To Be Great Again
Sixty-nine years ago today, a young patriot and prophet of our race fell upon his beloved soil. He fell from a tyrant’s bullet and out of the martyr’s blood that flowed copiously there sprang a new nation.
That nation became the first modern republic in Asia and Africa. It is our nation. We are proud to point to our country as one stable in an area of stability; where ballots, not bullets, decide the fate and parties.
Thus Kawit and Malolos are celebrated in our history as acts of national greatness. Why national greatness? Because, armed with nothing but raw courage and passionate intelligence and patriotism, our predecessors built the noble edifice of the First Asian Republic.
Today the challenge is less dramatic but no less urgent. We must repeat the feat of our forebears in a more commonplace sphere, away from the bloody turmoil of heroic adventure – by hastening our social and economic transformation. For today, the Filipino, it seems, has lost his soul, his dignity and his courage.
This nation can be great again. This I have said over and over. This is my article of faith, and Divine Providence has willed that you and I can now translate this faith into deeds. I have repeatedly told you: each generation writes its own history. Our forbears have written theirs. With fortitude and excellence we must write ours.
This is your dream and mine. By your choice you have committed yourselves to it. Come then, let us march together towards the dream of greatness.
To be the greatest living Filipino is to commit yourselves to these changes.