Negros joins 116th Independence Day celebration

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Thursday, June 12, 2014


BACOLOD City and the 31 towns and cities of Negros Occidental are joining the rest of the nation in celebrating the 116th Philippine Day Celebration today, June 12.

This year’s theme is “Pagsunod sa Yapak ng mga Dakilang Pilipino, Tungo sa Malawakan at Permanenteng Pagbabago” (Following the Footsteps of Great Filipinos, Towards Widespread and Lasting Change).

Provincial Capitol

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At the Provincial Capitol, Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. will lead provincial officials and representatives of multi-sectoral groups in the observance of the 116th Independence Day celebration at the Provincial Capitol Lagoon and Park at 7:45 a.m.

The flag-raising ceremony will be the highlight of the tableau on the Evolution of the Philippine Flag to be presented by the University of St. La Salle Maskara Theatre Ensemble with Tanya Lopez as the artistic director and Fundador Tipon as scriptwriter-narrator.

Marañon will deliver a message for the Negrenses and this will be followed by presentation of P1-million in insurance benefits to 23 recipients of the tripartite Barangay Insurance Program for Tanods and Employees, and P1.3 million worth of farm implements to 16 farmer irrigators’ association under the Rice Mechanization and Post Harvest Program, a joint project of the Department of Agriculture and the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.

The personnel of the 303rd Philippine Army and the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office will hoist the Philippine Flag, to the accompaniment of the Negros Occidental Brass Band. The Provincial Capitol Employees Chorale will sing “Pilipinas Kong Mahal”, “Isang Dugo, Isang Lahi” and “Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo” during the program.

The Panunumpa sa Watawat will be led by representatives from the Philippine Coast Guard, Girl and Boy Scouts of the Philippines and the National Red Cross.

This will be followed by the welcome message of Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson.

Lacson urges Negrenses today to seriously celebrate the Independence Day, as he observed that many have already forgotten the significance of this day.

The true meaning of independence signifies not only the freedom from control of other countries, but the freedom to decide on a kind of path that would empower our people to improve their quality of life, he said.

“In this modern celebration of our freedom, poverty and corruption remain a challenge in our governance,” he added.

As for the theme, Lacson said we have something to look up in the future that would help us change and work for the betterment of our lives and that of our fellowmen.

“I wish that the message of independence should also touch the hearts of our people and fellow workers in government so that they can discharge their functions effectively and efficiently,” he added.

The Capitol will be hosted by Alexis Danica Drilon, the reigning Lin-ay sang Negros.

Bacolod City Hall

At the Bacolod City Hall, Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr., chairman of the celebration, said the flag-raising ceremony and the wreath-laying rites will be held at the plaza at 8 a.m., and the program will follow at the BAYS (Bacolod Arts, Youth and Sports) Center at 8:30 a.m.

Abang Lingkod party-list Rep. Stephen Paduano will be the guest of honor.

Paduano will lead the wreath-laying to the Monument of the Unknown Soldier with the Bacolod City officials, members of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines, 303rd Infantry Brigade, Bacolod City Police Office, Bacolod City government personnel and department heads, public and private Schools and private citizens.

“The wreath-laying is our way of remembering and paying tribute to those who shed blood and died serving this country in battle. Those who died may be unknown to many but their victory and bravery will not be forgotten by this generation and the generations to come,” Gamboa also explained.

“The celebration of our Independence Day will involve the whole of Bacolod and I hope that the spirit of patriotism and nationalism will continue to shine,” he added.

A grand parade will also be held in the afternoon with the participation of students from public and private schools, military and police units, civic organizations, city and barangay officials and employees, business sector, and others.

Meanwhile, the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army said it also joins the whole nation in commemorating the 116th Independence Day.

This year’s theme surely hits every soldier’s heart as the Army here in Western Visayas continues to emulate the courage and perseverance of our forefathers in attaining our independence.

A simultaneous flag raising and wreath laying ceremonies will be held from the division headquarters, brigades and down to the battalions to symbolize the independence here in Western Visayas which continues to inspire us in the performance of our mandate to protect the people in this part of the country, it said in a press statement.

Victorias City

In Victorias City, a coastal clean-up and mangrove planting at Villa Miranda in Brgy. 6-A will be done today at 3:30 p.m. to commemorate the Independence Day.

This will highlight the contributions of the Need-Get-Give Program in partnership of the Betty Bantug Benitez Foundation, Playtech Group, Department of Education, the City Government of Victorias and the barangays, and the District Office of Congressman Alfredo Benitez.

BBBFI executive director Mary Ann Dino said hundreds of students, school heads and teachers, government workers, barangay officials and residents volunteered for the June 12 activity as another meaningful way of celebrating the 112th Independence Day and also to do their contribution to protect and preserve the environment.

The activity will be led by Benitez, Victorias Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca, the DepEd supervisors and school heads, and City Agriculturist Samson Garzon.

Special guest of honor is Tomer Pszenica, head of the Playtech Group of Companies.

Through Benitez, Playtech has brought to Victorias assistance to all its public elementary and secondary schools by way of donating information technology equipment and providing information technology training to teachers.

Benitez stressed that public-private cooperation must focus on promoting self-reliance and self-sufficiency through sustainable community projects that provide livelihood opportunities, harness resources for environment protection, health and education. (With reports from Teresa Ellera and Carla Cañet)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 12, 2014.

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