Diosdado Macapagal’s 107th birthday commemorated

LUBAO, Pampanga – Local officials from this town headed by Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab commemorated the 107th birthday of late president Diosdado P. Macapagal on Thursday at the old home of the former president in Barangay San Nicolas, this town.

The mayor along with Macapagal descendants, National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Chairman Rene Escalante and Sorsogon Rep. Evelina Escudero placed flowers at the monument of the former president during the wreath-laying rites also witnessed by residents and local police.

During the event, Mayor Cayabyab said the life and legacy of Macapagal also known as Apung Dadong is an example of good leadership that should be emulated by the youth.

Macapagal, dubbed as the “Poor Boy from Lubao”, overcame poverty and was elected as the country’s vice president in 1957 and president in 1961.

Sorsogon Rep. Escudero, who served as the guest of honor during the event, said Macapagal left a good legacy as a Lubaoeño who served as the fifth president of the Philippines.

Former Pampanga vice-governor Cielo Macapagal-Salgado, daughter of Apung Dadong, said she is thankful for the honor being accorded to her father every year.

She also acknowledged the late Sorsogon Rep. Salvador Escudero III, husband of Rep. Evelina Escudero, for being instrumental in the creation of the President Diosdado P. Macapagal Library and Museum in this town.

The commemorative program for this year is spearheaded by the NHCP in cooperation with the Provincial Government of Pampanga and the Municipal Government of Lubao.

The NHCP chairman said the commission is regularly honoring the legacy of the country’s former presidents.

The director also cited some of Macapagal’s achievements such as the signing of Proclamation 28 in 1962, which moved the Independence Day celebration of the country from July 4 to June 12.

“Noong panahon po niya napakalakas ng impluwensya ng Amerika bilang isang superpower. Naglakas loob po si Cong Dadong na ilipat ito upang ipakita sa sambayanan natin na noong panahon palang ng 1898 ay marami ng Pilipino ang nagsumikap na maging malaya tayo,” Escalante said.

Macapagal’s achievement also includes the realization of MaPhilindo or Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia, a regional association that would approach issues of common concern, according to Escalante.

Also present during the event were Diosdado Macapagal Jr., Diosdado Ignacio Macapagal Arroyo, Don Macapagal Salgado, Board member Salvador Dimson Jr, Department of Education representatives and other local officials. –LIEZEL CAYANAN/PIO

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