Iloilo to join Independence Day celebration in Manila 

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

For the first time, the province of Iloilo will join the 2024 Independence Day Grand Parade of Local Government Floats at the Quirino Grandstand, one of the activities slated for the 126th commemoration of Philippine Independence on June 12.

“This is historic for us. This is the first time that we have been invited to join the parade,” Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. said in a Monday press conference.

Defensor said the province’s parade float will spotlight the Cry of Santa Barbara and the establishment of the Federal State of the Visayas.

The public plaza of Santa Barbara is the location of the first raising of the Philippine flag outside Luzon. On November 17, 1898, five months after General Emilio Aguinaldo declared Philippine Independence from Spain in Kawit, Cavite, the Philippine flag was raised in Santa Barbara’s plaza.

The province was invited by the Office of the President, recognizing its contribution to the achievement of Philippine independence.

The provincial government is preparing the float in Manila, with the design already in its fourth day of development.

Defensor said some mayors will attend the celebration in Manila. Members of the provincial board (Sangguniang Panlalawigan), including Vice Governor Christine Garin, Board Members Jo Ann Germinanda, Domingo Oso Jr., Ramon Sullano, Carol Espinosa-Diaz, and Rolly Distrura, will also grace the celebration.

A concurrent celebration will be held at the Santa Barbara Freedom Park with Congressman Michael B. Gorriceta, representative of the 2nd district, as the event’s guest of honor.

In 2018, the local government of Santa Barbara passed an ordinance mandating the display of the Philippine flag by residences, government and private buildings, institutions, and public and private vehicles on June 12 and from November 11 to November 17 each year.

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