__START__Stop littering around.
Yes, we should learn from the Swach Bharat campaign! There was a reason we needed it in the first place. The fact that even the new PM of the country addressed the issue on such a gigantic level proves that we, as a country, are in dire need of cleanliness! Things as simple as throwing garbage in the bin and not spitting on the streets can make a huge difference.
If you've been following the news, you'd know that it's been said that Delhi currently has the filthiest air, almost the same level as Beijing. In such conditions, being environment-friendly can have a huge impact on making our country a better place with better air. Plant a tree, use eco-friendly materials in your daily life, use public transport or carpool, get your vehicles checked for pollution control. There's so much you can do for this cause with such little effort.
__LISTSEPARATOR____START__Help support a child's education.
If you’re at a comfortable financial position in your life and career, you could take out a nominal amount to help a poor kid’s education. It would help the country’s future in a big way if every well-earning person would contribute. The overall literacy could definitely improve in our country.
__LISTSEPARATOR____START__Stop participating in corruption.
Don’t accept bribes and don’t give bribes. It’s really as simple as that. It starts with you and ends with you. Bribing traffic cops to get out of not paying that challan, or bribing officials to get that passport or driving license renewed, we all tend to bribe. Yes, it’s true that it’s tough to get things done in this country on many levels if bribing is not involved, but there has to be a start to the change. Let that be you.
__LISTSEPARATOR____START__Be better neighbours.
At first, this may seem pointless. But being good neighbours to each other gives us a sense of community. We're all so engrossed in our lives that nobody knows even the names of the people living next door! At a time of immediate need, it's the people living closest to you who can help. Your neighbourhood gives you a sense of belonging, making your surroundings a better place to live in.
__LISTSEPARATOR____START__Pledge to donate your organs.
It’s the most noble thing anyone can do, irrespective of the country they belong to! The population of our country is so huge that any number of donations would be welcome. We have celebs like Aishwarya Rai associated with eye donation campaign. Celebs like Kamal Hassan and Priyanka Chopra have also pledged to donate their organs.
There are a lot of life-threatening diseases out there for which a patient requires blood. India also has one of the highest numbers when it comes to road accidents. Currently, India is facing a blood shortage of as much as three million units, and according to experts, the problem could be solved if only two percent more of the population would donate blood. You could be a part of that two percent. Blood donation drives are pretty common these days, at offices and at special camps. All you have to do is participate and donate.
__LISTSEPARATOR____START__Get out and vote.
As simple as that. Every time there are elections around the corner, we see massive campaigns urging people to get out and vote. That’s because statistics say not many people vote. And a good chunk of this is the urban population. Voting directly has an impact on making our country better. So go get inked.
__LISTSEPARATOR____START__Help those in need.
As much as possible in your capacity. If you know there’s domestic violence happening next door, if you find some accident victim on the road, if you know your friend is too drunk to drive; there are a lot of situations in which you can help others and avoid disasters. We have to let go of this mentality of not getting into others' business. Helping someone in need doesn’t mean getting tangled in a mess. It simply means you're kind enough to care about other people.
Editor’s Note: In celebration of the Philippines’ 117th Independence Day, INQUIRER.net is publishing short essays submitted by our readers.
Gemma Louise Heaton, a teacher at The Lord of Grace Christian School, asked students under her History and Social Studies classes to answer our question: “What’s the best that you have done for our country?” Here are their responses.
‘Be proud of being a Filipino’
What is the best the thing I have done for my country? I actually don’t know because at my age, it is impossible to do something big. Then I realized it isn’t important on how big it is. I think the best thing I’ve done for my country is to be proud that I am a Filipino.
Being proud that I am a Filipino is not quite easy. Sometimes, I even doubt it because of our government. The people have to rally on the streets to get what they want. I feel like it is telling me that we have to go to war first before we can gain peace. When I was in Grade 7, we studied Philippine history. I then appreciated peace. It was not just about the Filipinos fighting the Spanish but how we fought for our independence.
Now, if someone will ask me what is the best thing that I have done for our country, I will tell him or her that I am proud to be a Filipino.
– Jen Denielle R. Hernandez, Grade 9
There are many heroes and heroines who have done big things for the Philippines: Andres Bonifacio, who sacrificed and gave everything for the sake of the Philippines; Melchora Aquino, who risked her life to help the Katipuneros; Dr. Jose Rizal, who is our national hero, and others who sacrificed their lives.
But what is the best thing a 13-year-old girl has done and can do for her country? I am not a mother who is a hero for neither her child nor a father who is a hero for his son. I am just a sophomore student, a girl who knows nothing but to eat, sleep, surf the Internet, watch television and fan-girl over Daniel Padilla. The things I have done for my country so far are to make my parents proud and to give respect. I study to make my parents, as well as my teachers, proud. It is not easy to make a person proud and, at the same time, happy.
