Iloilo's 'Cry of Santa Barbara' triumphs at Parada ng Kalayaan 2024 in Manila

ILOILO. Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr., National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairperson Lisa Nakpil turned over to Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. the trophy and cash award of P1 million of the province of Iloilo for being the grand champion during the Parada ng Kalayaan 2024.
ILOILO. Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr., National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairperson Lisa Nakpil turned over to Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. the trophy and cash award of P1 million of the province of Iloilo for being the grand champion during the Parada ng Kalayaan 2024. (Photo by Balita Halin sa Kapitolyo Facebook)

THE Province of Iloilo emerged victorious at the 126th Philippine Independence Day Parada ng Kalayaan (Parade of Floats) held on June 12, 2024.

Their float, titled "The Cry of Santa Barbara," was declared the grand champion in the First Sparks of Freedom (Historical) category.

The Iloilo float served as a vibrant homage to the "Cry of Santa Barbara," a pivotal event in Philippine history. On November 17, 1898, the Revolutionary Government of the Visayas was inaugurated in Santa Barbara, marking the first instance of the Philippine flag being raised outside Luzon.

This act symbolized the unwavering determination of the Visayan region in seeking independence from Spanish colonial rule.

The float prominently featured the Santa Barbara Church and Convent, recognized as a national landmark and cultural treasure. This neoclassical complex served as a strategic headquarters for the revolutionary forces led by General Martin Delgado.

The church itself witnessed the assembly of the junta, the council that orchestrated the initial cry for revolution in Iloilo.

The overall design aimed to convey a powerful message of unity, resilience, and the enduring spirit of freedom.

It highlighted the collective strength of the Ilonggo people and their significant role in the national narrative of independence.

The presence of the Santa Barbara Church and convent served as a reminder of the sacrifices made by the Visayans, sacrifices forever intertwined with the cultural and physical landscape of Iloilo.

On June 13, 2024, Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. and National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Chairperson Lisa Guerrero-Nakpil presented Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. with the trophy and a cash prize of P1 million for Iloilo's grand champion win.

Abalos commended the Iloilo float for "capturing the essence of being a Filipino" in the fight for independence and for embodying the spirit of Bayanihan (communal unity).

Iloilo's delegation, led by Defensor Jr., cheered enthusiastically during the parade as their float passed by the Quirino Grandstand.

The event was also attended by Vice Governor Christine Garin, provincial board members, municipal mayors, Provincial Administrator Raul Banias, Iloilo First lady Michelle Defensor, and the Capitol department heads and employees attended the event.

The winning floats, including Iloilo's "Cry of Santa Barbara and Establishement of the Federal State of the Visayas, First Sparks of Freedom (Historical) Float Category, By the Provincial Government of Iloilo and the Municipal Government of Santa Barbara, Iloilo" will remain on display at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex until June 16, 2024. (Leo Solinap/SunStar Philippines)

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