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June 12

By Jullie Y. Daza

ONE week to go before Independence Day, folks are preparing their longer-weekend plans. June 12 is a Tuesday, so why not extend the no-work days from Saturday to Tuesday, go back to work on Wednesday, then wait for the next weekend?

Unlike in public schools which opened yesterday, classes in most private schools won’t resume until June 13 anyway.

And then it’s back to stickier, thicker traffic jams!

Does patriotism, or love of country, figure in the calculation of holiday planning? Certainly no one who is a patriot should be heard hectoring and haranguing their listeners to advertise the quality and quantity of their love of country, which is why a display of the flag is as good an expression as any of that love. Which is why it’s a mortal sin for government offices to be so poor that they cannot properly display a proper flag, i.e., one without signs of wear and tear (emotional equivalent of poverty, fatigue, suffering) but one in the most brilliant red, white, blue, and gold, waving proudly under a golden sun against a clear blue sky. (The verbs that writers use to describe the action of displaying a flag include fly, raise, flutter, wave, and hoist, each of which heightens its meaning as the highest symbol of a country, disrespect of which is a crime.)

Dasmariñas city in Cavite, which I discovered in June 2016 (based on the notes of former President FVR) for its “forest of flags” (FVR quoting JYD, who does not keep her own files!) as I drove to Tagaytay, is the leading light when it comes to the proudest exhibit of the flag on its main thoroughfares. Cavite being where the First Republic was proclaimed, Caviteños have a right to shout their patriotism from the top of their lungs, rooftops and balconies (as Emilio Aguinaldo did on June 12, 1898).

The birthday of the Republic is the basis of astrologer Zenaida Seva’s calculation that this fair land is “a Gemini country.” Whatever the reader knows about the traits of each of the 12 signs of the zodiac, one thing is sure: If Gemini represents the twins or the two faces of tragedy and comedy, the Philippines definitely favors the unmistakable duality of politics and showbiz as her people’s national pastime.

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