The History of Philippine Independence Day

Philippine Independence Day
Philippines Independence Day

Independence Day is celebrated annually in the Philippines every 12th of June. Often the holiday is also known as “Araw ng Kasarinlan” or “Araw ng Kalayaan”. It is a historic day that commemorates the end of a long and difficult battle for independence. Philippine Independence was proclaimed on June 12, 1898, at the ancestral home of General Emilio Aguinaldo in Kawit, Cavite.

June 12, 2024, marks the 126th anniversary of Philippine independence as the nation gained full sovereignty and freedom from the Spanish colony for 333 years and lasted until 1898. The Philippine Independence Day is a day of meaningful symbol to the country’s rich past, as well as a day for all Filipinos around the world to honor their heritage and reassert their commitment to independence and national identity as one.

Spanish Colonization in the Philippines

For 333 years, the Philippine Islands were colonized by the Spanish Empire from 1565 to 1898. Ferdinand Magellan established the first documented record of European contact with the Philippines in 1521 during his circumnavigation expedition, which ended in his death at the Battle of Mactan.

Forty-four years later, a Spanish expedition commanded by Miguel López de Legazpi left modern Mexico to begin the conquest of the Philippines. Legazpi’s expedition arrived in the Philippines in 1565, under the reign of Philip II of Spain, whose name has remained associated with the nation.

The Philippine colony was ruled by Spaniards under Spanish laws. Jose Rizal was the most prominent representative of the moderate opposition to Spanish authority in the Philippines, who advocated political reforms of The Philippines under Spain.

In 1892, the Katipunan, a secret revolutionary movement, was established in Manila, the Philippine capital on the island of Luzon. Membership expanded quickly, and in August 1896, the Spanish discovered the Katipunan‘s intentions for the rebellion, causing the rebels to take premature action. Revolts broke out across Luzon, and in March 1897, 28-year-old Emilio Aguinaldo took command of the rebellion.

By late 1897, Aguinaldo was exiled in Hong Kong. From there, Aguinaldo made arrangements with U.S. authorities to return to the Philippines and assist the United States in the war against Spain. He landed on May 19, rallied his revolutionaries, and began liberating towns south of Manila.

On June 12, 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine independence and established a provincial government, of which he subsequently became head.

Proclamation History of Philippine Independence Day

Historically, the Philippines witnessed three independence days. However, the nation only celebrates one. The first was on June 12, 1898, when General Emilio Aguinaldo, the revolutionary commander, proclaimed independence at Kawit, Cavite, bringing an end to 333 years of Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines.

The Japanese occupation of the Philippines marked the country’s second independence. The Empire of Japan provided for the Second Republic, which was established on October 14, 1943, with Jose P. Laurel as its president.

The third event was on July 4, 1946. Shortly before the Pacific War ended, the United States regained the Philippines from Japan. Reinstating their authority and upholding their promise of independence, the Americans “granted” the Filipinos their long-awaited independence on July 4, 1946, the date of United States independence day and the date that Philippine independence was declared from 1946 to 1962.

And, in 1962, President Diosdado Macapagal issued Proclamation No. 28, s. 1962, which effectively moved the date of Philippine independence from July 4 to June 12.

2024 Marks the 126th Anniversary of Philippine Independence Day

Indenpendence Day

This year, the Philippines celebrates the 126th anniversary of its independence. A historic moment that represents the courage, perseverance, and unity of the Filipino people. All over the country, the celebrations are held with flag-hoisting, parades, festivities, art and ethical reenactments that recalls the triumph and struggle of our people in unity, through the process of patriotism.

Philippine Independence Day is celebrated to honor the sacrifices of Filipinos for democracy and to remind everyone that civil rights will always be valued. The development of strong community connections, along with the celebration of their cultural heritage, is manifested through the organization of different festivities and events. It is an inspiration that symbolizes why we must guard and value the hard-won times of liberty that make the Filipinos unique people.

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