By Anthony Giron
IMUS CITY, Cavite—Reelected Senator Cynthia Aguilar Villar will lead the June 12 Independence Day celebration at the General Emilio F. Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite.
Aguinaldo Shrine Staff Officer Sarah A. Quirong confirmed Villar’s participation, saying the official program for the 121st Freedom Day anniversary commemoration will be released after the meeting of the National Organizing Committee (NOC) on Tuesday at the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Central Office in Manila.
The NOC has invited Villar as the national event’s guest of honor and speaker. The top reelected senator had confirmed her attendance.
Villar will also lead the simultaneous wreath-laying at the tomb of Gen. Aguinaldo, the revolutionary leader and country’s first president, and flag-raising at the Shrine veranda at 8 a.m. on June 12.
It was President Duterte who led Independence Day last year also at the Shrine.
Quirong, citing a report from Aguinaldo Shrine Curator Haidee Paulette Bedruz, said that the NOC has set the program for the celebration on June 12 starting at 5:30 a.m. with the civic parade, band-playing and the sector march, among others, at the alley fronting Aguinaldo Park
Trade and job fairs are also set in the morning at the Park. Quirong reported that cultural presentations and other historical activities are set starting 4 p.m. at the Shrine.
Aside from Villar, gracing the program proper are provincial and local officials led by Governor Jesus Crispin C. Remulla and Kawit Mayor Angelo Emilio G. Aguinaldo, the other descendants of Aguinaldo, military and police officials and other luminaries.
The Aguinaldo Shrine’s balcony, which used to be a window, and the nearby ground on Tirona Highway in Kaingen were the site of the declaration of independence, as the band played the first Philippine national anthem, June 12, 1898.
The country, with Cavite as the virtual center, celebrates the 15-day twin events—the National Flag Days and Independence Day—from May 28 to June 12.
Flag Day is commemorated on May 28 in Barangay Alapan, Imus, the site of the May 28, 1898 Battle of Alapan where the new Philippine flag was first displayed.
The new flag was designed by Aguinaldo himself and sewn in Hong Kong by Marcela Agoncillo, her daughter Lorenza, and Delfina Herbosa de Natividad, a niece of Dr. Jose P. Rizal. The flag was made while Aguinaldo was in exile in Hong Kong.