Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) Administrator (PVAO) and retired Lieutenant General of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Ernesto G. Carolina led the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies at the Mausoleo de los Veteranos de la Revolucion in the Manila North Cemetery as part of today's commemoration of the country's 115th Independence Day.
In his speech, Lt. Gen. Carolina said that independence, being the link of the past to the future, is the key for the Philippines to achieve national progress.
He said that in order for the country to be truly progressive, every Filipino should work not only for his or her own personal growth, but for the collective growth of the nation.
Carolina called for renewed patriotism especially among the youth in order to continue the legacy of the country’s forefathers and national heroes who have fought hard to regain independence from foreign forces.
Carolina said that Filipinos should be duty-bound to give back to the country the efforts and sacrifices our heroes who offered their lives to liberate the country from the hands of the colonizers.
Acknowledging the presence of surviving Filipino veterans and the wives of veterans and members of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines present, Carolina encouraged the younger generation to emulate the heroism, valor, and patriotism of the national heroes who were instrumental in the country’s triumph to regain its independence.
Meanwhile, Manila Councilor Nino dela Cruz said “every Filipino should give one’s self to his or her own fellowmen.”
He also recalled the Filipino values that have been slowly forgotten such as respect for the elders (paggalang sa nakakatanda), obedience to forefathers (pagiging masunurin), and being prayerful (pagiging madasalin).
Cruz said Filipinos should live by the values written in the “Panunumpa ng Katapatan sa Watawat” (Pledge of Allegiance to the Philippine Flag)—that is, being one Nation for God, for the People, for Nature, and for the Country (“Na pinakikilos ng sambayanang Maka-Diyos, Maka-tao, Makakalikasan at , Makabansa).
The ceremony is part of the simultaneous flag-raising activities held in key historical areas in the country and a symbolic way of remembering the day when the Philippines declared its independence from foreign forces which colonized the country for hundreds of years.
This year’s Independence Day celebration has the theme, “Kalayaan 2013: Ambagan tungo sa Malawakang Kaunlaran.”