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Contribute to freedom, Filipinos urged

President Benigno Aquino III wants Filipinos to be proactive and reflect on how they can contribute to the independence they now enjoy as the country celebrates its 114th Independence Day on Tuesday, Malacañang said on Saturday.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the President wished Filipinos would go beyond greeting each other on June 12.

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“The President was saying we should go beyond greeting each other a happy independence day… It has to be an empowered Independence Day. It’s not just celebrating it and then forgetting about it the following day because it’s no longer a holiday, but we really have to live it,” Valte said over state-run radio dzRB.

“Everyone has to have an empowered Independence Day so we can be proactive and among ourselves think about how to keep contributing to that independence that we now enjoy,” she added.

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Valte said Mr. Aquino will lead the Independence Day rites at the Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan. In 2011, the ceremonies were heald at General Emilio Aguinaldo’s mansion in Kawit, Cavite.

While it was in Cavite that Filipinos declared their independence from Spain, it was in Bulacan that they inaugurated the First Philippine Republic.

Since June 12 is a national holiday, all classes are suspended on that day but schools are expected to take part in Independence Day parades and other activities in their localities.

The Department of Education (DepEd) has called on national and local education officials, school heads, teachers and students to take part in the commemoration of Independence Day across the country.

In a memorandum to all schools and DepEd offices, Education Secretary Armin Luistro directed all education personnel to “give full support, assistance and cooperation” to activities to be held between May and June in celebration of the country’s independence.

“The DepEd encourages all officials at the national, regional, division and school levels, teachers and students to actively participate in all scheduled activities,” Luistro said in Memorandum 98 issued last week.

Luistro said the Independence Day celebration aims to “reawaken the Filipino people, especially the youth, to their responsibility and patriotic commitment to truly demonstrate the spirit of heroism, patriotism, nationalism, unity and national identity.”

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This year’s commemoration also aims to remind Filipinos of “the greatness of the Filipino race” through stories of sacrifice of those who fought for independence.

The DepEd called on both public and private schools to prominently display the Philippine flag on their campuses.

Teachers may also hold classroom discussions on events that led to the proclamation of Philippine Independence across all subjects, from Social Studies and Values Education to English and Filipino classes.

Schools may also conduct class activities such as essay and poem writing and public speaking contests whose theme is Philippine history, the DepEd said. With a report from Tarra Quismundo

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TAGS: 114th Independence Day, Abigail Valte, Barasoain Church, Independence Day rites, Malolos, President Benigno Aquino III
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