The Department of Education (DepEd) Regional Office 2 family joined other national government agencies (NGAs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) at Rizal Park here in Tuguegarao City in commemorating the 118th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine independence on Sunday, June 12, 2016.

OIC-Regional Director Estela Leon-Cariño, the celebration’s keynote speaker, emphasized this year’s theme: “Pagkakaisa, Pag-aambag at Pagsulong.”

RD Cariño in her speech posed the question:” Ano ba ang tunay na kahulugan sa atin ng Kalayaan? Tayo ba ay lubos   na malaya na pagkalipas ng isandaan at labinwalong taon? “

“Ang kalayaan ayon sa karamihan,” RD Cariño explains,”ay isang karapatan. Isang karapatan na kung minsan ay ating nakakalimutan. Tayo ay malaya dahil kaya nating gawin ang mga bagay -bagay na walang nagdidikta. Ang tunay na kalayaan ay ang pagiging responsable sa anumang ating ginagawa na nararapat lamang ayon sa batas.”

The lady director similarly emphasized that the level of freedom each possesses varies in every individual. She said that one of the indicators of genuine independence is on one’s acceptance of who and what he or she is.

“By accepting what you are, it is a lot easier to be able to relate with others as you are able to accept them, too, of what they are. By this, we are all united in spirit and purpose as one,” Cariño illustrates.

“Isang halimbawa ng pagpapatotoo sa temang “Pagkakaisa, Pag-aambag at Pagsulong” ay ang naging matagumpay nating pagtutulungan sa katatapos na Brigada Eskwela,” RD Cariño added.

Meanwhile, Philippine Information Agency Regional Director Purita S. Licas, the activity’s main convenor, has enjoined stakeholders both in the public and private sector to level up   their participation in the simultaneous flag raising and wreath-laying ceremonies in the spirit of a more meaningful collective celebration.

“We are all here strong and enjoying our dear life. We are able to serve our fellowmen either as government or private sector workers or simply contributors to community or national development,” Ms. Licas said.

“All these and more are reasons enough to celebrate and be joyful .All of these started, however, because we are free to dream, and to dream big, and to do things for our betterment as a nation,” she added. Licas underscored the fact that  it was PIA which took the initiative to lead in 2012 or five years ago to rekindle the light of nationalism among regionmates through such collective commemoration of the heroism, patriotism, nationalism and self-sacrifice of our forefathers in the struggle for independence.

She also emphasized that by participating in such activities in the succeeding years participants shall be more  lavish in the expression of our love of our country.