Students form a human flag in Batangas during the Philippines' Independence Day celebrations Thursday. Photo by Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News Southern Tagalog
LIPA CITY – More than 5,000 high school students in Batangas formed a human flag at Fernando Air Base grounds on Thursday in celebration of the Philippines' 116th Independence Day.
Clad with red, white, blue, and yellow t-shirts, students from different schools in Lipa and neighboring towns gathered in the middle of the grandstand and formed a human flag measuring around 50 feet by 100 feet.
Dubbed as “Kalayaan: Pagsunod sa Yapak ng mga Dakilang Pilipino, Tungo sa Malawakan at Permanenteng Pagbabago” the activity was a joint flag raising ceremony of the Philippine Air Force-Air Education and Training Command (AETC) and the Batangas Provincial Government headed by Maj.Gen. Raul Dimatatac and Governor Vilma Santos-Recto, respectively.
The ceremony started at 6 a.m. with a parade of different floats depicting the heroism of the Filipino people from the KKK revolutionary era to the EDSA Revolution.
Santos-Recto was joined in the celebration by Vice-Governor Mark Leviste, Rep. Mark Lendro Mendoza, AGAP party-list Rep. Nicanor Briones, provincial board members, city and municipal mayors, education officials, national and local agency heads, and provincial government department heads.
Part of the celebration was a fly over of 6 SF-260 trainer planes with bursting colored smoke and confetti, followed by an exhibition jump of paratroopers belong to the 505th Search and Rescue units of the Philippine Air Force.
In her speech, Recto recognized the heroism of the Batanguenos like Apolinario Mabini, Marcela Agoncillo, Felipe Agoncillo, Jose Diokno, Jose P. Laurel, Miguel Malvar, and Claro M. Recto as part of the nation's history.