FILE—Philippine Air Force planes do a flyby over the Rizal monument in Luneta during the 118th Independence Day rites. (Photo by Alvin Kasiban/ The Varsitarian)

Filipinos should ground their celebration of freedom in gratitude to God, a cleric from the Manila Cathedral said as the country commemorated its 126th Independence Day on Wednesday.

In his homily, Manila Cathedral vice rector Fr. Vicente Gabriel Bautista said that the familiar story of Filipino resilience is outdated, emphasizing that with God’s help, the nation could be recognized as one that is loved by God.

“‘Wag tayong manatiling mga Pilipino na sanay lamang na pinahihirapan, pinagpapalit at isinasantabi—alalahanin natin ang malayang pag-angat at pagmamahal ng Diyos sa atin,” he said.

“Pinapaalala sa atin ng Diyos sa araw na ito, hindi tayo talunan, hindi tayo laruan, hindi tayo basta-basta. Pinagpalang bayan po tayo, minamahal tayong bayan at malaya tayong bayan.”

Bautista said the freedom Filipinos enjoy is accompanied by God’s love.

“Noong uminit nang matindi noong mga nakaraang buwan, nagbuhos ang Diyos ng ulan. Noong sumobra ang pangaalipusta sa atin, naging malaya tayo…kasama sa pagiging malayang bayan ang pagdanas ng walang sawang pagmamahal at pagpapala Niya,” he said.

On Independence Day, the historic Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception hosted an “open house,” granting visitors access to usually restricted areas like the side chapels, choir loft, and crypt.

The Philippines celebrates Independence Day on June 12 each year to mark its short-lived liberation from Spain in 1898. with reports from Sheila May S. Balagan


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