Celebrating 111 Years of Philippine Independence

Philippine Declaration of Independence

The Philippine Declaration of Independence occurred on June 12, 1898 in Cavite el Viejo (now Kawit), Cavite, Philippines. With the public reading of the Act of the Declaration of Independence, Filipino revolutionary forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the Philippine Islands from the colonial rule of Spain, which had been recently defeated at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.

The declaration, however, was not recognized by the United States or Spain. The Spanish government later ceded the Philippines to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish-American War.

The United States recognized Philippine independence on July 4, 1946 in the Treaty of Manila. July 4 was observed in the Philippines as Independence Day until August 4, 1964 when, upon the advice of historians and the urging of nationalists, President Diosdado Macapagal signed into law Republic Act No. 4166 designating June 12 as the country’s Independence Day. June 12 had previously been observed as Flag Day.

The Proclamation Day

The event was led by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in his mansion on June 12, 1898. The flag of the Philippines, which was made in Hong Kong by Marcela Agoncillo, Lorenza Agoncillo and Delfina Herbosa de Natividad was first flown in that event. It is also where the Philippine National Anthem, composed by Julian Felipe, was first played by the San Francisco de Malabon band. The song was played under the name Marcha Filipina Magdalo, later renamed as Marcha Nacional Filipina.

The Official Flag of the Republic of the Philippines.The Philippines celebrated its Independence Day every July 4, the date in 1946 that the United States granted independence to the nation, until 1962, when President Diosdado Macapagal signed the Presidential Proclamation No. 28, changing the official celebration to June 12, the date in 1898 that Emilio Aguinaldo declared the nation’s independence from Spain

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