111 Years of Freedom [Dean covers Independence Day celebrations]

Glad to finally be able to blog again. The first couple of weeks of school have been tough and have given me no time for R&R. More on that in a future post.

Anyway, today’s June 12, which means Filipinos across the archipelago and around the world are celebrating Independence Day. Of course, Fourth-grade HEKASI (heograpiya, kasaysayan at sibika or Social Studies) taught us that June 12 is merely a ceremonial date of independence. Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s proclamation of freedom from foreign rule on this day in 1898 was recognized neither by Spain nor the US, and the Americans didn’t give us sovereignty until July 4, 1946. We celebrate it on June 12 now only because of the signature of Diosdado Macapagal (father of current president GolluM Arroyo—considering what she’s doing to the country, he must be turning in his grave!) on Republic Act 4166.

But because Filipinos take every opportunity to suspend classes and revel in the streets, who cares about the actual date of independence, right? Walang pasooook! It’s time to partay!

The celebrations were obviously held in our local Rizal Park opposite the cathedral. (It is common for town centers to be in front of the local church—ironically a vestige of 333 years of Spanish occupation.) After sundown, kwek-kwek and balut vendors flock here to sell their goods. Later on in the evening, this area magically transforms into the red-light district.

independence-day-13The Kastilas of yesteryear have returned para mangumusta! They are pleased by what has become of their former colony. “Astig pare, their leaders today are more corrupt than ours were! We taught them well…” I thought they were there to re-enact Rizal’s execution, pero wala eh. All they did was fling their lances about.

independence-day-19Tourism Sec. Ace Durano was the day’s guest of honor. To his right is our vice-mayor who was substituting for our mayor (ewan kung sa’n si meyor) and to his left, Councilor Marticion who was standing in for our beloved congressman Joboy Aquino (he signed HR1109. Was going to politely ask him why, pero wala siya kasi sinundo niya sa airport si Interior Secretary Puno).

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Siyempre pa, the police and the armed forces were in attendance. Bonus points if you can correctly point out who has the biggest belly.

independence-day-7There were also two fire trucks parked adjacent to the plaza, one of which is pictured above. Posing lang sila. Their sirens served as entrance music for the Tourism secretary.

independence-day-8The mega-ginormous Philippine flag.

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Flag-raising na! In fairness ha, bilib ako kay Ace Durano. While the vice-mayor and councilor were busy pulling on the ropes to raise the flag, he was standing at attention, right hand to left chest, singing the anthem.

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Meron ding prerequisite interpretative dance about our ancestors’ fight for freedom. Shown above, people lying on the ground after being assaulted. Supposedly a metaphor for the abuse our country had to endure during colonial times, although it can also be applied in the present day, in the administration’s blatant disrespect for the people.

independence-day-18Ang walang kamatayang point-to-the-flag pose.

independence-day-42And siyempre pa, the traditional dance! Who ever said teachers couldn’t work what their mommas gave ’em?

independence-day-43Man kneels as woman dances in a circle around him. A dance cannot be considered Filipiñana unless it has this routine. This clearly preaches the philosophy of female supremacy. Saan na ang gender equality!

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independence-day-48After the ceremonies, the different government agencies released white balloons to signify our freedom daw. Obviously this practice is very environmentally unfriendly. Sooner or later, those plastic, non-biodegradable atrocities will burst and slowly fall back to earth where they will only add to our mountains of garbage, or in the ocean where they will unwillingly asphyxiate a fish. Unless, of course, a resourceful young lad somehow finds a way to create makeshift condoms out of the exploded balloons…

independence-day-52My classmates became fans of the Tourism secretary so they asked me to take a picture as they posed with him. It would’ve been a great photo-op, if only another fanatic hadn’t destroyed the shot (see the woman in purple whose hands are obstructing Ace’s face). Also, if you look closely, on the bottom left of the picture is the hand of a policeman trying to get Durano out of the crowd. Aysees, if I know, selos lang si mamang pulis kasi no one wants to get a picture of him.

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