Bridged cities mark day of independence
Jose P. Sollano, Christell Fatima M. Tudtud (The Freeman) - June 13, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The adjacent cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu individually commemorated the 116th Philippine Independence Day yesterday in simple ceremonies.

In Mandaue City, more than 3,000 City Hall employees including those from 27 barangays and city-based national government agencies and Department of Education city division attended the Independence Day celebration yesterday.

In a press statement furnished to The Freeman, it was learned that the city government celebrated 116th Philippine Independence Day with a Holy Mass at the National Shrine of St. Joseph, followed by floral offering at the Rizal-Bonifacio stage then a short program in front of City Hall.

A seven-minute stage drama was prepared by teachers and students of the public secondary schools from Pagsabungan, Jagobiao and Tipolo.

Also for the first time, Ateneo de Cebu participated in the celebration by sending their boy scouts and girl scouts also one of those highlighted in yesterday's program.

Axcel Beljot, director and choreographer of the stage play said that first part of the presentation was a "Balagtasan" on the topic, "Is there real Independence today amidst the influence of material world?"

The program also portrayed in the play was the suffering of Filipinos under the Spanish colonizers and the martyrdom of Andres Bonifacio, the three priests, Gomez, Burgos and Zamora and the killing of Jose Rizal by musketry and the struggles of all sectors in nation-building.

Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes who is recovering from fever in his message read by Vice Mayor Glenn Bercede urged everyone to make a tribute of those who contributed for the attainment of our independence and to contribute in his own little ways to sustain and strengthen these gains.

The vice mayor also expressed thanks those who attended in yesterday's affair especially the barangay officials and city hall employees.

"It is my honor to be part of the play and as a teacher I have an important role in molding the future leaders of our country, in this way can help sustain the gains of our forefathers in fighting for freedom," said Edna Molejon of Tabok National High School.

Among those who attended included Councilors Demetrio Cortes Jr., Diosdado Suico, Editha Cabahug, Emmarie Ouano-Dizon, Nenita Layese and Benjamin Basiga as well as the barangay captains.

In Lapu-Lapu City, Mayor Paz C. Radaza and the city officials celebrated Independence Day in Mactan Benito Ebuen Airbase.

Present in the event were Dr. Eduardo Ompad, Schools Division Superintendent; Dr. Faustina Atillo, Office-In-Charge of  the City College; Police Senior Superintendent Armando Radoc, OIC of  Lapu-Lapu City Police Office together with Fire Superintendent Oscar Mayol, City Fire Marshall; City Jail Wardens Superintendents Jonnabelle Roiles and Reynante Rubio.

Philippine Air Force's Brigadier General Edwin Manuel Remotigue, Deputy Division Commander, 2nd Air Division and Lieutenant Colonel  Butch Guevarra, Information Officer of the army also attended the ceremony.

Aside from the city officials, the elected barangay officials and city hall's department heads, chief of office and its employees also attended the annual activity.

The flag-raising ceremony started at 7:30 in the morning. The elected city officials are dressed in Barong Tagalog and Filipiniana, the Department heads wore a working polo barong while the city employees are seen wearing white shirt.

Mayor Radaza said that Lapu-Lapu was the first hero who showed the true meaning of independence  when he and his troops defended the shore against the Spanish conquistador, Ferdinand Magellan. She recalled that Philippines fell under Spanish rule for 333 years and after 166 years, Filipinos became independent and free.

"On July 25 we will launch a full-blown branding campaign just like what our country did when it launched 'It's more fun in the Philippines,' a few years ago", Radaza added that they will launch a brand campaign similar to the campaign initiated before.

The mayor explained that the city and the fellow Oponganons are proud of the city's illustrious past. She added that the city is blessed with sand and sea tourism as well as world class hotels and resorts aside from having known to have prominent seat in the Philippine history.

"That is why as we brand our place as a historic resort city we want to tell everyone that here in Lapu-Lapu City you can free yourself," Radaza added in the middle of her independence speech.

She urged everyone to own the tagline and slogan "Free Yourself."

The soon-to-be brand of the city promotes the identity of people as much as the identity of the city being blessed with abundant tourism and a five star service for the guests and for the people.

"Kana bang bisan sa tan-aw ra maka-ingon na dayon ang mga tao nga "Ah, Lapu-Lapu City na siya," Radaza said. (FREEMAN)

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