By virtue of Proclamation No. 1128, our national leader, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, proclaimed April 27 as a special day across the country in commemoration of the 500th anniversary or quincentennial of the victory at Mactan. Subsequently, in creating a more meaningful commemoration, the Department of Education Dipolog City Division released a memorandum directing all schools in the division to hold simultaneous flag raising ceremonies and activities. This division-wide memorandum is in accordance with DepEd Memorandum OUF-2021-0199 from the Undersecretaries for Finance and Curriculum and Instruction, Annalyn M. Sevilla and Diosdado M. San Antonio, respectively.

The flag raising ceremony took place on April 27, 2021, near the DepEd Dipolog City Division Office’s façade. The activity was carried out by a skeleton staff, lead by SDS Virgilio P. Batan Jr., together with ASDS Lourma I. Poculan and SGOD Chief Dr. Nur N. Hussien, the size of which was determined by local IATF protocols. The program began as soon as the clock struck eight, which was the same time as other schools and offices around the country.

Mr. Chris Rey VIII A. Herrera, the master of ceremonies, opened the program with a brief description of the event before introducing the employees who would conduct the Philippine National Anthem, say the Interfaith Prayer, and lead the Panunumpa ng Kawani ng Gobyerno, Performance Pledge, DepEd Vision and Mission, and SDO Quality Policy. It was followed by an audio-visual presentation depicting our country’s rich heritage, highlighting the Filipinos’ transcending spirit of altruism, bravery, faithfulness, heroism, and gallantry in the last 500 years after Lapulapu and the warriors of Mactan dismantled Ferdinand Magellan’s international interference into local order.

SDS Virgilio P. Batan Jr., CESO VI, received the floor after the AVP and delivered his message of inspiration. In his words, the event was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness because half a millennium is a long time and we won’t be able to celebrate the millennial commemoration with the future generation anymore. SDS Batan also emphasized the Filipino people’s resiliency in the face of adversity, such as the numerous hurricanes that halted and hindered development.

Certainly, the employees appreciated SDS Batan’s thoughtful message. When asked how she felt after the event, Ms. Florenda E. Perocho, an administrative staff from the Records Section, said, “I feel invigorated, knowing how our ancestors managed to be powerful and steadfast in the many years of trouble and pain. The idea motivates me to always do my best at work and to persevere in the face of adversity.”

The program came to a close with the screening of a music video for Bagani, the theme song for the 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines, composed by Roel Rostata and performed by Anthony Castillo with PINOPELA. The skeleton staff applauded with claps and cheers, astounded by the piece of art.

Employees of the Department of Education are still encouraged to watch the Quincentennial Lectures Series Playlist on YouTube in order to gain a thorough understanding of historical events that occurred 500 years ago, including the lives and works of our national heroes.

(Photos courtesy of Ms. Sarah Aranas, administrative staff of the CID Office.)

By: Cielbert E. Dondoyano Jr.