MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan -- Bulakenyos commemorated Tuesday, January 23, the 119th anniversary of the Malolos Republic at the historic Barasoain Church with Local Government Undersecretary Eduardo Ano as guest of honor and speaker.
Themed “Unang Republikang Filipino, Patnubay sa Pagsulong sa Bansa,” the First Philippine Republic, popularly known as the Malolos Republic, was the first republic in Asia. It was inaugurated on January 23, 1899, at the Barasoain Church where Aguinaldo took his oath of office as president of the country.
In 2013, then-President Benigno Aquino III signed Proclamation 533, s. 2013, declaring January 23 of every year as “Araw ng Republikang Filipino.”
Ano, in his message, said on the occasion of 119 years after gaining independence from foreign domination, there are now appear “new enemies in midst.”
Department of Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Special Concerns Marjorie Jalosjos cited these as “kriminalidad, ang masamang epekto ng ipinagbabawal na droga, ang mapanlinlang na ideolohiya ng komunismo, ang nakakapinsalang banta ng terorismo at ang mala-kanser na sakit ng korapsyon.”
These are the primary reasons of the country’s destruction of the environment, morality of society and the future of our next generations, Jalosjos said.
She said now more than ever, there is a need for bravery, sacrifices, and unity of each and everyone. “Nararapat na isabuhay natin ang tatak ng lahing palaban at may pagmamahal sa bayan.”
Governor Wilhelmino Sy Alvarado said that looking back to the period when every Filipino was fighting for the country's freedom is one way of awakening the patriotism and inspiring unity in every Filipino.
“Kahit hindi natin malampasan o kahit na hindi natin mapantayan, kahit kaunti lang ng ipinadamang pagmamahal ng mga bayani natin sa bansa ang maibigay natin ngayon, sapat na para gumalaw ang bansa na alam n’yang may nagmamalasakit at nagmamahal sa kanya. Sa ganitong paraan, mararamdaman din ng mga mamamayan ang pagmamahal sa kapwa dahil tayo mismo ang bumubuo sa bansa,” Alvarado said.
Meanwhile, Malolos City Mayor Christian Natividad said that January 23 has already been forgotten by many Filipinos, especially the new generations.
“January 23 came and went but many Filipinos seem to have forgotten the importance of that day in Philippine history,” he said.
Natividad, known for his passion in educating people about the importance of the Malolos Republic Day, said he wishes the country would celebrate it with as much pomp and splendor as other countries do.
He said the events that transpired at Barasoain Church on January 23, 1899 is equal to the proclamation of Philippine Independence in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898 as the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic gave credence and legality to the historic moments at the balcony of the mansion of then revolutionary leader General Emilio Aguinaldo, making him the president of the first Philippine Republic, in the eyes of the international community.
Natividad said that in other countries, Republic Day is an opportunity to showcase a nation’s military strength and cultural diversity. Millions join the celebration of Republic Day as men in uniform hold a parade and various cultural groups stage performances, he added.
Prior to this, Jaloslos and Alvarado, along with Vice Governor Daniel Fernando, National Historical Commission of the Philippines Executive Director Luvicido Badoy, Natividad, and other local officials, led the flag-raising ceremony and wreath-laying activity before Aguinaldo’s monument in Barasoian Church.
Also present during the event were local officials, employees, senior citizens, students, teachers, non-government organizations, and other sectors in Bulacan.
Also, to give Bulakenyos the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued Proclamation No. 394 “Declaring Tuesday, 23 January 2018, as a Special (Non-Working) Day in the Province of Bulacan.” (Ric Sapnu)