As we celebrate Independence Day this 12th of June, allow me to share my thoughts on the value most relevant to the date—the value of Nationalism.
More than just an ideal, to me, nationalism is a way of life. I have seen this value manifest itself in deeds and in words, but what I have realized is this: a more genuine sense of nationalism will surface when it comes naturally and is felt right from when you look at things. Nationalism lives in our pride over the traits unique to our nation, and over our culture, traditions, and the rich history found in our heritage.
Independence Day commemorates the Philippine Declaration of Independence on June 12, 1898, a declaration headed by General Emilio Aguinaldo and Filipino revolutionary forces that fought our invaders during the Spanish colonization. This was also the year when the Philippine flag and the national anthem was first raised and played, all thanks to the bravery of our ancestors.
Between that time in Kawit, Cavite and the time in Luneta when the American stars and stripes were lowered and our flag raised, the blood of thousands upon thousands of Filipinos were spilled in defense of our freedom. The Filipino-American War, vicious as it was, gave our heroic people the first occasion to fight for our freedom. Then came the Second World War when Filipino lives were once again lost to once again defend the motherland against the Japanese invaders.
Today, we are rarely asked to spill our blood to show our patriotism or love of country. But the battles we face daily are no less important to the well being of our people. Nationalism today ought to be expressed in our everyday lives by the way we project the best that our people have to offer to each other and to the world. Nationalism is making sure we always give world class performance in our professions, our work, our businesses.
That said, I am reminded of how the Lopez values were designed to be a guide for the decision-making of every Lopez employee. Our Lopez Values will guide us in upholding the image of the Filipino wherever we may be and whatever our endeavors may be.
In short, a nationalistic individual is someone who represents the Philippines with pride. We will not be happy with mediocrity in our midst and will do what we can to make everything Filipino something to be proud of in the family of nations.
OSCAR M. LOPEZ