Modern Day War: Fighting an Invisible Enemy

One hundred fifty-seven years forward, the country is fighting a different enemy than those Bonifacio faced. The enemy today seems to be more lethal than it was more than 100 years ago given its invisibility to the naked eyes.

On 30 November 2020, the country celebrated the 157th birth anniversary of Gat Andres Bonifacio. By virtue of Act No. 2946 Series of 1921, Bonifacio Day is celebrated on this day to honor the immense contributions of the Founder of Katipunan and Revolutionary Leader in achieving the Philippines' long sought independence from 300 years of Spanish Occupation.

One hundred fifty-seven years forward, the country is fighting a different enemy than those Bonifacio faced. The enemy today seems to be more lethal than it was more than 100 years ago given its invisibility to the naked eyes. The COVID-19 or Coronavirus Disease has dealt a fatal blow to the world by claiming millions of lives, damaging economies and forcing societies to alter their ways of living. Today, what we have is an invisible war against an unseen enemy.

There is no guarantee in defeating the enemy, hence wars of yesteryears and today have been marked by episodes of trial and error. During the heated Philippine Revolution which started in 1896, Bonifacio led the Katipunan in launching an armed rebellion against the Spanish forces which was highlighted by the tearing of cedulas in the event famously called as the “Cry of Pugad Lawin.” There were many unsuccessful revolts in the Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog areas, with victories coming few and far between in parts of Cavite province. In comparison to today's pandemic, many treatments and medications have been tested as a cure to the virus such as Avigan, Convalescent Plasma Therapy and Remdesivir. However, these have only been proven to be successful in some or few cases. Trials are continuously undertaken to determine the effectiveness of other treatments such as the use of virgin coconut oil.

Building alliances and partnerships are also critical in winning wars. In 1898, Gen. Aguinaldo made arrangements with the United States in the war against Spain. Subsequently, the American forces joined forces with Filipino troops in the Battle of Manila in 1898 where they gained control of the Manila center Intramuros. This signalled a decisive victory for both the United States and the Philippine in their war against Spain. Similarly, today, pharmaceutical companies from first-world countries have offered their vaccines and forged partnerships and agreements with other countries in the purchase and distribution of these vaccines to their respective populations. Given these cooperative arrangements, we are hopeful that the vaccines would be effective to end this war against COVID19.

Today's battlefield is no longer Tirad Pass nor Bagumbayan. Today, the battlefield is in the quarantine facilities, hospitals and healthcare facilities. The weapons to end today's wars are no longer guns, canyons or tanks. The single most powerful weapon against the unseen COVID19 enemy is a vaccine.

Death is the most painful teacher and lesson in life. With many lives continuously at risk because of the invisible COVID19, unity and cooperation, not misplaced bravado and extreme partisanship, are necessary in this modern-day war. We should have learned our lesson more than 150 years ago during Bonifacio’s time.

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About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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