Independence Day rites kick off amid rains

Posted at 06/12/2012 10:16 AM | Updated as of 06/12/2012 5:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Parts of Metro Manila experienced sudden downpours Tuesday morning as the government rolled out the Independence Day festivities.

Weather bureau PAGASA said the rains are due to thick clouds brought about by the southwest monsoon (hanging habagat).

Scattered rains are expected to prevail across the western section of Luzon and Visayas; and in the whole of Mindanao.

The rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.

Meantime, PAGASA is monitoring a shallow low pressure area (SLPA) to the south of Mindanao.

PAGASA forecaster Jori Loiz said the SLPA may interact with a storm that is approaching the Philippine territory, bringing rains to the western section of the country.

“Itong SLPA ay nasa loob na ng PAR (Philippine area of responsibility) kaya lang nasa katimugang Mindanao, at maaring magkaron ng interaction ito sa mga susunod na araw dito sa papasok na bagyo,” Loiz said.

PAGASA said the storm may enter PAR as early as Thursday, but is not expected to make a landfall.

114th Independence Day

The theme for the country's 114th Independence Day celebrations today is “Kalayaan: Pananagutan ng Bayan Para sa Tuwid na Daan.”

The day begun with simultaneous flag raising and wreath laying ceremonies in various historical landmarks, including the Rizal Monument in Manila and Aguinaldo Shrine in Cavite.

President Aquino led the Independence Day celebrations at the Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan.

Meanwhile, government service booths opened today at the Rizal Park at 8 a.m. and will stay open until 8 p.m.

Filipinos will also be treated to the "Malayang Pilipino Concert" and a grand fireworks display at the Quirino Grandstand. – with ANC