While we’re used to celebrating our “Araw ng Kaalayaan” every June, facts suggest that it was only on the 23rd of January 1899 when we were able to establish a true, Filipino-led government – otherwise known as the “Malolos Republic” – to earn ourselves a distinction as the Asia’s First Democratic Republic. However, the question that now stands in front of us is this: have we really paid attention to the significance of January 23rd in our lives as Filipinos?
Driven by the passion to reignite the Filipinos’ love for flag and country, Natividad introduced the vibrant Fiesta Republica in 2010 to raise awareness and a greater appreciation for what he calls as the most important date in Philippine history.
“We were the first one to establish a Constitution in Asia – the Malolos constitution – and it was a milestone we all achieved as a nation,” he says. “It was where our all the other fundamental rights and privileges that we enjoy today – our gill of rights and the freedom of the press, for example – emanated, so why are we not giving this date the same reverence that we’re giving to June 12 or the Araw ng Kagitingin (The Day of Valor)?”
“We have fiestas and festivals for nearly every religious and cultural significance, but why aren’t we celebrating the very first Philippine Republic, which was founded here in Malolos?” Natividad noted.
“For us here in Malolos, Fiesta Republica stands as the ultimate celebration of Philippine democracy, Filipino history, and homegrown art and culture,” Natividad explains. “It started out as a tourism program for Malolos in 2011 highlighted by events and activities that aim to educate Filipinos about Malolos “historic” role and commemorate the gallantry and wisdom of the forefathers of Philippine revolution.