The Philippine Flag is the National Emblem of the Filipinos. It symbolizes the Philippine Freedom, History and Sovereignty.
According to Section 18 of Republic Act (RA) No. 8491, otherwise known as the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, all government offices and educational institutions are required to participate in the Observance/Conduct of Flag Raising Ceremonies every Monday morning and Flag Lowering Ceremonies every Friday afternoon.
Paragraph 3 of Deped Order No. 50, s. 2015 states the Flag raising ceremony sequence as (i) Singing of Lupang Hinirang, (ii) Interfaith Prayers and (iii) Recitation of Panunumpa ng Watawat ng Pilipinas, followed by (iv) Singing of Kanak Ha Banuwa and the (v) Division Hymn for the Division of Malaybalay City.
The flag is raised in strict compliance with Section 21 of RA 8491 which states that during the flag raising ceremony, the assembly shall stand in formation facing the flag. At the moment the first note of the anthem is heard, everyone in the premises stands at attention; moving vehicles shall stop. All persons present shall place their right palms over their chests and all shall sing the Philippine National Anthem. Meanwhile, according to Section 22 of RA 8491, the flag shall be lowered solemnly and slowly so that the flag shall be down the mast at the sound of the last note of the anthem.
Filipinos are among the most patriotic people in the world. Pledge to the flag and singing of the national anthem is a simple gesture and manifestation of every Filipino’s love of country.
The Flag Ceremony should be given utmost importance for it reflects our love for our country, and that it is one of the ways to value the sacrifices of the people who died protecting and defending our country. It honors the symbol of our country, all the hopes, dreams and the people it represents. I encourage everyone to come early every Monday morning to attend the Flag raising ceremony and to be present during the Flag retreat every Friday afternoon. It is a way of expressing gratitude for the freedom we are currently enjoying and remembering the greatness and sacrifices of those people who sacrificed their lives through showing respect to our National flag. Let us join these ceremonies not because we are required to do so but because we are proud of the people who fought for our freedom. To show our love of country, we do not just stand at the formation but we will sing the National Anthem and recite the pledge to the flag by heart as role models.
PAMELA L. ASTUDILLO
Administrative Assistant III