Mabuhay ka, Pilipinas!

[Note: Scroll down for the English translation]

Para sa aking Inang-Bayan:

Maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan!

Sa totoo lang, tila mapait sa akin ang araw nito dahil di ko na lubos masabi na ako ay bilang sa mamamayan mo. Bata pa man din ako noong ako ay unang umalis at hanggang sa tuluyan na nga akong nawalay sayo. Alam ko na hindi kasalanan ang sundin ang kalooban ng Diyos. Hindi rin siguro pagtalikod ang piliin na mabuo na pamilya sa halip na ang bansa. Ngunit kahit man lang sa araw na ito, nakakaranas ako ng panghihinayang at humihingi ako ng patawad. Minsan ko ring pinangarap na maibigay ang dugo’t pawis ko para sayo. Ngunit ngayon, wala na akong maialay kundi ang luha ko.

Patawarin mo ako kung nagkulang ako sa iyo. Patawarin mo narin kung mali-mali ang pagsusulat ko. Walang mag-aakala na minsan akong nataguriang “Pinaka-mahusay sa Filipino”. Halata na kaunti lang kasi ang mapagpipilian.

Inaasam ko parin ang init ng yakap mo, lalo na sa pagsubok ng panahon na ito na ating pinagdaraanan. Nadudurog ang puso ko tuwing nakikita ko ang hirap, kaguluhan at pang-aapi na laganap sa iyong lupain. Sana lang may maipakita sa balita na mabuting pangyayari. Napakaganda mo pa naman Pilipinas at walang katumbas ang mamamayang Pilipino. Walang araw na lumilipas na hindi ko ipinagdadasal na patuloy na maghari ang Diyos sa lahat ng iyong lupa’t dagat.

Nawa ay masunod ang kalooban Niya para sayo.

Nawa ay dinggin Niya nag panalangin ng mga tapat na tumatayo at namamagitan para sa iyo.

Nawa ay magtayo Siya ng mga pinuno na hindi makasarili, upang sila ay makapag-lingkod ng may karunungan at kahabagan.

Nawa ay lalong maging sagana ang matagal nang naipag-kaloob sayo: ang iyong likas na yaman at mas higit pa, ang iyong mabuting mamamayan, kabilang na ang mga taong mahal ko.

Nawa ay patuloy na matunghayan ang tiyaga, karangalan at kagitingan ng iyong mga anak na napalayo sa iyo saan mang lupalop ng mundo sila nadala dahil sa pagmamahal nila sa mga anak na nananatili sa bisig mo.

Nawa ay maranasan ng sambayanang Pilipino ang mabuhay ng may pagkaka-isa, may kapayapaan, may kasapatan, may pag-asa at may tunay na pananampalataya at pagkatakot sa Diyos.

Nawa ay matupad ito habang ako ay nabubuhay para kahit man lang mula sa malayo, masaksihan ko ito.

Mahal kita, Pilipinas. Mabuhay ka!


A Letter to the Motherland

Dear Motherland,

Happy Independence Day.

Truth be told, it’s bittersweet for me to not be able to confidently say that I’m yours. I was very young the first time I left and while I used to be able to return to you regularly, eventually I had to leave you for good. I know it’s not a sin to obey the will of God. I also don’t consider it betrayal to choose to be with one’s family over one’s country. But today, I do feel sad and sorry. There was once a time when I yearned to shed blood and sweat for you. But nowadays, all I seem to be able to give to you are tears.

Forgive me if I wasn’t able to give you more. You would also have to forgive this writing. Would you believe I got a medal for being “Best in Filipino”? Needless to say, the pool of candidates was very small.

I still yearn for your warm embrace, especially with the difficulties we are going through this season. My heart is crushed whenever I see the hardship, the chaos and oppression that remains within your borders. I wish the news would report more of your good. The Philippines is beautiful and the Filipino people are like no other. Not a day goes by that God will reign throughout your land and seas.

May His will for you be done.

May His ears be attentive to the cry of those who faithfully stand in the gap for you.

May He raise up leaders who will serve you selflessly, wisely and compassionately.

May His hand provide increase in all you’ve already been long blessed with, whether it be your natural resources and even more dearly, your good people including those I love very much.

May the perseverance, honor and courage of your children who are far from you be known wherever in the world they may have been carried by the love they have for the children that remain with you.

May the Filipino people experience living with unity, with peace, with sufficiency, with hope, with true faith in and fear of God.

Lastly, may this happen within my lifetime so that I can bear witness to it, even from afar.

I love you, Philippines. Mabuhay!

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