Thursday, June 15, 2006

Kapampangans told to unite in nation-buidling

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The local citizenry and all Filipinos were urged Monday to unite in order to achieve the freedom and prosperity for which thousands of Filipino revolutionary forces have laid their lives in the struggle for sovereignty against the Spanish colonizers.

This call for unity was aired by officials all over the province during their respective celebrations of the 108th Philippine Independence Monday.

At the Capitol, provincial executives said the people must be more nationalistic to realize unity, peace and development for the Filipinos, while at the City Hall, the Independence Day celebrations served to heighten the nationalism and patriotism of the government officials for the interest and welfare of the Filipinos.

In Angeles City, city officials said it is only through unity that the bickering among political forces would end and allow real economic progress to set in.

The Independence Day celebrations in the City of San Fernando started with a flag raising ceremony and the releasing of white doves in front of the City Hall, led by Mayor Oscar S. Rodriguez, Vice Mayor Edwin Santiago and councilors.

In his speech, Rodriguez reiterated the sacrifices of our heroes, who gave their lives for us to attain freedom.

“Many people forget these sacrifices that our heroes did for us to be free — a privilege they themselves did not enjoy at the hands of oppressors,” Rodriguez said.

This was then followed by a parade of floats together with students carrying flags who were accompanied by their teachers from Barangay Dolores to the Pampanga Sports Complex.

Among the guests during the parade were former tourism secretary Gemma Cruz Araneta, who is now the chairwoman of the Heritage Conservation Society; and Tofa awardees Eddie Chua and Ivan Henares.

Angeles top city councilor Vicky Vega Cabigting, meanwhile, said during Angeles City’s Independence Day celebrations, that if each and everyone of the Filipino people would continue to strive to become good citizens, the country would eventually realize the aspirations for sovereignty of Filipino revolutionary soldiers who shed their blood against the Spanish regime and later, the American forces.

The Kuliat Foundation Inc. (KFI), Angeles City’s keeper of historical and cultural heritage, also highlighted the city’s role in the revolution against the Spaniards and subsequently the Americans in a reenactment of the first anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence at its actual site — the Pamintuan Mansion in Barangay Sto. Rosario.

Carmen McTavish, KFI president, said the foundation is committed to continue the annual reenactment to increase everyone’s awareness of city’s role in Philippine history, with the Pamintuan mansion serving as the headquarters of revolutionary forces and being the seat of the short-lived First Philippine Republic.

KFI presented the reenactment in cooperation with the Angeles City Tourism Office (Acto) headed by Ethel Galang.

Galang said the event highlighted the shining moment in Philippine history when Angeles was in the center of the struggle of the revolution.

Galang said actors from the local theater group The Academy’s Theater Ensemble (Tate) of The Academy of Performing Arts, composed the cast

“The Pamintuan Mansion, where the Central Bank Clearing House is presently located, is the very place where the said first and only celebration actually happened. The mansion became the general headquarters of Filipino Revolutionary Forces, and the seat of the first but short-lived Philippine Republic,” Galang said.

“The historical mansion was recently given its due recognition by the National Historical Institute, when its temporary stone marker was placed,” she added.

Meanwhile, the local government unit of Guagua, in observance of the Independence Day celebration, also held a civic military parade which coincided with the unveiling of the monument of the late President Diosdado Macapagal.

During the program,” 2nd District Representative Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo called for unity to obtain a strong republic.

“We must be united as one and work for peace, progress and prosperity for us to move as one nation towards a stronger republic,” the young Arroyo stressed.

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