion that really hacked me off was when my two students hoisted the flag in reverse. Often, the flag is displayed with the blue field on top to signify peace and independence. But my students raised the flag with the red field on top as if it was a war ensign as stated in the Republic Act No. 8491 or the The Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines. So I yelled [yes I did] at them to lower the flag at once and repeat the singing [of the national anthem].
It should be emphasized that the national flag is more than just sheets of fabric sewn together to impact a multi-color effect on the skies. As I always tell my Araling Panlipunan I (Social Studies I) students there is more to its vibrant colors and symbolic designs. Our national flag is intertwined by our valiant ancestors with their heroic deeds. Bloods and tears were shed to win our country’s independence and have the flag hoisted at Teatro Caviteno by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in June 12, 1898, for the very first time.
As an educator who teach Araling Panlipunan I (Social Studies for first year high school), I make sure that my students get the essence of attending every flag raising/lowering ceremony and having them sung the anthem heartily. Paying tribute to these national emblems are more than just an obligation of being a Filipino. The national flag has been the prize and the emblem of our ancestors’ yearning for sovereignty. It is therefore our continuous duty to preserve, protect and promote the legacies they have painstakingly toiled for us and for the Filipinos of the next generations.
Mabuhay ang ika-113 na Pagdiriwang ng Kalayaan ng Pilipinas!
Let me share this heartwarming anecdote posted on a website.
“I am Japanese and I live here in the Philippines for almost 10 years. When I first arrived here in the Philippines, I was robbed by two Filipinos, they robbed my wallet and all the things that I have, they beat me to death, and they left me with clothes only. I called for help that time, but no one help me. I called a taxi to bring me to the nearest hospital, but the taxi driver forced me to give him 2 thousand pesos, but I wasn’t able to give him the amount he wanted, then instead of bringing me to the hospital, he just left me in a very dark street. I was very disappointed to going here in the Philippines during that moment. But there is one beggar with a very dirty clothes and barefooted approached me and asked me what’s wrong. I thought he will just rob me so I run. But I was wrong in my judgment to him. I run but he followed me, and offered me some help. He brought me to the hospital and he went to the police station to seek assistance. Unfortunately, I was not able to ask his name. After 2 days of recovery. Me, my two Japanese friends, and a Filipino guide, went to the beggar and offer him a reward. But I was surprised. He refused to get the money, and said “sorry” to me. I asked him why? He just said, “Sorry for what my fellow Filipinos did to you. My only wish to you is to tell your country that not all Filipinos are like them. Philippines is a home for many poor people like me, but Philippines has a good heart.”
After telling that, he leave us. I insist to offer him but again refuse. Then, I went back to Japan. One month later, I went to the place to see him again to offer him a reward, this time, a descent job. But I was shocked when I got the news that the beggar was dead 17 days ago. Hit by a bus in the road.
– I will never forget the good deeds the beggar done to me. I’m proud of him. I realized that Filipinos have really good heart. Not all are bad. And until my last breathe, I will fulfill his wish. The reward that he wants, to tell my country that Filipinos have good heart. And I will not just tell this to my country, but in the whole world. “Mabuhay” ang mga Filipinos.”