CITY officials and guests pay honor and show a shoutout of gratitude to the city’s new heroes, the pandemic frontliners, during the celebration of Kalayaan 2020 at City Hall.
The 12th of June this year marked a different kind of Independence Day for our country, where most areas are still in some sort of community quarantine at different levels of risk. Therefore, no mass gatherings or assemblies can be made. There is none of the usual parades and elaborate ceremonies. Nonetheless, we can’t afford to make this day less special. After all, this is the day when we celebrate the liberty that we’ve attained through the heroism of our forefathers and many others who followed to make sure that we keep it. There is no other day when we can all boldly and proudly express our sense of patriotism.
And patriotism it is... that will sustain us through, in hopeful anticipation, for the freedom from the dangers and threats that this pandemic brought to our motherland, our city being no exemption. And what could be more patriotic at this time than the sacrifices made by our Covid-19 pandemic frontliners? As early as day one, March 12 to be exact, our city police force, health offices and medical institutions deputized personnel to build the city’s first line of defense. Not perfect the first time as all systems have to become flexible on a day to day basis. It was, as described by many, like in a war.
The main contribution of the rest of the community is to be obedient to the city-imposed directive to stay home. It turned out to be not that easy as it sounds. And so, a new wave of frontliners started risking their safety, by going out to help others. There were outpouring support group and volunteers for different community needs. A community kitchen was set-up, people with better status started to donate food to strangers, businessmen donating supplies and institutions volunteering their facilities and personnel. Some people came up with initiatives for the wellness and mental health of those who have difficulties in coping. Didn’t I just say that it’s like war? But this time, against an unseen enemy.
Our freedom was fought in the same manner by the heroes of our independence, from as early as Lapu Lapu to Rizal. And now, our modern-day heroes are also showing how our race is rich in such resilient persuasion so that whether in victory or defeat, we rise. And just like in 1898, to keep the hard-fought freedom by being vigilant in defending our liberty at any time it will be at risk. Today, our enemy is still there, lurking to attack at any time when we become weak, unguarded and unprotected. In that sense, this year’s Independence Day is not unique after all. Thus, the call to remain vigilant and diligent in protecting ourselves with health protocols and new normal standards.
What is unique really, is the fact that we can safeguard ourselves, rather more conveniently than in the real war, and be able to pay tribute and honor at any time, every time, those who are at the forefront of this unique war. As what we did in a simple program last Friday, June 12, dubbed as KALAYAAN 2020, without the parades and the big crowd, in that kind of unique, albeit safe, circumstance, we all shouted... THANK YOU, FRONTLINERS!