EDUCATION Secretary Leonor Briones honored Cebuano heroes during the 121st Independence Day celebration at the Liberty Shrine in Barangay Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City.
Briones, a native of Negros Oriental, mentioned the Cebuanos who have similar heroic traits with those of Lapu-Lapu, the Mactan chieftain who led his tribe in warding off foreign invaders in 1521.
Outgoing Lapu-Lapu Mayor Paz Radaza described the Filipino people as the modern heroes. She included President Rodrigo Duterte, saying he is fighting against illegal drugs, poverty and abuses committed by government officials.
In 2021, the City will commemorate the 500th year of Lapu-Lapu’s victory in defeating Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who had sailed for Spain.
In her speech, Briones told the 5,000 employees of the City Government that the independence movement against Imperial Spain did not happen only in Luzon.
The rays of the sun in the national flag represent the provinces with significant involvement in the revolution against Spanish rule—Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas and Manila.
The flag’s three stars represent the three island groups—Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
According to Briones, the Bisoy (Bisayang tisoy) and Bisdak (Bisayang dako) also took part in the revolution.
The Bisaya, she said, who took part in fighting Spanish rule were Pantaleon “Leon Kilat” Villegas— who was killed by a member of the Noel clan in Carcar City—Arcadio Maxilom, Juan Climaco, Francisco Llamas, Luis Flores, Gat Tamblot and Francisco Dagohoy.
Briones thanked President Duterte for recognizing Lapu-Lapu as the first hero.
“Dili lang siya isda, tinola, sinugba (He is not only a fish cooked in stew or grilled),” she said, referring to the fish also called Lapu-Lapu.
At the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7, Cebuano was spoken during its celebration.
PRO 7 Director Debold Sinas said they used the local language so his personnel could understand the proceedings.
Using Cebuano is the PRO 7’s way of honoring Lapu-Lapu.
Sinas read the message of Police Director General Oscar Albayalde, who urged his personnel to be united in maintaining peace and order in communities.
In Cebu City, outgoing Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña and incoming mayor Edgardo Labella led the City Government’s Independence Day celebration.
At the Cebu Provincial Capitol, outgoing Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III called on Cebu’s leaders to work together, saying Cebu needs united leaders to be more progressive. (From FVQ, AYB of SuperBalita Cebu, KAL, RVC, JJL)