(Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte asked Filipinos to be heroes like Andres Bonifacio as he led the commemoration of Bonifacio Day on Tuesday, Nov. 30.
This is the last Bonifacio Day commemoration of the 76-year old Duterte as the country’s President. He is on his last term.
“As we commemorate these events, I invite every Filipino to become a hero like Bonifacio by participating actively in our nation-building efforts, especially in those challenging times when we have to secure our nation’s health, safety, and wellness,” he said during the 158th birth anniversary of the Philippine revolutionary hero.
“In this light, I call on our kababayans to emulate Gat Andres Bonifacio’s strong sense of civic duty, courage, and love of country in our daily lives, even in the simplest ways. May we be challenged to give our very best for the benefit of our people and nation. Mabuhay ang lahing Pilipino!”
-Posthumous award to Bonifacio-
The Bonifacio Day commemoration was held at the Pinaglabanan Shrine in San Juan City where President Duterte led the wreath-laying ceremony and also conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu, Rank of Magalong, to Gat Andres Bonifacio. The posthumous award was received by Bonifacio’s great granddaughter, Buena Grace Distrito Casanova.
Duterte said it was important to remember the “heroism of our gallant forebears.”
“Remembering the heroism of our gallant forebears which Bonifacio provided the sense of hope, determination, and optimism for today’s generation of Filipinos, especially as we surmount difficult challenges in our time, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The bravery and patriotism of Gat Andres Bonifacio and many of our forebears who fought against foreign dominators must serve as our guiding post in beating the odds that hinder our progress as a people and as a nation,” the President said in his speech.
-Spanish-time water reservoir, El Deposito, restored-
This year’s celebration of Bonifacio Day became more special with the newly restored El Deposito Underground Reservoir and the new diorama exhibit at the Museo ng Katipunan, which showcases the historical Battle of San Juan del Monte.
The El Deposito Underground Reservoir was built by the Spanish authorities in 1880. It had a capacity of 15 million gallons for the water supply needs then of the residents of Manila and its surrounding areas. It is also known as the site of Philippine Revolution. Philippine revolutionaries, the Katipuneros, attempted to seize this water reservoir from Spanish colonial authorities in the Battle of San Juan del Monte in 1896
Duterte congratulated the San Juan City government for successfully hosting this year’s celebration in the Pinaglabanan Shrine, which played an important role in the Katipunan’s quest for Philippine Independence.
“May this event be a constant reminder of the invaluable contribution and selfless sacrifice of our heroes, especially Gat Andres, in paving the way for the liberty and independence that we enjoy today,” the President said.
At the same time, President Duterte expressed his gratitude to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) for undertaking the restoration and rehabilitation of the historical and cultural landmarks, saying these provide the new generation of Filipinos a glimpse of the country’s long and colorful history and heritage.
“Indeed, remembering historical events such as these are vital to enriching our understanding and appreciation for our nation’s culture,” he said.
“I believe that by revisiting and honoring our past, we will be able to impart a stronger sense of nationhood to the present and future generations of Filipinos.”
The theme for this year’s Bonifacio Day celebration is “Bonifacio 2021: Uniting for the Safety and Wellness of the Nation.”
The event also coincided with the three-day national vaccination campaign of the government subbed “Bayanihan, Bakunanahan” that started on Nov. 29. The first round of the Bayanihan Bakunahan aims to vaccinate at least 9 million individuals.
(Eagle News Service)