I grew up in a small town in the Philippines called Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.
History wasn't my favorite subject in high school. In my mind, its one of those things that I don't give importance. I didn't learn a thing, except for the Philippine National heroes, to be honest.
There could be so many reasons why:
- The teacher was boring
- That it was the last subject in the afternoon
- That every one was anxious to go home already
- It could be almost lunch time and I am so hungry
- It could be exhaustion and nothing will sync-in in my brain or
- It could be plain and simple "I wasn't interested".
At that time, nothing was important to me than, be able to go home and help my mother to do household chores.
Today, let me share with you the short story about the history of freedom in the Philippine and how Juneteenth history differentiates it's narratives.
These two important topics shares the common theme of the struggle for freedom and the celebration of emancipation.
The Philippines gained independence from Spain in 1898 but subsequently became a colony of the Untied States. It was not until after World War II that the Philippines finally achieved full independence in 1946. See how long that took!? 48 years!
Throughout the country's history, Filipinos have always strived for freedom and independence from the colonizers.
On the other hand, Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation and free the last group of enslaved African Americans.
However, despite the official end of slavery, Black Americans continued to face discrimination violence, and systemic oppression for decades to come.
In June 17, 2021 it officially become federal holiday in United States.
Both Filipino and African American struggles for freedom demonstrated the universal desire for independence and equal treatment. These remind us that the fight for freedom is ongoing and that we must never stop striving together towards equality for all people.
Let's treat each other with kindness.