12/06/2011: President's Message for the 113th Commemoration of the Philippine Independence
My warmest greetings to my fellow Filipinos in the United States, as you celebrate the 113th Anniversary of Philippine Independence.
I am heartened by the unfailing dedication of Filipino-Americans to exalt their Philippine heritage, even as they actively participate in the different aspects of civic and national life in their adopted country. We in the Philippines deeply appreciate your sacrifices as you support your families back home and contribute to our noble task of nation-building. This willingness to be part of genuine transformation demonstrates the reinvigorated solidarity that we affirm as we relive this momentous day in our country’s history.
Let us take this moment to not only celebrate the freedom that we cherish, but also to remember the brave men and women who valiantly fought for our liberty. Spurred by undying love for our country and strong compassion for their fellow Filipinos, our forefathers engaged in a revolution that has marked our race’s strength and determination. Among them is our national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal, whose 150th Birth Anniversary we commemorate this year. He stands for the potential and power of change that lies within each of us: his life and works stirred a nation to answer the call of transformation, and his martyrdom incited a triumphant struggle for independence.
Years have passed, and the circumstances may be different, but the challenge remains the same: to never waver from the straight and righteous path, and to work together to establish a future of stability and peace. Today, we are faced with new obstacles: the fight against poverty, the struggle to obtain equitable justice, the campaign for good governance. We share a vision: that of a Philippines free from poverty, hunger, corruption and apathy—the Philippines that its people deserves. Our struggle for national prosperity and progress continues. As the children of heroes, it is our obligation to persist and to stay the course.
As we fight our own battles today, in our own shores and in foreign lands, may we always be reminded of our rich history and heritage, our brilliance and sense of purpose. Time and time again, we have proven that so long as we are united under the banner of transparency, accountability, and integrity, we can take on any insurmountable task.
BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
M A N I L A
12 June 2011