YESTERDAY, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) celebrated its 80th anniversary not in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City or in Rizal Park in the City of Manila. The celebration went its way at Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles City.
The said activity was the first to be held outside of Metro Manila and Clark was just too privileged to host the said military event.
It was however the last AFP anniversary to be attended by President Benigno Aquino as the highest leader of the country and the Commander-in-Chief of the 125,000-strong Philippine armed forces.
According to the AFP, the reason why the celebration was held at Clark is to avoid air traffic congestion in Metro Manila as the Philippine Air Force (PAF) showed-off its might in the long flybys made by its newly-acquired air assets.
It seems that traffic congestion is also experienced in the air in the country’s capital and not only on land where EDSA (Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue) tagged as the world’s largest parking area because of the endless traffic jams and gridlocks, is located. Traffic congestion is equally worse in other parts of Metro Manila, by the way.
Going back to Clark, the event is timely as the calls for the transformation of Clark into an international travel gateway are getting louder. With the AFP celebration, people from the government, diplomatic officials from different embassies, the private sector and the world (through the world wide web), would see the potential of Clark in terms of air transportation, cargo transport and military functions.
The President meanwhile, should likewise appreciate how Clark can be most useful if only given the proper attention from the national government through the infusion of funds for development, by way of marketing it to investors and through the furtherance of development of the Clark International Airport.
The recent Miss Universe International Pageant is perhaps one of the greatest Christmas gifts given to the Philippines and to the 2015 Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach who won the crown after it was mistakenly given to Miss Colombia.
Steve Harvey, the pageant’s host, inadvertently announced that it was Ariadna Gutierrez, who represented Colombia as the winner. Gutierrez was given the crown and the sash until Harvey cut short her reign and expressed his apology to the shocked crowd.
Wurtzbach meanwhile was stopped for a while in disbelief and went near Gutierrez when the real winner of the said international pageant was announced.
While Harvey had the courage and guts to immediately admit his mistake and said an apology, he left the stage in haste. He earned both admiration and condemnation too from the audience.
A couple of days from now will be Christmas. As a Filipino, I am just too proud to say that we have the longest and the happiest Yuletide celebration in the world despite the adversities and the calamities that we experience.
This modest writer wishes one and all a very Merry Christmas to one and all.
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