It is common to the citizenry that the 30th of November is a regular holiday. It has been 114 years since the Declaration of Philippine Independence and it is the perfect time of remembering the sacrifices our fore bearers in order to establish the very fabric of inalienable sovereignty under which we find our freedom today.
UP Corps of Cadets salutes one of our great revolutionary leader, Andres Bonifacio, as the Republic celebrates his 149th birth anniversary on 30 November 2012.
The day started out with the formation of troops at the DMST Complex. Along with the cadet officers came the members of the Rayadillo Unit, the Honor Guards of the Unviersity, as well as the UP ROTC Symphonic Band. As the team marched to Vinzons Hall, the band filled the air with tunes and marches such as “Gibraltar March”, and the University’s own “Push On UP”.
The sight of people marching around the Academic Oval as music filled the air was indeed a head turner for the students, joggers, and other passers-by. Leading the group were the colors of the Republic and the University. As the cadets and cadet officers arrived at the Alaala ng Bayang Pilipino sa mga Bayani ng 1896 Shrine, the members of the Rayadillo Unit lined up at the sides of the steps leading to it. The colors were positioned, the guests readied and cued, and everything and everyone was settled down for the ceremony that the Corps has prepared.
As the band played the Philippine National Anthem, everyone in the area stood at attention, faced the National Flag, and sang proudly as every Filipino should. What a sight it must have been. Beyond this being the appropriate gesture of respect to make would be the sense of pride our Founding Fathers would definitely have felt if they were to see the Filipino people proudly singing for their country. The Rayadillo salutes proudly with their rifles, the cadet officers with their swords and of course, the guests with their right hand on their chest feeling the burning passion of nationalism with every note of the song.
Immediately after was the ceremony proper. As the band sounded the classic Sampaguita off, two wreaths were laid to honor our revolutionary leader. One was offered by the Corps Commander of the UP ROTC, CMaj Daniel Manuel O Macrohon Jr, on behalf of the UP Corps of Cadets and the UP Corps of Sponsors. The other was offered by Vanguard Filomeno Buena, an alumnus of the Rainbow Rangers which is a unit pioneered by the Corps.
The Corps Commander then delivered a speech which emphasized the values that we, as one united people, must uphold. Andres Bonifacio, he said, “embodies the shibboleths that we, the UP ROTC, proudly uphold: duty well-performed, honor untarnished, and country above self.” In this ever-changing world, we owe it to Andres Bonifacio as well as other revolutionary heroes, to make sure that their ultimate sacrifices are not in vain.
To conclude the ceremony, the band sounded Pilipinas Kong Mahal. The lyrics of the song revereberated thoroughly inside the hearts and souls of every nationalistic Filipino present. It echoed all of the duties that we as a people must perform without fail: ang puso ko at buhay man sa iyo’y ibibigay … na lagi kang paglingkuran, ang laya mo’y babantayan, Pilipinas kong Mahal.