Edsa’s message of freedom, change celebrated on Kalayaan Islands
PAG-ASA ISLAND, Philippines—In the disputed Kalayaan Group of Islands (Spratlys), the Edsa revolution’s anniversary was celebrated in the face of territorial rows within neighboring countries in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
“We have the opportunity to celebrate (the Edsa revolution anniversary) here because (the place) goes well with (the revolution’s) message—change and freedom,” Western Command (Wescom) chief Vice Adm. Alexander Lopez said on Wednesday.
Wescom officials and members of the provincial government of Palawan trooped to Pag-asa Island via Philippine Air Force C-130 to celebrate the 29th year of Edsa People Power Revolution.
Aside from the celebration, there was a flag-raising ceremony, a gift-giving event for soldiers and residents which was supposed to be held last Christmas, a Mass and a cultural presentation.
Children were treated to food from a popular local fast-food chain and the presence of its mascot.
“Two things: This is symbolic and the other thing is belated. We should have done this during Christmas, cheer-giving not for anything else, but to cheer the children and their families,” Lopez said.
“Our message here is this is a municipality of Palawan, this is ours. We are here to show the country and even to the world that this part of the globe is ours. We have a moral obligation to develop it and look after the constituents. That’s why our Vice Governor is here, the symbolism of the province is here and that [Pag-asa] is not forgotten,” he added.
Pag-asa is a fifth-class municipality that is part of the Kalayaan Island Group and has a population of about 200. It is the largest of the islands and islets that is occupied by the Philippines in the hotly-contested West Philippine Sea.
“Here in Pag-asa there is hope and there is freedom. There is freedom in vigilance to the threatening security in the region because of the developments on claimants’ reefs,” Lopez said.
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