Freedom is at our hands

I was listening (for the nth time) to Bukas Palad music (through Rhythmbox in my Ubuntu Linux box) when a piece caught my interest. Its title is “Freedom is at Hand”. Its not the melody that caught my fancy but the title and some parts of the lyrics. Then, I went to and searched the lyrics of the song.

Awed was I by each stanza and wondered what inspirerd Fr. Manoling Francisco to write the song. The answer to that question lies in the footnote of the lyrics, which says:

1984. Manoling wrote this song after coming home from a rally in Mendiola where several co-demonstrators were killed.

I never thought that Fr. Manoling was that deeply involved in the progressive movement. I didn’t sense that in all his masterpieces except the “Freedom is at Hand”.

I’ve become a fan of Fr. Manoling since I joined a religious group of young professionals many years ago. But this song and its context escaped me. (The more I became a fan when I learned that he joined the movement against the current government).

Going back to the progressive song. I’m giving the song a 4.5 score (where 5 is the highest) for its musical structure. I only think that the melody doesn’t fit the progressiveness of the lyrics. Play the song without the voice and you’ll agree.

Nevertheless, the song rocks big time because of the message it implies to put across – that the State will not lift a finger on the people’s misery unless they stand up to act on their lot themselves.

For those interested at the song, visit the Bukas Palad site ( and go to the “Our Music” section. Here’s the lyrics for the curious and impatient:

We have walked all the highways
Yet where have we gone
We planted dreams along the byways
What else is there to be done

We spoke of peace, pure and simple
They seemed not to understand
We asked them to free our people
They said, “Freedom is at hand.”

We asked, “Is freedom a farmer with no land to farm?
Is freedom a fisher with no river to fish?
Is freedom a worker with no place to work?”
Yet they said, “Freedom is at hand.”

Guns cried out as night drew near
We hurried for home
To our children aged in fear
Whose dreams are made of stone

“Peace,” we said, “is not an empty plate
Nor a man with no land.
Freedom we can no longer wait.”
They said, “Freedom is at hand.”

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