By Anthony Giron
IMUS CITY, Cavite—The display of the thousands of Philippines flags on major thoroughfares and public edifices in this capital city will be extended for the week-long city anniversary celebration on June 30.
City Information and Tourism and Development Officer Edgardo Jay D. Saquilayan confirmed this as he said that the reverent flags, which have been on display during the National Flag Days, will add inspiration, glamour and happiness for the officials and residents joining the 7th city anniversary program of activities.
The celebratory display of multitude of flags in Imus is deemed as the country’s longest with the extension for the city anniversary.
Imus is known as “Flag Capital of the Philippines.” The city gained the “capital” tag as it was during the Battle of Alapan where the new Philippine flag was first raised by the revolutionaries under General Emilio F. Aguinaldo in victory with the capture of 270 Spaniards on May 28, 1898.
The city is also the only area in the country that celebrates the May 28 National Flag Day with a month-long pomp and colorful activities with its traditional, own-creation “Wagayway” Festival or Flag Wave or Display Fair.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) set the National Flag Days in a two-week period starting May 28 and ending on June 12, the country’s Independence Day.
Saquilayan said that a total of 3,400 Philippine flags were put up on posts along Aguinaldo Highway, Alapan Village, Nueno Avenue, the city plaza and elsewhere for the Flag Days celebration this year.
Some 2,500 miniature flags were also distributed by the administration to the youth and schoolchildren.
To render the love and respect for the flag, the city also set the parade of the giant flag and “Inang Laya” (Mother Freedom), sector march on the eve of the Flag Day and the concert entitled “Uprising,” film showing involving the heroes and the flags and other various activities with the revered Philippine flags at the fore.
The solemn“Huling Pagpupugay Sa Watawat Ng Pilipinas” (Last Respect to the Philippines Flag) or the traditional burning of worn-out or old or damaged flags, that is under the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, was also made on the eve of the Independence Day at the “Dambana ng Pambansang Watawat” (Shrine of the National Flag) at Heritage Park in Miguel Santo, Barangay Alapan II-B.
The practice, the city’s first, will be done every year thereon.
The city also unveiled the so-called “Sanctum of the Philippines Revolutionary Flags,” the first in the country, also at the Flag Shrine.
The administration also put up a basketball team named “Banderas,” with movie and television personality Gerald Anderson and former PBA star Jay-Jay Helterbrand as among the players, for the Maharlika League.
Officials said that the local administration allocated at least P6 million for this year’s flag days celebration, including the “Wagayway Festival,” and the city anniversary celebration.
Saquilayan said that the city celebration starts on June 19 with the Imus Local Governance Transition and Turnover Ceremonies involving city department office heads and the incoming elected officials.
On June 30, the city anniversary proper, the local administration has set a simple program that includes, among others, the citation for all resident 2019 board passers, the awarding of the so-called school “Latin Honors” or summa cum luade, magna cum laude and cum laude and the valedictorian-graduates in both public and private elementary and high schools in the city.
Saquilayan said there are some 200 school exemplary performers who will be awarded with P5,000 cash each or a total of P1 million.
The top 10 business and real property tax payers in the city will also be honored in a program on July 5 this year.
Saquilayan said that the city anniversary program will be graced by reelected Mayor Emmanuel L. Maliksi, Third District (Imus) Representative Alex L. Advincula, Vice Mayor Arnel M. Cantimbuhan and city councilors.
The historical Imus, with 97 barangays (villages) and a population of close to half-a-million, became a city on June 30, 2012.