President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s Toast Remarks during the Vin d’Honneur

Speeches 12 June 2023

[applause] Thank you.

Your Excellency Archbishop Charles Brown, the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines and the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps; the distinguished members, excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps. And may I say that the ladies of the Diplomatic Corps have put a new spin on our national costume; and I think with the help of some of our local designers have created a wonderful spectacle. So, the gentlemen of the Diplomatic Corps, we’re going to have to pick up our game. [laughter] I will — after this evening, we will go and make sure that we too can preen like peacocks like the ladies this evening. [laughter]

First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos; Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri; House Speaker, Speaker Martin Romualdez; the Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ricky Manalo; my fellow colleagues in government; honorable guests; ladies and gentlemen.

I am honored to welcome you all today to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence. This is a momentous occasion that marks our nation’s unwavering spirit and resilience amidst adversity.

The road to our independence was one that was long and perilous and one that asked for the ultimate sacrifice of our forebears. We remember our national day every year with a sense of gratitude to the men and the women that ushered into our country the hard-fought freedom from the clutches of tyranny and colonialism.

Truly, the Philippines has gone a long way as a sovereign state as a member of the international community since its birth as the first republic of Asia in 1898.

Our country has since stood shoulder to shoulder with many countries on many circumstances — in war and in peace — and has built down the road strong ties with many nations over the years in pursuit of our national interests.

We have been at the forefront, either as a lead or a proponent, in the global discourse supporting peace and security; social and gender equity; migration; climate change; and other consequential issues in the global agenda. Guided by our independent foreign policy, we continue to conduct our external affairs with national interest as the primordial guide.

Our decisions will be grounded on what we determine is best for our people and for our country. We uphold respect and dignity in our dealings with other countries and expect the same and have received the same from all other countries. We engage everyone. We are friends to all and enemy to none.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, today’s celebration has taken a whole new different meaning, as we mark this occasion with renewed hopes and spirited resolve to rise anew as a nation, not from political oppression this time but from economic scarring engendered by the crippling and lingering effect of the pandemic.

That is why, as a way to honor our forebears, it is my duty as President to keep this house in order and to steer the country to a high-growth path whose effect will be felt by each and every ordinary Juan Dela Cruz.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, as we hoist the Philippine flag on this occasion, we hoist it with the same dignity and pride as it was first unfurled 125 years ago in Kawit, Cavite.

May this year’s celebration and commemoration of the 125th Independence Day be a continuing reminder to us Filipinos that it is only in unity and solidarity as a nation that we will be able to safeguard the freedom won by our ancestors.

As we look back on our storied past, let us not forget to gaze upon the horizon where the promise of a brighter future awaits.

It is our shared responsibility to foster a society that upholds democracy, social justice and inclusivity, so that every Filipino can flourish and contribute to our nation’s growth.

From where our country stands now, we recognize that challenges will continue to test our mettle as a nation, but with unity and solidarity of the Filipino people, we can endure even another 125 years with our heads held high.

On this note, I ask you all to join me in a toast: To our friends from the diplomatic community, may we continue to strengthen the ties that bind our countries and peoples together. Let us always look for ways to take our relations to new heights.

To our colleagues in government and partners from the private sector, let us continue to draw inspiration from the courage and determination of our ancestors as we work hand-in-hand to better the lot of every Filipino.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, mabuhay po kayo! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang Pilipino!