CALAMBA CITY, Laguna, 14 June (PIA) – Freedom has different faces. If in the past our ancestors were yearning to enjoy freedom from foreign colonizers, now our country desires to experience the freedom from poverty, criminality, corruption and many other kinds of challenges in this changing times,” Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Estoista Diokno said as the special guest in the 119th Independence Day commemoration at the City Hall, Calamba City, Laguna last June 12.
In his message, he expressed that just like the Filipinos of the old days, people must fight against various facet of conquests, unite, and act; not simply stop, watch or wait for whatever may happen in the country.
He emphasized that freedom from poverty, criminality, and corruption, among others, will not be easily granted but should be fought for instead.
Calamba City Mayor Timmy Chipeco likewise delivered a message reminding everyone of the new form of shackle we are ensnared to, “Kung dati po ang kalaban natin ay dayuhan, kung dati po ang ating mga ninuno ay ipinaglaban ang ating bayan, ngayon po sa panahon ngayon ang kinakaharap nating kalaban ay ang kahirapan (If before, we were fighting against colonizers, if before, our ancestors fought for our country, the enemy we are facing is poverty these days).”
Mayor Chipeco stressed that poverty has resulted to evil works. That we are currently faced with a variety of problems such as terrorism, illegal drugs, and scarcity on ordinary days.
“We remember that then 119 years ago, ipinaglaban ng ating mga ninuno ang kalayaan ng ating bayan sapagkat naniniwala sila sa mga susunod na henerasyon ay bubuti ang ating buhay (We remember that then 119 years ago, our ancestors fought for the freedom of our nation because they believe that in the next generations we shall have better lives),” he stated emphasizing that as the early Filipinos never lost hope, the present generation should likewise hold on to this hope for a brighter future.
Finally, in Calamba City Vice-Mayor Roseller H. Rizal’s speech, he stated “Kinakaya natin ang pagbabago sa ating buhay panlipunan maging sa politikal at pang-ekonomiya dahil kaya nating sumabay sa galaw ng panahon (We were able to cope with the changes in our society, whether political or economic, because we keep up with its motion).”
Unity is one of the Filipino values that enables the nation to overcome the challenges that change brings, he said.
The significance of the 119 years of Philippine independence to the modern day was emphasized by these speakers who took the time to be with the Calambeños in the town where the Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, was born.
Aside from the messages, a presentation that showed the essence of the Philippine flag as a symbol of our country’s freedom was also performed by the students of Calamba Bayside National Highschool Special Program in the Arts for the opening ceremonies.
The ecumenical prayers were uttered by Fr. Ronald Badillo (Catholic), Imam Aleem Saidali Sarip (Islam), Dominador Galgao (Rizalist), and Rev. Ernesto Cerezo (Evangelical), each representing diverse religious beliefs – a sign of unity as Filipinos and as one Nation.