What does “National Independence” mean to Filipinos today?Wonder why we are facing a food shortage crisis and why we have to depend on importing rice, fish, vegetables and fruits from our neighbors despite the Philippines being an agricultural country? Wonder why a sensible electoral reform is yet to be made and until now a law cannot be crafted to stop the pork barrel fund, political dynasty, human rights violations, sanctioned killings, et cetera?Wonder why we seem to be at the mercy of China in claiming (or reclaiming) what is ours in the West Philippine Sea? Wonder why we, as a nation, are experiencing a vicious cycle of poverty, inequity, social injustice, government corruption, inflation, economic recession, impossible national debt, rotten justice system, politics-ridden governance and so on and so forth? Who’s to blame for the nation’s plight?Grumble and whine if you would, my dear countrymen, but it is first our fault before it is the fault of the powers that be. We cannot be blamed as a people for all the earthquakes that hit and devastated the country. But it is all to our reproach that our leaders (for having voted for them) are clowns, inept, crooks, thugs, killers and pretenders. So, why grieve over their failure to correctly address and solve the nation’s lingering problems? We are self-destructing or had self-destructed.Consoling, though, we have leaders (elected and appointed) in every administration who are sincere, love-driven, pure-hearted, selfless and genuinely dedicated—who serve the country, not themselves or any master/political benefactor. But they are very, very scant. And, sadly, several of such people/candidates have been voted out.I pray that we will one day have political leaders in abundance like the re-elected mayors of Pasig and Quezon City, among a few other worthy re-elected and newly elected national and local officials. But sob for the good ones, the “modern-day heroes” who lost in the recent May 9 elections.Freedom from “politics” is the freedom we need, first and foremost.