We usually see a typical flag raising ceremony as irritating and time consuming – at least to most of employees and students required to attend. What we do not see is the essence of the flag, the raising, and the ceremony.
THE FLAG – It may look too obvious to us as Filipinos the red, white, blue and yellow colors in our national flag. Being part of our identity, we seldom have the opportunity to look at its sun and stars as if we are a different nationality. Try it sometimes, or at least try to remember the nation’s struggle to claim the blessings of independence we enjoy nowadays. It is a form of exercise for the soul.
THE RAISING – Soon as “Lupang Hinirang” is sung, the flag goes up briskly as if it cannot wait any longer to be at the tip of the flag pole. The raising of flag is just the beginning, but is also the part most people don’t care about. Since a band and choir is singing for it, a very few in the ranks and line sing with it. I cannot understand why most of the people who can sing well in videoke bars and even in the comfort of their on bathrooms chose not to sing even a line of it. Have we tried to sing it at the top of our lungs? It is a good breathing exercise for the body. Instead of talking with the person beside, try to be polite and sing for a minute with fervor burning.
THE CEREMONY – After the national anthem, the “pledge allegiance to the flag” and the “oath of a government employee” follows next. Again, I cannot understand why on Earth people cannot memorize even the very short “panunumpa sa watawat“. I have witnessed schools where the oath is recited in chorus instead of “following the leader”. Imagine grade schools reciting the oath in unison? But here in a professional world where people are already done with school and course works, what happened? As in “Wha?!”. Maybe the “panunumpa ng kawani ng gobyerno” is long enough to be memorized. But considering this was done for at least three (3) years every Monday, we have repeated it more than a hundred times by now. Now where are we? Still reading the oath but can’t read flawlessly? Still not familiar where to cut the lines? Whatever happened to the exercise of the mind?
I think we need to squeeze the juice out of all of these. We are not in a world of perfection, but we are also not in a world of bygones. In the end, it is all about the THE SOUL, THE, BODY and THE MIND – have we thought about these lately?