Cebu City marks Independence Day

06/13/2010 - Doves and butterflies were released as symbols of freedom after morning flag-raising rites in Plaza Sugbo to mark Independence Day in Cebu City.
In the afternoon, a civic-military parade filled Osmena Boulevard leading to the Cebu City Sports Center where flag colors of blue, red and yellow dominated the stage.

Cebu City Mayor-elect Michael Rama led the activities with a flag-raising ceremony attended by top officials and personnel of City Hall, the police, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Central Command and the Boy Scouts.

It was preceded by a Mass officiated by Fr. Joseph Aquino of the Metropolitan Cathedral.

In his homily, the priest said freedom is not just about winning in a war but aiming for the best of the country.

“We should have the sense of freedom of what is better and best, and that we should not settle for less,” Fr. Aquino said.

Vice Mayor Rama said “Eternal vigilance is what we need for democracy to continue to be in our midst, responsible citizenry is what we need inorder that we deserve independence and democracy as well as freedom.”

City officials later released 20 doves and about 40 butterflies at the end of the program.

The anthem “Ang Bayan Ko” was interprted by Cebu City Performing Arts dancers in line with Cebu City's theme “Kagawasan..Kalampusan sa Katawhan (Freedom...the Success of the People)”.

The parade was joined by flag-waving participants from about 30 public high schools, vocational and universities and government agencies.

Horse riders were also in the parade participated by members of the Cebu Equine Owners Breeders Sportsman Association.

Local TV personalities, models and Ms. Cebu contestants in Maria Clara gowns rode in decorated tartanillas.

The parade started at Gorordo Avenue and ended at the sports center, where the crowd was estimated at 5,000. Meanwhile, Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu City held their own Independence Day celebrations.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor-elect Paz Radaza stressed reconciliation and unity in the city.

“It is easier to do some plans for the city if everyone is united and it is also one way in achieving success,” Radaza said.

In Mandaue City, Mayor-elect Jonas Cortes gave honors to the brave men and women who fought for the freedom of the country (Cebu Daily News)

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