ANGELES CITY -- Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan and Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) president Vivencio Dizon led this city’s celebration of the 120th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence, June 12 at the Pamintuan Mansion.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and the Angeles City Tourism Office (ACTO) spearheaded the commemorative event with the theme “Kalayaan 2018: Pagbabagong ipinaglaban, alay sa masaganang kinabukasan.”
The Pamintuan Mansion, now the Museum of Philippine Social History, is one of the seven permanent sites that hosts the simultaneous national flag raising and wreath laying ceremony every Independence Day.
Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan recognized the relevance of the celebration, emphasizing that propagating the nation’s history has been one of his active pursuits.
“This city offers this year’s celebration primarily to our heroes, the ones who have gone ahead of us in their sacrifice for our nation. Secondly, it is offered to the Filipinos, especially the Millennials, in constant reminder that our freedom was not given to us in a silver platter,” said Pamintuan.
The celebration kicked off with the “Parada ng Pagkakaisa,” which showcased the solidarity of different sectors of the city, followed by a welcoming ceremony held at the Museum of Philippine Social History.
Due to heavy rainfall, the program continued inside the equally historic Holy Rosary Parish Church for a Eucharistic celebration.
Dizon, who is the guest of honor for this year’s Independence Day celebration, marked the importance of the city to the history.
“Our heroes, led by General Antonio Luna, General Emilio Aguinaldo and General Gregorio Del Pilar were all here to witness that historic occasion [first anniversary of Philippine Independence], and now we are here with our leaders as witnesses to the richness of our history and the richness of Angeles City and its role in history,” said Dizon.
“I hope we continually do our jobs well, to empathize with our fellowmen in order to better understand them and finally deliver to them real freedom,” said Dizon citing how Filipinos can contribute to the country’s glory in relevance to this year’s theme.
The mayor awarded a certificate of appreciation to Dizon shortly after his keynote message.
The City College of Angeles Tinig Angeleno closed the celebration with the singing of “Pilipinas Kong Mahal.”
A tribute performance about the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) was rendered by the Sinukwan Kapampangan to commemorate their role as steadfast partners of the government in promoting Filipino greatness in the international community.
Members of Jason Pabalan’s Uyat Artista continued with their artistic reenactment of the first anniversary of Philippine Independence Day with guests inside the reception hall.
Pamintuan Mansion: More than just a memory lane
Aside from being a wedding gift in the feudal times and an extension of the town hall, the Pamintuan Mansion also served an important role in the weaving of the Philippine History.
According to NHCP, the historical edifice served as the temporary seat of government power and headquarters of General Emilio Aguinaldo while Tarlac is being prepared as the new Seat of the Republic of the Philippines in May 1899.
The centuries-old mansion is also a witness to the first and the last celebration of Philippine Independence from the Spanish conquerors in 1899.
In an interview, ACTO Head John Montances said the local government is humbled by the recognition bestowed by the NHCP citing the city’s significance to Philippine History.
“The first and last actual celebration of national independence was held here in Angeles City. Despite being one among seven other historical sites, we recognize the uniqueness of what has specifically transpired here,” Montances added.
Through a memorandum of agreement, the ownership of the Pamintuan Mansion was formally transferred to NHCP on June 2010. In 2015, the historic landmark was converted to what is now, the Museum of Philippine Social History. (PR)