by: Dr. Laurence C. Mascay
In the film “Braveheart,” William Wallace, a late-13th century Scottish warrior, portrayed by Mel Gibson, spoke courageously before the distraught Scottish Army. He said, “I am William Wallace, and I see a whole army of my countrymen, here, in defiance of Tyranny. You’ve come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What will you do without freedom? Will you fight?… Fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live...at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance – just one chance – to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives but they’ll never take our freedom!”
Freedom is such a precious word! It is a noteworthy aspiration that many people in subjugation desired and fought for in order to attain and experience it. It was the compelling reason our heroes - Andres Bonifacio, Sultan Kudarat, Diego Silang, just to mention a few, shed their blood. While they, including the unsung ones, lost their lives, it was worthwhile because it paved the way for the Philippines to gain the independence we now enjoy in this modern times.
Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”. This passage of the Scripture is being quoted by some politicians and members of the judicial body as pertains to the surfacing of a fact or of what really lies behind a case or circumstance. However, in this verse, Jesus is offering Himself for people to attain and experience genuine and lasting freedom. He is the Truth He’s pertaining to. The Truth who would set people free from the power of satan, sin, and self. He is the truth who would set free those who are living in the bondage of shame, fear, and guilt. Jesus knew that though people may be living in freedom outwardly they are not inwardly.
Many people, regardless of age, life status, and gender, live in such a way of being physically free but deep within - incarcerated. Consequently, let us allow the Truth - Jesus Christ, to enter our lives and take control of it. Surrender to Him our fears and failures. Entrust to Him our dreams and future. And live a life that pleases and glories Him. Freedom is not only living a life free from tyranny or conquistadors but a life that is free from the power and bondage of satan, sin, self, and shame. Dwight L. Moody, an American publisher, said “If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ you are free.” Rightfully, you will know the Truth and He will set you Free. That, ladies and gentlemen, is freedom.
by: Micah A. Tecne
Born free in a free country then suddenly becoming a slave by foreigners is such a great misfortune or difficulty. Our independence along with our beliefs were suddenly suppressed until that great day where our conviction can no longer be subdued and our desire to break free from slavery in body and mind was birth out. With great courage and conviction, our ancestors fought with all their might to the point of death and on June 12, 1898, they took back our freedom and raised our own flag. The joy of being free from oppression is overwhelming that the nation celebrated and is still commemorating our day of independence to this day. However, our nation couldn't have reached freedom if not for the strong determination and resolve of our heroes.
Fulfilling a great mission and assignment does not only entail emotion but it demands that we take action. It necessitates great courage to go against the norm. In this present age, the world is bound to carnal ideologies and acts. We ought to have great conviction to stay firm to our beliefs.
We have become passive believers of righteousness where we knowingly allow misconducts in the name of false peace. We compromise our convictions, allowing it to be trampled on just to avoid offending the majority and we become silent accomplice of such malicious acts. In doing so, we suppress our voices and watch the majority fall into deeper slavery of wickedness. We have abandoned our mission to become the light of the world - tolerating and enduring the darkness around us. We have fallen into the sin of omission. The gospel of Matthew says that we should correct a brother who commits a mistake. We have compromised, conformed, and tried to stretch whatever there is to stretch and in doing so, our relationship with our Lord has suffered.
The early saints stood by their conviction to the point of death and championed many fights of faith. With great passion, they fought against the ideologies and the powers of the world. In doing so, they have brought a great number of people at the foot of the cross. Many miracles were performed and those beyond reach and philosophers stood in awe at the greatness of the Creator. They acted strongly on their convictions that historically brought change and moved the world.
It is high time that we become firm on our faith. Let us take our stand and not allow the sacrifices of our forerunners of faith come to waste. Now is the time to hold firmly and act with passion as the rest of the world is sinking into an uncertain depth of darkness. As children of the Living God, let us act on our convictions and be clear of our mandate. Let us hold firmly to what is right and abstain from every form of evil. In this unstable world, let our convictions stay immovable.
The Leaders of Tomorrow
by: Nathaniel A. Saquiban
For the past three years, the Philippines has been shaken by the health and economic crisis that transpired coupled with the sudden increase of oil prices as a result of the arm conflict in the western world. Weathering against these troubles takes a strong leadership to lead this country out from this dark era. This nation is weary of leaders whose only agenda is to serve their personal interest. This country is in need of statesmen and stateswomen, more than mere politicians. As James Freeman Clarke, an American theologian and writer, said, “A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation”.
It is a fact that some vie for promotion for fame and personal aggrandizement. This gives them a wrong perspective of leadership. They consider it as a position rather than a function. This drives them to kill their opponents in the election arena, cheat during the conduct of election, or do everything it takes, by hooks or by crooks, in order to achieve their desired positions. Only few wanted to become leaders in order to serve the public well. The moment they acquired the position, they do not function appropriately.
An ideal type of leadership is arrayed with esteemed characteristics. It appears prestigious and highly enticing but behind the colourful and admirable appearances are serious and crucial tasks. This makes leadership a value because of the responsibilities and sacrifices that go with it. Leadership is tough. Heavy loads are upon those who assume such functions. Accountability is attached in every decision that a leader makes especially in critical situations. Their decisions signal movement of operation. Without leaders who decide, the subordinates are at a loss. They are prepared to take the risks or answer for the consequences of their actions.
Moreover, any flaw, lapse, or mistake committed by a subordinate may make a leader liable under the principle of “respondeat superior” where an employer may be held responsible for the actions of his employees, when the actions are performed in the course of employment. The same is true with parents over their children’s actions or teachers over their students’ conduct under the principle of vicarious liability where the parents or teachers are held responsible of the damages caused by their children or students under their watch.
Leaders are also expected to lead by example or to model what they teach. Many eyes are looking at them and many lives are depending on them. If they fail, others may fail too; but if they succeed, others may also succeed. As a result, they cannot misbehave. They are expected to be dependable and reliable. They are obliged to perform accordingly. They cannot afford to relax or let their guards down. As they overcome one obstacle after another, their skills are honed and they grow into maturity. Leaders of this kind bring an entire generation into their destiny. As they assume their posts, they become the answer to prevailing problems of society.
The challenge now is – are we ready to be the leaders that this nation is looking for? The Philippines awaits us.
CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.