Padilla: Pope Francis inviting people of the world to pray for peace

FROM the Vatican City in Rome, His Holiness Pope Francis last Thursday is inviting people around the world to stop briefly daily activities and dedicate a minute to pray for peace according to their tradition, regardless of religion, creed and status in life.

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church said that the simultaneous prayer offering is set at 1 p.m. every day. The short but very meaningful and purposeful prayer is to ask the Almighty God to stop acts of terrorism, which is ongoing in many parts of the universe including the Marawi City Maute invasion and other parts of Mindanao.

Church bells all over our archipelago in adherence to the invitation from the Holiness rang loud and clear as requested to signal the start of the consorted prayer. The religious spiritual will be the limelight every day. The other Sunday, devotees of the Shrine of the Brown Madonna offered candle lights, flowers and prayers for peace especially for Marawi City and Mindanao as a whole which is under martial law. President Rodrigo Duterte declared ML while in Russia for an official visit 19 days ago.

The President cut short his journey and came back to our country to personally supervise the counter stance of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) against the terrorists. The President is the Commander in Chief of our AFP and the PNP. At present, peace is slowly returning to Marawi City with the assistance of the local government officials and concerned citizens. Again, let’s join hearts and hands, join the world in prayer for lasting peace and harmony.

The month of June and July is dotted with special historical events which we Filipinos will be celebrating with loyalty and reverence. On Monday, our country is celebrating its 119th Independence Day anniversary, which was proclaimed by President Emilio Aguinaldo from the Spanish ruler in Cavite in 1889. The significant occasion was the first Independence Day on our Magandang Pilipinas. The second Independence Day celebration of our country took place after the World War II, after the joint Liberation forces from the United States of America and the Philippines defeated the Japanese invading military units.

Uncle Sam proclaimed Philippine Independence Day on July 4, 1946. The Red Letter Day of the Independence Day in the United States of America, our long time ally in war and in peace. As fate would have it, President Diosdado Macapagal issued a Presidential Proclamation changing the date of the Philippine Independence Day to June 12. This was done during his term in 1946.

The centrepiece of the national celebration on Monday is the flag raising ceremony at Luneta Park in Manila. President Duterte will lead national and local government officials. All over our country, a similar program will take center stage. In the Pines City, Mayor Mouricio Domogan and Congressman Marques Go will be at the fore of several commemorative activities including a program at the Baguio Convention Center a grand parade and several cultural and sports undertakings.

The forthcoming month of July, this year, will be marked with a series of international activities where the Filipinos will be deeply involved.

Of course, we will also be part and parcel of the Independence Day offering of USA on July 4th. The special event marks the Filipino-American Friendship Day in our country. Appropriate activities to climax the local celebration is being prepared by city government authorities.

Personally, I can say that the attendance was far from the desired. From 2002 to 2015 the brotherhood observance was held in the heart of the City, either at the Justice George Malcolm Square or at Burnham Park.

Our Seniors Citizens are clamouring that the special day should be proclaimed as an official holiday in the city. This will provide our city’s elderly populace as well as the youth students in particular to participate in the celebration.

Without doubt, it will give the rank and free of the Baguio Elderly Assembly (BEA-BARP Foundation), the Federation of Baguio Senior Citizens Chapter (FBASECA), the Philippine Government Retirees Association (PG RA) Baguio Chapter, the United States Armed Forces of the Philippines, Northern Luzon (USAFIP NL) particularly the World War II Veterans and from the thinning ranks of the 66th Infant Division and the Philippine Veterans Federation (PVF), Baguio District the grand opportunity to express and demonstrate their dedication and everlasting loyalty to flag and country.

After all, the Filipino elderly citizens of the country who were at their youth during the dark years were the victims of fear, hunger and atrocities committed by undisciplined soldiers from the Japanese Imperial Forces. Can our City Mayor of the City Council author the proclamation or ordinance. Or maybe, Congressman Go can work with congress in making Fil-Am Friendship Day an Official National Holiday in the City of Baguio, the American Dream City in the Philippines, fitting known worldwide as the Summer Capital of the Philippines. We hope and pray that our wish be realized!
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