President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. led the celebration of his late father’s 105th birth anniversary yesterday—saying with his victory in the May elections, there is now a “rebirth” of his father’s dreams.
“I think it’s a very meaningful celebration of my father’s birthday because it is very clear that there has been very much a rebirth in the country,” the President said in a speech delivered in Batac City—Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s birthplace—in Ilocos Norte.
“And why do I say that? I say that because those of us who have kept his memory alive, who have kept the sense of duty and commitment to the Philippines alive in all the times that were very, very difficult and have continued to be constant in the belief that what my father started, that what my father wanted to do was something that was honorable, something that was noble, and that was service to his country and to his people.”
“With the mandate that our people have given us – and I say ‘us’ because no victory, no great enterprise has ever been won by just one person—this victory belongs to all of us, not just Ilocanos, not just family members, not just the supporters, not just the loyalists but all Filipinos, this victory belongs to.”
“That is why I consider it in a way a rebirth of the Philippines.
Because we return to the values that we had learned from President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos. We return to the values of honor and of duty and of compassion. These are the elements that sometimes we have found lacking in the past few years. And this is our opportunity to return it, not only to the government, but to every part of our society,” he added.
President Marcos himself is celebrating his 65th birthday tomorrow, Tuesday, which will be marked by a nationwide feeding program spearheaded by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
In a statement, the PCSO said it will, together with selected Accredited Agent Corporations (AAC) or Small Town Lottery (STL) operators across the country, simultaneously provide sandwiches and drinks to the public under the program “Handog ng PCSO: Isang araw na salu-salo sa kaarawan ng Pangulo.”
President Marcos acknowledged the “important opportunity” and “grand responsibility” that have been given to him.
“We cannot waste such an opportunity or we will have neglected our duty to our people. We will not have done the work we know needs to be done, the work that Ferdinand Marcos (Sr.) taught me and taught all of us,” he said.
“So let this be once again a kind of beginning – a beginning that in fact returns to the old days and the old ways. Not the old ways of doing things but the old ways of service, of honor, of dignity, of love, of compassion, of patriotism. These are the things we learned from Ferdinand Edralin Marcos. These are the things we keep in our heart. And these are the things that will guide this administration,” the President said.
The Marcos family and their supporters first attended a mass at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City, where the former president Ferdinand Sr. is buried, before flying to Batac City.
A thanksgiving mass was held at Immaculate Conception Church in Batac followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Ferdinand E. Marcos monument, led by First Lady Liza Marcos, Senator Imee Marcos, Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc, and presidential sons Simon and Vincent.
The President also visited the Imelda Cultural Center where a natnateng (vegetables) cooking showdown was held among 21 towns and two cities.
Malacañang earlier declared September 12, Monday, as a special non-working holiday in Ilocos Norte in honor of Marcos Sr.’s birth anniversary.