MANILA – In celebration of the Philippines' 125th Independence Day on Monday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines will serenade the public through its "Musikalayaan 2023" at the Rizal Park, Luneta, Manila on Sunday.
The AFP's Civil Relations' Service Media and Civil Affairs Group (MCAG) will host the event with the theme "Kalayaan. Kinabukasan. Kasaysayan" (Freedom. Future. History).
"(The activity) aims to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Independence Day with military talent. It will be completely free from admission fees and can catch the live stream through DWDD 1134 kHz AFP Radio simulcast at AFP Radio DWDD," MCAG commander Maj. Ceno Pancito III said in a statement Thursday night.
He added that the concert allows defense agencies to promote national pride in a country with a heritage of valor and bravery.
Bands that will be participating in "Musikalayaan 2023" include the 2nd Infantry Division (2ID) Jungle Fighter Band, Bureau of Fire Protection Band, Jeck Pilpil & Peacepipe, and East Side Band.
Pancito said representatives of various uniformed services would also do solo, duet, ensemble, quartet, and dance performances.
"In addition, the AFP's very own, the reigning Mrs Universe 2022, who is assigned at the Presidential Security Group, CD Lady Chatterly Alvaro-Sumbeling, singer and actor 1st. Lt Ronnie Liang PA (Res), social media influencer and singer Charleen Ong, the Kabataan Kontra Droga at Terorismo (KKDAT) group from San Juan, 'Asia's Vocal Supreme' Katrina Velarde, and 'Asia's Timeless Diva,' Dulce will also perform and share their skills," he added.
Uniformed agencies will also showcase military and civic static displays for the public during the open house. They will display tanks, mortars, machine guns, and nation-building efforts for visitors to see.
The bands will play and drill in the afternoon.
"The celebration commemorates the hard-fought achievement of independence and the ongoing commitment to protect the people, uphold sovereignty, and seek lasting peace in the country," Pancito said.
New public affairs office chief for AFP
Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Enrico Gil Ileto was named as the AFP's new public affairs office chief on Thursday.
Ileto replaces Col. Jorry Baclor, who was appointed to head the Initial Military Training Center of the Training and Doctrine Command of the Philippine Army in Tarlac.
Baclor was appointed AFP public affairs office chief in November 2021 and was responsible for leading the military's communication efforts in internal security operations, international defense and security engagements, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, and the AFP Transformation Roadmap and modernization program.
“I took the lead in this office at a time when things are slowly going back to normal after the height of the pandemic. The mentality was to learn and rise even better than we’ve been before. With our collective efforts, we were able to sustain the high level of confidence of the Filipino people as proven by our excellent trust rating,” he said.
Baclor also pushed for the continued professionalization, capacity-building, and capability development of his unit and its personnel through its compliance with the AFP Transformation Roadmap Institutionalization Pathway.
He was awarded the Distinguished Service Star for the meritorious, exemplary, and valuable service he rendered.
Meanwhile, Ileto, who finished the Public Affairs Qualification Course at the Defense Information School in Maryland in the United States, is among the AFP’s highly experienced and trained public affairs practitioners.
He previously served as assistant chief of the AFP public affairs office and spokesperson of the 3rd and 7th Infantry Divisions.
“Rest assured, with the AFP’s collective guidance and leadership, that this office will be at the forefront in being the gateway of information to the public and showcase the continued professionalism and transformation of our organization; so that we will be able to sustain their high trust and confidence and maintain popular support for the different AFP programs as we face the complex challenges of the present,” he said.
Ileto also commanded the 84th Infantry Battalion based in Nueva Ecija.
Under his leadership, the battalion successfully sustained the peace in the province, allowing it to be declared at “Conflict Manageable Stage” that is “peaceful and ready for further development.” (PNA)