June 3, 2023

Man must strive for liberty. He need it to achieve success and happiness.
Indian religious leader Acharya Rajneesh said, “The freedom from something is not true freedom. The freedom to do anything you want to do is also not the freedom I am talking about. My vision of freedom is to be yourself.”
I agree that being true or authentic is the best representation of liberty. There is no such thing as free as being yourself and not pretending to be someone else. Natural and genuine happiness is rooted and flourished in the heart. Thus, we need to be free in expressing our real feelings without inhibitions.
Some individuals preferred to fake themselves. They became slaves of their own insecurities and dreads. Hence, they let others control their actions and preferences.
For instance, martyr women who are afraid of losing their irresponsible and ferocious husbands or partners. They presumed to be okay or happy despite experiencing physical and emotional abuse.
It is an irony that there are women like them who do not value self-respect and independency. All they want is to bear their sufferings to keep their relationship or marriage alive.
In fact, violence against women still existed during the outbreak of Covid-19. There are 804 incidents of gender- based violence and violence against women and children reported from Mach 15 to April 30, 2020 by the Philippine National Police’s Women and Children Protection Center.
The United Nations studies also put emphasis on terrifying global trends in violence with 243 million women and girls claiming to have been abused by intimate partners in the past year. Unfortunately, only 40 percent of women who experience violence reported or seek out for help.
Women like them are comparable to our country. It was a victim of tyranny. The oppressors used our natural resources including manpower. They caused damage not only to the environment but also harmed our ancestors. This made our national heroes unite and struggled for our liberty.
Thus, abused women must be wise and brave. They need to fight for their rights and safety. Staying or holding on to a miserable and toxic relationship is not advisable. It will just bring them stress, anxiety and pain.
Modern women should imitate Gabriela Silang. She is an epitome of valor and vitality. Her passion and determination to free our ancestors from cruelty and greediness of the Spaniards contributed to the most longed and awaited Independence Day. Hence, women must not let other people abuse them and steal their freedom.
Liberty signifies self-love and self-respect. We will not allow others to harm and manipulate us if we love and respect ourselves. On the other hand, patriotism and nationalism pushed our national heroes to fight for our independence.
Freedom must start within us. We should not walk in anyone’s shadow. Let us be independent and never allow others to dominate us. Remember, our country had no progress and growth during the Spaniard’s colonization.
Hence, let us always value our freedom to attain a successful and peaceful life. Bear in mind that “If there’s freedom, there’s peace and if there’s peace, there’s happiness.” (JENELYN J. AGAYO)