MANILA -- British Ambassador to Manila Daniel Pruce joined Filipinos in celebrating Philippine Independence Day by channeling revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio through the poem "Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa".
In a one-minute video posted at the British Embassy page, Pruce reads in Filipino the first few lines of the piece:
"Aling pag-ibig pa ang hihigit kaya sa pagka-dalisay at pagka-dakila gaya ng pag-ibig sa tinubuang lupa? Aling pag-ibig pa? Wala na nga, wala."
The poem, published in 1896, is an exhortation to Filipinos to take up arms for the country's independence.
In the same video, he hailed the "determination and resilience," as well as the kindness and courage of Filipinos globally as the world deals with a different battle.
"Here in the Philippines, I've been full of admiration for the love of the country that shone through in the incredible collective effort to deal with the coronavirus," Pruce said.
Other foreign governments, including the United States, Russia, Australia, China, Israel, and Canada, also extended their felicitations on the occasion.
State Secretary Michael Pompeo cited the US-Philippine alliance "fortified" by the two nations' shared history and bilateral cooperation.
"Our friendship and cooperation stand as a model for ensuring peace, stability, prosperity, and health across the Indo-Pacific. As you commemorate your 122nd year of independence, the United States of America congratulates the people of the Philippines on this joyous occasion," Pompeo said.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova conveyed Moscow's "sincere congratulations" to Manila and the Filipino people, noting the two states' developing ties.
Meanwhile, Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Rafael Harpaz praised the country's achievements since it broke free from Spanish rule.
In a statement, the Canadian Embassy in Manila underscored its strong people-to-people ties with the Philippines.
"Today, almost 840,000 Canadians of Filipino origin call Canada home. Now and always, we look forward to continue strengthening our relationship with the Philippines. Mabuhay at Maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan," it read. (PNA)