The Philippine Flag and Human Dignity
During that time that I took this picture, I had mixed feelings of sadness, indignation and even a sense of hopelessness. I took quite a number of shots of this poor, ugly, tattered flag. At some point I would even wait for the wind to blow just so I could get the "PERFECT" shot. But to no avail, there was no wind. To kill time I sat on the ground and reflected, then the truth started to surface. Amidst the mixture of feelings stood out the TRUTH. I had seen so many more beautiful flags before, but this flag was like no other. It communicated to me the truth about where we are right now as a country, as a people. What was the setting? I took it from a relocation area in Montalban which mirrored at some point the condition of the people living there. When did this happen? I took it at a time when various farmer groups camped out there at the gates of the Batasan complex fighting for their rights to their land. Some farmers like those from Sumilao walked more than a thousand kilometers from Mindanao to Malacanang. Some others staged a dangerous hunger strike just so lawmakers could lend an ear and listen to their pleas. While I sat patiently there, the wind finally came and blew the flag just as what you see now in the picture. Tears stood in my eyes, because I saw emblazoned on the flag the image of those many people who lived the difficult life yet remained dignified. Many times they have suffered, but they chose to suffer all the more even at the risk of their own lives to tell the whole world, "We are free; no amount of suffering can take that away from us. We will continue the righteous way of living, the peaceful and non-violent means of making our voice heard. We demand respect."