BULACAN: Joel Villanueva, former head of the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) led the commemoration of the 117th anniversary of the First Philippine Republic with provincial officials here on Saturday at the historic Barasoain Church in the City of Malolos.
Villanueva, a native of Bocaue town, said it is time to pursue a historic revolution, echoing the call of Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and the League of Municipalities in the Philippines president Pandi Mayor Enrico Roque, to make January 23 of every year a special Philippine holiday like June 12, the country’s Independence day.
“January 23 is very significant to the lives of every Filipinos who now enjoy living as free citizens of the world,” he said.
Alvarado described the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic that transpired in this historic capital city 117 years ago like a shining comet that continues to serve as a beacon of change reminding the Filipinos of their proud heritage as free and independent people.
He added that Barasoain Church will always be the showcase of the great spirit and love for freedom of the Filipino race.
This year’s celebration was themed “Diwa ng Republika Filipino, Batayan ng Mabuting Pamamahala.”
On Jan. 23, 1899, the First Philippine Republic, popularly known as the Malolos Republic, was inaugurated at Barasoain Church, making it the first republic in Asia.
Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo took his oath of office as President of the Republic where he stated the aspiration of the nation “to live under the democratic regime of the Philippine Republic, free from the yoke of any foreign domination.”
Filipino revolutionaries and the Bulakenyos have shown that they can stand up and fight for their rights as sovereign people and prove to the world what the Filipino race can do against tremendous odds to achieve their goal.