CEBU, June 17, 2019 – Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones spearheaded the 121st anniversary of the declaration of the Philippine Independence in Liberty Shrine, Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu on June 12.
“Ang bayani, ang bagani gives to the community, gives to its people without expecting anything in return,” Briones said.
Bagani, for Cebuanos and many indigenous groups in Mindanao, means “warrior” or “an act of heroism.”
“A bayani, a hero, a bagani, can be an ordinary person. The teachers, the policeman, the military, the medical people, people from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) who serve poor communities, local officials who give service to the bayan with without expecting anything in return, are also bagani, are also warriors, are also heroes, along with Lapu-Lapu whom we remember and honor on the 121st anniversary of the declaration of our independence,” Briones stressed.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza and National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Chairperson Rene Escalante also joined Briones during the Independence Day rites in Lapu-Lapu City.
DepEd offices, schools observe Independence Day
The 121st anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence is anchored on the theme “Kalayaan 2019: Tapang ng Bayan, Malasakit sa Mamamayan.”
As part of the Independence Day celebration, the exhibit Pampamahalaang Programa at Serbisyo was held from June 10 to 12 at the Rizal Park, Roxas Boulevard, Manila. The activity aimed to showcase the programs and services of different government agencies. DepEd emerged as champion in the best booth category.
DepEd offices invited to participate were: Bureau of Education Assessment (BEA); Public Affairs Service (PAS)-Public Assistance Action Center (PAAC); Administrative Service-General Services Division (AS-GSD) and AS-Security Division (AS-SD); Special Events Unit (SEU), National Technical Working Group/Coordinator; and DepEd-National Capital Region (NCR).
As stipulated in DepEd Memorandum No. 53, s. 2019, the Department likewise enjoined the central office, regional offices, division offices, and schools to organize activities in observance of the 121st anniversary of Philippine Independence and the National Flag Day.
These activities include: simultaneous flag raising in schools or historical sites on June 12; display of the Philippine flag in respective classrooms, offices, and residences of all teaching and non-teaching personnel from May 15 to June 30; special discussions on the Philippine flag for continuous flag awareness and significant events in history leading to the proclamation of Philippine independence in subjects Sibika at Kultura, HEKASI, Araling Panlipunan, Values Education, MAPEH, Filipino, and English at least once a week for the whole school year; submission of school work related to the celebration of the Independence Day; and conduct of inter-school campus essay writing, drawing, storytelling, debate, and oratorical contest.
Briones, who hails from Negros Oriental, also highlighted Filipino heroes from the Visayas region such as Lapu-Lapu, Leon Kilat, and Graciano López Jaena who fought for the freedom of the country from foreign invasion: “We should not forget those heroes who are Visayan. We should not underestimate them because if not for them, our nation will not be united as one.”
“All the things that we enjoy today are because of them. We just hope that their lives, their experiences, and their good deeds will not be forgotten,” Briones concluded.