Ilonggos hail 125th anniversary of hoisting of PH flag outside Luzon

Ilonggos on Friday gathered in the municipality of Santa Barbara in Iloilo to commemorate the first hoisting of the Philippine flag outside Luzon held 125 years ago. The 'Cry of Santa Barbara' held on Nov. 17, 1898, also marked the formal inauguration of the Revolutionary Government in Visayas led by local hero, Gen. Martin Delgado. 'One hundred and twenty-five years ago, our forefathers stood here to officially start the resistance against oppression. But there was a requisite for the Cry of Santa Barbara, there is a requisite for any cry for change, and that requisite is unity,' Defensor said. Defensor said like the Cry of Santa Barbara, governance requires unity, especially in responding to threats like the challenge of high prices of rice and the threat to sovereignty. 'We are also facing threats to our sovereignty and we should respond well against threats, and the best response against threats is development, and development requires governance, and governance requires unity,' the top Iloilo offici al said. For his part, National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) chairperson Emmanuel Franco Calairo, said the commemoration is a reminder of people's unity while pushing for freedom. 'The valiant people of Iloilo courageously rebelled against Spanish dominion fueled by the noble pursuit of our independence and the right to self-governance,' he said in his keynote address. He also cited how Ilonggo revolutionaries painstakingly replicated the Philippine flag crafted by Marcela Agoncillo and hurdled the dangerous journey of transporting the flag from Jaro district in Iloilo City to Santa Barbara. This year's commemoration started with an early morning mass, flag-raising, and wreath-laying at the monument of Delgado, and culminated with the parade of 125 flags around the town proper of the municipality. Proclamation number 398, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin by the authority of the President, declared Nov. 17 as a special non-working day in the municipality to allow its peop le to participate in the occasion. Source: Philippines News Agency