The municipality of Sta. Cruz has celebrated the 118th Independence Day in Military Honor on June 12, 2016 at the municipal ground, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. It was spearheaded by the local government unit and 39th Infantry Batallion, Philippine Army and supported by the Department of Education, Philippine National Police, Barangay functionaries and the private sectors.
The celebration started with a flag-raising ceremony led by PNP followed by wreath-laying and floral offering to the monument of Dr. Jose P. Rizal. The 39th IB then conducted the traditional 21-gun salute.
A brief history of Philippine Independence was presented by Ms. Racquel Cedeño, principal of Sta. Cruz National High School. Fiscal Teresita Recto, Davao del Sur’s Provincial Prosecutor was also present during the affair.
Mayor Joel Ray L. Lopez, who will be the outgoing mayor of Sta. Cruz, stresses the importance of celebrating Independence Day. In his speech, he said that the tradition of celebrating Independence Day is a manifestation of thanksgiving to our heroes. “This celebration is a thanksgiving to our forefathers who were the warriors of our freedom and independence. Let us all remember that this independence was not given to us in a silver platter, instead, it was hardly fought by our heroes.” The mayor also urged the next leaders of the town to continue the tradition of commemorating Independence Day every year.
In a more serious note, the mayor stresses three major independence that the Filipinos should take heed of and practice religiously and appropriately. These are the freedom of expression, freedom of suffrage and freedom of life. “Freedom can only be achieved if we do good and right and live our lives every day as if it would be our last.”