NAGA CITY, June 13 (PIA)—The typical wreath-laying ceremony and rendering of gun salute in honor of someone who brought honor to the country was given a fresh meaning yesterday when the provincial government of Camarines Sur decided to hold its celebration of the country’s 119th Independence Day in the modest town of Minalabac.
This was the first time that the celebration was held in Minalabac after years of holding it in the capital of the province or in known areas where the colonial revolution has left a remarkable trace of a hard-fought battle for the country’s much-coveted freedom and tranquility.
Camarines Sur Governor Miguel “Migz” Villafuerte spearheaded the celebration themed “Camarines Sur and the Birth of the Philippine Republic.” this time giving emphasis on the heroism of a Bicolano hero in the person of General Ludovico Arejola who led thousands of revolutionaries in Camarines Sur in driving the American forces away.
“It is the most opportune time to give due recognition to our local heroes. It is here in Minalabac that General Ludovico Arejola fought one of the greatest battles in Bicol, and kept it as one of his troops’ strongholds to ensure that our enemies could not inch forward to gain control over our territory.”
Minalabac served as Arejola’s military headquarters during the Fil-Am war.
For the younger generation to have a clear glimpse of what Arejola and his men did to secure the country’s freedom then, the province of Camarines Sur and the municipal government of Minalabac under the headship of Mayor Christopher R. Lizardo, conducted a re-enactment of that piece of history as one of the highlights of the celebration.
As one of the symbolisms of our independence, a 48-meter long Philippine flag carried by 100 individuals was showcased in the grounds of the Minalabac Municipal Hall. Doves and balloons were flown to symbolize that the province enjoys the tranquility and peace that the great Bicolano forefathers had fought for their countrymen.
Fabi Arejola, a descendant of the general was present during the occasion to acknowledge the recognition of their grandfather.
“General Arejola belongs to a prominent family, he is rich. He didn’t need to fight and risk his life to gain recognition. He did it out of love, just pure love for his country.”
World-renowed Bicolano historian Dr. Danilo Gerona, who played an important role in informing the younger generation of this important timeline in history, thanked the provincial government and municipal government for their effort in starting the Independence Day trail.
Gerona, who also suggested that this year’s Independence Day celebration be held in Minalabac, lauded the plan to celebrate the annual event in various municipalities in the succeeding years. (LSMPIA5/Camarines Sur)