June 14, 2024

One of the greatest treasures we must possess is freedom. Our life will be miserable and fruitless without liberty.
Freedom is also an emblem of progress and success. We can be progressive and successful if we are free to do things that benefit us. On the other hand, those who are slaves will be deprived of opportunities and victories.
For instance, there are children who are sternly manipulated by their parents. They feel uncomfortable and unhappy because many of their rights are not exercised. Their parents insist they embrace things that they don’t want. As a result, some fail or become prodigal sons or daughters. They disobey their parents and prefer to live independently to follow their dreams and inclinations.
Employees who are not free to improve on their personal and professional attributes will not easily be promoted. Every worker, regardless of rank or position must be given chances to grow personally and professionally. They are also entitled to freedom of expression and equality. Their progress and voices can contribute success to their organization.
Independence in the workplace assures happiness and comfort to employees. A study by Oxford University revealed that workers are 13 percent more productive when happy. Thus, it is proper that managers or leaders will be effective. They must motivate and let their subordinates feel important and secure.
In the academe, teachers and students need to exercise their academic freedom. It is the freedom of teachers, students, and academic institutions to pursue knowledge wherever it may lead, without undue or unreasonable interference.
All mentors must be free to conduct activities, programs, or projects to improve the learning process. Learners too should receive equal treatment. All have rights to engage in significant school events and happenings. This will lead to the attainment of their school’s goals, mission and vision.
Every country deserves independence. Inhabitants must enjoy and free to use and develop their natural resources. They should not be slaves in their own land.
Filipinos once experienced oppression and cruelty from colonizers.
Think of their sacrifices during the Spanish, Japanese and American occupation. They risked their lives to regain our liberty. Lapu-lapu is considered the model of bravery and heroism. He is the first hero who fought against Spanish tyranny. Many were inspired of his determination. Dr. Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Gregorio Del Pilar, Marcelo H. Del Pilar, Diego Silang, Gabriela Silang and others followed him.
In the Cordillera, there are also heroes. They struggled to protect our region. They are Juan Cariῆo, Mateo Carantes, Magastino Laruan, Piraso, Damsis, Balanao, Anuya, Valeriano Gullet, Motes, Bayongasan, Pulicay, and Fernandez.
A relative told me that Laruan, Cariño, and Piraso were vigorous during the Spanish regime.
Laruan helped and protected Vicente Paterno, Sr., president of the Philippine Congress, secure important documents of the Philippine government at the provincial government located at Tuel, Tublay. The place is one of bastions of the First Philippine Republic. Unluckily, he was shot by the conquerors.
It is proof that Laruan’s life was imperiled just to defend his province and our country.
Our national and local heroes prove that freedom is worth fighting for.
American writer Elbert Hubbard said, “Freedom cannot be bestowed – it must be achieved”. We need to safeguard the liberty of our country. It is important to value the sacrifices of our heroes just to achieve it.
Let us thank our ancestors who exerted efforts to ensure our comfort and liberty. Their legacy must serve our guide and inspiration to foster nationalism and patriotism.
We should also take good care of our emotions. Negativism kills happiness. It is always right to free ourselves from anxieties, stress, hatred, jealousy, and insecurities. We become more productive and happy in the absence of these unpleasant feelings.
Stay calm, optimistic, cheerful, and be free. (JENELYN J. AGAYO)