Padilla: Elderlies, PHL-US WWII Veterans give life to Fil-Am Friendship Day Rites

A GROUP of city Senior Citizen led by the City Social Welfare and Development Office and the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs together with representative from the Philippine Veterans Federation, USAFIP NL WW II Veterans, retirees from the US Armed Forces and a patrol from the City Girl Scouts Council, among others, gave life to the city’s 70th Fil-American Friendship Day celebration held last Monday, July 4th. The red letter day also marked the glorious Independence Day of the United Stated of America.

The city’s commemorative activities started with prayers and floral offering at the Archt. Daniel Burnham Monument at 8:00AM at Burnham Park. It was participated in by BARP Foundation, Federation Association with CSWDO Head Betty Fangasan, OSCA Officer Engr. Isias Barongan, Prof. Federico Balanag, Scouter Jaime Castro and yours truly as the executive event coordinator of the special event at the helm.

The main program of the celebration took place at Camp John Hay’s Bell Amphitheater at 10 AM, hosted jointly by the City Government and the John Hay’s Management Corporation. After the brief flag and prayer ceremony, JHMC president Dr. Jaime Eloise Agbayani warmly welcomed the celebrators headed by City Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Congressman Mark Go. In his inspirational message, Mayor Domogan narrated the chain of significant historical events leading to the annual observance of Fil-Am Friendship Day. The City Executive also, together with Congressman Go and Dr. Agbayani presented Certificates of Recognition on behalf of the 2016 Fil-Am Friendship Day Committee to at least three former employees of Camp John Hay and yours truly. The CJH retirees are Cesar O. Ligante, Romeo A. Dangle and Ponciano Estipular delos Reyes, Jr. The award and recognition ceremony was a highlight to the hour and a hair-long program at the Amphitheater.

With modesty, I was cited “for being instrumental to the building of various significant monuments and landmarks in the City of Baguio and serving as a catalyst in preservation and initiation of various programs geared towards fostering the friendship between Filipinos and Americans in the City of Baguio. A person of emulation, sacrificing time and effort for the successful conduct of the 2016 Filipino-American Friendship Day Celebration.”

With my heart and soul, I would like to take this golden opportunity to thank the program committee composed of Mayor Domogan, City Administrator Atty. Carlos Canilao, Kagawad Elmer Datuin and City Tourism Officer Benny Alhambra for the taken of recognition, conveyed to the four of us in the honor roll.

Oh yes, the Baguio Apaches rendered beautiful songs of yesteryears which added happy moments of remembrance.

With God’s blessing, the Senior Citizens of Magandang Baguio with the valued assistance of Councilor Edgar Avila, Chairman on the Committee on Laws of the Sanggunian Panglunsod ng Baguio is preparing a resolution addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte to proclaim the Annual July 4th Fil-American Friendship Day Celebration as an “Official National Non-Working Holiday,” to give time and more meaning and importance to the historic episode specially to the youth in the country to understand and to appreciate better the freedom that they are now enjoying. Unfortunately, our youth of today are not aware and do not know that thousands of officers and men of the Allied Forces, specifically the joint Fil-American soldiers made the supreme sacrifice so that we can all live in peace and harmony under the principles of democracy. At this point in time, we are hoping and praying that the resolution will come to fruition, a wish our City Mayor is also frequently spousing.
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