By: Gladys Pino
KAWIT, Cavite — The only way Filipinos could pay back the sacrifices of their forefathers to attain freedom is to ensure that they continue to fight and win whatever struggles the country may face, Senator Cynthia Villar said Wednesday.
“Sa kasalukuyang panahon, iba’t ibang kalayaan ang pinaglalaban ng bawat Pilipino sa iba’t ibang antas ng pamumuhay (At present, Filipinos have various ‘freedoms’ to fight for in various aspects of life),” Villar said as she led the celebration of the 121st anniversary of Philippine independence at the balcony of the Aguinaldo Shrine here.
She said women and other sectors continue to fight for what is right and just, along with the majority of Filipinos who are still living in poverty.
Villar continued that the youth, who comprises 27 percent of the country’s population, could be the strongest force to partner with local officials, the government, and private sector to achieve the country’s development goals.
“Kaya naman todo ang suporta natin sa ating mga kabataang Pilipino (That is why we give them our full support), with the passage of the law offering free education in the country’s 114 state universities and colleges and the various employment opportunities available when they graduate,“ she said.
Everyone could be a hero, she said, “be it for your family, work colleagues, classmates, neighbors, and your fellowmen and for the country, by living a life that symbolizes heroism.”
Wednesday’s celebration commemorated the first president of the Philippine Republic, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s proclamation of the country’s sovereignty and independence from Spanish colonization on June 12, 1898, before a huge crowd at his mansion, now known as the Aguinaldo Shrine – a National Shrine of the Philippines – in this town.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines, in partnership with the provincial government of Cavite, the municipal government of Kawit, and their respective tourism offices lined up day-long activities composed of commemoration formalities and some side activities, under the theme, “Kalayaan 2019: Tapang ng Bayan, Malasakit sa Mamayan”. (PNA)