As the nation honors the brave men and women who fought hard for the country, President Benigno Aquino 3rd called on Filipinos to stand together and continue the fight against indifference.
In his message, Aquino on Sunday paid homage to all heroes who not only fought for freedom but also those who, confronted with the challenges of the times, continued to undertake reforms regardless of the trials they encountered.
“Today, we are reminded of the brave men and women who laid down their lives for the liberty that we cherish today. We are, and will forever be, indebted to their sacrifice. We sustain their legacy as we persist in weaving their dream of a free, inclusive and empowered Philippines into a tangible reality,” he said.
The President also made mention of the start of his presidency as a “revolution” against the “tide of indifference” that impeded progress and good governance.
“Four years ago, the Filipino people dared to go against the tide of indifference and braved the waters toward good governance and social justice. Despite seemingly insurmountable odds we forged on, never letting those who continue to sow greed, doubt and negativism undermine our love of country and people,” he said.
“Now, we stand proud of the nation that we have become, as we bear the greatest gift for our forefathers: We have launched a revolution for enduring change and reform. It is this transformation that we shall proudly bequeath to coming generations,” Aquino added.
The President ended his message with a call for solidarity, reminding Filipinos that unity is vital in surviving the toughest of situations.
“Though we now face different challenges, the call for solidarity and commitment rings loud and true across the archipelago: Let us take this time to rediscover the story of our people, learn from the wisdom of the past, exalt our heritage in our present endeavors and face the future with renewed courage and optimism,” Aquino said.
“Through the most daunting circumstances–in the face of the strongest storm to hit our lands, in our continuing fight against poverty and corruption, or in our steadfast campaign for peace and equitable progress–we shall prove, time and again, that, indeed, the Filipino is worth fighting for,” he added.
According to Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte, the President will lead the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery) in Taguig City (Metro Manila) today.
National Heroes Day is celebrated every fourth Monday of August to pay homage to the country’s heroes. National Heroes’ Day used to be celebrated on November 30, the birthday of Andres Bonifacio, founder of the Katipunan.
But by virtue of Republic Act 3827 of 1931, the last Sunday of August was declared a national holiday known as National Heroes’ Day. This was done in order to give honor to other heroes who are not remembered with their own legal holidays such as Dr. Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio.
August was chosen as the month for celebration based on the decisive historical events of August 1896 such as the Cry of Pugad Lawin and Battle of San Juan del Monte.
The celebration was later moved to the fourth Monday of August by virtue of Republic Act of 9492 approved on July 24, 2007.