Shining Pearl of the Oriental

“Your country is a great country … A Philippines with her head raised in the midst of the West Pacific, mistress of her own destiny, holding in her hand the torch of freedom and democracy,” Former president Manuel L. Quezon stated.   

During 1896 revolution, a heroic man died with his last words – “Perla del Mar de Oriente.”  His country, Philippines, has been considered as the “Pearl of the Orient Seas” because of its natural beauty and rich biodiversity. Unknown to many, Philippines is more than that. The country reflects purity of the heart and integrity of the soul to protect the land of the morning.

Since freedom from Spanish colonization has brought us power,  we run the race with the responsibility of using the authority to regulate the country’s premises for the protection of the land.

First, Filipinos are redeemed from the transgressions of the foreign blood. Quezon has reminded us that we should keep to ourselves the mark of the sacrifices of our heroes just to free us from the colonization of Spaniards. It is not just about how Dr. Jose P. Rizal wrote two great novels only to be gunned down. It is not just about how Andres Bonifacio spent his nights hiding his secretly founded Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangan, Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan just to be murdered. It is not just about how the three priests, GOMBURZA, exchanged their peaceful lives and ministry, only to be killed with garrote.   This is about the love of the martyrs resulting to an approximate of 110.2 million Filipinos who benefited from their battles. Truly, the spirit of the Filipinos yesterday has been uplifted and has rekindled the hope of tomorrow.

Second, Filipinos ought to maintain the integrity of their souls through moral principles. Quezon urged us to bear in mind that we are Filipinos – Filipinism in all aspects. Aside from Bayanihan, Hospitality, and Utang na Loob, there is this “Patriotism.” We should support our country in every way. We should devote and feel our alliance with our fellow Filipinos. We should have that “national pride” in our hearts. It is not a prerequisite but a reminder for us, God made us all as Filipinos.

Third, Filipinos have the warrant to protect the land from the hands of the greedy. Quezon adjured us to love and to be passionate in preserving the glorious past began by the martyrs, soldiers, and heroes. The current Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) daily trains up in order for them to deploy proper service to every tribe and people of the nation. It takes life and death to preserve this land just as how the ground received the blood of the martyrs. The Bible proclaims, “Faith without work is dead”, the same thing in loving the country without protecting it, past heroic efforts  will be in vain.

As what Quezon emphasized, “The Philippines of yesterday are consecrated by the sacrifices of lives and treasure of your patriots, martyrs, and soldiers.”

During 1896, Rizal died as he reminded us that we are a shining pearl of the Oriental. Quezon spoke as he reminded us that we are Filipinos. We are patriots who reminisce the efforts of our own fellows. We are martyrs to maintain the pride of our country. We are soldiers to fight and protect what is ours – Philippines.

As Filipino students, we have been awaken by former president Manuel Quezon to run the race of our responsibilities – to love and to fight for our country.

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