1 simple float, a momentous occasion
It will be colorful but not pabongga (ostentatious).
In line with the government’s thrust to save taxpayers’ money, the nationwide celebrations today marking the 113th anniversary of the country’s independence will be festive but not ostentatious, officials said yesterday.
In fact, only a single float—dubbed Inang Bayan (Motherland)—will join the civic and military parade, which will be capped by a 15-minute “amazing” fireworks display at Rizal Park in Manila.
In lieu of a parade of floats, theatrical groups will instead highlight the country’s progress and values as they walk down the parade grounds for the celebrations, which has the theme “Kalayaan: Paninindigan ng Bayan.”
“Instead of having many floats that would be quite expensive, we have decided to scale down things. Hindi na pabongga (it’s not going to be showy),” said Veronica Dado, chief of the Historical Sites and Education Division of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
But Dado maintained that the celebrations would still be festive and befitting the occasion marking the country’s independence from colonial powers. The Philippines is one of the first countries in the world to declare independence from colonial masters.
“This is significant because this is the first time that President Aquino would be leading our Independence Day rites. The parade would highlight his 16-point agenda and incorruptible leadership,” Dado said.
“We would also focus on the values that have made Filipinos proud and resilient over the years like kaisahan, kagalingan and kalayaan (unity, prowess and freedom),” she added.
The Inang Bayan float might be the only one but it will be embellished with décor depicting the country’s progress in the cities and the beauty of its rural landscapes, said Gladys Sandiego of the Department of Tourism.
“ABS-CBN Star Power Champion singer Angeline Quinto will be on the float and she will sing the celebration’s original theme song,” Sandiego said.
There will also be 20 representatives from different government agencies joining Quinto on the float, while a 300-member choir will join her in singing the theme song, she added.
At 7 a.m. today, ships across the country are expected to blow their horns simultaneously and church bells will ring out in unison as President Aquino leads the flag-raising ceremony in Kawit, Cavite.
Kawit, Cavite—where the country’s first president Emilio Aguinaldo first raised the Philippine flag—will be one of seven historical sites where ranking government officials will lead in raising the national colors, Dado said.
“As the flags are raised, we have also enjoined our churches to ring their bells, while ships should also blow their horns,” she added.
Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson Lt. Commander Algier Ricafrente said at least 23 Coast Guard-manned ships in Manila, Cebu, Zamboanga, Palawan, Batangas and other places in the country would simultaneously blow their horns.
“We have also advised commercial vessels all over the Philippines to join us in this momentous occasion,” said Ricafrente.
“All our ships are joining and they will blow their horns for five to 10 minutes,” he added.
The parade at Quirino Grandstand will start at around 4 p.m. with the arrival honors for Mr. Aquino and an ecumenical prayer to be led by Catholic, Protestant, Iglesia ni Kristo and Muslim leaders.
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