My beloved Philippines is celebrating its 116th independence day today. And while the whole country is painting the town red, my thoughts goes to those women who also made way to conquer all their battles in life.
Those little girls who struggles to work at an early age. Who doesn’t even know how to read or write, let alone play a doll. Who are too busy thinking what will they eat in the morning and where will they sleep at night. They doesn’t have much choice, do they?
Those teenage women who are forced to wed with men they don’t love because the society and their family told them so. These men will soon became their husbands and eventually, they have to deal with for the rest of their dreadful lives. Does freedom part of their vocabulary?
Those single ladies who have their hearts broken a million times because of those guys who were supposed to take care of them but rather left them hanging. Aren’t these ladies tired to feel the same sad, depressing emotions everyday?
Those unwed mothers who are obligated to raise their child on their own, without any support from the father of the child. Who were compelled to be brave for the sake of the helpless kid, despite inside, she is screaming in anguish. How can she be calm in the moments of despair?
Those comfort women who have been abused and forgotten by time. Who have suffered physical and mental agony in the hands of cursed men. Can they still have faith when they no longer believe?
Amidst all the grief, fractured dreams and regrets, they still fight.
They still endure what can be change over time.
They still choose courage.
They still believe in redemption.
Through fragments of acceptance, they are still painfully fine.
So raise your glass to all those independent women who miraculously succeeded every unspeakable pain. No matter how hard and imperfect and graceful the process can be. These women proved that there are more important things in this world than revenge.
Just like forgiveness. Just like hope.
Because really, for now, that’s all that matters.