MANILA CITY, Nov. 30 (PIA) – Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay led the simultaneous flag-raising and wreath-laying activity at the Gat Andres Bonifacio Shrine, Taft Avenue in Manila City in commemoration of national hero Gat Andres Bonifacio’s 150th birth anniversary.
With the theme “Bonifacio: Dangal at Kabayanihan”, the ceremony started at 8:00 in the morning and was followed by the raising of the Bonifacio-era flag which was known as the symbol of the “Haring-Bayang Katagalugan” (Sovereign Tagalog Nation).
On the second part of the program, Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada in his speech said that Gat Andres Bonifacio should inspire the Filipinos to unleash the hero in us.
He said that the commemoration of our national hero’s sesquicentennial is not only to recall Bonifacio’s love for country, but to encourage us to “emulate Bonifacio’s patriotism and heroism as he fought, struggled, and died to liberate the Philippines from the forces of Spanish colonizers.
Estrada said that by being like Bonifacio, the Filipino person could build better future for himself or herself, and for his or her fellow Filipinos.
On another note, the mayor articulated his vision for the city of Manila where national hero Bonifacio was born (in Tondo).
He said that he aims to revive and add more vigor to the city which was once the country’s premier trade and financial center, but over the years has been reduced into a basket of criminality, poverty, and unemployment.
Through the city’s “Urban Renewal”, the mayor said that it would be possible to bring back the city’s glorious past which it enjoyed 40-50 years ago.
Among the rehabilitation projects sought to be undertaken by the Manila City government is the cleaning of the name of the Police force and changing its image as Metro Manila’s finest.
Another activity of the urban renewal is the massive clean-up of Manila which consists of the implementation of effective Solid Waste Management, as well as the cleaning of esteros and waterways in the city to mitigate flooding.
The restoration of the city’s peace and order, and cleanliness is one way to attract investments to the city.
The urban renewal project is a fitting project to give importance and due recognition to the historic city of Manila which during the time of colonialism served as the cradle of Philippine revolution which in the end led in the country’s attainment of liberty and independence from the Spanish regime.
Mayor Estrada also launched the “Pondohan ng mga Anak ng Bayan”--- a discussion area (pook pulungan) at the back of the Gat Andres Bonifacio Shrine in Manila City where government members, groups from the different sectors of the society, youth, women and other organizations could hold discussions which are aimed at national, personal, and local development and progress.
Similar to the olden days during Bonifacio’s time, a Pondohan was also used as venue for discussions, brainstorming, and planning of Filipino leaders spearheaded by Bonifacio for the country’s attainment of freedom from foreign forces.
At the latter part of his speech, Mayor Estrada urged the young to give importance to education.
He said that lacking formal education shouldn’t be a barrier to one’s development and enlightenment.
One should always widen his horizon through self-study and discovery—something that he and Bonifacio were able to do as they quest for further learning.
The Mayor ended his speech by underscoring Manila City government’s urban renewal project which will transform Manila into a much-improved city, guided by its battlecry “Manila Forward Ever, Backward Never.” (AKG)