After a hiatus from politics, Dr. Laurel returned to public service in 1993 when President Fidel V. Ramos urged him that his patriotism, nationalist lineage and integrity, makes him solely qualified to chair the National Centennial Commission (NCC). Intending this to be his “last full measure of devotion,” for his beloved country, he acquiesced to head the Centennial Commission with two conditions: (a) that he will not receive a single peso for his 6-year service as NCC chair and CEO of Philippine Centennial Exposition ‘98 (EXPOCORP) and that (b) NCC would be “above partisan politics.”
Despite exigency in time, Dr. Laurel, recounted former President Fidel V. Ramos, was “fully aware and cognizant that he was working under pressure of a fixed and immovable deadline- June 1998, and failure to meet this deadline would result to [sic] a national embarrassment.” History would later confirm that Dr. Laurel professionally and patriotically heeded the call, offering to the Filipino people an unforgettable commemoration of our country’s triumphs and struggles for freedom.
The meticulous national preparations demanded, however, more than Dr. Laurel’s undying love for his country as it necessitated concerted time, energy and resources of concerned agencies in the government and the Filipinos, in general. But Dr. Laurels’ fervent dedication, in no time, has inspired many and had re-flamed and rekindled Filipino nationalism, especially to the young generation. As documented in Nacionalista Party:Building a Nation, First 100 Years, “The festivities were held throughout the islands. It climaxed with a huge fireworks display over Manila Bay that had people of all social classes intermingling with one another unmindful of the heat and jostling to view the pageantry and celebrating their being Filipinos. By and large, the commemoration was a success!”
Other than his illustrious family name, if there was anything Doy Laurel valued so much, it is love of country – a legacy impressed on him by Dr. Jose P. Laurel, Doy Laurel’s esteemed father, whom he admired and worshiped deeply. It may be said then that even up to his last service in NCC and EXPOCORP, the young Laurel held on to his old man’s conviction that: “Love of country is demonstrated not by words but by deeds. It is not an occasional virtue to be exhibited now and then, but it is a flame that should constantly be kept aglow in our hearts…”
The Philippine Centennial Celebration
Rekindling the Filipino Spirit In 1998, the Philippines celebrated its centenary year as an independent nation. In 1999, we celebrate one hundred years of the Philippine Republic, the first constitutional democracy in Asia. We celebrate nearly four centuries of struggle for nationhood culminating in the Philippine Revolution of 1896, the Filipino Declaration of Independence on June 12, 1898, and the January 23, 1899 birth of the Philippine Republic. We enjoin all to rekindle the Filipinos spirit by looking back at the proudest moments in Philippine history, reliving the crisis moments of the republic before falling under the yoke of new conquerors. Traverse the road map of century-old events that led to the events of 1898 and 1899. Experience the agitation that led to the revolution. Relive the first shots of the revolt that aroused the passions of the Filipino people. Let us cherish the finest moments of the Filipino! Let the Filipino Spirit kindled by the Philippine Centennial burn in our hearts! Viva the Philippine Republic! Viva the Filipino!
Renewal of Pride
The Philippine Centennial Vision
“To be active in renewing and transforming the nation.” That is the vision of the Philippine Government for this historic milestone. As such, it created the National Centennial Commission (NCC) through Executive Order 128 to work out the details of the Centennial.
The Centennial Mission:
Revive love of country and true appreciation of the true Filipino identity
Relearn the values of the country’s struggle and use it for future development
Enhance participation and promote values for nation building
Inculcate in Filipinos love of nation and its well being
To propel Filipinos to work for the overall well-being and welfare of the nation
The desired effect of the Philippine Centennial is to inculcate a sense of shared history among Filipinos in order to strengthen Filipino identity and nationalism resulting into the slogan “KALAYAAN , KAYAMANAN NG BAYAN.”
The rising sun shines over a red and blue ribbon, twirled to form the figure 100. Underneath are the three stars which are also in the Philippine Flag. The slogan aptly states the reason for nationhood… That, indeed, freedom is the true wealth of a nation. The gold “Philippine Centennial” is reversed to frame all elements. Logo(by Edgar Santiago) and slogan (by Joachim Medroso) were picked from more than 5,000 entries in a nationwide contest.
The Steward of the Centennial
In the turning of these pages, we ask you to bear witness to the men and women whose dedication and love of country have formed the moving force behind the rekindling of the Filipino Spirit. Presenting, the people of the National Centennial Commission…