They all love it, Aklanons and non-Aklanons alike.
The object of their love is the Aklan Hymn, which figured centerstage during the public hearing held October 18 at the Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall, attended by sectors from the academe (public and private), service organizations, non-government organizations and people’s organizations, national government offices, local government units and other agencies concerned.
The public hearing was held to know the stand of the different sectors on the ordinance, “so” according to SP Member Rodson Mayor who joined the hearing, “nobody will complain as we are here to listen to the stand of sectors to guide the SP in its decision-making process”.
The ordinance, authored by SP Member Victor Manuel Garcia, makes it mandatory in the whole province of Aklan for all government offices, local and national, public and private, institutions, organizations and the like, the singing of the Aklan Hymn in all flag-raising ceremonies, official and formal functions, activities and programs which also require the singing/playing of the Philippine National Anthem.
“I don’t oppose the ordinance. I love the lyrics and the tune. It is a beautiful song,” said Albert Meñez, of the Holy Child Nursery and Kindergarten School, and currently President of the Kalibo Sto. Niño Foundation Incorporated (KASAFI).
Meñez suggested however that the hymn be sung only during special occasion, events, and conferences promoting Aklan, as singing it during programs will take additional time.
He also suggested that the copyright of the song be obtained, copy of which should be submitted to the National Historical Council, as advised by NHC Head Ambeth Ocampo.
For her part, New Washington Vice Mayor said the song makes one proud to be an Aklanon and be a part of Aklan. She said the hymn develops and instills in Aklanons love for the province.
“It inspires us to be good and perform our best in our respective workplaces,” said Vice Mayor Jean Velarde of New Washington, Aklan.
Edwin Villanueva of TESDA-Aklan said the hymn gives the Aklanons a sense of belongingness.
“I am not an Aklanon but at heart, I am one, having stayed in the province for two years. I fully support the ordinance and I could not see any hassle if the hymn will be sung after the Pambansang Awit in schools,” Villanueva said.
Josephine Panadero of DepEd Aklan also expressed strong support for Hon. Garcia’s ordinance, pledging to take responsibility to echo to all schools the singing of the Aklan Hymn.
“As co-sponsor of the project, we strongly support the proposal”, Panadero said.
Before the airing of position statements, SP Member Selwyn Ibarreta, Chair, Committee on Laws, Rules and Ordinances related that the SP, together with the DepEd, facilitated the Search for an Aklan Hymn and March in time to be used in the 2010 WVRAA Meet which was hosted by Aklan after 15 years.
The Aklan Hymn and Aklan March, which earned the nod of DepEd-Aklan, were all composed by Dr. Jesse M. Gomez, CESO V.
Dr. Gomez, who hails from Numancia, Aklan, is currently DepEd-Capiz’ Schools Division Superintendent.
Despite obtaining overwhelming support from the sector, the committee acknowledged and noted that there is a need to fine tune the ordinance, to make it applicable and suitable to areas like Boracay Island, whose visitors could not all understand the Aklanon dialect.
The ordinance, which also used the word “mandatory”, needs a penalty clause.
The committee assured the sectors that their suggestions and concerns were all noted. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)