In spite of the strong rains and the COVID-19 pandemic, Bulakenyos commemorated the 122th anniversary of the inauguration of the Malolos Congress at the grounds of historic Barasoain Church in the City of Malolos on Tuesday morning.
The simple celebration started with a Flag Raising Ceremony followed by a wreath laying in Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s monument, the first Philippine president at the compound of historical Barasoian Church was led by Governor Daniel Fernando, Malolos City Mayor Gilbert Gatchalian and Vice Mayor Noel Pineda, and Rene Escalante, chairman of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
The commemoration anchored on the theme “Kongreso ng Malolos: Patnubay sa Pagtataguyod ng Bansang Nagkakaisa at Ligtas” was the first physical appearance of Fernando after he was tested positive of COVID-19 last August 30.
“Kailangan natin ng dagdag na panalangin dahil sinusubukan tayo ng Diyos. Tigilan na natin ang mag-siraan at kalimutan na natin ang pulitika. Tayong lahat ay dapat magkaisa at magmahalan para sa ating giyera na kinahaharap sa kasalukuyan laban sa COVID-19,” the governor said.
Fernando added “this is the freedom that given to us and COVID-19 did not end our freedom.”
“This is the most important day not only in Bulacan but also in the whole country because this is where the First Congress was born and also the time our ancestor fight for the freedom we enjoy today. Although, tinamaan tayo ng matinding pandemic, damahin pa rin natin ang kalayaan na ipinaglaban ng ating mga ninuno,” Fernando said.
“Mayroong tayong digmaan na kasalukuyan ay nilalabanan. Ito ang digmaan pangkalusugan at digmaan pang-ekonomiya. Kailangan nating maging matatag, matibay. Kailangan nating manalangin para sa ikabubuti ng lahat upang matapos na ang digmaan ito,” He added.
He said that Bulakenyos need to win this war against COVID to return to a normal life saying: “This is the war of freedom. Freedom to improve our health and freedom to revitalize our pandemic-ravaged economy”.
The Bulacan governor also thanked other local officials headed by Vice Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, Cong. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado, barangay officials, COVID-19 frontliners, members of the press for their undying support to fight COVID-19.
Also present in the event were Dr. Eliseo dela Cruz, Provincial History, Arts, Culture and Tourism Office head and some Provincial Government employees.
According to the Filipiniana.net, on 8 October 1898, Felipe Calderon presented to the members of the Malolos Congress the draft of the Constitution of the First Philippine Republic which he based on the Constitution s of Mexico, Belgium, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Brazil, and France.
The Malolos Congress inserted few amendments in the proposed Constitution before it was transmitted to President Aguinaldo for his approval. On 21 January 1899, President Aguinaldo approved the Malolos Constitution, the first Republican Constitution in Asia. The Constitution, composed of a preamble, 14 titles, transitory provisions, and an additional article, creates the Philippine Republic whose government shall be popular, responsible and representative with three separate branches—the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary.
It can be recalled that it is the Malolos Congress that ratified the first Philippine Constitution that eventually led to the proclamation of Philippine independence from the Spanish colonial rule on June 12, 1899 inside the historic Barasoain Church.
Also, Malacanang has declared Tuesday (September 15) a special non-working day in Bulacan.
Based on Proclamation No. 1013, signed by Executive Sec. Salvador Medialdea by the authority of President Rodrigo Duterte stated that the province of Bulacan will mark the celebration of the 122nd anniversary of the inauguration of the Malolos Congress on September 15 this year, thus declaring it a special non-working day in the province.