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First Wagayway Festival marks Imus as RP flag capital

By Erika Sauler
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 16:48:00 06/02/2008

Filed Under: Festive Events (including Carnivals), history

IMUS, CAVITE -- AMID LOUD explosions of gunpowder and intermittent cries of ?Fuego! (Fire!)? and ?Sugod, mga kapatid! (Charge, brothers!),? about 400 people witnessed a reenactment of the historic Battle of Alapan in 1898 at its original site here on May 28.

The restaging of the battle?a major victory for Filipino revolutionary leader, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, that led to the first Philippine Republic? was the culmination of the five-day celebration of the first Wagayway Festival marking Imus as the country?s flag capital.

Students, municipal employees and barangay officials performed in a play that started with the birth of the Philippine flag in Hong Kong, which Aguinaldo brought back to the Philippines on May 19, 1898, together with a supply of armaments to wage a new chapter of war against the Spanish colonial government. The play was directed by the Imus native Francis Posadas.

Filipino revolutionary forces defeated some 270 Spanish marines in the five-hour Battle of Alapan on May 28, 1898. For the first time, the Philippine flag was unfurled by Aguinaldo.

?This flag is the one we will unfurl and wave in our approaching and longed for freedom. And this will be the symbol of our country today and till the next generation. Long live our freedom! Long live the Republic of the Philippines!? the actor who performed Aguinaldo?s role in Wednesday?s celebration said in Filipino.

The play also depicted the defeat of the Filipinos by American troops. The US colonial government then passed the Sedition Act and Flag Law, which prohibited the display of the Philippine flag.

A ?zarzuela? showing the Filipinos? respect for their flag despite the US prohibition ended the drama.

Mayor Manny Maliksi led the launching of the festival. ?The core of the celebration is sincere love and respect for our flag. Let us love the flag which symbolizes our freedom. For whoever loves the flag, loves our country,? he said during the program for National Flag Day.

Environment Secretary Lito Atienza, who headed the subcommittee on Flag Day, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus and Cesar Enrique Aguinaldo Virata, a grandnephew of Aguinaldo, were among the program guests.



Copyright 2014 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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