( Photo not mine )
One day, as I was watching an anime series “ Haikyu “, ( I was enjoying it a lot since it was about my favorite sport, volleyball ) in the middle of the episode, suddenly, I have thought about something weird. I don’t know what came to me, my mind somewhat wandered.
During World War 2, Japan occupied the Philippines. I read about the horrors of what the Japanese did to the Filipino people. The torture was unimaginable. I also remembered my grandparents’ stories, when they needed to hide from the Japanese. They went to the farthest mountains or forests or lived underground, cold and hungry to save their lives. They fought with the “Guerillas “using only bolos and other sharp objects while the Japanese had modern guns and bayonets. The Japanese killed hundreds of children mercilessly. They raped women like they don’t have mothers or sisters or daughters. For everyone who experienced it and survived, it was hellish. I could only imagine the pain.
I paused the movie and thought about it for few minutes. My mind was questioning a lot of things. But I know my curious mind won’t comprehend everything. I won’t have answers to all the questions I have.
After few decades, it was like nothing happened. Almost everyone in the Philippines watches anime movies or would like to work in Japan. The Philippine government has a good relationship with the Japanese government. Tourism is harmoniously open between both countries. Japan imports its products to the Philippines as well as the Philippines to Japan. At the end of the day, I realized that things happen. Misunderstandings, grudges, hate, chaos and war, it happens. And not everything has an answer.
I pressed the play button and continued watching. My heart was still aching, pounding. Life must go on. The peace I am experiencing right now is a gift from everyone who fought for the comfort of the country’s future. So I guess, I need to stop feeling sorry for them and just be happy for the freedom they fought for me – for everyone.