THANKFUL. Members of the Manila Parking and Traffic Bureau parade around the city hall with a tarpaulin that expressed their gratitude to outgoing Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Friday (June 24, 2022). The event was part of the 451st Manila Day celebrations. (Photo courtesy of Manila-PIO)

MANILA – As the nation’s capital marked its 451st anniversary on Friday, outgoing Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso expressed his gratitude to Manileños and asked that they give the same trust to his successor.

Domagoso said he expects his constituents to also support and respect his vice mayor, Honey Lacuna, who will become Manila’s first female mayor in six days.

Kung ano ang ibinigay ninyo sa akin na pagtitiwala, pakiki-isa, pagsunod sa mga alituntunin, siyang ibigay nyo rin sa bago nating halal sa kasaysayan ng lungsod ng Maynila, kauna unahang babaeng mayor (As you have given me your trust and cooperation in following policies, kindly afford the same to our incoming, the first woman mayor in Manila’s history), Honey Lacuna,” Domagoso said in his speech that kicked off the “Nilad Festival” at the Kartilya ng Katipunan monument.

Lacuna won with a total of 538,595 votes, beating Alex Lopez who got 166,908 votes.

Her running mate, long-time councilor Yul Servo Nieto, also prevailed with 586,855 votes as against second-placed Raymond Bagatsing’s 185,431.

Domagoso, meanwhile, placed fourth overall in the presidential race.

The “Araw ng Maynila” (Manila Day), back after a two-year cancellation due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, was highlighted by a parade around the city hall, participated in by various divisions of the local government and the police.

Six groups representing Manila’s six districts competed in street dancing.

Early morning, Domagoso and Lacuna offered a wreath at the tomb of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi at San Agustin Church in Intramuros, and at Rajah Sulayman Park in Malate.

Legazpi is the country’s first governor-general who declared Manila as the capital while Rajah Sulayman III was the last King of Manila, along with Rajah Matanda (Sulayman II) and Lakan Banaw Dula of Tondo, who fought the Spanish empire during the 16th century.

The “Nilad Festival” is named after the nilad plant, a flowering shrub, where the city derived its name.

“Nilad is a cultural icon and a representation of the journey and history of Manila. A budding plant that is trying to trace and find its origin so it can once again bloom and be visible not only to the country, but also to the rest of the world,” the city’s Department of Tourism, Culture, and Arts explained.

Domagoso said the nilad plant is not simply a plant that the city is trying to revive, but the totality of all stories worth sharing and experiencing.

At the end of his speech, Domagoso expressed his love for the city he grew up in.

Mahal na mahal ko kayo, mga batang Maynila. Pagpalain kayo (I love you, Manileños. May you be all be blessed),” Domagoso said. (PNA)