Cabanatuan City Mayor Myca Elizabeth Vergara (center) joins SM City officials.
CABANATUAN CITY – A photo booth, a giant flag and a museum dressed with tri-color cloth marked the 123rd Independence Day celebration by several government and private institutions here, as large gatherings were prohibited under the public health standards imposed in the fight against the coronavirus disease, in Nueva Ecija on Saturday.
Residents and visitors of this city took time in having their photographs in an improvised booth near the stairs of city hall in Barangay Kapitan Pepe here. At the booth, one can hold a flaglet.
The city government had only a flag ceremony attended by few government officials and employees for the physical rites.
In her separate video message, Mayor Myca Elizabeth Vergara urged the public to continue following health protocols to contain the spread of Covid-19.
“Katulad ng ating mga ninuno, tiyak na sa pagkakaisa rin natin malalagpasan ang anumang problema o suliranin,” Vergara said. “Sa pagkakaisa natin sa pagsunod sa minimum public health standards at iba pang regulasyon, malalampasan din natin ang kahirapan na dulot ng pandemya. Magkaisa po tayo tungo sa paghilom ng ating mahal na bayan.”
The Museong Lazaro Francisco, the residence of National Artist for Literature Lazaro Francisco, in this city had the tri-color stripe to signify its participation in the celebration.
“Sa bahay na ito itinatag ng Pambansang Alagad ng Sining ang Kawika (Kapatiran ng mga Alagad ng Wikang Pilipino noong 1958 upang itaguyod at palaganapin ang nag-iisang wika na tinaguriang Pilipino sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon,” said Francisco’s son, Floriño who is a physcian.
This was also the place, he said, where the national artist wrote 12 novels that include the top rated Ama, Ilaw Sa Hilaga, Sugat ng Alaala, Maganda Pa Ang Daigdig and Daluyong.
On the other hand, SM City Cabanatuan and the city government of Cabanatuan held a flag ceremony that featured a giant flag (16×40) to mark Independence Day.
Ian Ezekiel Balao, SM regional operations manager, said that this year, the celebration is all about “Pinoy Pride” and how huge our heart to survive all the challenges like the current events due to pandemic.
“It is the time to celebrate our freedom and recognize many modern-day heroes – the frontliners who serve the community during this pandemic, the work-from-home warriors – parents who juggle work and childcare, our working community leaders and practically all of us who have experienced various challenges” said Balao.
In this event, SM with Cabanatuan City government represented by Mayor Vergara encouraged everyone to be a modern hero by being vaccinated as contribution to a Covid-free country.
Currently, 45 SM malls nationwide serve as vaccination centers including SM City Cabanatuan. Bakuna Benefits from the mall tenant-partners await those who show their vaccination cards.
The same ceremony was conducted at SM Megacenter attended by officials from Cabanatuan City Police Station and Bureau of Fire Protection.
“Our flag is huge, as huge as our hope to conquer all the challenges we are facing right now” Balao added.