NAGA CITY, Aug. 11 (PIA) – The city government of Naga switched on a giant lantern Tuesday night to honor the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The lighting, which took place at its historic landmark of Plaza Quince Martires, was synchronized with 73 other local governments that lighted their ASEAN lanterns at 7 p.m.
Naga was chosen as one of the cities in Bicol for the lantern lighting ceremonies in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN. The others were Iriga City in Camarines Sur and Legazpi City in Albay.
Led by Mayor John Bongat and Vice Mayor Nelson Legacion, the event was participated in by city and barangay officials and employees, students in elementary, high school and college, who rendered music, song and dance numbers before and after the countdown of the lighting ceremony.
While the Naga City Hall Chorale sang the ASEAN Way Hymn, participants waved the ASEAN flaglets while singing. A video presentation on The ASEAN was projected on a wide screen, after which a Trivia Quiz was conducted to the delight of the audience, particularly the students who were eager to give the right answer in order to get a freebie from the Arts, Culture and Tourism Office.
Music, song and dance numbers where provided by the University of Nueva Caceres Glee Club who performed Naik-naik Indonesian Folk Song and Bicol Remix Folksong; an instrumental number and song number from the Naga Central School I Children’s Rondalla; a dance performance from the Universidad de Sta. Isabel Vincentian Performing Arts Group; a song rendition from the Naga College Foundation Choir; and a dance number from the Camarines Sur National High School Dance Troupe.
In his welcome message, Legacion reminded the audience with the song “No Man is an Island”, where he reiterated that this is true not only to humans but also to nations in Southeast Asia.
“The objective is the same with every individual – there is unity and organization to advance the interest of everyone just what ASEAN is promoting. We hope that we can attain the objective of why ASEAN was founded,” Legacion said.
Mayor Bongat on the other hand, discussed the importance and relevance of ASEAN in the lives of every Nagueῆos. He further explained the promotion of connectivity among the 10 ASEAN-member countries and the existence of the total ASEAN integration.
“This celebration is an awakening or awareness to Bicolanos and Nagueῆos of the importance of everyone’s role in ASEAN, because it broadens the opportunities not only for economic development among ASEAN countries, but the entire ASEAN region the opportunity to group ourselves together and be an economic power in the entire world,” Bongat expounded. (LSM/PIA5-Camarines Sur)