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  • 6/12/2010

The Day in History:

Philippine Declaration of Independence

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The proclamation of the independence of the Philippines from Spain by General Emilio Aguinaldo on June 12, 1898 as depicted on the back of the old 5-peso bill.The Philippine Declaration of Independence occurred on June 12, 1898 in the Philippines, where Filipino revolutionary forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo (later to become the Philippines' first Republican President) proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the Philippine Islands from the colonial rule of Spain after the latter was defeated at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.

The declaration, however, was not recognized by the United States or Spain, as the Spanish government ceded the Philippines to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris, in consideration for an indemnity for Spanish expenses and assets lost.

While the Philippines first celebrated its Independence Day on June 12, its independence was only recognized on July 4, 1946 by the United States. Henceforth, Independence Day was observed on July 4, but in the name of nationalism, and upon the advice of historians, Republic Act No. 4166 was signed into law by President Diosdado Macapagal on August 4, 1964, proclaiming June 12, which up to that time had been observed as Flag Day, as Independence Day.

 

The Proclamation Day

A depiction of the flag that was raised during the declaration. This was the basis for the flag as currently used by the Philippines today.The declaration, in the form of a proclamation, in the presence of a huge crowd, was done on June 12, 1898 at the ancestral home of General Emilio Aguinaldo between four and five in the afternoon in Cavite el Viejo (now Kawit), Cavite, some 30 kilometers South of Manila. The event saw the unfurling of the National Flag of the Philippines, made in Hong Kong by Mrs. Marcela Agoncillo, Lorenza Agoncillo and Delfina Herboza, and the performance of the Marcha Filipina Magdalo, as the Nation's National Anthem, now known as Lupang Hinirang, which was composed by Julian Felipe and played by the San Francisco de Malabon Marching band.

The Act of the Declaration of Independence was prepared and written by Senior Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista in Spanish, who also read the said declaration. A passage in the Declaration reminds one of another passage in the American Declaration of Independence. The Philippine Declaration was signed by ninety-eight persons, among them an American army officer who witnessed the proclamation. The proclamation of Philippine independence was, however, promulgated on the 1st of August, when many towns had already been organized under the rules laid down by the Dictatorial Government of General Aguinaldo. The final paragraph states that there was a "stranger" (stranger in English translation — etranger in the original Spanish, possibly meaning foreigner) who attended the proceedings, Mr. L. M. Johnson, described as "a citizen of the U.S.A, a Coronel of Artillery".

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The June 12 proclamation was later modified by another Proclamation done at Malolos, Bulacan, upon the insistence of Apolinario Mabini, who objected to the Original proclamation, which essentially placed the Philippines under the protection of the United States.

Philippine IndependencePhilippine Independence Day (Filipino:Araw ng Kasarinlan, Araw ng Kalayaan) commemorating the country's declaration of independence from Spain on June 12, 1898 is a regular holiday in the Philippines.

 

History

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, 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. Officially naming June 12 as Araw ng Kalayaan (Independence Day) and July 4 as Republic Day and Philippine-American Friendship Day.

On June 12, 1998, the nation celebrated its centennial year of Independence from Spain. The celebrations were held simultaneously nationwide by then President Fidel V. Ramos and Filipino communities worldwide. A commission was established for the said event, the National Centennial Commission headed by former Vice President Salvador Laurel presided all events around the country. One of the major projects of the commission was the Expo Pilipino, a grand showcase of the Philippines' growth as a nation for the last 100 years, located in the Clark Special Economic Zone (formerly Clark Air Base) in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Source: encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com


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