voices_meaning_of_independence.jpgIndependence Day is looming on the horizon, and while some of us are simply be looking forward to the non-working holiday up ahead, others have caught on to the pervading spirit of Pinoy pride that strikes this time of year (or, at least, strikes stronger than usual in every die-hard patriot). In the history books, Independence Day marks our country’s liberation from the colonial rule of Spain—thus, the patriotic sentiments attached to the word “independence.” But over the years, definitions adapt and evolve, which explains why being independent is now frequently associated with making your own way in the world (not to mention fem lib). We asked our readers to answer this simple question: “What does independence mean to you?”—and got a variety of insightful and overall inspiring messages in response. Read on to find out they had to say!

To me, independence means freedom for people to express themselves—and to use that freedom to improve, learn, and experience everyday living in our country. Independence should not be used as an excuse to seize power whenever a person is a government official. – Filipina Fina Chieng, 33, freelance online accommodations consultant

Independence for me is freedom. Freedom that satisfies your desire to become a stronger person and yet does not separate us from our values. It's a sense of individuality that empowers us to speak our minds and freeing ourselves from ignorance. – Chona Honrade Villanueva, 36, housewife

For me, independence means living your life to the fullest! It’s to enjoy and do your best every single day of your life—as if tomorrow will never come. – Rhea Flores, 26, human resources supervisor

Independence is standing alone on both two feet, bold and strong, without help from anyone else. – Farrah-Arsenia Agustin, 31, doctor

Independence for me can mean two things: first, it’s knowing what you want to do and doing it without stepping on other people's toes; and second, it’s deciding on your own to change for the better without giving up your identity. – Trina Chaves Ante, 29, freelance writer/online entrepreneur

For me, independence is my freedom to do whatever I want to do without any restraint to my emotions or conscience. It is pursuing a life of peaceful endeavors without worrying what the future might hold, who will be affected, and what the consequences will be. – Marizen Villamora, 29, grad student

Independence is something that we all have, so we must enjoy every bit of it! Remember to use it in the right way by not depriving others of their own freedom. - Kath Sunga, 24, Freelance Writer

Independence to me is doing something that you like, without any pretensions—it’s giving yourself the chance to do what you desire. Regardless of what other people may say, as long as you like what you are doing, you should fight for and believe in it. – Lyn Usero, 32, physical therapist
In simple terms, independence is doing what you want to do—that is, something good—without hurting other people. – Deenah Obeñita, 29, process associate

Independence is being able to look back and not regret anything you've done—independence from being emotionally distraught. – Jolina Balcruz Dacayan, 33, R/C enthusiast/homemaker

Independence for me is being on your own and being responsible for what you do. – Recelle Basinang, FN reader 

Independence has something to do with freedom. The freedom to speak or write what's on my mind and in my heart, with the obligation of thinking things over before actually doing them. This is tantamount to being responsible for each comment we make and action we perform so that we remain respectful to those around us. Every freedom has its counterpart in obligation. – Delia Portugal, 40, contractor/hotelier

Independence is the ability to sustain oneself without the help of family, a boyfriend, or a husband. – Angelica M. Non, 21, CPA

Independence is not simply a sudden jolt of freedom to do everything you want. It entails responsibility and a mature outlook in life. Now, being independent means you are capable of doing the right thing—something which is beneficial to all, rather than self-centered. – Annely Tan, 27, company accountant

Independence is the liberty to speak your mind and do what you want without compromising your good values. – Sarah-Rose Princess Santos, 28, operations assistant

To be independent is to stand up and fight for your rights; to never be afraid to take risks; to gamble with life`s uncertainties and face things head on; to not back out of any race, especially when the going gets tough.  – Corazon Chan, 35, DDM/entrepreneur/mother

Indepedence starts with “I,” so it's about you doing your own thing, living your life the way you want to, making your own decisions, and supporting yourself for your own needs. It's like your life is a painting and you have the option to pick the out the colors and draw exactly what you want. – Eunice Faye Valera, 19, college student

Independence means making my own choices and taking the responsibility for the consequences of those choices. It doesn’t always mean that I like my choices, only that I have the opportunity to find out what they are and to make them with my eyes open. – Katrina Marquez, 28, marketing manager

My favorite kind of independence is emotional independence, because somehow it is so much easier to acquire. Monetary independence, however, is quantitative and therefore more difficult to achieve. I’m 23, and I’m nowhere near it. – Abi Portillo, 23, special film projects assistant

Independence is the feel of my newly acquired driver's license and driving to Tagaytay on my own for the first time. It’s the feeling you have when you know the whole world is out there for you to discover. – Tin Solis-Kiok, 29, HR supervisor

(Photo by Mike Gonzalez [The Coffee] via Wikimedia Commons)

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