Day 1: Freedom



It’s thrilling to see that title. Why wait for September 22? That’s 80 days from now. So cheers to Day 1/100. Thank you, Camille Pilar for the inspiration.

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Today is America’s 241st year as an independent nation. On July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies had enough of Britain and they signed the Declaration of Independence. There is so much of US history that I don’t know about and I’m hungry for more. After all, I live here now. I think I owe it to myself to understand my new context past and present.

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I was born on Independence Day.

The Philippine Independence Day, that is. Our first president declared in writing that June 12 1898 is our Independence Day from Spain. But after the Spaniards turned over sold the Philippines to the United States for $20 million through the Treaty of Paris, more fighting ensued. While our ancestors were free on paper, they remained in bondage. The U.S. “granted” the Philippines its official Independence Day on July 4, 1946 and for a while, we shared the same day of commemoration as the US.

Who gets to say when someone is free?

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Today I am free because of the Unchanging One’s promise, his life, death, and resurrection. Who the Son sets free is free indeed. But in the midst of the eternal freedom I have, there are still little chains that need to be broken. I declare independence from materialism in a culture of excess. I declare independence from self-medication apart from His care and wanting to run away from my obligations. I declare independence from persistent doubt, an inattentive ear, a fearful spirit.

Because I am free, I am able to choose simplicity, accept correction, embrace responsibility, question doubt, discover truth, be fully there, and face each day with courage.

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