MANILA, Nov. 30 — President Benigno S. Aquino III led Saturday commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio in Caloocan City and asked the nation to unite, move forward and continue the fight for a meaningful future.
In his message during the event, he likened the heroism and dedication of Filipinos who fought Spanish rule during the 1896 revolution to the courage and nationalism displayed by Filipinos from different sectors who helped their fellowmen after the Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ hit the Philippines this month.
With the Bonifacio monument in the background, the President said that structure represents ordinary people ready to respond to call of the times and to any challenge.
“Kung mapapansin, sila ang kumakatawan sa karaniwang Pilipino — nakayapak, nakarolyo ang manggas at hitik sa pawis ang mga bisig — sila ang tumugon sa panawagan ng Inang Bayan upang magkaisa at maghatid ng makabuluhang pagbabago sa bansa,” the President said.
“Hindi nalalayo sa bantayog na ito ang mga Pilipinong tumindig at nag-alay ng kanilang bisig para sa kapwa nitong nagdaang bagyo,” he also said.
Soldiers, policemen, firemen, nurses and doctors joined hands and risked their lives to help fellow Filipinos affected by the typhoon, the President noted.
At times the country faced difficult challenges, he said many showed their sense of nationalism.
“Ito nga po ang diwa ng bayanihan: Mga bayani mula saan mang antas ng pamumuhay na nagkakaisa upang magpamalas ng malasakit, paninindigan at pagkamakabayan. Ipinakita nating hindi lamang ito salita o konseptong nakaukit sa bato kundi tunay na nakatatak sa pagkakakilanlan ng Pilipino,” the President said.
According to President Aquino, Bonifacio represents the bravery and determination of ordinary Filipinos.
Bonifacio guided his family at a young age, organized the Katipunan and encouraged his people to fight colonialism.
Filipinos could learn from this example by preparing ahead of any major calamities and by helping fellow Filipinos fight poverty and encouraged volunteerism, the President said.
“Hangga’t mayroong nananatiling nakatindig na bantayog ni Andres Bonifacio, hangga’t may bandila tayong matayog na nakapaskil sa kalangitan, ituloy natin ang laban para sa mas makabuluhang kinabukasan ng buong sambayanan,” he said.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is ‘Bonifacio: Honor and Heroism.’
Joining the President were AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, PNP chief Director General Allan Purisima, MMDA Chairperson Francis Tolentino, National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairperson Maria Serena Diokno, Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan and Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice. (PNA)
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