119 years today, Filipinos continue to enjoy and cherish, our independence and freedom.
Also known as “Araw ng Kasarinlan” or “Araw ng Kalayaan, Independence Day is celebrated every June 12 as a national holiday to commemorate our country’s independence from colonial Spain, which ruled the Philippines for more than 300 years.
With this year’s theme “Kalayaan 2017: Pagbabagong Sama-Samang Babalikatin,” let us go back and bring the history alive again in our hearts.
From 1946 to 1964 our independence day was celebrated every 4th of July, based on the date when American colonization in the Philippines has officially ended in 1946.
In August 1964, former President Diosdado Macapagal signed Republic Act 4166 that changed the date of commemorating our Independence from July 4 to June 12.
Thus, the annual observance of Philippine Independence Day has been put into a law.
The said act was based on the Declaration of Independence of June 12, 1898 led by General Emilio Aguinaldo and attended by Filipino revolutionary forces.
For the first time in 1898 the Philippine flag was formally raised and our national anthem was played.
The freedom from Spanish rule however was short because the United States and Spain ignored the declaration.
In 1898, due to the Treaty of Paris, Spain-US war has ended and Spain sold the Philippines to the US.
This resulted to a revolt of Filipinos who are triggered another revolt by the Filipinos – this time against the Americans.
US occupation of the Philippines stated in 1899 and the Philippines was granted independence on July 4, 1946 through the Treaty of Manila.
Yearly, flag raising takes place simultaneously in various historical places in the Philippines nationwide to celebrate Independence Day.
Four of the prominent and historic landmarks visited during Independence Day celebrations are the Jose Rizal National Monument in Rizal Park, Manila; Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan; President Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite; and the Andres Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City.
The traditional vin d’honneur is also done at Malacañang Palace, where the members of international diplomatic corps join the President in honoring our Independence Day.
Images of Independence, Today
In modern time, we ask you this.
What is freedom for you?
Do we still value the sacrifices and lives of those who have fought against colonialism and dictatorship so that we can continue to enjoy our priceless freedom?
Is it having all the time in the world indulging in everything life has to offer?
Being free to choose and express what you want to say?
As we celebrate Philippines’ independence today, give us the freedom to show a different perspective…a different art…side…a different story of how much independence we savour every moment and every single day.
Feel free to look from a different light!
YOUNG AND FREE. High school students gleefully take the slide together during their spare time.
‘Childhood is special, as the wonder of new discovery gives way to the birth of independence
and the choices they make that help them find their voice, moving towards to the realization of their dreams and live as an individual.’
FREEDOM TO EXPRESS. From the time when Andres Bonifacio along with others wrote
Viva La Independencia Filipina or Long Live Philippine Independence on the walls of the Pamitinan cave in Rizal
up to the modern writings and calligraphy on road walls in Manila.
Up to this date, contractualization is still prevalent in the Philippines and fighting for regularization, sometimes goes way beyond its boundaries.
FREEDOM TO CHOOSE YOUR OWN FAITH. Quiapo, in Manila hosts two of the largest places of worship for Catholic and Muslim faith, Quiapo Church and Masjid Al-Dahab mosque.
FREEDOM OF NAVIGATION. Protecting the integrity of our territory to assert our sovereignty.
BRP Gregorio del Pilar, patrolling near Pagasa Island. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Andal)
FREEDOM TO EXPLORE modern technology. Innovation in mobility, the era when you can speak out those feelings and the whole world will know about it.
PRIDE AND PROUD. Having the liberty to show the world who you really are, confidently. June is also the Pride month, and even Facebook is one with the LGBT community in celebrating independence at its best.
RULER OF MACTAN: Lapu-Lapu, first Filipino native to resist Spanish rule and defended our independence.
ANG MAMATAY NG DAHIL SAYO: Andres Bonifacio y De Castro, Supremo, Father of Philippine Revolution.
He fought not only for our independence but also for equal rights for the proletariat.
A genius and a patriot. Dr. Jose Rizal, our national hero, one of great heroes who led the Filipino independence movement.
DEMOCRACY. (Photo Credit: DWIZ reporters)
FREE-FLOWING. We move freely as the sun rises and sets every day. A simple yet good sign of freedom.
A WAVING FREEDOM: ‘From high above with only clouds as company, almost anything can seem possible.’
With that moment of inspiration, we asked, and they answered!
Ano para sayo ang Araw ng Kalayaan?
“Ang Independence Day para sa akin ay selebrasyon kung saan tayong mga Pilipino ay malaya na mula sa mga sumakop sa atin noon. Ang pagiging malaya ay parang isang panibagong pagkakataon upang magsimula muli. The moment we become free from anything that hinders or that makes us a slave to it, brings a sense of peace and a sweet taste of something we long for (probably for a long time) – freedom. It gives us a chance to make things right or to fill up the time lost when we were still in bondage.”—Racel Jamisola, 21 years old, Mass Communication graduate
“Ang kalayaan para sakin ay ang kakayahang makapagpahayag ng sariling opinyon at damdamin. Ang paggunita sa araw ng kalayaan ay mahalaga sapagkat ang kagitingan at kagandahang loob ng mga lumaban para sa ating kalayaan ay nakikilala at nabibigyan ng pugay hanggang sa modernong panahon.”—Iana Cruz, incoming senior high school student
“Wala nang sasarap pa sa pagiging malaya, napapanatili natin ang ating kultura dahil may kalayaan tayong ihayag ang ating damdamin bilang mga Pilipino, kalayaang ipaglaban ang ating mga karapatan, kalayaang pumili, kalayaang iparinig ang ating mga boses, dahil tayo’y malaya, nananatili ang alab ng ating pagiging Pilipino, bilang isang bansa. Pero kasabay ng pagigigng malaya ay dapat rin nating isaisip na ang palaging kaakibat nito ay responsibilidad, pagmamahal sa bayan at respeto sa kapwa. Oo malaya tayo pero sana’y huwag nating abusuhin. Ang araw na ito ay isang magandang paalala na proud akong maging isang Pilipino.”—Nica Rodriguez, 19 years old, College student
Celebrating independence doesn’t have to be only every June 12…
when we stop waving our flag or organizing celebrations….we might be surprised by how far it can go.
This day reminds us of the undying self-determination of Filipinos for independence, of our thirst for liberty and freedom, and as a sovereign nation that is a proud member of the international community.
Happy Independence Philippines!
By Aiza Rendon
Contributors: Ira Cruz / Race Perez
Surprising facts about Philippine Independence Day:
- The original Philippine flag raised by Aguinaldo in Kawit was a sketch he personally gave to Doña Marcella Agoncillo who was living in Hong Kong at the time. It took her with two assistants five days of hard work to finish the flag.
- The three stars in the flag actually represents Luzon, Panay and Mindanao. Panay was part of the Proclamation of Independence in Kawit, Cavite, referred to as “the archipelago’s three principal islands.”
- The original flag was lost somewhere in Pangasinan during the Filipino-American war.
- “Lupang Hinirang” was not the first national anthem but “Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan.” In 1987, national hero Andres Bonifacio requested musician Julio Nakpil to compose it.