VALENZUELA CITY’s celebration of the courage and bravery of its local hero and the city’s namesake, Dr. Pio Valenzuela on the occasion of his 143rd Birth Anniversary was underscored by a multi-media presentation about his life and accomplishments for the freedom of the Filipino people.
Under the theme, “Pio Valenzuela: Bayani ng Bayan, Inspirasyon ng Kabataan, (Our Nation’s Hero, Inspiration of the Youth),” City Mayor WIN Gatchalian said that this year’s celebration is focused on popularizing the life of the least-depicted hero of the Katipunan. “It’s time for the present generation to learn about what Dr. Pio has done for our country and its people,” he said.
The multi-media presentation, seen for the first time during the program last night, July 11, for the prayer dedication of Dr. Pio’s bust sculpture and diorama on his life at the Museo Valenzuela, was a collaborative effort between the City Cultural Affairs and Tourism Development Office (CATDO) and the Valenzuela City Center for the Performing Arts (VCCPA). A video documentary produced by the CATDO featuring historical experts’ commentary on the life of Dr. Pio was preluded and ended with VCCPA’s simple but stunning dance-musical drama on the noteworthy phases of the hero’s life; from his life as a student to his life as a living hero long after the revolution.
In this year’s commemoration, Dr. Pio’s great-grandson, Mr. Edgardo Valenzuela thanked, in behalf of Valenzuela family, the efforts of the city government to honor the memory of the heroism of his great-grandfather.
The documentary serves as a reminder that Valenzuela City, which was formerly known as Polo is “…Bayan ng mga bayani. (Home of gallant heroes),” as Ms. Elizabeth Chongco put it, being one of the resource persons who appeared in the video.
The documentary, Museo Valenzuela curator Mr. Jonathan C. Balsamo said, is one of the tools to bring the story of the life of Dr. Pio Valenzuela closer to the people and to give the public access on factual information about him. “This is just among the many efforts of Mayor WIN to prevent his deeds from dying in vain. This will stand alongside VCCPA’s Nume de Plume, the musical about his life, the diorama about him which is on display at the Museo Valenzuela, the Triumvirate Monument, and the Museo Valenzuela itself which now houses mementos about him,” he said.
The City Government of Valenzuela, through the CATDO, also continued the tradition of honoring Dr. Pio’s feat through a wreath-laying ceremony in his honor before the Triumvirate Monument located at the City Government Complex which was held in the morning of July 11, the exact day of his birthday. It was participated in by various local government offices, civic organizations and the Valenzuela clan.
Dr. Pio Valenzuela was one of the Kataas-taasang Tatlo (Triumvirate) of the Katipunan, along with Supremo Andres Bonifacio and Secretary General Emilio Jacinto. They were the members of the Camara Negra (Black Chamber), a secret chamber of the Katipunan which passed judgment over members who violated the secrets of the society. They were the executive, legislative and judicial authority of the Supreme Council. Dr. Pio was also the brain beyond the founding the society’s organ “ Kalayaan” which is said to have boosted the membership of the secret society from merely 300 to more than 30,000.
Part of this year’s celebration is the acknowledgmentof the five courageous men who helped save the lives of two children trapped under the wrecked shanties when an adobe wall collapsed in Sitio Libis, Barangay Gen T. de Leon recently. The spirited act by Ronald Regacho, Johnny Garcia and Julio Donaire, residents of Barangay Ugong, and police officers PO2 Ge-Ar T. Cagaoan and P/SR Insp Jovencio Urbien Jr. is considered to be modern day re-embodiment of Dr. Pio’s heroism.