By Anthony Giron
IMUS CITY, Cavite – The 122nd Independence Day will be commemorated on Friday. June 12, at the historic Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite, with a simple and short program, and a minimal number of attendees, organizers said on Wednesday, June 10.
The 175-year-old Aguinaldo Shrine on Calle Real in Kaingen was the original site of the proclamation of independence and the victory waving of the new Philippines flag on June 12, 1898.
Organizers said that the commemoration of Freedom Day at the Shrine on Friday was set with a simplest program due to the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.
The Shrine event, as set by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and the local government, will be graced by only 10 attendees.
This will be in consonance with the health and safety protocols prescribed by the National Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) under the general community quarantine (GCQ), which prohibit, among others, mass gatherings.
Aguinaldo Shrine Historical Site Development Officer II Gina Geronimo Ayran, citing a report from Shrine Curator Haidee Paulette Bedruz, said that the usual “ceremonial elements” – the crowds, the parade, the drum-and bugle band-playing and day-long celebration – will not be present during the commemoration this time.
The only program set for the day will be the traditional simultaneous flag-raising ceremony, including the singing of the national anthem at the famous Shrine balcony; the “Panunumpa sa Watawat” (Pledge to the Flag), the prayer, and the wreath-laying at the tomb of General Emilio F. Aguinaldo at the Shrine yard.
Ayran said that the event will be graced by Kawit Mayor Angelo Emilio G. Aguinaldo, Cavite Governor Juanito Victor C. Remulla Jr., 1st District Representative Francis Gerald A. Abaya and NHCP Commissioners Emmanuel Calairo and Ino Manalo who have all confirmed their attendance to the event.
Aguinaldo will lead the flag-raising; the pledge to the flag presided by Remulla, and the prayer rendered by Father Rainier Dumaop of the Saint Mary the Magdalene Parish Church in Kawit.
The laying of the wreath from President Duterte at the Aguinaldo tomb will be witnessed by all the attendees.
The program, expected to last 15-30 minutes, will start promptly at 8 a.m., Friday.
"The simple and short program was set promptly as scheduled. Crowd will not be allowed and that the (GCQ) protocols would have to be followed," Ayran told this reporter in an interview on Wednesday (June 10).