Baguio residents want more relevant Independence Day rites

BAGUIO CITY — Commemorating the 119th Independence Day of the country, Filipinos should be more active in participating by having a festive day where all sectors can join and be part of, to remind each one of the relevance of the celebration.

Vicente Angos, a resident of the Cordillera who retired from the US Navy, who is among the veterans present during the Independence Day program of the city government, said “we should celebrate this day because it is our independence anniversary.”

Angos, who belongs to Unit 154 of the Alliance of the Fleet Reserve Association, was with his colleagues from the US Navy who joined the program. The World War II veterans who used to be part of the celebration were nowhere to be seen.

“They wanted to join but they have a difficulty leaving their residences due to their ages,” a city employee who asked not to be identified said.

The program was followed by a parade on the city’s main thoroughfare but only one child joined, waiving a flaglet as he walked with his parents. This is despite the regular holiday, without classes in schools.

Monch David, a mediaman who grew up in the city participating in similar events, recalled his younger days when there were many joining the parade, everyone waiving a flaglet.

“As a child, I have always felt happy to hold a flaglet. With my playmates, we all proudly waived it as we watched our elders parade on Session Road.”

He expressed sadness that only a handful were watching Monday’s parade and only a few were waiving their flags. He added, “I wish there will be sellers of flaglets so that people will all the more feel the importance of the day and participate by waving their flags. “It’s like an ordinary day which on the contrary should be festive and felt by everybody.”

He also said that if only there were festive events happening all over the city, then residents might be enticed to come out and join the festivities. “This is a happy moment, it is our independence day. We should be enjoying it because it means our freedom which our forefathers have worked hard to attain.”

Nel Marilla, an emergency response volunteer said, “Independence day is special to all of us, let us also make sure that small things are done in preparing our place for the celebration,” he said as he pointed at the area where the flagpoles at the Baguio Convention Center stand which were not even fixed, with diggings surrounding the poles.

He also mentioned of small avenues whereby every citizen can participate in showing love for country, by following basic laws such as not crossing the streets when the green light for vehicles is on.

Oscar Cadellina, a 77-year-old retired government employee and an outstanding citizen of the city, talked about the importance of continuing to educate the youth about the importance of the flag, which symbolizes the freedom of the country.

He said everybody especially the youth must always remember the significance of service to the country and the sacrifices of those who gave their life so that the nation will be free.

Ed Josue, a retired public servant has a different view on celebrating Independence Day, saying “let us go back to the basics by serving our country through service to our families.”

He said one does not have to fight with guns to save the people, but simple acts of loyalty to the country by even the ordinary citizens are laudable.

Loyalty, Josue explained is exerting effort to be productive, by protecting oneself from being a victim of criminality.

He also said reliving the past struggles of the soldiers who fought for freedom must be given attention.

He said, “let us support the cause of President Duterte to free the present generation from the slavery of illegal drugs and prevent the future generation from being enslaved.”

“God gave us our country, let us protect it always,” Josue concluded. Liza Agoot/