Cebu City residents told: Celebrate freedom with responsibility this Independence Day
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Freedom is never absolute.
This should be exercised with responsibility especially now that we are faced with the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
This was the content of the message which acting Vice Mayor Donaldo Hontiveros delivered during the commemoration of the 123rd Independence Day that was held at the Plaza Sugbo of the Cebu City Hall this Saturday morning, June 12.
Hontiveros said there are three important things that Cebuanos should remember during this special occasion: their duty amid the pandemic, the celebration of the Filipino identity, and the celebration of diversity in unity.
“Enjoy freedom with responsibility especially in the new normal. We owe it to our frontliners to be mindful of the protocols even as we are winning this fight for independence in the pandemic,” he said.
He also urged all Cebuanos to celebrate their Filipino identity through language, music, and arts while they continue to appreciate the diversity of the different regions in the Philippine archipelago.
In his speech, acting Mayor Michael Rama said Cebuanos must take to heart the essence of the Philippine flag and the struggle of our forefathers to gain freedom from our oppressors.
Independence takes a new form as the country remains under the shackles of the pandemic.
“Don’t place the flags inside your houses. Place the flag in your hearts. Now, we face the challenge of liberating ourselves in the quagmire of the pandemic. Let this day be a day of declaration, of our fight for liberation, and a clear victory against the COVID-19,” said Rama.
Rama and Hontiveros led the Independence Day program at the Cebu City Hall in the absence of Mayor Edgardo Labella, who is on medical leave.
And as a result of the early morning downpour, the flag-raising ceremony the flag raising activity that was scheduled at 8 a.m. today was cancelled.
But while he is on a medical leave, Mayor Labella posted his Independence Day message on his Facebook page to especially ask Cebuanos to remember the COVID-19 frontliners.
“We are able to mark Independence Day today because of the sacrifices of countless heroes throughout our history. Many laid down their lives so that succeeding generations could enjoy the freedoms for which they yearned. We honor them today with deep gratitude. Their heroism lives on in our remembrances and celebrations,” his said. / dcb
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