July 2, 2021 – To celebrate the first unfurling of the national emblem in Philippine, history, the Department of Education, through its External Partnerships Service, led the commemoration of the 123rd National Flag Day.
“We shall always honor and respect the Philippine flag as a symbol of the collective sacrifices made by all our heroes who have fought for the country’s freedom,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.
The celebration of the event was hosted by the Schools Division Office (SDO) of Imus City. According to the Official Gazette, the national flag was first unfurled in Imus, Cavite after the Philippine Revolutionary Army defeated Spanish forces in the Battle of Alapan.
“Malaking hamon man ang ating maranasan at patuloy sa kahaharapin, titindig pa rin tayo sa Poong Maykapal. Tangan ang ating watawat at sabay-sabay na sasambitin, “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino!” Imus City Schools Division Superintendent Rosemarie Torres shared.
As part of the celebration, a virtual symposium on the significance of the flag and the relevant provisions and guidelines on the display and exhibition of national symbols was held in coordination with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
Filipino Public Historian and Professor of the De La Salle University Michael Charleston “Xiao” Chua shared the myths about the first eight provinces while NHCP Senior History Researcher and Heraldry Section Head Juan Paolo Calamlam explained the Flag and Heraldic Code.
On the other hand, Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships, and Project Management Service Tonisito M.C Umali, Esq. discussed the relevant laws and shared additional knowledge relative to the celebration. Bureau of Curriculum Development Senior Education Program Specialist Christine Graza-Magboo also showed the proper way of singing the Philippine National Anthem.
On some issues related to the history of the Philippine flag, Usec. Umali explained, “Kailangan lamang nating magkaroon ng tamang kamalayan sa iba’t ibang historical accounts kung papaano nabuo ang watawat ng Pilipinas. Napakahalagang pag-usapan natin ito at pakinggan ang basehan ng iba’t ibang historians. However, we need to know that under Sections 5 (e) and 7 (h) of Republic Act No. 10086, NHCP has the ultimate say on the matter consistent with its mandate to resolve with finality all issues or conflicts on Philippine history.”
Region IV-A CALABARZON Director Francis Cesar Bringas also highlighted that the flag serves as a reminder to all to remain strong, courageous, and resilient in overcoming all the challenges currently being faced.
Undersecretary for Planning and Human Resource and Organizational Development, Jesus L.R. Mateo represented the Secretary and also shared some insights relative to the celebration.
The National Flag Day is officially declared to be celebrated on the 28th day of every year in accordance with Republic Act No. 8491 (RA 8491) and Executive Order (EO) No. 179, Series of 1994.