MANILA, Nov 30 (Mabuhay) – President Benigno S. Aquino III led the commemoration Saturday of the 150th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio in Caloocan City asking the nation to unite, move forward and continue the fight for a meaningful future.
In his message during the event, the President likened the heroism and dedication of Filipinos who fought the 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.
Speaking with the Bonifacio monument in the background, the President said the monument represented the ordinary people, ready to respond to the call of times and 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 said.
Soldiers, policemen, firemen, nurses and doctors joined hands and risked their lives to help fellow Filipinos affected by the typhoon, the President said. At the times that the country has been facing difficult challenges many have shown their deep sense of nationalism, he said.
“Ito nga po ang diwa ng bayanihan: Mga bayani mula saanmang 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 the President, 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 added.
This year’s commemoration has for its theme Bonifacio: Honor and Heroism.
Joining the President Saturday were AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, PNP chief Director General Allan Purisima, MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino, National Historical Commission of the Philippines chairperson Maria Serena Diokno, Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan and Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice. (MNS)