Beng leads 116th Freedom Day fete PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 13 June 2014 12:59

Mayor Beng Climaco yesterday led Zamboangueños in the observance of the 116th anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence, stressing that the celebration was a “validation of our experiences in the September siege that shaped and defined the character of Zamboangueños today”.

Hordes of people representing the various sectors- local and national government agencies, police and military, academe, girl scouts and boy scouts, Veteran Federation members, non-government organizations and barangays  among others, flocked to the Rizal Park for the simple yet meaningful ceremony that kicked off at exactly 8am with the flag raising rite.

Mayor Climaco stressed that the Independence Day celebration was also a challenge for all residents to remember all those who valiantly fought for liberty anchored on their undying love for country. “This is also the very same principle that binds us together today to push for lasting reforms that will bring about rapid growth and inclusive development in our city and contribute tangibly to nation building”.

Climaco led the flag raising rite and the wreathlaying ceremony before delivering her keynote speech. She was joined by Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde and members of the City Council, Western Mindanao Command Chief Lt.Gen. Rustico Guerrero, Regional Police-9 Deputy Director Col. Ramon Ochotorena, Acting City Police Director Col. Angelito Casimiro, Task Force Zamboanga Commander Col. Andrelino Colina and representatives from the Philippine Air Force, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Marines, Naval Forces Western Mindanao, Acting City Schools Division Superintendent Pete Natividad, regional directors, city department heads led by City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr. and many others.

As the wreath laying ceremony was ongoing, the Philippine Air Force took charge of the flower drop that added more significance to the occasion.

The brief program was capped with the oath taking of the Boy Scouts-Zamboanga Council officials, who were introduced by Scout Executive Arthur Griño and the donning of the centennial neckerchief on the mayor by Council chair Atty. Rizalina Ortega.

Making the  oath-taking ceremony part of the  Independence Day celebration was auspicious considering that the Scouting Movement is also marking the 100 years of the introduction of the scouting program in the Philippines.

Zamboanga City will host the Philippine Scouting Centennial Jamboree on Nov. 9-13 at the Zamboanga Economic Zone and Freeport Authority   in Talisayan that will bring in at least 5,000 Scouts and Scouters from all over Mindanao with some pocket delegations from Luzon, Visayas and the neighbouring Asian countries.

The anniversary of Philippine Independence marked the day when independence was proclaimed in Cavite at the ancestral home of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo that saw the unfurling of the Philippine flag and the signing of the national anthem.

Historical records show that with Aguinaldo’s public reading of the Act of Declaration of Independence, Filipino revolutionary forces under Aguinaldo proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the Philippine Islands from the colonial rule of Spain. — Sheila Covarrubias