Press Release
January 21, 2019

Koko stresses need to celebrate nationhood on Phil Republic Day

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today reminded Filipinos of the need to "acknowledge our nationhood and develop a deep sense of love for country" as he emphasized the importance of the declaration of the first independent Asian republic in Malolos, Bulacan through the commemoration of the Philippine Republic Day on January 23.

"Too often we forget the richness of our history and the importance of national historical events. Filipinos won a hard-fought victory over a colonial master at the turn of the 20th century, and created the continent's first-ever sovereign state in Bulacan."

"It's important that we celebrate this event and inculcate the importance of the gift of freedom, especially among the young," the lawmaker noted.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11014 last year, which declared January 23 as a special working holiday in the entire country.

The measure prescribes that the National Historical Commission (NHC), in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd), plan and implement activities for the First Philippine Republic Day.

Pimentel stressed that "we planted the seeds of nationhood when we created the Malolos Republic in 1899 through the ratification of the Malolos Constitution. Too often this significant fact is buried in history books, totally unknown to students and citizens now used to getting most of their information from social media."

The legislator thus suggested that the NHC and DepEd "think of creative and engaging ways to hook the interest of everyone, especially with the shallow distractions of the Internet Age."

"The lessons taught to us by the First Philippine Republic are both timeless and relevant. We need to celebrate January 23 with respectful solemnity and full appreciation of its importance," Pimentel pointed out.

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