“Tulong-tulong tayo para sa isang mapayapa, maunlad, at malayang lungsod. ”
Rallying for Balangueños’ unity, Mayor Francis Anthony S. Garcia was quoted thus when he led the city’s Independence Day commemoration on June 13 at the Plaza Mayor.
Speaking in front of city government employees and members of private civic groups, the mayor gave honor to heroes who gave up their lives for freedom – including those who perished in the continuing Marawi crisis.
In her own message, Vice Mayor Vianca Lita Gozon expressed the same sentiments. She called for a reflective mood when remembering the country’s struggle for freedom.
“Magmuni-muni po tayo habang nagdiriwang tayo ng Araw ng Kasarinlan, ” said Vice Mayor Gozon. “Isipin po natin kung bakit natin ito ipinagdiriwang taon-taon. ”
The 119th Independence Day celebration was themed as “Pagbabagong Sama-Samang Balikatin”. The said theme was anchored on the president’s call for change in the national level.
Dir. William Beltran of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) – Region III, the event’s keynote speaker, inspired Balangueños with a message grounded on the said call for change.
Beltran said that Filipinos are facing a challenge as great as the threat of colonization, which our predecessors faced.
“Lumalaban pa rin po tayo ngayon, ngunit hindi na sa mga mananakop. Lumalaban tayo sa kawalan ng tiwala sa isa’t-isa. ”
Beltran was hinting at the Filipino’s lack of support with the national government. He said that in almost all administrations, the citizen’s preference for criticism rather than support could be the reason for country’s lack of development.
In spite of challenging events happening at the national level, Balangueños held a cheerful Independence Day commemoration. City government employees clad in the colors of the national flag held a march around the city’s central district. The march culminated at the Plaza Mayor where theatrical performances about the country’s history were shown.
The city’s collaborators from the private sector joined Mayor Garcia in offering wreaths at the foot of Dr. Jose Rizal’s monument.
As a gesture of unity and peace, city officials released white pigeons while the Balanga City Hymn was being sung. | By: Arli Joshua Atienza