IF THERE are countries in the world today which celebrate international friendship day, our country and the Filipinos is on the fore.
Significantly, we just celebrated amidst Typhoon Domeng on June 12 this month the 120th Independence Day. Domeng brought about discomfort during the celebration of love and patriotism did not in a serious manner victor power nationwide enthusiasm loyalty and dedication to the historic occasion.
Last Thursday morning, on invitation of Apo Joemar, our acting city tourism director held a meeting at his temporary office at the athletic bowl while the Baguio Convention Center is undergoing face-lifting activities.
The brief meeting with key program officers in the staff centered on the city's program preparation for the forthcoming 2018 Filipino American friendship day celebration build on July 4. The Filipino-Japanese friendship day observance is set later this month.
On the bird’s eye view, we discussed the important facts of the special event. This included the traditional mass floral offering at the monuments of pioneer American officials who served in the national or city government and who contributed immensely in the growth and development of our magandang Baguio the Summer Capital of the Philippines.
The floral offering honoring the great Americans will be held at the justice George Malcolm square and other venues here recall that it was just a small, who crafted and sponsored the bill in the Philippine commission which created Baguio as a chartered city on September 1, 1909.
The other places for the ceremonies will be at the architect Daniel Burnham monument at the Burnham Park. The Col. Lyman W. Kennon monument at Zig Zag Road viewpoint beside the Baguio City Police checkpoint and at the site of the first Philippine commission at the penetrance bus station.
The floral rates and to rog will be led by city mayor Mauricio domain and congressman mark go together weather that Baguio Philippine American friendship day celebration committee.
Also on the spotlight during the World War II fighting men and women, the United States Navy Fleet Reserve Association Baguio Chapter, the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), Senior Citizens Affairs Office (OSCA) and from the various Senior Citizens Association in the City Of Pines under the leadership umbrella of the Baguio Elderly Assembly (BEA) namely, the Federation Of Baguio Senior Citizens Associations BARP foundation; Philippine Government Retirees Association Baguio Chapter, Philippine Veterans Federation Baguio District and the United States Armed Forces Of The Philippines (USAFIP Northern Luzon) represented by WW II Veterans from the famous 66th Infantry Division, AFP, among others.
The second part of the day’s celebration is the “kultura-o-rama” presentation hosted and coordinated by the cswdo headed by Betty Fangasan and the BEA by yours truly as its president. Highlight of the afternoon show to be held either at the fvr sports center or at the Baguio City National High School Auditorium is the presentation, march and coronation ceremony honoring this year's Fil-Am friendship day Ginang Lakambini and her escort Ginoong Lakan.
The Gng. Lakambini is an American lady while the Ginoong Lakan is a Filipino. The choice for the raining pair is in keeping with tradition which started last year on the center stage then were Gng. Lakambini Theresa Morgan and her loving american husband pastor william morgan. The “potongan” entourage will be led by Madame Soledad Go, Madame Rebecca Domogan, City Councilor Lillian Farinas, City Administrator Carlos Canila and Mrs. Fangasan.
Special intermission numbers dedicated to the royal court will be presented by cultural casts from FBASECA, BARP Foundation, PGRA and from the girls Scouts of the Philippines Baguio City Council and its counterpart from the Boy Scouts Baguio Council.
The Kulto-o-rams will climax with the presentation of highland Igorot tribal dances and songs, courtesy of the “SAENG YA KASAY”, cultural and symbol from the University Of The Cordilleras. The UC cultural group recently, on invitation of the Chonbuk University in South Korea performed at the institution's grand auditorium. The UC’ians were greeted warmly with commendation and a standing ovation from their 15 minute show. Certainly, the glowing achievement of the goodwill group gave a distinguished honor and prestige to the mountain resort city and the whole of the cordillera region to say the least.
The afternoon program will end with a free raffle draw of handsome prizes and gift items, courtesy of the City Tourism Office and a core of friends who always care and share to make every city a better place to live in. The final program of our July 4 celebration will be announced shortly.
Finally, we hope that July 4 will be declared as an official non-working holiday to give the opportunity especially to students to appreciate more and understand more what freedom and democracy that they are presently enjoying.
Let us join hearts and hands as we offer prayers for the departed fighting men and women who sacrificed their lives in the liberation of the Philippines and our city during the World War II confrontation against the Japanese imperial forces.
May our almighty god bless them and their loved ones.