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The Philippines will celebrate its 120th Independence Day to commemorate its independence from colonial Spain. Also known as “Araw ng Kasarinlan” or “Araw ng Kalayaan,” it is an annual national holiday in the country observed every June 12. The theme for this year is “Kalayaan 2018: Pagbabagong Ipinaglaban , Alay Sa kinabukasan.
Background and history
Originally, Philippine Independence Day wasn’t celebrated on June 12. From 1946 to 1964, the date designated for it was July 4, the day when the Americans formally ended their colonization of the Philippines in 1946. This also officially ended the Commonwealth government they established in 1935. Then in August 4, 1964, then-President Diosdado Macapagal signed Republic Act 4166 that moved the date from July 4 to June 12.
The act legalized the holiday, which is based on the Declaration of Independence of June 12, 1898 by General Emilio Aguinaldo and Filipino revolutionary forces. The Philippine flag was raised and its national anthem was played for the first time in 1898. However, freedom from Spanish rule was not for long, because Spain and the United States did not acknowledge the declaration.
This was due to the 1898 Treaty of Paris, which ended the war between Spain and the U.S. Spain surrendered the Philippines to the U.S., resulting to a revolt of Filipinos against the latter. The Philippine revolution against the Americans started in 1899 and achieved sovereignty on July 4, 1946, through the Treaty of Manila.
Philippine Independence Day is more than just having to wave a flag and organize celebrations. It is a reminder of the self-determination of Filipinos to exercise their right to liberty and independence. It is a legitimate assertion by the Philippine nation of its natural and inalienable claim to freedom and independence, which is an inherent right of every people, not dependent upon the will and discretion of another nation or government.
Some unknown facts about Philippine Independence Day:
Apart from the Philippine flag and national anthem, a lot of Filipinos are not knowledgeable about Philippine Independence Day. Here are few facts that may surprise you:
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