I gave relief items to the victims of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” before. Yes, it is a big thing, but for me, giving respect is bigger. It is the biggest thing a 13-year-old girl can do and give. Giving respect, for me, is the sister of loving and loving is the root of caring.
Giving respect is the best thing I have done for my country and for the people around me.
– Maureen Omanito, Grade 8
‘Study our history, teach it to others’
What’s the best that I have done for my beautiful, loving country? Even if I can’t die for my country like Andres Bonifacio and Dr. Jose Rizal, here are best things that I have done for my country and I will continue to do for my country: In our house, we separate biodegradable, degradable and recyclable trash. For that, I contribute to saving our environment. I also use “po” and “opo” because it is one of our Filipino traits well-known by people around the world.
But really, what is the best that I have done for our country? It is to study about its history so that I can teach it to the future young Filipino kids, that they will never forget where they belong. It doesn’t matter if what you’ve done for your country is big or small. Small things can become big things.
You don’t have to die for your country; you can simply do small things that will help the future of the Philippines.
– Marie Gold Vivien M. Totanes, Grade 8
‘Do good in school’
When people ask that question, the answer really depends on who you are asking. When you ask an adult, he/she would probably answer something like: “I have donated to charity” or “I have beggars on the street.” But as a sophomore student, and not a financially fortunate one at that, there is only so much I can do.
A lot of people say it doesn’t matter how old you are and stuff like that, “you can do anything if you put your mind to it.” But in my perspective, I am just a little girl who is lost in a big world. What is there for a 14-year-old to do that will improve our country? After all the ups and downs in my 14 years of existence, I guess the best I can do is to do good in school, succeed as a student and be an obedient daughter to my family.
If I am an honor student, I can graduate with honors, and graduating with a scholarship is my goal. If I can make to the Dean’s List, I will succeed in the career I want to pursue. If I am going to be a film director in the future, as an adult I can change or improve the country by directing inspirational or motivational films.
– Anna Maria Mikaela Almirez, Grade 8
‘Pray for the nation, embrace our culture’
Praying for our nation is the best I can contribute to our country. When we had our field trip at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, we were told not to fold the bills. By not folding our monetary bills, I am helping our economy. Embracing our culture is one of the best things I can do for our country.
– Jean Lalaine F. Rubio, Grade 9
‘Help victims of calamities’
I, with my dad and sister, participated in the “World Wide Walk” fund run to help the people who were affected by a typhoon in the Visayas, a run that broke the Guinness World Record for having a huge number of participants. This event helped the victims of the typhoon in Samar and Leyte. If there are more events like this in the future, I’ll be there to participate and help.
– VJ Bagani R. Villan, Grade 9
I think the best thing I have done for my country is to save electricity since the Philippines has a power supply problem.By simply turning off appliances when not in use, we are helping the country.
– Aira Joy L. Bercero, Grade 10
‘Pick up litter’
As a student, the simple things I can do for my country will snowball to bigger things.Something as simple as picking up candy wrappers affects us all. This should not be taken lightly, as throwing small things can lead to throwing bigger things. By picking up litter, if done little by little, we are also influencing others to do the same.
– Reimart C. Sarmiento, Grade 10
Being a citizen is a little difficult for the reason that you have to follow the rules implemented by your country. We know that people hate to follow them; if you don’t you, could be sent to jail or you will have to pay the price. You have to submit to the authorities. You have to be responsible and you need to contribute in the simplest way that you can do for your country. Actually, as a citizen, you need to be aware and remember a few things or rules.
As a student, I believe the things that I can do for my country are limitless, as long as I believe in myself. Honestly, when I’m at home, I dislike following the house rules; sometimes, even when I am in school. When I’m outside, I throw garbage anywhere. But when I entered high school, I realized I have to stop these practices because it is childish. I need to grow up in order to contribute to my country. So, I started following the rules, regardless of where I am.
Therefore, I conclude that our society has a lot of problems right now and I’m aware there will be a lot more as time goes by. So stop being a burden in our society: Follow rules and submit to our authorities. Our society has a lot to face they may not be able to help you right now. Grow up!
– Lois Corliss Q. Rivera, Grade 9
‘Make the right decisions’
Choosing what course to take up in college and which school to apply for are the main thoughts of a Grade 10 student like me, taking up exams in the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University and the University of Santo Tomas. Once we make the right decisions, we are doing the best we can do for our country.
– Joan Ellaine F. Rubio, Grade 10
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TAGS: 117th Independence Day, Essay, Independence Day, June 12, UGC