Celebrating Independence Day where it all started

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By Angelo J Aguinaldo

flag raisingKawit, Cavite in the Philippines celebrated the 115th anniversary of Philippine Independence at the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine, site of the declaration of Philippine Independence on 12 June 1898.

Philippine Senator Franklin Drilon as guest of honour of the Kalayaan 2013 National Organizing Committee (NOC) led this year’s ceremonies first with a wreath-laying at the tomb of Gen. Emilio F. Aguinaldo, and the flag-raising at the Independence Balcony of the Aguinaldo Shrine at 8am.

Since it is also a red-letter day for the Aguinaldo clan, the members of the family up to the 5th generation witnessed the historic event. The family was led by Retired Supreme Court Justice Ameurfina A.M. Herrera, granddaughter of Gen. Aguinaldo; former Prime Minister and Cavite Historical Society President Cesar E. A. Virata, Gen. Aguinaldo’s nephew; Kawit Vice-Mayor Paul A. Abaya; former Kawit Vice-Mayor Emilio “Orange” Aguinaldo IV and wife Bernadette Sembrano of ABS-CBN; and Imus Councilor Emilio “Miong” Aguinaldo V.

With the national theme Kalayaan 2013 Ambagan tungo sa Malawakang Kaunlaran, the celebration in Kawit, Cavite is part of the activities coordinated by the Provincial Tourism Office with the NOC and the National Historical Commision of the Philippines, the lead agency. The activities commenced on 28 May 2013 with the celebration of the National Flag Day in Alapan, Imus, Cavite, the site of the Battle of Alapan, where the Philippine flag was first unfurled.

Other Independence Day activities include special screening of El Presidente, a seminar on cultural tourism for tourism students, a photo exhibit billed “Cavite: Larawan ng Isang Inspirasyon sa Katagalugan”, Himig Kalayaan II, and a cooking competition on Cavite cuisine.

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