There was the usual routine of Independence Day activities as the country marked June 12: the flag-raising at Kawit, Cavite, the President leading the Vin D' Honneur for the diplomatic corps, and people wearing the flag and the colors on every conceivable spot on their bodies or things, strolling at Rizal Park and other recreation areas---flags on backpacks, caps, jackets, being waved by toddlers and grandmothers and schoolgirls. There were flags outside hotels, private companies, newly replaced flags outside government agencies, flags fluttering in the wind on center islands.
But beyond the heraldry and the constant debates about what it means to be a Filipino---besides cheering the Pambansang Kamao and the Pambansang Tinig, or vowing to stand strong against new threats of foreign incursion---the practical meanings of freedom also filled Independence Day activities: a jobs fair, education and learning fair, and volunteer work by private firms and their employees.
Freedom has many colors and symbols, speaks in many voices, is learned in many languages: but whether it's worn or wrapped or hung or sung, Filipinos everywhere share an invisible bond on one special day. In their hearts is enthroned the pride of being Filipinos.