CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Pampanga Third District Representative Aurelio Gonzales, Jr. yesterday reminded Kapampangans to remember the anniversary of the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo today.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared June 15 a holiday for Eid'l Fitr while declaring it a holiday in commemoration of Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption in Angeles City only.
Gonzales said that the day should also be of equal importance to Kapampangans so as not to forget the lessons from the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo and to keep these lessons alive for the younger generation.
"Those of us who remember what happened should never forget the hardships we have hurdled. Let us teach the younger generation of the sacrifices we made and how the Kapampangan spirit triumphed over that calamity. We should learn from these lessons and keep those lessons alive and relevant today,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said that it is relevant to rekindle the lessons as the then young generation who experienced the eruption are already in their 30's and 40's and teenagers now no longer have any recollection of the eruption and how it changed Pampanga's landscape and tested Kapampangans as a people.
Gonzales said some of today’s youth barely recall the disaster that hit the province almost three decades ago. The Mt. Pinatubo eruption of June 15, 1991, devastated Central Luzon and caused untold suffering for many Kapampangans, and forever changed the landscape of many provinces in the area.
He sees the Kapampangans’ ability to rise from this tragedy as a manifestation of resilience, iron will and triumph of the human spirit.
“The lessons we have learned will help and teach us to strive harder in order to reach even greater heights,” Gonzales said following the same message last year during the 25th anniversary of the eruption.
This is in recognition to the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, which is considered the second largest volcanic eruption in the twentieth century that caused massive destruction not only in Pampanga but also in neighboring provinces.
In 2011, Gonzales filed House Bill 3948, an act declaring June 15 of every year as a special holiday in the province of Pampanga and Angeles City and mandating the creation of the Mt. Pinatubo Memorial Day. House Bill 3948 passed readings in the House of Representatives in 2012 but fell short of being passed into a law.