CITY OF MALOLOS—For the first time after more than 100 years, Bulacan celebrated the 114th anniversary of the Philippine Republic as a holiday called the Philippine Republic Day.
“The day commemorating the establishment of the first Philippine Republic on Jan. 23, 1899, symbolizes the day Filipinos unshackled themselves from their colonial masters so we could build a country for Filipinos,” President Aquino said in a message read for him by former Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. outside the historic Barasoain Church here.
The inauguration of the First Philippine Republic was held at the church 114 years ago.
It officially became a holiday when Mr. Aquino signed Proclamation No. 533 on Jan. 9 declaring Jan. 23 of every year as “Araw ng Republikang Filipino, 1899.”
Before he delivered the President’s message, Magsaysay was informed by Bulacan historian Gani Giron that his father, the late President Ramon Magsaysay, attended the anniversary program here in 1956, alongside Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the first President of the Philippine Republic.
In his message, Mr. Aquino said the Constitution crafted by the delegates to the Malolos Congress on Sept. 15, 1898, advocated freedom and equality.
Mayor Christian Natividad said the city government of Malolos, the provincial government of Bulacan, various agencies and groups like the Renaissance City of Malolos Foundation also organized the “Fiesta Republika 2013.” Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Inquirer Central Luzon