Monday, January 24, 2011

On Loyalty: Save the Flag

I will share this funny experience with my classmates at the laboratory school (Philippine Normal College Laboratory School) years back, in elementary. "To laugh or not to laugh," that is the question.

I love my Philippine flag. It has four colors. Upper portion is blue, lower portion is red and on the side is a slanted triangle shaded white. It has three yellow stars and a sun inside the shaded white part.

After the school's early flag ceremony, the flag stayed up. The beat of the drums gave intense feeling while we sang the national anthem "Bayang Magiliw." The flag was being raised up by assigned boy scouts or girl scouts saluting around the flag pole.

It was a special ceremony for us, the students. We did that everyday before we started our classes. Six years in the primary level and 4 years in high school.

One day during our lunch break, while we were gathering on the benches near the flag pole, it rained hard. The wind blew the flag as it swayed to and fro in the rain. As children, we had brave but innocent minds, and thought about a ritual that the flag should always be neat and never wet. I remember people said when the red color would be up, it means there is a war.

We talked ideas. Our kiddie hearts and minds asked about what would happen if the flag gets sagging and wet? Is it being disrespectful to the flag? We told each other how we loved our flag.

And so I thought, thought deeply, and blurted out, "Let us save the flag!"

Yes, yes, let us save the flag! said Terry, Rowie, and the others.

The four of us ran (and a few others still helped) and hurriedly untied the strings on the pole, and slowly we pulled side by side as the flag went down. We folded the flag, brought it to the office, and offered it neatly to the principal.

I was young then and I couldn't forget those gleaming eyes of the principal and office staff. They had proud smiles, but maybe they were wondering why we did it.

I couldn't remember the other words they have said. But in our small minds it was big deal, and we'd thought of something like, saving the country. In the afternoon our adviser summoned us to go to the clinic and rest. You could imagine our bodies shivering soaked in wet uniforms.

Now, as I look back, I come laughing and smiling. I know it was funny, but maybe, we just loved our flag; me and my classmates.

B. Philippine National Heroes/Martyrs

Dr. Jose Rizal
Andres Bonifacio
Ninoy Aquino
St. Lorenzo Ruiz
Gregorio del Pilar
Tandang Sora

And more, these are only six from the list in Philippine history.

Rose Flores - Martinez, 2011

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