Baguio City celebrates Fil-Am Friendship Day

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan urged residents here to value the impact of the Americans in the City and the Cordillera region in general which he said propelled the growth of the locality.

In his speech during the celebration of the 2018 Filipino-American Friendship Day on July 4, the mayor acknowledged the influence of the Americans made on the City as borne by parks named in honor of the Americans who helped establish the city.

He said Forbes Park, along Leonard Wood Road, was named after William Cameron Forbes who implemented the master development plan which was designed by Arch. Daniel Burnham and mentioned the historical events that took place in the Cordillera like the surrender of Tomoyuki Yamashita and his capture in Kiangan, Ifugao.

Domogan thanked the veterans and the residents of Baguio "for what [they] have done and what [they] have contributed for the liberty and democracy that we're enjoying up to today."

To the youth he said, "Remember it as a source of inspiration. Do your best. Shun away from vices. Sana kayo, ang aming mga anak, [maging] maganda ang inyong kinabukasan. Kayo ang aming mga anak that will even surpass what we have done as your elders and as your parents. Your success is our happiness, as your parents."

The first of the three-part program was the simultaneous wreath-laying rites in Kennon Road, Rose Garden (in Burnham Park), and Gov. Pack Road which were named after Maj. Lyman W. Kennon and Arch. Daniel Burnham respectively and where the site of the first Philippine Commission was found. Different organizations including veterans and retirees associations as well as Boy Scouts of the Philippines and Girls Scouts of the Philippines attended and participated in the wreath-laying rites.

The second part was held at Malcolm Square which was named after Justice George Malcolm who wrote the city charter which paved the way for Baguio to be a chartered city on September 1, 1909. Hon. Elmer Datuin, the chairman of the City's Committee on Tourism, Special Events, Parks and Playgrounds, gave the welcome remarks. The students from Baguio City National High School Special Program in the Arts performed a dance showing the influence of the Americans when it comes to music and dancing.

The third part of the event, entitled Kultura-O-Rama, showcased performances featuring folk dances by the Federation of Baguio Senior Citizens Association, BARP Foundation, and PGRA- Baguio Chapter. The University of the Cordillera's Saeng Ya Kasay Enseme also performed Cordillera dances.

In addition to this, Mixed Martial Arts World Brave Combat Federation Bantamweight Champion Stephen Loman was crowned as this year's Ginoong Lakan and nursing student Rossalyn Ann Johnson was crowned as the 2018 Lakambini. Conrad Marzan also serenaded the crowd. Games were enjoyed by the Boy and Girl Scouts of the Philippines, as well. - Mekyla Rose Forbes (PIO-CMO)