(translated from the original Filipino)

by Virgilio A. Yuzon

Freedom, be my mentor!
Are you really an inherent right of man?
Are you a necessary ingredient
For his life’s true fulfillment?

And where can you be found?
Are you in every person’s heart?
Are you a force in his soul and mind?
Are you truly essential to mankind?

Are you an integral phase
In the legacy of every race?
Or are you just a parting gift of foreign masters,
Grudgingly left behind by former colonizers?

Can you be deservedly won
Only in the battlefields of strife?
Or can you also be attained
Through the peaceful ways of life?

What quality do you posses
That makes you more precious than living?
Heroes willingly die in the night
To hasten the dawn of your coming.

And while heroes pay homage to you
Despots do everything to suppress you.
But even they swear by your name.
Even tyrants call on you without shame.

Freedom, you are truly a mystery
To a novice and an innocent like me.
Sit me on your lap and teach me,
For I can only learn if you embrace me.

(Dedicated to the Filipino hero, Ninoy Aquino and published in Filipino in the Philippine Star newspaper and in the book “Glimpses of Love, Life, and Beyond.”)

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