Our Hundred Years

The president gave us a day off from work so we can, in theory, spend time contemplating on our 112th Independence Day.  In order to give life to the intent of the holiday I spent part of the afternoon reading and found the poem below in my files.  This was written when I was a college senior in 1996, the hundredth year of the start of the Philippine revolution and two years before the centennial celebration of the declaration of Philippine Independence.  Printed below is the poem with recent edits.  Image taken from http:\\filipino.biz.ph

On a crimson sky our banner hovered,
Raised for the first time to wave the nation's pride;
At last we're free from rusty chains,
Escaped from all our yearly pains.

The dam brimmed with raging water,
Tremendous force was bound to gather;
And once released in its path all
Were drowned with rulers Within the Wall.

The strong overstaying conquistadors
Had finally dug their grave;
And we the children are the debtors
Who'll walk freed streets our heroes paved.

Alas! I think I've missed it all
For all I see's an empty wall;
The merry pictures I expected
Were never there at all!

We have the task to paint the frames
And rekindle the dying flames;
So let us start to prop the easel
And stop condoning heartless games.

With our own ways we gave our best
And countless placed heart, mind and life to the task;
With a hundred years of shouting and screaming and going and doing,
What have we squeezed so far? I ask.

The wise, they've laid their wondrous plans;
The skilled, with zeal, have hammered and chipped,
But what do we have? --
Pearl of the orient still in the deep.

Have we done all in our hundred years?
"Yes we did," I say with tears,
But still they're there, our daily fears;
The reason, the Wind will blow through your ears.

For where is Christ in our nation's struggle?
There at the altar, confined to His cross;
No wonder we in these hundred years
Have not contained our flowing tears.

I tell the youth, the nation's future
Unless this Christ is daily featured
We'll never drink from freedom's fountain,
We will but fail at the close of the curtain.

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