San Juan City dedicated this year’s commemoration of the 124th anniversary of the Battle of Pinaglabanan to the city’s frontliners for their sacrifices and dedication amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Francis Zamora and other local government officials led the flag raising ceremony, wreath laying, and lighting of cauldron at the Pinaglabanan Memorial Shrine on Sunday.
“This year’s commemorative rites honors not only the Katipuneros of the Pinaglabanan but also the courageous frontliners whose bravery, dedication and selflessness are akin to the heroism of the forefathers who ignited the battle against the Spaniards in San Juan Del Monte 124 years ago and eventually led to the attainment of the Philippine Independence,” Zamora said.
On Aug. 30, 1896, bolo-wielding Katipuneros led by supreme leader Andres Bonifacio launched a surprise attack against Spanish forces guarding El Deposito, a water reservoir that used to hold the water supply of Metro Manila.
The primary goal of the attack was to cut off the supply of water to the walled city of Intramuros in Manila where Spanish officials resided.
Although the Katipuneros met a devastating defeat that day, it is believed that the battle marked the start of the revolution against Spanish colonizers and became a catalyst for other Filipinos to take up arms and fight for the country’s independence.
In memory of the heroism and bravery of the Katipuneros during the battle, a five-hectare memorial shrine was built in 1973, which sits on top of the old water reservoir, and the Spirit of Pinaglabanan monument was erected as the shrine’s centerpiece.
Aside from local government officials, this year’s simple ceremony was attended by the city’s health workers and non-medical frontliners from the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, and all those risking their lives in line of duty amidst the pandemic.
“We could not thank them enough for their selflessness and sacrifices which I know that just like the battle which occurred in Pinaglabanan, their heroism and our unified efforts will eventually set us free from this tragedy,” Zamora said.