Feature: Agusan del Sur celebrates 111th Independence Day with colors and vision
Butuan City (15 June) -- As early as 7:00 in the morning, the Naliyagan Plaza was slowly filled with people from various sectors. Clad in barong tagalog and filipiniana, the officials and employees of the Provincial government started arriving for the start of the holy mass which will mark the opening activity of the 111th Independence Day Celebration and the grand opening of the 17th Naliyagan Festival.
No less than Butuan Archbishop Juan de Dios Pueblos with seven other priests officiated the Holy Mass, attended by Gov. Maria Valentina Plaza, her mother, former Gov. Valentina Plaza, her brother, former Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza, Vice Gov. Santiago Cane Jr. and other provincial officials and employees of the provincial government and the private sector.
Upon arrival of the Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker DILG Secretary Ronaldo Puno, the solemn wreath-laying ceremony started with music background played by the 402nd Infantry Brigade Band. All of the sudden, the silence was broken and the atmosphere became festive when the 402nd Infantry Brigade execute the 21 gun salute. Then everybody marched towards the Naliyagan Plaza stage, joined by the delegations from the 13 municipalities and the lone city of Bayugan who caravanned all the way from their respective municipalities to join the Independence Day Celebration and the opening of the Naliyagan Festival.
In his message, Sec. Ronnie Puno said President Arroyo was right in having the Agusanons close to her heart because Agusannons are resourceful, industrious and peace loving people.
"Kaya pala malapit kayo sa puso ni Presidente Arroyo dahil napakapayapa ng lugar nyo, at sa nakita ko, napakasipag nyong tao na may pagtingin sa hinaharap tulad ng mga lider ninyong sina Gov. Tina Plaza, former Gov. Valentina Plaza and Eddiebong Plaza. (The reason why you are close to the heart of President Arroyo is because you have a peaceful place and as I see by myself, you are hardworking people who have a very good vision for the future like your political leaders namely Gov. Tina Plaza, former Gov. Valentina Plaza and Eddiebong Plaza).
Sec. Puno added that he have traveled from North to south of the country and as he observed, Agusan del Sur has one of the best national highways that can catch the attention of investors and financiers and there is no reason why Agusan del Sur will not economically shine in the near future.
"Another reason why I can say that you will reach the top in terms of economic status is because I see that people in Agusan del Sur are united. Natives and settlers are living together in all the places in Agusan del Sur peacefully while cooperating with each other. In this manner, as the saying goes "United we succeed, divided we fail" it is success that I saw and no failure", Sec. Puno said.
Gov. Tina Plaza confirmed what Sec. Puno said by saying Agusanons are peace-loving people and are always looking for progress. That is the reason why her administration is doing its best in filling in the people's need, be it local of foreign funded projects, in order to realize her administration's seven-point-program.
Right after the short program, 111 balloons and doves were released in the air symbolizing the 111th year of Philippine Independence and freedom. (David M. Suyao, PIA-Agusan del Sur) [top]