Casa Real de Iloilo, Iloilo City
12 June 2015

President Benigno S. Aquino III led the celebration of the 117th Independence Day Vin D’ Honneur in Casa Real de Iloilo, Iloilo City — the first in the country’s history wherein the said reception was held outside Malacañan Palace.

“These past five years, we have broken with tradition in commemorating the proclamation of Philippine Independence in significant sites throughout the country. This year, we break with tradition again hosting our Independence reception not in Malacañan Palace, but here in Iloilo City,” he said.

According to the President, by celebrating this year’s Independence Day and reception outside the traditional celebration in Manila, it pays tribute to the solidarity of every Filipinos that claimed independence despite the archipelagic challenge of communication and transportation amongst the 7,100 islands of the country.

Translating the different challenges Filipinos had to face to achieve independence and sovereignty in the past, President Aquino reminded everyone that the challenges remain for every Filipinos to combat natural and manmade calamities, corruption, and poverty.

“My country has indeed achieved so much, yet we did not do this all on our own. We reached our goals sooner because of the international community, who recognized our earnest efforts and saw an honest government and a people truly worth helping. This, in turn, breeds in us a debt of gratitude — what we call utang na loob — shown in our determination to do our share to address the world’s problems,” he said.

Graced by the members of the diplomatic corps, President Aquino raised his glass for a ceremonial toast rallying all the dignitaries to forge a united global community with the Philippines where each nation-state realizes their own growth and stability through international cooperation, bound by international law and mutual respect.

“This is the clearest path towards a world where there is mutual respect, where we are all bound by international law and by a single definition of our entitlements and obligations; where we are all brothers, all of equal footing, working side-by-side. In your presence, we pledge: the Philippines is committed to the task of building that true community of nations,” he said.

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