October 19 is A Special Day for Bacolod City

Remembering what happened today 83 years ago. This is a long post – but I invite people who truly love Bacolod to spend a few minutes to read.Today, I personally celebrate an amazing and memorable moment in history for my beloved city of Bacolod.

For the information of all my friends around the world, I live in a city named Bacolod in the Visayas, Philippines – a city uniquely blessed to have been the subject of several Proclamations by former President Manuel L. Quezon, first president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

He signed our Charter as a city as the 5th City of the Philippines on June 18, 1938.He signed several proclamations to set the inauguration of our new city on the same year, but because of the rains – the final date was set by Proclamation No. 325 setting the inauguration of the Bacolod on October 19, 1938.

83 years ago, all the country’s leaders descended in Bacolod, the city with the youngest mayor at at that time. President Quezon, House Speaker Gil Montilla, Senator Hernanez, Executive Secretary Jorge Vargas and many others came to celebrate with Bacolondnons.

In 2004, when I was elected as city councilor, running as independent, without my choice, the majority blocs gave me the Committee on History, Arts and Culture. They might be laughing at me for having what they think as an inconsequential committee in the Council.

But I always make sweet lemonade out of sour lemons. I was guided by historians and teachers to understand that our charter was signed on June 18, 1938 – a day that was not marked at all ever since.I was able to understand that there is no conflict between June 18 and October 19 since both events are equally historic. I started to create the Bacolod History Quiz in 2004 and eventually connect with the kins of the late Senator Hernaez, father of Bacolod Charter and began to learn more from local historian Modesto Sa-onoy.

Let it be placed on record that I was the first to author resolutions requesting the city to mark June 18 but never asked that October 19 be erased from history.Eventually as my efforts snowballed – politics caught up with it. I was flabbergasted to witness how it became a political issue -frustrating because I was caught in the middle. The squabble even reached the National Historical Commission and the Congress.

I had no choice but to keep posting on social media because traditional media never bothered to understand my point as an ordinary citizen.I have given up the fight and used up so much energy in this lifetime to say that both dates are important – both dates should be holidays!!! LOOK it was Manuel L Quezon who declared October 19 as a holiday for Bacolod! How unique can our city be!All we need was a law to do is to declare June 18, 1938 also as our charter day!

We need not need to disregard this legacy of October 19. It clearly states “inauguration”.But everything is wasted. I will keep praying for Bacolod. I will keep loving Bacolod.

This city belongs to all of us. Not just a few.Lord, since today is a special day for me – please hear my prayer -may my city become a city of knowledge and history – maybe in the future. AMEN #Reflection

Published by Jocelle Batapa Sigue

ATTY. JOCELLE BATAPA-SIGUE • Named as one of The Outstanding Women in Nation’s Service of the Philippines or TOWNS for 2016 in the field of Information and Communications Technology or ICT • Positions: Past Vice President (2018) and Past President (2010-2012) and Past Trustee (2013-2017) of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines or NICP • Founder, Former President and Current Executive Director of the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for ICT or BNEFIT • Served for 3 terms as councilor of Bacolod City • Chosen as one of Asia Society Top Ten Philippines 21 Young Leaders in 2009 • Chosen as the Eisenhower Fellow of the Philippines in 2012 • Awarded as Philippine Individual Contributor of the Year during the International ICT Awards given by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines

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