With hands on their chest, Dipolognons sang in unity the National Anthem "Lupang Hinirang" with local officials, representatives from national government agencies, school heads, non-government organizations while uniformed personnel made their salute to the hoisting of the Philippine National Flag.
Like every observance of Independence Day, the famous song "Bayan Ko" was also sang, together with the "Zamboanga del Norte Hymn" and "Dipolog City March."
In his welcome message, Mayor Darel Dexter Uy emphasized that freedom is a gift the Filipinos have inherited from those who have laid down their lives in the past.
"We may not witness their courage in the battlefield, but we are gathered here today to be reminded of their heroism," he said.
Likewise, Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Severo, commanding officer of the 10th Infantry Battalion of the 1st Infantry "Tabak" Division, Philippine Army (PA), who is the keynote speaker of the event, said "democracy had once been a dream, but with the sacrifice of our heroes, we were liberated."
Having fought in the Marawi City siege, he mentioned radical ideology as the main culprit of the battle.
"Lives were lost, many were wounded but we have stood our ground," he said.
He concluded that "the sacrifices of our heroes will be the shining beacon for us here today to continue pursuing peace in Mindanao." (ALT/EDT/PIA9-Zamboanga del Norte)