Butterflies for independence-A A +A
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
THE Cebu City Government joined the entire country in commemorating the 114th Philippine Independence Day yesterday.
In the Province, Capitol officials and some senatorial candidates celebrated the event in Aloguinsan, Cebu.
Yesterday was the second day of “Suroy-suroy Sugbo, Explore the Midwest,” joined by 300 guests. The tour visited seven towns in two days.
The City’s celebration, meanwhile, started with a solidarity run followed by a mass officiated by Msgr. Roberto Alesna.
In his homily, Alesna said freedom is God’s gift to mankind demonstrated through public service.
Alesna, who is also the parish priest of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, reminded city officials through a verse in the Bible, James 3:16, to set aside jealousy and selfish ambition.
Mayor Michael Rama, Councilors Edgardo Labella, Alvin Dizon, Leah Japson and Nida Cabrera attended the religious activity.
Some barangay officials, World War II veterans, police, military, Knights of Rizal and Knights of Columbus also attended the mass. A short program followed the mass.
In the flag-raising ceremony, Rama delivered his Independence Day message.
Rama said freedom is a valuable gift from the people who fought for it, and like any other gift, it must be cherished and kept.
“We can be able to have the thing remain as a gift to us by fighting that it should never be taken away from us and by making this country self-reliant and prosperous,” Rama said.
He said he believes Independence Day remains significant today.
The program ended with the release of butterflies as a symbol of independence.
In the past, doves were used as a symbol of independence.
Yesterday, the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (Chac), which led the celebration, gave butterflies to guests.
Chac officer-in-charge Glenda Gabuya said they did it for a change, adding that the butterflies are environment-friendly.
For others, Independence Day was a chance to visit some tourist attractions in Cebu and hobnob with local officials.
Joining the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo were Sen. Loren Legarda, Reps. Ma. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay, Teddy Casiño and Joey de Venecia, executive assistant of Vice President Jejomar Binay and son of former house speaker Jose de Venecia Jr.
Like Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia, they are all running in the 2013 elections.
In Pinamungajan, the group planted rice and went fishing at the Lamac Hidden Valley Mountain Resort, a 14-hectare property run by the Lamac Multi-purpose Cooperative.
The tour also made a stopover in Boho, Aloguinsan, home to hundreds of local birds.
Suroy-suroy Sugbo is the Provincial Government’s local tourism program.
The Provincial Board (PB) already conducted a public hearing on the proposed ordinance that seeks to continue Suroy-suroy even after Garcia’s term.
PB Member Arleigh Sitoy, sponsor of the proposed measure, attended the first day of Suroy-suroy. He wanted to generate more inputs for the committee report he will deliver at the PB.
Sitoy said the program gives a chance for small towns to be promoted.
A couple from Manila, Nelson and Marissa Campita, said they are always looking forward to Suroy-suroy Sugbo. It was their third Suroy-suroy Sugbo experience.
“Great experience, great food, walang masabi,” Marissa said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 13, 2012.