The Philippine Independence Day
Philippine Independence Day is celebrated on June 12th every year. It commemorates the Declaration of Independence from Spanish colonial rule on June 12.
The struggle for independence began with the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonial rule. Led by Filipino nationalists such as Andrés Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo, the revolution aimed to end more than three centuries of Spanish rule. On June 12, 1898, in Kawit, Cavite, Aguinaldo proclaimed the independence of the Philippines from Spain, raised the Philippine flag for the first time, and proclaimed the establishment of the First Republic of the Philippines.
However, the Spanish-American War broke out after the Philippine Revolution, and the United States defeated Spain. Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States in the Treaty of Paris in December 1898. This changed the struggle for independence as Filipinos were under American colonial rule.
Nonetheless, June 12 continued to be celebrated as Independence Day, symbolizing the desire and continued struggle for true independence. The Philippines became fully independent from the United States on July 4, 1946.
In 1962, then-President Diosdado Macapagal signed Republic Act 4166, changing the official date of Philippine Independence Day from July 4 to June 12. This was done to emphasize the importance of the first declaration of independence from Spanish rule.
Independence Day is a significant holiday in the Philippines. Various activities and celebrations are held all over the country. The main event will be held at Manila's Rizal Park, where the President of the Philippines will raise the Philippine flag and make a speech. Parades, cultural shows, and historical reenactments also showcase the country's rich traditions and patriotism.
Filipinos celebrate Independence Day with pride and togetherness, honoring the sacrifices their ancestors made in the fight for independence. This is a reminder of the importance of freedom and sovereignty in the history and development of the country.
The moving of the date of the celebration
June 12th wasn't always the official Independence Day. This was decided by then-President Diosdado Macapagal on May 12, 1964. Macapagal changed the celebration to June 12 to commemorate Emilio Aguinaldo's declaration of independence of the Philippines from Spain on the same day in 1898.
In his 1962 Independence Day speech, Macapagal explained the reasons for the change. “The irrefutable claim of June 12 as our day of freedom is bolstered by the fact that it is the culmination of many acts of patriotism and nationalism. June 12, 1898, is pregnant with meaning not only for our people as the birthday of their sovereign nation but also for the world since it was our Filipino patriots and leaders, Rizal, Aguinaldo, and Bonifacio, who led the nations of Asia in breaking the chains of colonialism in order that they may breathe the fresh air of individual liberty and national dignity”.
He saw the change as restoring the legacy of the Philippines' struggle for independence from Spain. As we know, its heritage was destroyed by half a century of US colonial rule.