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HAU’s CELEBRATION OF THE 116TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PROCLAMATION OF PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE

To our dear students and fellow workers in the University:


Good morning. We are gathered here today for our institutional celebration of Independence Day. Yes, as our history books tell us, it was between 4:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon of June 12, 1898 in the balcony of the ancestral home of General Emilio Aguinaldo in Cavite el Viejo (now Kawit, Cavite), the proclamation of Philippine Independence from Spain was read by Don Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista and signed by 98 persons in the presence of a huge crowd. The Philippine flag, made by Marcela Agoncillo, Lorenza Agoncillo and Delfina Herboza, was raised for the first time, with Julian Felipe’s Marcha Filipina Magdalo, the original title of Lupang Hinirang, played by the San Francisco Malabon marching band.


This solemn ceremony happened 116 years ago. Today as we commemorate that colorful event, we remember our heroes who gave up their blood, sweat and tears, just so we will have the freedom that we now enjoy. We pay tribute to Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Juan and Antonio Luna, Marcelo and Gregorio del Pilar, Emilio Jacinto, Apolinario Mabini, Graciano Lopez Jaena and many other unsung heroes of the revolution ─ protagonists to some, villains to others ─ but heroes just the same.


In the 21st century the fight for independence remains as relevant as before; only its face has changed. Today we are no longer fighting a war against a foreign oppressor, but a war against graft and corruption in the government (best exemplified by the pork barrel scam), territorial sovereignty (as seen in the brewing conflicts on the West Philippine Sea), poverty, economic and social inequity, environmental degradation (just like the very hot summer that we have just survived, a proof of climate change), and moral and spiritual decay.


As a university, what can we do to help society win this war? To put together all the possible answers to this question, I wish to advance one proposition, and that is, for us to do our share in fighting the new war, we only need to become faithful and true to our University’s mission and vision. We only need to put flesh to our collective declaration that we are a Catholic learning institution; that we promote Christ-centered values, professional competence, leadership and social responsibility; that we develop the whole person in the service of man for the greater glory of God, and that we continuously seek excellence in academics, research, community service, governance and campus development. There will be many obstacles and blunders along the way, but we just have to move on. “Take courage,” says the Lord, “it is I, do not be afraid.”


Mabuhay and Araw ng Kalayaan…. Mabuhay and Araw ng Kasarinlan.


Thank you and good morning.


Date Posted: 06-11-2014