BRIDGE OF HOPE Village watchman Musli Jumli stands guard on the newly constructed 500-meter bridge that links Marang-Marang Island to Isabela City's mainland. Jumli, who used to swim across the sea to go to school, sees the bridge as a hope for their community's future.—JULIE S. ALIPALA ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines — Close to 40,000 people, about half youngsters, were drawn to the Cesar Cortes Climaco Freedom Park in Barangay Pasonanca here on March 17 for the grand rally of presidential hopeful and Vice President Leni Robredo, dubbed as "Layag (Sail) Leni." But most of them may not have an idea of the historical significance of the place, until after they were there. Before introducing the vice president, Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco Salazar reminded everybody that they were on hallowed ground as the park, which used to be called Abong-Abong, was renamed after the city's former mayor who made his mark as a freedom fighter. Salazar, who is Climaco's niece, refreshed for her audience a historical tidbit of the late mayor fighting alongside the late Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. against the dictatorship which cost them their lives. "They sacrificed their lives for our country; we must not… Read full this story
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