Press Release
June 12, 2012

Legarda Invites Filipinos to Rediscover Freedom on Independence Day

Senator Loren Legarda today encouraged Filipinos to rediscover freedom through an examination of Filipino heritage as the nation celebrates 114 years of independence.

"Freedom has never simply been the absence of an oppressor. We have won against the colonial shackles that have plagued our history, but this does not necessarily translate into independence. True independence is freedom of the mind: Freedom to think, to become one's own, and to take action in one's own interest," Legarda explained.

"Through an examination of the ties that bind us, each and every Filipino will become free of the crippling mentality that we have no genuine history to recall with pride and no bright future ahead of us," she stressed.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities,has been actively engaged in projects that would bring Filipinos closer to their cultural heritage.

The Senator's latest efforts include the establishment of the first permanent textile galleries in the country, the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino: The Artistry of Philippine Textiles," and organizing the lecture series on "Philippine Traditional Textiles and Indigenous Knowledge," which started last March.

She was also involved in the development of cultural villages of the Ata-Talaingod, the Mandayas, the B'laan, and the Bagobo Tagabawas in various activities for their "Schools of Living Traditions," which teach the new generation the traditional arts, crafts, music and practices of the village.

Soon, Legarda will launch the Baybayin Gallery, which will showcase the ancient and traditional scripts of the Philippines. It intends to feature and promote awareness of the writing systems used by ancient Filipinos, as manifested in archaeological artifacts, and aims to highlight the continuing tradition of script writing among a few remaining indigenous communities in Mindoro and Palawan, particularly among the Hanunoo, Buhid and Tagbanua peoples.

"This Independence Day, let us rediscover freedom. We must become aware of our cultural roots, choose to unite as Filipinos, proud of our identity to celebrate engine independence," Legarda concluded.

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