Lanterns lit in historic E. Visayas areas to celebrate Asean’s 50th anniversary
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte—Three key cities and two historic towns in Eastern Visayas joined in the lighting of giant lanterns marking the 50th founding anniversary of the Asean (Association of Southeast Nations) on Tuesday night.
The cities of Maasin in Southern Leyte; Ormoc and Tacloban, both in Leyte as well as the towns of Palo (Leyte) and Balangiga (Eastern Samar) held their respective activities like street parades prior to the lighting of the Asean landmark lantern at exactly 7 p.m., held simultaneously in 50 areas across the country.
It was in Palo town where the country’s liberation from the Japanese invaders started with the landings of American forces led by General Douglas MacArthur in 1941 and in Balangiga, where American soldiers torched the island in 1901 which ended with them bringing the Church bells of the town.
The lanterns, with the Asean logo on them, were placed on the grounds of the city halls in Maasin, Ormoc and Tacloban, the regional capital.
While in Palo, the lantern was placed at the MacArthur National Memorial Landing Park in Barangay (village) Candahug while it was placed at the Balangiga Encounter Monument in Balangiga.
Mayors Richard Gomez of Ormoc, Nacional Mercado of Maasin, Remedios Petilla of Palo and Cristina Romualdez of Tacloban led their respective areas in the occasion.
Eastern Samar Governor Conrado Nicart Jr. and Mayor Randy Graza led the Balangiga event.
“We are very, very honored to be included among the 50 sites as Asean celebrates its 50th founding anniversary. This is symbolic for Tacloban as we bounce back after (Super typhoon) Yolanda,” Mayor Romualdez said.
Karen Terado, consular head of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), based in Tacloban, said that the event basically aims to “raise awareness” among the public that Asean exists. -With a report from Robert Dejon
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