CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Early morning rains on Thursday marred the celebration of the 116th Independence Day here, resulting to the cancellation of the traditional day parade.

Hundreds of students, government officials and multi-sectoral representatives were supposed to embark on a long parade from Heroes Hall to City Hall after the wreath laying ceremony led by Mayor Edwin Santiago, ViceMayor Jimmy Lazatin, members of the 5th City Council and guest of honor lawyer Alexander Lacson of the Kabayanihan Foundation.

But City Tourism and Investment Promotions Officer Ching Pangilinan-Gonzales said that the cancellation of the annual parade did not dampen the spirit of the participants.

"The important thing lang naman diyan eh yung maipakita natin yung spirit ng Independence Day which is the goal of the city government and nagawa naman natin ito. Kasi hindi mo naman ma-predict yung panahon," she said.

Hundreds of flag-waving children who lined up along the short route sought shelter from the rain as they eagerly waited for the parade to pass by.

"Anyway, the program at Heroes Hall proved to be a good alternative. What is really important here is that the spirit of freedom lives on in San Fernando," added Pangilinan. (Marionne Cayanan)