‘Malaya nga ba?’: Celebrities reflect on nation, love of country on Independence Day
The marking of the 120th Independence Day of the Philippines yesterday, June 12, brought with it the presence of various activities held all over the country. Notwithstanding the not-so-ideal weather that saw the cancelation of classes and work in the days prior, it seemed the gray skies just didn’t hold enough power to bog down the Filipino people’s spirits.
President Rodrigo Duterte, for one, journeyed to Kawit, Cavite for the raising of the Philippine flag despite being late due to the inclement weather. Vice President Leni Robredo, meanwhile, was at the Rizal Park where she stood in the pouring rain to lead the flag-raising ceremony and honor Philippine hero Jose Rizal with a salute.
Celebrities themselves weren’t exempt from observing Independence Day, as they weighed in on their opinions in their social media platforms, where they exercised their freedom of speech.
One of the first to give their take on the national holiday and the state of the nation was actress Agot Isidro, known to be a staunch critic of President Duterte and the administration.
Isidro took to her Twitter yesterday to share pictures of fallen civilians as well as of Fr. Richmond Nilo, a Nueva Ecija priest, who was murdered last Sunday, June 10, inside a chapel just before the start of mass.
“Independence Day. Tell that to priests who’ve been shot just b4 attending to their flock,” wrote Isidro. “To fisherfolks whose daily catch are robbed. To everyday people whose cases are tried in d streets, never seeing a day in court. ‘Happy’ Independence Day? I don’t think so.”
Tell that to priests who've been shot just b4 attending to their flock.
To fisherfolks whose daily catch are robbed.
To everyday people whose cases are tried in d streets, never seeing a day in court.
— Agot Isidro (@agot_isidro) June 12, 2018
Actor Enchong Dee also took to his Twitter, writing, “I can’t say that my love for my country is bigger than anyone else. All I can do is to show it.”
Enchong added that people should stop “yapping” and start working for the betterment of the country. “Running for an office is not the only way to uplift the dignity, economy, and identity of our land. #HappyIndependenceDay.”
I can’t say that my love for my country is bigger than anyone else. All I can do is to show it. Stop yapping & start working for the good of my Philippines. Running for an office is not the only way to uplift the dignity, economy, and identity of our land. #HappyIndependenceDay
— Enchong Dee (@enchongdee777) June 12, 2018
Bianca Gonzales, meanwhile, shared that she doesn’t want to see the day the Philippines would be dictated or occupied by China, or any country.
“Not sure about others, but I would not want to see the day na sakop o dinidiktahan tayo ng China o ibang bansa…” Gonzales wrote. “Saludo ako sa ipinaglaban ng ating mga ninuno para sa ating kasarinlan. A proud Independence Day today sa ating mga Pinoy.”
(Not sure about others, but I would not want to see the day when we would be conquered or dictated upon by China. I salute what our ancestors fought for, for our independence. A proud Independence Day today for us Filipinos.)
Not sure about others, but I would not want to see the day na sakop o dinidiktahan tayo ng China o ibang bansa.. saludo ako sa ipinaglaban ng ating mga ninuno para sa ating kasarinlan. A proud Indendence day today sa ating mga Pinoy. 🇵🇭
— Bianca Gonzalez (@iamsuperbianca) June 12, 2018
Meanwhile, Ethel Booba was her usual comical self by sharing a picture of a cake on her Twitter account. The cake read: “Happy Independence Day! #Philippines.”
“Happy Independence Day nga pala, Pilipinas! Charot!” Ethel wrote. (Happy Independence Day, by the way, Philippines! Charot!)
Happy Independence Day nga pala Pilipinas. Charot! pic.twitter.com/EZY9AkDHBW
— Ethel Booba (@IamEthylGabison) June 12, 2018
Ethel also shared an Instagram video of her with two kids going down the stairs of what presumably is her home. She waved around a Philippine flag while descending the steps. It can be noticed, though, that the flag is inverted, with the red side on the top; the flag’s red portion is set on top during times of war. Nevertheless, she cheered as she went down the stairs, holding up the flag: “Happy Independence Day! Mabuhay, Pilipinas! Mabuhay!” (Long live, Philippines, long live!)
Actress and activist Mae “Juana Change” Paner meanwhile joined the street protests, wearing a red wig and a long dress adorned with flowers and the Philippine sun. The dress bore the word “Kinabukasan” (future) on the front in purple letters.
Paner posed with a smile in front of an array of police officers with shields ready, just in case things go a bit too far in the protest.
“#BabaeAko #HINDIpendenceDay,” wrote Paner. “Iluluwal natin ang KINABUKASAN!” (We will give birth to the future.)
Actor and singer Khalil Ramos, on the other hand, was a man of few words by keeping his tweet to a minimum, giving away only a three-word question that resonated with thousands of Twitter users:
Malaya nga ba?
— Khalil Ramos (@TheKhalilRamos) June 12, 2018
“Malaya nga ba?” (Are we really free?) JB