Playing with Fire

Needed: more passion in celebrating our heroic past

By Gonzalo Duque


WE congratulate our local government officials for their faithful adherence to important events such as Independence Day, Rizal Day, and in the case of Dagupan City, Dagupan Day.

Bilib tayo kay Mayor Belen Fernandez because all occasions on these important days are always well attended.

It takes leadership, credibility, and public political machinery to assemble several people in one place in such occasions.

Most of you have seen them in the media–TV, radio and the local and even national newspapers. There is reason to believe that our people especially DagupeƱos have attained a high degree of political sophistication or maturity.

This fact translate to the progressive environment that we are all in. Our universities and colleges continue to attract students from all over the world.

The quality of education in our schools is such that parents here are convinced not to send their children anymore to Manila to acquire quality education.

Back to our observation regarding our observance of patriotic events. We think that they should not be limited to claim speeches during memorable rites, Rizal Day, Independence Day and so on and so forth.

We address this view to the Division of City Schools and also the values organizations that participate during commemorative programs. Maybe they should come up with something more creative and relevant in terms of what will directly and immediately benefit the local government and the nation.

We will not have any problems on materials and talents, as all of you, I presume, know what I’m talking about.

Our city is very rich in culture and cultural vignettes that we can dramatize that would entertain, educate and, if you will, make us more appreciative and proud of our past.

Our items on Leonor Rivera and Jose Rizal in this column have attracted several responses from our readers. Including kabaleyans overseas.

This should include our articles on World War II in Dagupan in which many of our kababayans are in praise of Gen. Douglas Mc Arthur, our supposed liberator from the Japanese invaders.

Up to now there is a debate on where he first landed, whether in Lingayen, Binmaley, San Fabian or Dagupan. The late Dr. Salvador Duque, in order to stop the debate, volunteered his opinion saying (all of the above) at the same time. People probably forgot that the alleged liberator used a giant armada or ship when he landed in the Lingayen gulf.

The reason we have expressed misgivings about MacArthur as a hero is based on the observation that thousands of Filipinos especially DagupeƱos were killed during the liberation.

His arrival was carelessly enacted without care of lives that would be hit by heavy bombings and bombardment.

So much for this sad memory. What we want to only highlight is the need for a meaningful and more creative observance of our heroic past so that the present generation especially those in the kindergarten and schools will come to know the truth which should set us all free.

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