Freedom

Are we truly free as a nation?

My first Philippine Independence Day celebration today in the beautiful town of Amadeo made me reflect on this question.

What is freedom for today’s generation?

Prof. Jordan Ramos, the special guest from the Amadeo Historical Society shared that during a dissertation presentation – Grade 3 students were asked if they are willing to give up their Filipino citizenship to become an American – majority of the students said yes, almost all.

Freedom

The Municipality of Amadeo public servants during the 120th Philippine Independence Day celebration.

Colonial mentality and the culture of consumerism influenced these children ‘big’ time.

Luz Reyes shared ten (10) modern ways on how to influence the younger generation to love the country more:

1. Respect the Philippine flag and value the Filipino identity
Being Filipinos, we should respect our Philippine flag and its purpose. The history and value of this flag are connected to the freedom we have today. Encourage our fellowmen to participate and respect our flag and its anthem and even our different symbols.

2. Be a productive citizen
Be industrious and make ourselves productive, not only for ourselves but for our country as well. Serve the people, serve our nation.

3. Be aware of the issues in our country
We must be aware and updated on the significant issues happening in the country. Extend help to the needy fellowmen, especially the victims of disasters like typhoons, floods, and the like.

4. Stand proud for every Filipino’s achievement
Filipinos is globally competitive in many aspects. They are proud to be a Filipino and for the honors they bring to our country. They unite every Filipino for their achievements. We can be proud of Filipinos like Manny Pacquiao, the Azkals Football Team, the Gilas Pilipinas Basketball Team, and many more.

5. Patronize and support our own products
The Philippines has rich resources to create quality goods and products. The manpower services we provide are also globally competitive. Our economy will improve more if we ourselves patronize our own products which characterizes our creativity, resourcefulness and heritage.

6. Preserve the Filipino culture
Philippines is rich in various colorful cultural elements. They are our identity. Be proud and preserve the culture we have for they are our treasure. We have to keep them for the future generation.

7. Respect everyone and value our traditions
Filipinos are very courteous and respectful. Even in modern times, many Filipinos show and value their noble norms and traditions. So we Filipinos must continue to exercise these good traditions like respecting our elders and others, by using “po at opo”, being hospitable, and being religious.

8. Speak out our own language
Using our own language is manifesting and preserving our national identity. It is our unique means of communicating and interacting with our fellowmen. Our language is an important tool to achieve further unity and national development.

9. Remember and commemorate our heroes’ sacrifices for our country
There were many Filipinos who died for our democracy, freedom, and independence. Some fought using their pens and tongues, while some used the power of their arms and weapons. Each had their own way of showing their love and respect to our country. In today’s generation, let us value and treasured our heroes sacrifices and devotion for our country.

10. Love our family, our neighbors, and our compatriots
Love and help one another. That way, we are showing the world that we are proud to be Filipinos. Stand united! Do something to help each other and for the greater good for our mother country. Love everyone and love our country as we love ourselves.

Pahimis

A special day of thanksgiving for the loving and passionate people of upland Amadeo last week. My wife was born and raised in this beautiful municipality where coffee takes centerstage as a source of livelihood for the family.

Every year, the town fiesta was something to look forward to. My inlaws sponsor yearly a sumptuous feast for the ‘musiko’ or the marching band that goes around the city early in the morning for a heightened festive ambience.

Pahimis

My loving wife as the cutest baby in the world carried by my father-in-law. Amadeo was boldly proclaimed by former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2002 as the “Coffee Capital of the Philippines” (Batangas might have something to say to that), coffee being the main product of the town.

Dubbed as Pahimis Festival it aims to promote Cavite coffee varieties for domestic and worldwide consumption, to encourage and revive the interest of farmers towards coffee farming, increase coffee yields through proper techniques and skills training, and to create a competitive coffee price in the world market.

The municipality of Amadeo was being hailed as the Coffee Capital of the Philippines and boasts of its 4,508 hectares of coffee farmland, the largest land area devoted to coffee farming in the entire upland of Cavite, making it the province’s biggest coffee producer.

Several activities for the festival were held for the local and tourist revelers like the search for the “Coffee Queen” or the “Mutya ng Pahimis”, coffee talk and demonstrations, the unique coffee dance marathon and the yearly float parade.

Other activities included a thanksgiving mass, recognition of the Most Outstanding Coffee Farmer, exhibit of local food/delicacies, a trade fair, a variety of shows for the entertainment of guests and a coffee farm tour promoting the agri-tourism sites.