A HOLY Mass will be held on Sunday, June 25, at the Shrine of the Brown Madonna at Km. 7, Asin Road, dedicated to the 66 Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) soldiers, the Philippine National Police including the 11 Philippine Marines victims of friendly gunfire, and the innocent civilian victims in the ongoing war between our government forces and the Maute Terror Group.
The Holy Eucharist jointly sponsored by the Shrine’s project committee, the Baguio Elderly Assembly (BEA) composed of the Federation of Baguio Senior Citizens Associations (FBASECA) and the BARP Foundation is set at 10 a.m. The celebrant is Rev. Fr. Alejandro Bangilan, Formateur of the San Pablo Seminary at Crystal Cave village. He is also the spiritual adviser of the Shrine and the National Correspondents Club of Baguio (NCCB).
Earlier, before the Holy mass, 66 boys and an equal number of girls from the city Boys and Girls Scouts of the Philippines Councils will usher in the spiritual – religious activity with a “Hike for Peace and Solidarity for Marawi City.
The hike will start at the Baguio Veterans Memorial Monument.
Individually, the boys will be carrying with them 66 assorted fresh flowers and a wreath while the girls, a candle each. The 66 represents the military and police who fought the Mautes and gave their lives for peace, solidarity, and freedom.
The Holy Mass is also dedicated to other national and local government fatalities who died in separate encounters with other rebel groups in other parts of the country in general. The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) is supporting the Sunday episode. The symbolic 66 golden colored balloons coming from their office will be released toward the sky after the mass to symbolize our quest for national reconciliation, growth, development, and progress as a people and as a nation. May the good Lord be with us always.
At the fore of the SBM project are Wilfredo and Brenda Leyson from Urdaneta City in Pangasinan, Raffy Policarpio from the city, Jaime and Gladys from Nangalisan, Tuba, Benguet and yours truly with my better half Consuelo Sol. Join us in this endeavor tomorrow.
From the City Tourism Office, officer-in-charge Jose Marie Rivera, here is our 2017 Fil-Am Friendship Day program for your advance information and perusal, the July 4th offering in the city is divided into two significant parts.
Part I starts with a wreath laying ceremony at 8:30 a.m. The Army Retirees Association of CAR together with the Veterans Association of the Philippines, the United States Armed Forces of the Philippines – Northern Luzon Chapter (WW II veterans from the 66th Infantry Battalion) will officiate at the Col. Lyman W. Kennon Monument beside the zigzag viewpoint.
The CSWDO – OSCA and BEA, the BSP-Baguio City Council, and the NCCB will officiate at the Architect Daniel H. Burnham Monument at the main park at 8:30 a.m. the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the US Navy Fleet Reserve Association and its Ladies Auxiliary Association will officiate at the site of the first Philippine Commission along Gov. pack toad, beside the Baden Powell.
At 9 a.m., the city officials led by Mayor Mauricio Domogan will hold its wreath laying at the Justice George Malcolm Square. Other features of the program are invocation, singing of the Pambansang Awit, and the US Stars Spangled Banner accompanied by the BCNHS Band, the Baguio Hymn, welcome remarks by Councilor Elmer Datuin, acknowledgement of guests by Cherrylyn Sablin of the PVA Office and an entertainment number from the BCNHS Performing Arts Department. The brief program will end with an inspirational message from city executives.
Part II of the Fil-Am friendship Day commemorative activities in the city will take the spotlight with a “kulutra-o-rama”, coordinated by the BEA-CSWDO with my initiative as the event coordinator. The affair kicks off at 10 a.m. with CSWDO head Betty Fangasan giving the “tulo po kayo” greetings.
Immediately, the presentation and “potongan” ceremony honoring the Baguio Fil-Am Friendship Day Ginang Lakambini and her Lakan will take center stage. The special event is being held for the first time to give more impetus and historic significance to our local celebration. American Eduard Glander and his Filipina partner in life, from the BARP Foundation will be on the limelight. The other pair is still on the search. The “potongan rites” entourage will be led by Mrs. Go, the charming better half of Congressman Mark, Rebecca Domogan, better half of our mayor and Councilor Lilia Fariñas, chairperson of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Social Services, Women and Urban Poor.
Showcasing the “kultura-o-rama” are participants from the Pines City National High School Band, FBASECA, BARP, Philippine Government Retiree Association – Baguio Chapter, the University of the Cordilleras, University of Baguio, and the Baguio Central University. A special entertainment number will also be shown by the CSWDO Day Care Center. A raffle with handsome prizes at stake will serve as an added attraction of the morning show. Refreshments for all guest and participants will be hosted by the city government and other supporting agencies.
Professor Federico Balanag will deliver the closing “salamat po” remarks. FBASECA president Edita Ibarra and I will serve as co-emcee. Come one, come all!