The MNL 'Kalayaan' represents our historical battles for freedom and how the past continues to influence the present. Through the Philippine revolutionary press, we have preserved anecdotes that hold wisdom and exist to this very day in order to be learned from. Inspired by stories of solidarity and our country's struggles for independence, this design takes its cues from newspapers whose printed media helped support revolutions and ignite sparks of hope among Filipinos.
"Why Independence, when the slaves of today will be the tyrants of tomorrow?" - Jose P. Rizal
"He who does not know how to look back at where he came from will never get to his destination." - Jose P. Rizal
La Solidaridad, La Independencia, La Libertad, Ang Kalayaan and many others were spearheaded by some of our very own countrymen whose words and actions aligned with a collective vision much greater than their individual selves. They aimed to share knowledge with every man, woman and child; to educate and liberate them from oppressive forces, thus aiding in the realization of their fullest potential through intelligence, creativity and the love of one's motherland.
The heroes we've learned about in our history books and museums have always been trying to prove that in order to gain true freedom, we must be able to think for ourselves as opposed to becoming blind followers of the church, state and law. Although we've gained independence from foreign powers a long time ago, the fight is far from over. In recent times, it is no longer international entities that hold an iron fist over us; now, it's those we place into power within a corrupt system that seemingly hinder the progress and liberation of the very people they should be serving and protecting.
Contrary to popular belief, true independence is not gained by using force, military warfare or killing to claim victories over our perceived 'enemies', whether local or overseas. People can be killed, structures may be destroyed, organizations dismantled--but the fruits of the human mind and heart prove that powerful concepts and ideas will never be forgotten. In the end, it is compassion, understanding and a sense of community that will lift up our nation as a whole and encourage people to stand up for their rights--to speak up against corruption, oppression and violence amongst ourselves.
The MNL 'Kalayaan' is a reminder that we will never truly be free at the expense of enslaving others. We must not forget the path that has been paved by generations before us--those who dedicated their lives to contributing their forms of expression for the benefit of the entire nation, no matter the consequences. We must learn from history, lest we be doomed to ignorantly repeat the mistakes we've made in the past.
The next chapters of our nation's story rest in our hands, and we must look inwards to realize that we are the authors, not passive spectators and readers. We must create, not consume. These days, many media platforms have become politically motivated with the tendency to manipulate how we interpret current events. What once was an instrument for revolutionary movements is now being used to serve the same institutions that deprive us of the equality, respect and opportunity it promises to provide. Those who are able see through the many layers of propaganda know that it's always best to trust direct experience and intuition in place of parroting what we are told to believe.
"On this battlefield man has no better weapon than his intelligence, no other force but his heart." - Jose P. Rizal
The power has always been with the people, but we have been told for far too long that we are merely the victims of circumstance. More than ever, it's important that we stand up, soldier on and unite. The illusory divisions of politics, religion and labels are all constructs of an agenda-driven culture. The truth is, we are all interconnected and interdependent on one another. Perhaps, when we understand that to oppress another is to oppress one's self, we may see freedom as a right to be enjoyed be all; not just a select few. It is when we are encouraged to be at war with ourselves and our neighbors that we fail to comprehend the deeper implications of what 'Kalayaan' really means. We're all in this together to defend our liberties and rights, not just as a nation, but also as unique individuals.
The MNL 'Kalayaan' is available now for PHP1550 each at WIP HQ, wipcaps.com and soon at our partner stores & stockists. You can also complete your battle gear with the 'WPCPS' Kalayaan tee for PHP750. Know your history and wear it proud.
"Our liberty will not be secured at the sword's point. We must secure it by making ourselves worthy of it."
-Jose P. Rizal