The locals, city government employees, national-lined agencies and private stakeholders gave honors to the Philippine National Flag as they all commemorated the 120th Philippine Independence Day on morning of June 12, 2018 at City Hall Grounds here. Mayor Carlo P. Rabat appealed before the public to stand as one for peace agenda towards freedom and justice.
As this year’s theme says Kalayaan 2018: Pagbabagong Ipinaglaban, Alay sa Masaganang Kinabukasan, Mayor Carlo urged the people to continue the crusade towards change from our forebears until today for our future and defend it because this is a strong foundation towards our vision for our families, community and country.
“The fight is not yet over, so to speak, because these gains passed on to us by our forebears and heroes, should be guarded and sustained, not only by us here and now, but also the task of the future generations,” Mayor Carlo said.
Moreover, he mentioned the transformation of our nation spearheaded by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, along with his goal of Change is Coming, “of our gallant men and women in uniform in the forefront of protecting our people, of government and private individuals addressing the shelter, food, medical and other needs of our citizenry, let us give our support and cooperation for peace and prosperity to prevail in our homeland.”
He also acknowledged the upcoming Araw ng Mati 2018 celebration next week on June 19, birthdate of our National Hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal that reminded every Filipino of Rizal and other Heroes’ efforts to secure progress in life, stature and progress for the Philippines and specifically for Mati as a fast-growing City now.
“Their sacrifices offered at the altar of freedom and we owe them the gratitude of the nation, whose gallantry and heroism gained for us what we are today,” Mayor Carlo said adding that these are the legacies of “our forebears for us and the future generations” he said.
Every year on June 12, the Philippines annually celebrates its independence after the declaration of General Emilio Aguinaldo, Head of the Revolutionary Government and the 1st President of the 1st Philippine Republic from the colonial rule of Spain 120 years ago, around 4 to 5 o’clock in the afternoon, that marks also the culmination of the many years of struggle for national liberation by countless heroes of this country and who selflessly offered their lives for freedom.
Meanwhile, this year’s Guest of Honor and Speaker, Mrs. Maria Gemima Valderrama highlighted unity as the key to the Philippine Independence. She believed that all throughout the years when Spaniards ruled this country while the Filipinos experienced prejudices, “we learned one very important lesson in our life, and that is giving value to unity.”
Valderrama added that current social issues like drugs, corruption, inflation and overpopulation challenged our independence.
She cited a quote from Nelson Mandela that for her, means everyone should respect each other for us to feel genuine freedom.
“If we tolerate corruption or being egocentric, we are not different from the old colonizers,” she said.
She furthered that corruption does not happen only to people who are in position but also to the common Filipino workers who are negligent to the call of duty during working hours.
Valderrama, who currently works at the Department of Education Region XI as the head of the Public Relations Unit, also said that change is very important that must “come from within us.” She said that real change can be seen on actions and people’s decisions in life.
“Freedom is meaningful if we can see real change and feel genuine happiness,” Valderrama said defining genuine happiness in some simple ways like a family who eats nutritious foods everyday, safely go to parks, express themselves freely, regularly works and receives salary that is enough for living.
“That is unpretentious independence. This is when we can say we are undeniably free with better future awaits,” she said.
Valderrama also works as instructor at Ateneo de Davao University and as a professor at Professional School, University of Mindanao on weekends and weeknights while performing her duties as a mother on every morning.
“The greatest glory in living life is not in never falling, but in rising everytime we fall,” Valderrama ended her speech reminding people that “let us preserve our freedom and let us love our country more.” By Van Jorain O. Rufin/CIO