PH commemorates 126th Independence Day

MANILA. The Philippine flag is being raised at the Rizal National Monument in commemoration of the 126th anniversary of the Philippine Independence on June 12
MANILA. The Philippine flag is being raised at the Rizal National Monument in commemoration of the 126th anniversary of the Philippine Independence on June 12 (Photo from Armed Forces of the Philippines Facebook)

THE Philippines commemorated on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, the country’s 126th Independence Day.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. led the wreath-laying ceremony at the Rizal Monument in Luneta Park in Manila.

He was accompanied by first lady Louise Araneta-Marcos and their sons, Ilocos Norte Representative Ferdinand Alexander "Sandro" Marcos and William Vincent Marcos.

In a video message, Marcos said he is honored to be a Filipino whose ancestors were brave to fight for the country’s peace and independence.

"At bilang tagapagmana ng kalayaan na tinatamasa natin ngayon, tungkulin ng bawat isa sa atin na pangalagaan ito at tiyakin na hindi na tayo kailanman magpapatinag sa banta ng pananakot, pananakop at pang-aapi," he said.

(As heirs of the freedom we currently enjoy, it is the duty of each of us to safeguard it and ensure that we will never waver in the face of threats of intimidation, oppression, and tyranny.)

"Sa pagharap natin sa mga paghamon ng modernong panahon, nawa ay pagtitibayin natin hindi lamang ang ating katapangan, kung hindi na rin ang ating pagkakaisa at pagtutulungan," he added.

(As we face the challenges of modern times, may we strengthen not only our courage but also our unity and cooperation.)

In a separate statement, Marcos said that the true spirit of freedom is evident in every Filipino who faces and overcomes challenges head-on every day. He commended the country’s farmers, fishermen, teachers, and soldiers, noting that their struggles parallel those of their forebears.

Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio led the Independence Day celebration in Davao City, her hometown.

Duterte said this day serves as a reminder to honor and acknowledge the sacrifices, courage, bravery, and patriotism of the country's heroes in securing its independence.

“On Independence Day, we do not only celebrate our liberation but also place emphasis on the importance of remembering the adversities we have overcome and the ideals we fight for,” she said in her speech.

In a separate message, Duterte said that Independence Day also reminds Filipinos to continue helping one another and to unite toward a stable, peaceful, and prosperous Philippines.

A traditional Independence Day flag-raising cremony was also held in Kawit, Cavite, the hometown of the country’s first President Emilio Aguinaldo, who declared the country’s independence from the Spanish colony on June 12, 1898.

The event was led by Kawit Mayor Angelo Emilio Aguinaldo and was attended by Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

Revilla said the gift of independence of the nation’s forefathers will never be forgotten.

“Daang taon man ang lumipas, hindi malilimutan ang dakilang sakripisyo ng ating mga ninuno. At magpakailanman, ito ay tatanawin nating utang na loob sa kanilang nag-alis ng tanikalang bumihag sa ating Inang Bayan, sa kanilang nag-alay ng dugo at buhay upang makamtan ang mga tinatamasa nating kasaganaan, kapayapaan at kalayaan,” he said.

(Regardless of the passage of many years, we will never forget the great sacrifices of our ancestors. Forever, we will be grateful to those who removed the shackles that enslaved our Motherland, to those who offered their blood and lives to achieve the abundance, peace, and freedom we enjoy today.)

House Speaker Martin Romualdez, for his part, led the Independence Day ceremony at the Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan together with Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando.

In his speech, Romualdez highlighted the role and responsibility of every modern Filipino to continue the fight for independence not only against colonies but against poverty, corruption and injustice.

“Sa araw na ito, hindi lamang natin ginugunita ang kanilang kabayanihan kundi tinatanggap din natin ang hamon na kanilang iniwan. Ang kalayaan ay hindi lamang isang pribilehiyo kundi isang responsibilidad. Tayo, bilang mga Pilipino sa makabagong panahon, ay may tungkuling ipagpatuloy ang laban para sa kalayaan-hindi lamang laban sa mga mananakop, kundi laban sa kahirapan, katiwalian, at kawalan ng katarungan,” he said.

(On this day, we not only commemorate their heroism but also accept the challenges they left behind. Freedom is not just a privilege but a responsibility. We, as Filipinos in modern times, have the duty to continue the fight for freedom—not only against oppressors but also against poverty, corruption, and injustice.)

“Ang pagdiriwang ng Araw ng Kalayaan ay hindi lamang pagbabalik-tanaw sa ating makulay na kasaysayan. Pagkakataon din ito para tayo'y magkaisa sa pagbuo ng isang mas maunlad at makatarungang lipunan. Sa bawat hakbang natin patungo sa kaunlaran, nawa'y lagi nating tandaan ang mga aral ng nakaraan at ang mga sakripisyo ng ating mga ninuno,” he added.

(The celebration of Independence Day is not just a reflection on our colorful history. It is also an opportunity for us to unite in building a more prosperous and just society. With each step we take towards progress, may we always remember the lessons of the past and the sacrifices of our ancestors.)

The Barasoain Church was the site where the first Philippine Congress was established, which convened in September 1898.

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. meanwhile led the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony at the Mausoleum of the Veterans of the Revolution, a memorial and national monument dedicated to Filipino revolutionaries of the 1890s, located within the Manila North Cemetery.

In his message, Teodoro honored the heroism of the country’s forefathers as he vowed that the defense department will continue to stand up and fight for the country’s sovereignty amid threats against its sovereignty.

“Sa gitna ng panibagong banta sa ating kalayaan at soberanya, at ng mga hamon ng modernong panahon, ang Kagawaran ng Tanggulang Pambansa ay inyong maaasahan na mananatiling matatag sa paninindigan sa pambansang karapatan sa ating mga kapuluan at sa pagtitiyak ng ating kinabukasan. Kaakibat nito ay ang patuloy na pagpupugay at pagkalinga sa ating mga beterano at sundalo bilang pagkilala sa kanilang sakripisyo at serbisyo sa bayan. Magsilbi nawang inspirasyon ang kanilang kagitingan sa ating Sandatahang Lakas at sa bagong henerasyon ng ating mga bayani,” he said.

(Amid new threats to our freedom and sovereignty, and the challenges of modern times, the Department of National Defense can be relied upon to remain steadfast in upholding our national rights in our archipelago and ensuring our future. Alongside this, is the continued tribute and care for our veterans and soldiers as recognition of their sacrifices and service to the nation. May their bravery serve as inspiration to our Armed Forces and to the new generation of our communities.)

“Ngayon higit kailanman, ating paigtingin ang pagkakaisa ng sambayanan upang iwaksi at pabulaanan ang mga kasinungalingan at maling impormasyon na pinalalaganap ng mga naglalayong tayo ay supilin at magkabaha-bahagi,” he added.

(Now more than ever, let us strengthen the unity of the nation to refute and debunk the lies and misinformation spread by those aiming to suppress and divide us.) (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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